The Acting Director-General of Home Affairs, Thulani Mavuso, issued Immigration Directive 1 of 2019 to the effect that any foreign national who has been issued with a Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visa and had it extended may not qualify for another Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visa within the same calendar year. In essence, this restricts short term work in South Africa to 180 days.

Who is affected?

This will affect all individuals travelling to South Africa for short term work as well as businesses sending or receiving foreign nationals in South Africa on short term assignments.


In South Africa, foreign nationals may use a Visitor’s Visa with authorisation to conduct work related activities where they are urgently required to conduct work for a limited period of time. This authorisation may only be applied for prior to entry into South Africa. Applications need to be submitted, with all supporting documentation, at the local South African High Commission or Consulate.

In the past, South African Missions did accept applications for multiple Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visas within the same calendar year provided the total stay of the individual did not exceed 180 days. This visa category was however being abused in that some individuals ended up being issued with multiple Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visas and working for more than the 180 days, contradictory to the purpose of this visa category as stipulated in the South African Immigration Act.

The issuance of this directive aims to prevent individuals utilising multiple Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visas in lieu of a Work Visa.


This directive will have minimal impact on the duration an assignee may spend in South Africa on a single short-term project (projects lasting less than 180 days). Especially for our existing clients, as we have been conservative when advising on using Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visas, ensuring same is not utilised for ongoing work activities.

The greater impact will however be where long-term projects require the same individuals to travel multiple times in a year for different stages of a project. Having discussed the implementation of the directive, the instruction from the Department of Home Affairs is that no back to back Section 11(2) Visitor’s Visas will be entertained by any South African Mission if received within the same calendar year. This will lead to challenges in managing resources for projects

How Santa Fe can assist?

Santa Fe can support businesses who wish to employ foreign nationals in South Africa by assessing their eligibility to qualify for the required work visas to ensure compliance with the South African Immigration Laws. We can also review current employees’ visas and if it is found that the correct work visa is not in place we can assist with corrective measures to ensure compliance.

We can also keep your business updated on further developments in South African immigration matters and will advise on any changes requiring your attention.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Terence Rover
Immigration Manager – Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 442 8933
M: +27 (0) 72 279 9606

Paolo Longo
Regional Immigration Director – Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 595 2337
M: +27 (0) 83 677 7949

Soumeya Messadi
Head of Immigration – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +65 6398 3520
M: +65 9169 6061


To read more immigration updates, click here

About our Immigration Services

Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

About us

Santa Fe Relocation Services is a global mobility company specialising in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services worldwide. Our core competence is providing services that help corporations and their employees relocate and settle in a new country, assisting them with immigration, home and school searches, language and cultural training, property rentals, and domestic and international household goods shipments. We provide these services to a consistently high standard, locally and globally. A key strength is our ability to manage these services through our own operations around the world. Santa Fe Relocation Services is wholly owned by the Santa Fe Group, which is listed on NASDAQ in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information, visit us at

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