There are 3 categories of work authorisation:

  • Authorised to work without restrictions

  • Authorised to work with restrictions

  • Not currently authorised to work

Find out more about work authorisation in:

🇿🇦 South Africa

Authorised to work without restrictions

South African citizen
South African citizens are able to work for any company in South Africa without restrictions.

Permanent resident (non-citizens)
Permanent residents in South Africa are able to work for any company in South Africa without restrictions.


Authorised to work with restrictions

Critical Skills Permit

Candidates can have two possible types of Critical Skill Permits, which include:

Critical Skills Permit with company name

  • Candidates are authorised to work in South Africa under the specific skill defined in their permit.

  • After receiving an employment contract, the candidate needs to apply for a new permit with the new employer’s name added. Many companies start the candidate’s employment once the candidate has made the application.

Critical Skills Permit without company name


Please note: As of 02 February 2022, this permit is no longer being issued by the Department of Home Affairs. Find out more

  • Candidates are authorised to work for any company in South Africa, for a limited period of time under the specific skill defined in their permit.

  • After receiving an employment contract, they can extend the permit for a further 4 years by attaching their new employer’s name to their current work permit.

General Work Permit

Candidates can have four possible types of general work permits, which include:

General Work Permit with company name attached to it and under a specific skill

  • Candidates are authorised to work in South Africa in roles that match a critical skill defined in their permit.

  • Your company would not be expected to sponsor the renewal of their permit but the name of their current employer will appear in the candidate’s current permit. After receiving an employment contract, the candidate needs to apply for a change in condition on the permit.

  • Your company would not need to prove that you tried to hire a South African citizen before employing this candidate.

General Work Permit under specific skill.

  • Candidates are authorised to work in South Africa in roles that match the critical skill defined in their permit.

  • Your company would not be expected to sponsor the renewal of their permit.

  • Your company would not need to prove that you tried to hire a South African citizen before employing this candidate.

General Work Permit with company name attached to it

  • Candidates are authorised to work in South Africa without skill restrictions.

  • Your company would not be expected to sponsor the renewal of their permit but the name of their current employer will appear in the candidate’s current permit. After receiving an employment contract, the candidate needs to apply for a change in condition on the permit.

  • Your company would not need to prove that you tried to hire a South African citizen before employing this candidate.

General Work Permit without company name attached to it nor specific skill

  • Candidates are authorised to work in South Africa without skill restrictions.

  • Your company would not be not expected to sponsor the renewal of their permit.

  • Your company would not need to prove that you tried to hire a South African citizen before employing this candidate.

Study permit

  • Candidates are authorised to work in South Africa for 20 hours per week.

  • When they receive an offer letter and their studies come to an end, the candidate needs to apply for a Critical Skills or General Work permit.

For more detailed information on work authorisation in South Africa, read more here: https://www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica/visa-types.html

Not currently authorised to work

Candidates who are not currently authorised to work in South Africa will need to apply for a Critical Skills or General work permit before they can be considered for employment.

🇪🇺 The EU

Authorised to work without restrictions

Citizens/ passport holder

EU citizen/passport holders are generally able to work for any company in the EU without restrictions.

Permanent residents (non-citizens)

Permanent residents of EU countries are generally able to work for any company in the EU without restrictions.

Dependant visas

Candidates that have a family relationship (spouse or children) or are in a stable long-term relationship with an EU citizen do not need a work permit to work and have the right to equal treatment, including access to all social and tax advantages.

EFTA countries

The following countries are part of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA):

  • Iceland

  • Lichtenstein

  • Norway

Being part of the European Single Market, their citizens enjoy the same freedom of movement of goods, capital, services, and people as the EU countries. This means they have the same rights to work and reside in the EU as EU passport holders.

Switzerland

Under the EU-Switzerland agreement on the free movement of persons, Swiss nationals are free to live and work in the EU.

Most EU citizens do not need a permit to work in Switzerland. Restrictions only apply to nationals of Croatia – who need a work permit.

Find out more on working in Switzerland as an EU citizen.

UK passport holders

UK passport holder that lived in an EU country before Brexit was implemented on 1 Jan 2021 don’t require visa sponsorship.

Authorised to work with restrictions

🇪🇺 EU Blue Card

An EU Blue Card is a residence permit for qualified non-EU foreign nationals to work in an EU country. It permits its holder to enter and remain in a particular EU country for employment. The permit authorises its holder to enter, re-enter and stay in the country that has issued it.

EU blue cards do come with certain restrictions like minimum salary thresholds and these differ from country to country.

Find out more about the EU Blue Card and specific requirements.

🇳🇱 Netherlands - Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) visa

Companies need to apply for this visa on behalf of candidates, and must be recognised as a sponsor by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Note there are specific legal salary requirements for an HSM visa that exist to ensure these candidates have competitive NL-based salaries.

Salary criteria 2022

  • Under 30 years: € 3,549 gross per month (€ 45,995 annual)

  • 30 years or older: € 4,840 gross per month (€ 62,726 annual)

*Note these amounts include 8% holiday allowance

After 5 years, a candidate with an HSM visa will be eligible for permanent residence. As a permanent resident, they will no longer have income thresholds or require company sponsorship.

Family/partner sponsorship
If the candidate is the partner or spouse of an HSM visa holder, they will be eligible to work in the Netherlands as a dependant on the employed partner's Highly Skilled Migrant visa and as such do not require sponsorship to work in NL.

The legal salary requirements of the HSM Visa do not apply to dependants since they don't hold an HSM visa themselves.

Remote work

If the candidate is working remotely in a different EU country for the same company their work permit is based on, they can use their existing work permit.

🇩🇪 Germany - German work visa

The German Long Stay Employment Visa is for candidates that have a job offer in Germany and can be used to work at a paid job.

After making the candidate an offer, the candidate will need to apply for a long stay employment visa.

More information on the German employment visa.

Not currently authorised to work

Candidates who are not yet authorised to work in the EU will need to apply for the relevant visa or work permit in the country they wish to work.

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