In South Africa investors or entrepreneurs mostly need to apply for a Business Visa when starting their own company. This visa will be issued for up to three years at a time. Though it remains in the discretion of the Department of Home Affairs (investment, number of employees etc.), it can be extended any amount of times. It enables the visa holder to found, work for and represent any company type within South Africa, but NOT to work for any other company as an employee.
Where a Chartered Accountant was formerly required to confirm two out of seven possible conditions, under the new Immigration Regulations 2014 only a proof of the available funds to be invested is required, which has to show:
- The availability of a minimum investment into the book value of the business, or
- The availability of material assets as investment with a minimum value into the book value of the business.
The amount to be invested is not required to be invested at the date of submission of such application, however, it must be invested within 24 months and first proof of the availability of the funds as well as later the actual investment have to be presented to the Department of Home Affairs.
While the Minister has not gazetted his notice about the minimum investment sum and the minimum asset value, which makes this visa currently unavailable, the former requirement of five employment positions to be created has been replaced by an undertaking of 60% of the staff being permanent employed SA Citizens or permanent residents within 12 months, section 14(1)(b).
The respective form requiring this to be part of the Certificate of a Chartered Accountant is one of the many mistakes in the new application forms and can be ignored.