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South Africa Critical Skills Visa

South Africa Critical Skills Visa

South Africa Critical Skills Visa

The South Africa Critical Skills Visa was introduced by the Department of Home Affairs South Africa in 2014. It is a visa designed to meet the shortage of skills in South Africa. The country lists out all the sectors and specific occupations that are facing a skills crisis. Professionals with skills and experience from outer nations are given a chance to migrate to South Africa on a Critical  Skills visa, take up employment and obtain a permanent residency status of South Africa.

  1. South Africa Critical Skills Visa is a temporary-open work permit which allows you to work and settle in South Africa. You need to hold a qualification and experience related to any 1 of the 200 occupations listed on the Critical Skills List. This visa operates through a simple online application system. You do not need any points or English language test or a job offer to apply for this visa. On the success of the application, you receive a visa grant which holds a validity of 12 months.

    During the 12 month validity period, you need to fly to South Africa and find an employment for yourself. On successfully being employed to a South African job, you can apply for 5 year Critical Skills Visa.

  2. To qualify and apply for the Critical Skills Visa, you need must have:

    • Age of 23 years or above
    • 16 years of regular education with no gap (4 years of regular Bachelors degree or 3 years of Bachelors with Masters)
    • 5 years of highly relevant work experience
    • occupation listed on the Critical Skills List
    • qualification assessed by SAQA*
    • sufficient funds, good health, moral character

    *The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is a statutory body, is mandated by legislation to oversee the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). SAQA conducts evaluation to ensure the qualification meets S.A standards in terms of the NQF.

    • No requirements of job offer
    • No obligations of English language test
    • No need of Labor Recommendation/Certification (a general requirement in work permit applications)
    • No fixed quota for the occupations on the Critical
    • You can work for any employer in South Africa
    • Visa imposes less obligations on the employer
    • You can travel anywhere in South Africa
    • You can apply for South African permanent residency after specific time

  3. You must have the below documents during the application of a Critical Skills Visa:

    • Qualification documents
    • Proof that occupation falls on the Critical Skills List
    • Assessment by SAQA
    • Duly completed online form
    • Medical report not older than 6 months
    • Police Clearance Certificate

  4. To obtain a Critical Skills Visa, the basic steps in the visa process are:

    • Educational Assessment by SAQA
    • If required by SAQA, you need to get a skill assessment done through a relevant professional body
    • Documents submitted to VFS and verification is conducted
    • Payment of fees and filing of application
    • Receive Visa Grant

  5. Family members can be invited to stay on the Critical Skills visa after you find a job in South Africa

    • Qualification assessment fees to SAQA: R1010
    • SAQA Courier Charges: R380
    • Visa Fees: R1520
    • VFS Fees: R1350

    *R refers to Rand- currency of South Africa

    Note: This does not include fee applicable to Kansas visa process services.

    • Determining Occupation eligibility
    • Expert Guidance on Process
    • Checklist of Documentation
    • Document verification
    • Visa filing and process
    • After visa formalities assistance

FAQs Section

What is the general process time involved?
The general process time for the success of Critical Skills visa is approximately 4 to 6 months.
SAQA is a legal entity with a boar appointed by the Minister of higher education and training to perform educational assessment. SAQA conducts evaluation to ensure the qualification meets S.A standards in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ).
You can invite your family after you have found a job for yourself in South Africa.
In case during the 12 months of stay, you are unable to find a job for yourself, you need to return to your home country before the expiry of your visa grant.
The Critical Skills visa is not a job visa but similar to an open work permit. You can fly to South Africa on the skills visa and search for a job within the country. On finding a job, you can apply for a Critical Skills Visa extended stay.
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