INTERNSHIPS AT COMPANIES AND ORGANISATIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry can unfortunately NOT accept any interns until further notice, due to the changes in legislation.

An internship is considered by the Department of Home Affairs to be a period of work experience offered by companies and organisations to give students and graduates exposure to the working environment, often within a specific sector, which relates to their field of study or qualification. An internship is also a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than employment, and it can be paid or unpaid. Therefore, an internship may not be defined or interpreted as work as provided in terms of section 1 of the Immigration Act, as amended, and a work visa, exchange visa to conduct work or authorisation to conduct work on a visitor’s visa may not be issued to foreigners who undertake an internship.

As the Immigration Act, as amended, makes no provisions for foreigners to undertake internships at companies and organisations in the Republic of South Africa, visas may not be issued to such foreigners, including foreign students whose studies prescribe an internship.

Based on the above, foreigners are strongly advised not to make arrangements to undertake their internships in Republic of South Africa. Please note that a foreigner must always enter the Republic of South Africa for the correct purpose of his or her stay i.e. with the correct visa – it is illegal / a contravention* of the Immigration Act, as amended, for a foreigner to enter the Republic of South Africa on a visitor’s visa for holiday purposes, if the true intention is to undertake an internship.

*In terms of section 49 of the Immigration Act, as amended:

(1)(a) Anyone who enters or remains in the Republic in contravention of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment not exceeding two years.

(2) Anyone who knowingly assists a person to enter the Republic in contravention of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment not exceeding five years.

Heidel Bekker

T:  +27(0)11  486 2775
F:  +27(0)86  670 0420
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