On May 13, 2014, the Department of Home Affairs announced a change to the Section 11(2) work authorization process, which provides work authorization to visitor permit holders. The new change mandates that South African consular missions will issue Section 11(2) work authorization letters. Previously, visa-exempt nationals applied electronically for work authorization letters from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) prior to travel to South Africa, and visa-required nationals had to do the same prior to submitting an application for the visitor’s visa at the South African consular post. Now, visa-exempt nationals will apply for the work authorization letters at the South African consular post in their country of residence and then present the letter upon arrival in South Africa. Visa-required nationals will apply at a South African overseas mission for the Section 11(2) work authorization at the same time that they apply for their visitor’s visa.

Although this change is intended to streamline the process, some ambiguity surrounds the issuance of Section 11(2) work authorization letters. It is still unclear which documents will be requested by the South African missions for Section 11(2) requests. Additionally, the Head Office of the Department has yet to provide clear guidance about the format or content of the work authorization approval letters. Lastly, it should be noted that the requirements and processes may differ according to each South African mission. It is recommended that employers apply for Section 11(2) work authorizations as early as possible, as delays and complications are possible during this transitional period.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.