• New Directives Benefit Intracompany Transferees and Critical Work Skills Visa Applicants
  • November 12, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has issued new directives on the Intracompany Transfer Work Visa and Critical Skills Work Visa categories to consular officers and immigration officials. The new directives confirm that intracompany transferees granted status prior to the implementation of the South African Immigration Regulations in May 2014 can now apply overseas for a second Intracompany Transfer Work Visa valid for four years, and that foreign workers applying for Critical Skills Work Visas now need only to submit proof of membership in a professional body as evidence of their skills.

    Extending Intracompany Transfer Work Visas

    In response to inconsistent treatment of Intracompany Transfer Work Visa extensions, DHA has confirmed that foreign nationals issued with Intracompany Transfer Work Visas prior to implementation of the new South African Immigration Regulations on May 26, 2014 can apply for a second Intracompany Transfer Work Visa, valid up to four years. Applicants must apply at a South African mission in their country of nationality or residence and must meet all eligibility requirements.

    As background, the DHA stated in May that foreign nationals could return home and obtain a second Intracompany Work Visa, as those applying for their first Intracompany Work Visa. In August, the DHA reversed this decision, directing that a foreign national could not obtain a new Intracompany Work Visa if they had been granted an Intracompany Work Visa prior to the new regulations coming into force. The new directive therefore reverts to the original policy.

    Reduced Critical Skills Work Visa Document Requirements

    The DHA has also instructed that Critical Skills Work Visa applicants only need to submit proof of membership in a professional body recognized by the South African Qualifications Authority to evidence the critical skills element of the application. Previously, applicants also had to obtain a letter from the professional body confirming their skills.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    The intracompany transferee directive issued by the DHA is a positive development that should resolve previous inconsistency in process and policy. However, foreign nationals granted Intracompany Transfer Work Visa status prior to the implementation of the new South African Immigration Regulations will need to travel abroad if they wish to obtain the new four-year Intracompany Transfer Work Visa.

    Critical Skills Work visa applicants will no longer be required to obtain additional documentation to demonstrate their skills, which could mean faster processing of their visas.