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South African business visas are issued to persons who wish to establish a new business in the country, or to invest in or take over an existing business. The main requirements are the following:

  • Minimum investment of R 5 million into the book value of the business. Certain areas of the following industries have been declared to be in the "national interest", and investors into these are likely to obtain permission to apply with an investment of less than R 5 million (please contact IMCOSA for details): agro-processing;  BPO and IT enabled services; capital / transport equipment, metals and electrical machinery and apparatus; electro technical; textile, clothing and leather; consumer goods; boat building; pulp, paper and furniture; automotives and components; green economy industries; advanced manufacturing; tourism infrastructure; chemicals, plastic fabrication and pharmaceuticals; creative and design industry; oil and gas; mineral benefication; infrastructure; ICT. (Contact us if your investment amount is lower than R 5 million; we will assess your chances of obtaining permission to apply)
  • Recommendation by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) attesting to the feasibility of the business and its contribution to the national interest of South Africa.
  • Permanent employment of at least 60% South African citizens or permanent residents within 12 months.
  • A comprehensive business plan showing the short and long-term viability of the business.
  • Businesses declared as "undesirable" (i.e. investors to these do not qualify for business visas) are importing of second hand motor vehicles for export to markets outside of South Africa, exotic entertainment and security.

Two years after being granted a business visa, the holder is to submit to the Department proof that the investment has been met, and every 2 years thereafter proof that all of the requirements are still being met.

In this context IMCOSA takes care of all required procedures and also offers services such as Company Registrations, drafting of Business Plans and obtaining the required (Chartered) Accountant Certificates.


Permanent Residence Visa – Own Business

Persons who qualify for business visas may generally also obtain permanent residence. The respective requirements are more or less identical. The holder of a permanent residence visa based on business is required to maintain his/her business and investment for at least 5 years after having obtained permanent residence.

We will gladly assist you in obtaining a relevant business visa / permanent residence and in getting your business started in South Africa. Contact us regarding any questions you may have.


IMCOSA Services - Overview

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