What are the benefits of a Critical Skills Work Visa?
No employment offer required (please note that you will only be issued with a one (1) visa to enable you to secure employment within your Critical Skills category)
Department of Labour Certificate is not required
You immediately qualify for Permanent Residency once a holder of a permanent employment offer
Exit and re-enter South Africa freely
The Critical Skills Work Visa emanates from the merger of the former Exceptional Skills and Quota Work visas. The latter was issued in line with the Quota List of 2009, which had skills categories, requirements, and the quota of skills targeted in the Republic of South Africa. The Critical Skills work visa is issued in accordance with the critical skills list. The list was developed in conjunction with the occupations in high demand and the scarce skills lists of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
How does one qualify?
Inter-alia with the visa application, one must be able prove that he/she falls within one of the prescribed categories listed on the Critical Skills list by evidencing his/her experience and/or qualifications within the said field.
Current regulations require the individual to corroborate these facts by way of confirmation in writing from the accredited professional body, council or board recognized by SAQA or any relevant government Department confirming his/her skills or qualifications and appropriate post qualification experience.
How do I know if I qualify for a Critical Skills visa?
Should you hold any of the skills listed on the Critical Skills list issued by the Department of Home Affairs, you may definitely be able to qualify for a Critical Skills visa. This will include registration with a professional body in South Africa which thus attests to these skills accordingly.
How long is a Critical Skills visa valid for?
Critical Skills visas are valid for a period of 5 years and are renewable. Critical Skills holders are also permitted to progress to Permanent Residency as soon they have obtained the said visa.
Do I need a job offer to obtain this visa?
A Critical Skills visa can be applied for without a job offer, however the visa will only be issued for a period of one (1) year which will enable you to seek and obtain the necessary employment within your prescribed skill/occupation.
Once you have secured employment, you will be required to file a new application within that year in order to extend your visa for the further 5-year period. The extension can be done from within South Africa.
What must I do, should I not have secured employment within the one (1) year period?
You may be able to renew your visa for another year, however given that proper motivation is provided as to why you have not secured employment within the prescribed year and why you need additional time in South Africa. Alternatively, you will be required to apply for a new visa application within your home country/country of temporary residence.