Business Visa Info

South Africa continues to be an attractive location for small and medium enterprise investors, and in particular industries such as hospitality, IT, agriculture and BPO remain in need of foreign investment, skills and innovation.

On the back of this, the Department of Home Affairs makes a business visa available to those persons who are able to invest R 5 million of personal overseas funds into the establishment of a new business, or investment into an existing business. In special industries such as those mentioned above, the capital investment can be reduced if required. Alongside investing much-needed foreign funds, South Africa also asks that you create permanent employment for locals as part of your business plan. Here, at least 60% of staff must be South Africans and this target must be achieved within 1 year of receiving the visa. Business registrations, tax and unemployment insurance all form part of the necessary process to secure a business visa.

When applying for a business visa, there are two or three steps required, depending on the level of investment. Firstly, one needs to approach the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition for a recommendation which considers whether the business idea is sound and the investment viable. From there, the visa application can be made. If the investment falls below the threshold of R 5 million, an additional step to waive the prescribed investment is required.

Each of these steps can take many months to be completed, and proper planning and execution is therefore required to ensure that you can start or take over an operation within your envisioned timelines. It is therefore recommended to consult an expert in these matters from the very early planning stages. At IMCOSA, with almost 20 years of experience in preparing clients for their investment and new ventures, we work alongside key professionals in tax, company registration and general counsel to offer holistic support for your business needs.

Get in touch to talk about your plans and how you can achieve them, by making use of our free assessment via our website or sending an email to

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