Is a South African business visa automatically received?

No South African visa is automatic. If a foreigner wishes to operate a business in South Africa, steps must be taken to provide the relevant documentation and the required investment amount is proven  in order for the Department of Home Affairs to process the application for a South African business visa.

How long are South African business visas issued for?

South African visas are usually issued in line with your passport expiry date but a business visa can be issued for no more than 3 years, and the validity is at the Department’s discretion. The Immigration Act allow for extensions before the expiry of this visa, provided that the requirements are met.

Is it possible to operate more than one business in South Africa?

South African Business visas applications can be submitted for more than one business. However, there should be very good reasons why that must be shown to the Department of Home Affairs. If a foreigner opens a PTY business, then more than one Closed Corporation business can be operated.It is best to seek advice from a Registered Immigration Practitioner to avoid confusion and problems once arriving in South Africa.

What must be done to maintain a South African business visa?

In order to maintain a granted South African business visa, the investment amount would need to be invested into the book value of the company within 24 months of receiving the visa. The Business visa holder is also required to ensure that at least 60% of the total staff complement to be South African citizens/permanent residents on a full time basis, as well as register with SARS (South African Revenue Service) for tax reasons. Proof of the above is required to be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs for the first 24 months, the Department may request to see further proof over the next period of time, this is at their own discretion.

Do I need a Business Plan for my South African business visa application

Yes. In order to submit a South African business visa application successfully, the Department requires to see an in-depth business plan outlining all aspects of the business, e.g. where the business will be situated, the goals for the business, the income statements, balance sheets, etc.   It is best to seek advice from a Registered Immigration Practitioner for advice on business plans.

Do accompanying family members have the right to study/work in South Africa, once I have received by South African Business visa?

If a family member who is accompanying a South African business visa holder (i.e. wife/life-partner and/or children), then the family member in question could either receive a South African Accompanying Spouse/Life-partner visa or Accompanying children/minors visa to the main applicant (business visa holder).

If the spouse/life-partner would like to work, operate a business or study in South Africa, then the appropriate visa would need to be obtained.  If a child is aged 6 years and older, the child would need to attend school, therefore, a South African study visa would need to be obtained.