The South African critical skills work visa is based on a list of critical skills needed in South Africa. This list aims to strike a balance between employing foreign nationals to bridge skills gaps and protecting the South African workforce, while making it easier for foreign nationals to find and apply for jobs in South Africa.
What is allowed under a critical skills visa?
Foreign nationals who hold a critical skills work visa are free to apply for an occupation as per their approved visa in South Africa. They do not need a job offer in order to apply for the visa, but do have to find a job within 12 months of their visa being approved/entering South Africa.
Unlike other work visa types, the critical skills visa allows a foreign national to move between employers. This means the foreign employee is not tied to an employer for the duration of their visa, giving the foreign employee more freedom and the employer less obligation.
What are the main criteria of a South African critical skills work visa?
The main criteria is that the occupation the applicant is qualified for and want to practice in South Africa appears on the critical skills list. The critical skills list is firstly based on educational subjects and then further broken down into occupations within these educational areas.
For an applicant to show that they do fall within the critical skills category they are applying under, certain documents must be submitted. These include:
- A certificate from the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA or any relevant government Department confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant.
- An evaluation of the foreign qualification by SAQA and translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of South Africa.
- Proof of the application for registration with the professional body, council or board.
The temporary South African critical skills work visa is extended for a duration of 5 years. After 5 years, the holder of the visa can apply for permanent residency.
Foreign nationals who already have 5 years’ work experience in their field may be eligible for permanent residency without having to apply for temporary residency first.
Find out if you qualify for a South African critical skills work visa
The first step towards working in South Africa on a critical skills work visa, is to see whether you qualify to do so. To find out, do our quick online assessment and a consultant will call you back to further discuss your eligibility.
If you’d like to speak to someone right now, call our Cape Town office on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or contact our Johannesburg office on +27 (0) 11 234 4275. Alternatively, request a call back and one of our consultants will contact you.
Why should Intergate be your South African immigration partner?
Since our inception in 2005, Intergate has processed more than 9 000 visa and visa related queries. This has been made possible by a team of registered, qualified and dedicated immigration consultants.
Our service standards are impeccable and proof of this is that Intergate is the only immigration company in South Africa with ISO 9001 certification. To achieve this accreditation, Intergate’s quality management systems have been tested and found appropriate and effective by an independent auditor. There is no-one better to guide you through your immigration to South Africa.