As the world is gearing up to re-open, post the Covid-19 pandemic, multinational companies are again looking to the South African market. Some with existing operations requiring resources to enter the country; while others are exploring the possibility of establishing themselves or possibly using South Africa as a gateway to expand into the ever growing Africa market at what many view as “an opportune time”.
Most multinational organisations, during these early stages, or as part of their legacy, use this expansion as an opportunity to second executive or technical resources to South Africa, to overview the operations or to fill a technical or skills gap.
The organisation should note, that where they are looking to send such existing resources within their group to South Africa, this can be done on an Intra Company Transfer visa. The main purpose of the visa is to allow multinational groups to transfer key resources within the group where they are needed while upskilling local employees during their assignment.
The Intra Company Transfer work visa therefore makes it possible for the global multinational companies to grow their branch/affiliate in South Africa, while providing the needed skills training for their local employees, which may be viewed as a win–win for both the organisation and South Africa.
8 Handy Tips when considering an Intra Company Transfer Work Visa:
- To qualify for the visa, the applicant needs to have been employed for a minimum of six (6) months with the foreign company
- The visa will be issued for a period not exceeding four (4) years and may not be extended
- Should the services of the expatriate be required after the four (4) year term, they may apply for a new visa from their home country or country of temporary residence, the issuance of the second (2nd ) Intra Company Transfer visa is solely at the discretion of the SA Mission and subject to the motivation provided
- A skills transfer plan is required as proof that a strategy is in place to upskill local employees
- The Intra Company Transfer visa is issued with multiple entries, which means that the holder may travel in and out of SA for the duration of the visa, as required
- The holder of the Intra Company Transfer visa may be accompanied by their family members, who will have to apply for the relevant dependent visas, linked to the Intra Company Transfer visa such as a spousal, accompanying child or study visa
- Should a holder of an Intra Company Transfer visa wish to change their status and obtain a different visa, they are not permitted to change the visa from within SA, they will have to travel back to their home country or country of temporary residence do so
- The duration of an Intra Company Transfer Visa will not count towards Permanent Residency status
In comparison to the other work visas offered by the South African Immigration Act, the Intra Company Transfer visa is by far the least onerous where processes are followed in accordance with the requirement of the specific issuing authority. Applications typically take 5 weeks end-to-end and offer a practical solution to many multinational groups.
Should you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch!