What is it?

For foreigners who want to start their own business or invest into an existing business in South Africa, there is the option of a business visa. The application for such a visa considers both the commercial success of the proposed business, but also its added value for the South African economy and society overall.
In a preliminary step to the actual visa application, we would need to obtain a letter of recommendation for your business from the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with regard to the viability and desirability of the proposed business.
If a positive recommendation for the proposed business has been obtained, the visa will be issued for an initial period of 24 months to allow the foreigner to relocate to South Africa and establish the business in line with the prescribed requirements.
This type of permit will first be issued as a temporary visa, but also allows the holder to apply for permanent residence status once the business has been established in line with the above-mentioned requirements.
  • The business must be funded with foreign capital equal to an amount of R 5 million. For certain business sectors which have been identified to be of particular national interest, a lower amount may be approved by way of a preliminary waiver application. (maybe put a link to the list of business sectors qualifying for a waiver)
  • The proposed business must draw 60% of its workforce from the South African labour force.
  • A thorough business plan is required to demonstrate the business’ chance of success.
  • The business must be incorporated and registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in line with the provisions of the Companies Act (Act 71 of 2008).
  • Various registrations are required to ensure compliance with tax and workers obligations.
  • Spouses and children can apply for matching dependant visas to accompany the main visa holder to South Africa.
  • Once the business has been established successfully, the business visa holder can apply for permanent residence status on the basis of the business. (Link to PR business)

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