What is a Section 26 (A) Work Permit?
A Work Permit is Permanent Residency within South Africa. The Work Permit only allows the applicant to apply for their Permanent Residency and does not include family members however once you are a Permanent Residency holder your family may be eligible to apply for their residency through you.
Are you eligible for a Section 26 (A) Work Permit?
If you have been in South Africa for five years on continuous work visas stipulated under Section 19 of the Immigration Act you are then eligible to apply for Work Permit Permanent Residency. Whilst the Intra-Company Transfer Visa falls under Section 19 of the Immigration Act there has been some issues with VFS and the Department of Home Affairs as of late whereby they are not including the Intra-Company Transfer Visa within the five years, this is still being discussed and we are for now taking this as a case by case basis. If you have an Intra-Company Transfer Visa that makes up your five years please do get in touch with us so that we can advise you accordingly with up to date information from VFS and the Department of Home Affairs. Unfortunately Corporate Visa’s fall under Section 20 of the Immigration Act and can’t be included as part of the five years. It is also important to note that you will need to include a permanent employment contract in your application for your Work Permit.
Whilst VFS states on their website that Permanent Residency applications take 8 – 10 months we can realistically manage your expectations from the start and inform you that they are currently taking anywhere from 3 – 24months to obtain an outcome.
It is important that whilst you await the outcome of your Permanent Residency application in South Africa that you ensure that your Temporary Residency visa does not expire before you receive the outcome. If your Temporary Residency is due to expire in this time you will have to submit a renewal which can be done no later than 60 days before your Temporary Visa is due to expire.
Frequently asked questions about the Section 26 (A) Work Permit?
Are there any conditions issued on my Permanent Residency?
No, there are normally no conditions attached your Permanent Residency when obtained through Section 26 (A) Work Permit.
Do I get a South African passport?
No, you will retain your foreign passport however will be given a Permanent Residency certificate which will allow you to apply for an ID Book. A Permanent Resident will have all rights of a South African Citizen except to vote.
Now that I have my Permanent Residency, can my family members apply?
Yes, now that you are a Permanent Residency, relatives within your first step of kinship are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency through yourself.
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