When traveling to South Africa, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.
As a business visitor to South Africa, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:
In most cases, foreign nationals are advised to only engage in business activities for up to 10 business days in any 90-day period. In some cases, activities may be conducted for a longer period of time. An individual assessment is recommended prior to travel to determine the advisable period of time that the activities may be conducted.
Nationals of Canada, the United States, and other select countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa to enter and conduct business activities in South Africa.
Foreign nationals who are not eligible to enter South Africa on visa-waivered status must obtain a Visitor’s Visa with an endorsement permitting business activities from a South African Consular Mission prior to travel. Please obtain an individual assessment before traveling to determine your eligibility for a visa waiver.
The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under South African law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in South Africa, even if conducted for a short duration.
The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in South Africa. The most common work authorization types for South Africa are:
South Africa offers special permits for select nationals. Holders of these permits may be exempt from obtaining a Work Visa. Please consult with your immigration counsel to determine eligibility.
Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.