Exchange Visa

The Exchange Visa has two different categories allowing a person to work in South Africa. The one category involves an exchange programme and the other provides an opportunity for a person younger than 25 to work in South Africa for one year.

The first category is more in line with the name of the permit and involves an exchange. An exchange visa can be applied for if the applicant will be participating in a cultural, social or economic exchange programme. This exchange programme must be organised and administered by an organ of state or learning institution in South Africa and in conjunction with a foreign organ of state or learning institution.

It must be noted that, in respect to certain programmes, the Exchange visa may be issued with a condition requiring the holder of the exchange permit to depart South Africa upon the completion of the exchange programme and reside outside of South Africa for a prescribed period before applying for temporary or permanent residence in South Africa.

The second category allows a person, who is under the age of 25 years and is in possession of an offer of employment in South Africa, to apply for an exchange visa to work in South Africa for no longer than 12 months.

The holder of this exchange visa may only be employed at the employer whose offer was the basis of the exchange permit application.

It must be also noted that the holder of this category of exchange visa may not qualify for a permanent residence permit within two years after the expiry of the exchange visa.