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Personnel Relocation to South Africa

Personnel Relocation to South Africa

Personnel relocation to South Africa is performed in accordance with the company’s internal practices and strategies, as well as with the ongoing regulations for the entry and residence of foreign nationals who engage in remunerated work.

The decision to relocate key staff to South Africa can allow the company to gain important market advantages and increase its revenue. At the same time, the relocation process will need to take into account the foreign worker’s introduction to the new business culture, and any trainings that may be necessary.

Companies interested in employee relocation to South Africa can reach out to our local team of immigration lawyers in South Africa. We can answer specific questions, as well as guide the employer through all the relevant relocation steps, starting with the mandatory applications for work permits.

Taking up work and residency in South Africa

Personnel relocation to South Africa is possible when the individual has applied for and obtained a work visa suitable for intra-company transfer. This is issued in those cases in which a foreign national is transferred from an international branch to a South African one.

The intra-company transfer work visa is issued for 4 years and cannot be extended or renewed. The following documents are relevant:

  • Filled-in application form;
  • Passport and proof of fee payment;
  • Proof of financial means to reside in SA until the first salary;
  • Cash deposit or equivalent value for the return ticket;
  • Letter from the foreign employer confirming the transfer;
  • Letter from the SA company, with details about the employment and a guarantee that the maximum duration of stay will not exceed 4 years;
  • Medical documents, police clearance, documents for the spouse/children, if applicable.

The corporate visa can also be an option for personnel relocation to South Africa. This is issued for a corporate legal entity and allows it to employ a pre-determined number of skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled workers. The maximum duration of this type of visa is three years.

Employee relocation issues to consider

Companies with one or more branches/subsidiaries in South Africa that are interested in relocating staff here implement and cultivate a relocation policy that is beneficial for the new staff. Some of the most important aspects concerning employee relocation to South Africa include the following:

  • Transfer approval: any new personnel relocation o South Africa is approved as per the company’s internal procedures and budgets, and any exceptions are to be properly approved;
  • Transfer duration: in general, employees are relocated for medium to long periods; in some cases, this can be project-based, while in others it can be for 12 months or more;
  • Relocation allowances: companies offer relocation packages, according to a maximum amount, that takes into account the financial strain the move will have on the employee;
  • Agreement: a relocation or an employment agreement is signed by the employee and the employer; this sets forth the conditions for the transfer, as well as the South African work conditions (in line with the relevant SA laws and requirements).

According to the African Centre for Migration and Society, there are about 2 million international migrants in South Africa. These individuals are all foreign-born. Other data shows that:

  • international migrants who work in South Africa amount to 5.3% of the total labour force;
  • the number of international migrants was calculated for individuals of working age, between 15 and 65 years of age;
  • between 2012 and 2017 there was a 1.4% increase in the number of international migrants of working age.

Our team specializing in immigration to South Africa can assist you in situations other than those concerning the relocation of employees. We provide solutions for foreign nationals looking to explore new job opportunities on their own, as well as entrepreneurs looking to start a business in South Africa.

Contact us for more information about the steps needed for personnel relocation to South Africa, as well as any other information about immigration.