Changing employers in South Africa (Expats).

Are you an expat contractor who wants to change employers in South Africa, but are not sure how to go about it? Are you working as an Engineer in the Telecommunications sector? This post and FAQ’s will highlight the processes on how to change employees legally within South Africa..

Many recruitment agencies and contractors are aware that expat employees very rarely stay in one position for longer than a year- it is the nature of the Telecoms Industry. Things change all the time within this sector and one of the biggest stress factors involved when one changes employers; is worrying about one’s work permit.

If one changes employers, must the work visa be changed?

Yes- as per the South African immigration law, as soon as you have new offer of employment you are required to apply for a new work visa. Contractors currently in South Africa with a valid Critical skills visa, may change the condition of their work visa and the application can be done at the nearest Visa Facilitation centre in South Africa.

What type of visa would one apply for?

The application is referred to as a Change of Conditionand essentially just means changing from one institution to the other.

How does one apply for a Change of Condition?

The new sponsoring company (Employer) should provide a comprehensive immigration service to the intended contractor to ensure a seamless application as well as full support with all documentation and communication. It is a fairly simple application and can be done whenever the contractor has a new position.

How long does the visa take to process?

Between 2-4 weeks

Is there an alternative to having to change your visa every time you change employers?

Yes- one can apply for Permanent Residence. If you have more than 5 years’ experience in the Telecoms industry and have studied Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Electronics, Telecoms and Electrical Engineering, you qualify for Permanent Residence. The application is submitted in South Africa and takes between 3- 6 months to process. This is the quickest category to PR as South Africa is committed to retaining vital skills.

What are the advantages of applying for Permanent Residence?

There are no restrictions in where one can work. A permanent residence permit is valid indefinitely and once can work in any capacity, with any company at any time as well as open a business. The PR holder has all the rights of a South African Citizen, except for voting.


Should you have any queries about applying for a Change of Condition on your work visa or Permanent Residence Permit, please contact us on