South African Business Visa

South African Business VisaIf you want to immigrate to South Africa, but you want to be involved in your own business instead of working for an employer, you’ll be glad to know that it is possible. You’ll just need to apply for a South African business visa first.

To see if you are indeed eligible for a business visa, you can complete our free online assessment. Alternatively, you can contact our Cape Town office on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or our Johannesburg office on +27 (0)11 234 4275 to speak to one of our consultants.

Until you decide how you’d like to check your eligibility, you can learn more about South African business visas by reading the information compiled right here.

Who can apply for a South African business visa?

Foreign immigrants who want to establish or buy a business that they intend to work in can apply for a South African business visa.

Is there a minimum investment amount?

Foreign immigrants must be able to show that they have ZAR5 million in cash available to invest. The proof for these funds must come in the form of a certificate from a chartered accounted who is registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Applicants who do not have the ZAR5 million available could apply for a waiver, provided they meet the criteria for a financial waiver. The other alternative would be to apply for a financially independent visa.

Can my family join me in South Africa?

Immediate family members, i.e. a spouse or life partner and children, of successful foreign applicants can immigrate to South Africa too. They would still need apply for the appropriate visas.

Can my family members work in my business?

Spouses or life partners may assist the business visa holder in the business, provided it is on an unpaid basis.

How long is this visa valid for?

Foreign immigrants can apply for temporary and permanent residency under a South African business visa. The temporary visa is usually issued for a period of 2 years, although it could be longer in some cases.

Due to the lengthy processing times associated with business visas, it is advised to apply for a temporary and permanent visa at the same time. Should the temporary visa expire before the permanent one is granted, an application for an extension can be made. For the application to be successful, the foreign applicant would need to again meet all the criteria.

 What are the requirements for a South African business visa?

The main criteria is the investment amount, but the Department of Home Affairs will also look at the following:

  • The entrepreneurial ability of the applicant. For instance, the applicant will be required to submit a business plan.
  • The industry sector in which the applicant want to start or buy a business. The business must, for instance, fit a recognised South African company structure.
  • The number of jobs that the business will create. As part of this criteria, the business visa holder must undertake that 60% of their staff is made up of South African citizens or permanent residents.

How do I apply for a business visa?

Foreign applicants must meet all the requirements and submit all documentation, as determined by the Department of Home Affairs. It is an intricate and time consuming process, so applicants are advised to start their application sooner rather than later.

Instead of spending hours doing the application yourself, why don’t you let Intergate Immigration handle it for you? With more than 9 000 visa and visa related applications under our belt, the team has extensive experience in immigration to South Africa.

You can reach our Cape Town office at +27 (0) 21 424 2460 and our Johannesburg office at +27 (0)11 234 4275. If you’d like us to call you, all you have to do is complete our assessment form or request a call back. Our client managers will happy to help you.

More useful information on starting a business in South Africa:

Commercial property.

Commercial insurance.

Tax registrations.

Money transfers.

Banking and foreign exchange.

Accounting officers and bookkeepers.


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