Employ Candidates Compliantly in South Africa

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  1. Overview: South Africa
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Immigration support for hiring expats in South Africa via PEO

Global expansion is often linked with foreign hiring. This may require knowing the labor code of a foreign country, in-country incorporation peculiarities or immigration procedure in case of expats hiring.
If you are already hiring or planning to onboard expatriates for your international projects in South Africa, there is a range of things that you need to consider:

  • HR compliance
  • How to get a work permit or visa so that foreigners are eligible to work in South Africa
  • Timelines to get a permit or visa
  • How to payroll expats after the permits have been received
  • Whether it makes sense to open and keep your own business entity to employ expats directly

A global PEO or Employer of Record solution with immigration support might be a viable alternative to direct hiring of expats on your own company in South Africa. This solution gives companies freedom from the need to keep the entity in the country while employing expats in full compliance with South African labor legislation. Immigration support is part of a PEO service that precedes the employment. As a PEO service provider, Acumen International can sponsor a work permit and then employ an expat in South Africa on the client’s behalf.

Note: having one provider that sponsors a work permit or visa on your behalf and then employs expats in South Africa, minimizes risks of visa rejection and takes the hassle associated with immigration procedure off your head.

Attention: we are not an immigration service! We do not provide a work permit and immigration support as a standalone solution to individuals willing to work overseas.

Our ‘work permit and hiring expats through a Global PEO’ solution is designed for employer companies that want to transfer selected expats to South Africa or individuals whose employers are ready to finance their immigration and foreign employment in the country. The service is mainly used by companies hiring highly skilled personnel and willing to retain them by offering employee status and providing employee benefits.

Unlike other global Professional Employer Organizations, Acumen International can provide extra benefits in addition to work permit and employment of expats in South Africa. This includes medical insurance, housing, office rent, mobile phone and car provision to meet-and-greet, dependents relocation, etc.

Focus on your primary business goals and let us take care of the work permit and immigration in South Africa for you. Use our all-in-one solution:

  1. For long-term assignments in South Africa, allowing to payroll and manage expats with full legal compliance without a legal entity
  2. As an interim solution before incorporating in the country

Solution for global mobility of expats in South Africa

Acumen International will guide you through a grueling immigration procedure and will help you immediately onboard and payroll expats after they have received a work permit or visa. Use our global mobility and PEO solution to staff any international assignments in South Africa without the pitfalls and financial risks associated with hiring expatriate personnel there.

With our expertise in expats immigration and employment, we offer a comprehensive solution to ensure that your international employees get their work permits within the standard duration of the immigration service in South Africa. Learn more about the timelines requirements for getting a work permit in South Africa below.

Estimated time for work permit issuance

Typically, the procedure of work permit issuance in South Africa takes from 2 to 4 months until entry to South Africa, and a further 2 weeks to 1 month before the entire process is completed.


Major steps to get a work permit in South Africa

  1. Department of Labour Application
  2. General Work Visa Application
  3. Entry to South Africa

Documents for work permit in South Africa, main applicant

NameNotesCopies
SAQA Application FormCan be completed online at http://41.193.15.87/dfqeas/user/homeOne original
Copy of Qualification & TranscriptsCopies of degree or professional qualification certificates, including transcripts, should be submitted. Copies certified as a true copy of the original document by a competent authority i.e. a lawyer/attorney or the police. Original should be available if requested.One clear and certified copy
SAQA PaymentPayment must be made separately for each application. Payment can be made online (a unique submission number will be linked to each payment) or by cash to a branch of Standard Bank in South Africa using a deposit slip generated by SAQA. The payment for a first qualification is R950, and subsequent qualifications are R520 each. In addition, applicants will be liable for administration fees if the application is non-compliant, plus external verification fees.One original
Original Qualifications & TranscriptsNecessary if applying for the 48-hour urgent SAQA evaluation.One original
SAQA Consent FormMust be signed by the applicant.One original
Application Form DHA 1738Application for a Temporary Residence Visa.One original
SAQA Evaluation CertificateObtained in the previous step, the applicant’s foreign, educational qualifications (Degree/s and Diploma/s etc.) must be evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) who should then issue a formal Evaluation Certificate upon completion.One original
Copy of Passport Information Page valid for 3 monthsPassport must be valid for at least three months after the proposed expiry date of the permit.One clear copy
1 Passport Photograph 3.5cmx4.5cm (Principal)3.5cm x 4.5cm, in color, with a white background. Face forward, mouth closed, eyes openOne original
Resume/CVShowing relevant professional experience and education.One clear copy
Evidence of legal immigration statusEvidence of legal residency in the applicant’s country of residence, where the application is being made (if he/she holds a passport from a different country)One original
Medical Report (Form BI-811)Completed, signed, dated and clearly stamped by a medical doctor on the required form BI-811. This report may not be older than six months at the time of submission of the application.One original
Police Clearance CertificateFrom each country in which the applicant has resided for 12 months or longer since their 18th birthday.One original
Proof of Financial MeansOriginal bank issued and stamped bank statements should be included in the application and the minimum credit bank balance required is R3000.00 (+-US$300.00). Proof of cash available and travelers cheques may be provided in addition if available.One original
Application FeeThe work visa application fee is the equivalent of ZAR1520.00, and must be paid in local currency. The South African diplomatic post determines the fee payable in local currency and the method of payment; this should therefore be checked with the relevant diplomatic post in advance.One original
Yellow Fever Vaccination CertificateIf the foreign national has travelled from or through a Yellow Fever endemic area, or intends to do so in transit to South Africa. Not required where the foreign national has travelled or intends travelling in direct transit through a Yellow Fever endemic area. The original should be available for presentation at the diplomatic post upon submission of the application if requested and must also be available for presentation at the port of entry upon arrival in South Africa.One clear and certified copy
2 Colour Passport Photographs2 passport-sized photographs (35mm x 45mm), in color. Photographs must be recently taken and must: • show a close-up of the applicant’s head and the top of his/her shoulders so that the face takes up 70%-80% of the photograph • show the individual looking directly at the camera; and • have appropriate brightness and contrast. In addition, the following should be noted: • Head coverings are not permitted, except for religious reasons; in such cases all facial features must be clearly shown. • Prescription spectacles or glasses may be worn; however, the eyes of the individual must be clearly visible and no sunglasses may be worn. • Photographs must be of a high quality with no ink marks, lines or creases and must not be damaged or defaced in any way.Two originals
Radiological Report (BI-806)Completed, signed, dated and stamped by a radiologist on the required form (BI-806). The report may not be older than six months at the time of submission of the application. The actual X-rays do not need to be submitted with the application. Not required for children under the age of 12 or pregnant women. In the case of a pregnant woman, a letter from a gynecologist confirming that she is unable to undergo a radiological examination will suffice.One original
Educational or Experience CertificatesCertified copies of educational qualifications and relevant certificates, plus translations into English if necessary. These should be accompanied by their SAQA Certificate of Evaluation. Originals should be available to show if requested.One translated copy; one clear and certified copy
Machine Readable PassportThe passport must be machine readable and valid for at least 30 days after the applicant’s intended date of final departure from South Africa. The passport must also contain two completely blank pages at all times upon the applicant’s arrival in South Africa (a minimum of 4 blank pages is recommended – excluding the page for observations). The work visa label will take up one full page of the passport.One original
Marriage certificateRequired if the applicant is married. If the applicant’s spouse is not accompanying him/her to South Africa, a certified/notarized copy of the marriage certificate should be provided. If the spouse will be accompanying him/her to South Africa, then a legalized original or copy should be provided. The original document should be available for inspection by the diplomatic post, if requested.One clear and certified copy

If you need to have your expat personnel legally work for you in South Africa without having to set up your own business entity for that, trust us to assist you with work permit and immigration support, and then employ your expats locally on your behalf.

Contact our team to let us take up your foreign employees’ immigration matters and relieve you of the responsibility of getting work permit by working with our local partners to organize and obtain all the necessary permits, as well as provide you with a detailed update on the progress of the process.

Contact us for more details about how you can get a work permit for your expatriate staff and employ them through Acumen International in South Africa.

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