CRITICAL SKILLS VISA
This is a permit issued to applicants in possession of exceptional skills or qualifications that are scarce in South Africa.
A critical skills work visa shall be issued for a period not exceeding five years. Where there is no offer of employment, a critical skills visa shall be issued for a period not exceeding one year.
Necessary documents for the critical skills visa:
- Completed application
- Passport that is valid for at least 30 days beyond the last day of the visa
- A medical report less than six months old
- A radiological report less than six month old
- Any documents establishing family relationships such as marriage licenses, adoptions, divorce decrees, etc.
- Original police clearance certificate from the countries in which the applicant has lived for more than 12 months since reaching the age of 18
- If traveling through a yellow fever zone, a certificate verifying a yellow fever vaccination
- A written undertaking by the employer to bear the cost of deportation should the applicant overstay the visa. If there is no employer, the applicant must prove financial ability to bear the cost– minimum R3,000– with three banks statements.
- A written undertaking by the employer to ensure that the passport will remain valid during the entire stay. If there is no employer, the applicant assumes that responsibility.
- Proof that the applicant falls into a critical skills category
- Proof of evaluation of qualifications by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
- If required by law, proof that the applicant has registered with a professional body recognized by SAQA
- Proof from a professional body recognized by SAQA that the applicant has the requisite skills
Required SAQA Documents
The process to get approval by the South African Qualifications Authority is as lengthy as the rest of the visa process. The process requires: an application and payment, proof of identity, consent form, and additional qualifying documents.
These qualifying documents vary depending on the industry and country in which the applicant resides. Workers should go to the SAQA website to find exactly what supporting documentation they need to provide.
Critical Skills Work Visa Application Process
The visa application process begins with an online application. South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs does not accept written applications. Once the application process is complete and the Department of Home Affairs has made a decision, it can grant a critical skills visa to the applicant for up to five years. If the worker applies for this visa without a job offer, the visa is only good for a maximum of one year. To extend the visa, the applicant must show proof of employment at that time.
Ensure Compliance with Immigration Experts
You don’t have to navigate the international visa process on your own. If you need to recruit or hire global employees, our immigration and recruiting experts can help.