South African ICT Work Permit Set To Extend To 48 Months

03 Jun 2013


Immigration News

Employers are being advised to monitor the implementation of the South African 2011 Immigration Amendment Act 13 while the Federal Legislature and Department of Home Affairs (DHA) continue to finalise implementation of its amendments.

In its Global Brief, immigration expert Pro-Link GLOBAL says that the proposed changes could amend in part several details of the popular Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Work Permit, both to extend the maximum duration of stay from 24 months to 48 months, and to specify exit and renewal requirements for ICT permit holders.

The South African ICT permit is one of the most common work authorisations sought by multinational companies for their employees, says Pro-Link GLOBAL.

Currently, the permit's duration is capped at a maximum of 24 months after which the employee is eligible to apply for further work authorisation under the General Work Permit application stream.

The upcoming changes, although yet to be officially confirmed, are anticipated to extend the maximum duration of ICT permits to 48 months. This potentially gives employers more flexibility when arranging international assignments to South Africa. The DHA will continue to retain authority to grant work permits validities as they deem most appropriate for each assignment.

The South African authorities have also discussed the possibility of requiring ICT permit holders to exit South Africa on expiry of their work permits before being eligible to apply for work authorisation under the General Work Permit application stream.

Although still under discussion, this would affect the procedures and case strategies for employers seeking to extend an employee's work assignment in South Africa beyond the initial ICT permit duration.

Pro-Link Global advises employers to continue monitoring the implementation of these major changes to the South African ICT Work Permit as it may affect assignment duration and details, renewal possibilities and procedures, as well as the long-term permanent residence path for foreign nationals.

Once implemented, however, the extended maximum duration of the ICT should give employers many more options for assignment parameters and goals for their foreign nationals working in South Africa.

There may also be some changes and transitional measures for employees who hold an ICT permit when the official Regulations are announced. Some assignees may be able to change status in-country to the General Work Permit stream and would potentially be “especially relevant to ICT permit holders who need to remain in South Africa for longer than the initial 24 months of their work permits,” says Pro-Link GLOBAL.

Source: http://www.relocatemagazine.com/immigration-a-visas/immigration-a-visa-news-main/7971-south-african-ict-work-permit-set-to-extend-to-48-months


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