Renewal of a work Permit in South Africa


I have come to the last days of my work permit and will be renewing it. I have heard some stories of people waiting 8 months for theirs (I waited 9 months for my first permit, 3 months for my second).

So am inviting you to join me on this trip and will be sharing all the happenings at Home Affairs till the very end. I called the call centre number on the Home Affairs website and the info I got there was not consistent with what was on the ground at the offices.

The Officer told me to disregard what was said at the call centre as they don’t have the correct info. I have guys waiting for renewals for forms submitted in October 2011! Its important to note that this is MY experience at Home Affairs and would confirm with the branch you are visiting as this can also differ based on past experience. The requirements in Orlando were different from the requirements in Johannesburg which also differed from the ones at the call centre!

Police Clearance

I went through to sort out my police clearance, I went to the Rosebank branch and fingerprints are taken to Pretoria for vetting once a week. If the Police send them they say it takes 6-7 weeks. You have the option to take them yourself which I did and they said 14 working days, though you can call after two weeks. Two days later I received an SMS to confirm they had received my application for police clearance. They also supplied a reference number and contact numbers to call.

Requirements for Permit Renewal

First stage of the process was to go and get the requirements from Home Affairs and I was happy to see that its just a one page form, which you can download. Has a small section for you to fill in and also the employer and behind it is the office information. Below is the list of requirements;

1. Completed Application Form signed by applicant (Form BI 1739)
2. Passport & valid permit and copy of passport
3. Proof of payment R1520 application fee
4. Copy of employment contract (If contract had expired a new contract must be attached)
5. Motivation letter from employer
6. Registration of Company
7. Full detail of employer
8. SA Police clearance (As of 2017 you will pay for an SA Police clearance at VFS Global. You no longer need to go to get fingerprints at the police station)

You have to apply 30 days before the permit actually expires.

If you don’t have proof of previously paying for repatriation you will have to part with R500 per person.

Accompanying spouse

Accompanying spouse and children and children accompanying parent, you would fill in the form (Form BI 1739) for each person and child.
1. Marriage Certificate
2. SA Police clearance
3. Proof of payment for Repatriation (R500)
4. Letter of Support
5. Payment of R425 Application fee
6. Copy of Passport
7. 3 Months Bank Statement (Of person applying)

Children you will need to provide;

1. Birth Certificate
2. Copy of Passport

The Children don’t have to be there when you submit the forms or the other spouse. All copies do not have to be certified.

Submission of Permit Renewal Application

Submitted my forms today 12 July 2012. There were long queues outside but once on the 6th floor it was not so packed. I saw about 5 faces who have been there since 2007! I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or a good thing! But the general service has improved greatly since 2007. Was surprised to see that there were very few agents. I came in at 12th in the queue for submissions. Four out of six of the counters were manned and operating.

Then the agents started filing in and you can tell who they are by their rude demeanor, they walk up to a counter while people are being served and grab staplers etc. They are very rowdy as well. Anyway they got two counters all to themselves and the one counter stopped operating so there was one counter for the povo! But it moved smoothly and we were served after about 1hour 20mins.

The lady who served me was very helpful and cheerful. We were given 6 weeks for the permit to come out and we will get an SMS when its out. My first permit took 9 months, my second took 3 months lets hope things are getting better after all this is just a renewal! On our way out there was a long queue to get out!