When, where & how to apply
Get your permit before leaving for SA
You must apply for your work permit, and await the outcome of your application, BEFORE departing for South Africa. You will not be allowed to enter SA until you are in possession of a valid work permit.
Where to get your permit
Apply for your permit at your nearest SA Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. If South Africa is not represented in your country or a neighbouring country, you can also lodge your application at any Dept of Home Affairs office in SA via a registered employment/immigration agent or attorney.
For more information, contact:
Dept of Home Affairs
Subdirectorate: Temporary Residence
Private Bag X114
Telephone: +27(0)12 314 8911
Fax: +27(0)12 328 3908
- General work permit info
- Info on work permits: worker category
- Info on work permit extensions/alterations
- Info on work-seeker's permits
- Online questions & comments form (select "deputy director: temporary residence")
Permit application forms online
Access/download all the relevant application forms online (PDF files requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader, free download available)
Requirements for work permits
Listed below are the requirements for applicants seeking to take up temporary employment in SA. Requirements differ for applicants under other categories (see 'Who should apply for a work permit?' on the previous page) and inquiries should be made at your nearest SA office abroad or through the Dept of Home Affairs.
- You must be between 18 and 51 years old.
- A work permit application form, obtainable from your nearest SA office abroad, along with a valid passport and two passport photos.
- The prescribed permit fee - see the relevant Home Affairs web page.
- An employment contract, signed by all parties involved, specifying your occupation, the capacity in which you are to be employed, the maximum duration of your employment, and your remuneration.
- Your prospective employer must provide substantive proof that steps have been taken to ensure employment for SA citizens or permanent residents - for example, press clippings of advertisements placed for at least a month in national newspapers - along with motivation for why the post cannot be filled by a South African citizen or permanent resident.
- A curriculum vitae.
- The position offered must commensurate your qualifications, experience and skills.
- If you're professionally qualified, you must first register with the appropriate SA bodies (for example, chiropractors, homeopaths, naturopaths, osteopaths, and western herbalists must be registered with the SA-associated Health Service Profession Board).
- Proof of your qualifications - evaluated by the SA Qualifications Authority, in the case of doubtful qualifications - especially if you're a technician or engineer.
- Testimonials or service certificates from your previous employees, indicating your skills and competencies.
- A medical certificate.
- Your marriage certificate, if applicable.
- A divorce decree or court order, if applicable, as well as proof of maintenance paid to family members (also in the case of separations).
- The full birth certificate/s of your children, if applicable.
- If you are 18 years or older, you must supply police clearance certificates for all countries in which you have resided for a year or longer.
- English translations of any documents submitted in another language.
- When you are issued with your work permit, you will be required to make a cash deposit or bank guarantee covering you and your family for repatriation purposes. This will be refunded on your final departure from SA, or if you are granted permanent residence, unless you contravene the conditions of your permit.