The new 2014 South Africa immigration act has come under fire for closing the door to foreign workers who don’t hold what many have dubbed ‘middle-class skills’ – those skills that generally come with holding a higher degree from tertiary education.
In reality though, the new critical skills category, a grouping that grants a visa to people who have expertise that’s vital to the South African economy, is making it easier for certain artisans and tradespeople (like mining and construction workers) to get a job than ever before.
In past, these types of workers would have to negotiate the requirements for the general work visa or the exceptional skills visa, meaning it would be necessary to secure a job without a visa (a difficult task) or prove exceptional status (another complex challenge).
Otherwise, if their job was on the quota visa list, which only granted the right to work to a limited number of professionals, they would have get their application in before others did.
In contrast, people who fall under the professions included in the current critical skills list qualify to live and work in South Africa without a job offer for up to 12 months. It’s merely necessary to gain the approval of the local professional body that relates to your field (if applicable).
Here are 19 artisan/tradesperson jobs in South Africa covered by the 2014 critical skills list:
- Forestry Technician
- Sheep Shearer
- Construction Project Manager
- Air Conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber
- Diesel Mechanic
- Fitter and Turner
- Metal Fabricator
- Pressure Welder
- Structural Plaster
- Landscape Horticulturalist
- Double Coded Welder
- Raise-bore Operators
- Raise-bore Foreman
- Customer Service Manager
If you’re on this list and want to find out more about the critical skills work visa application process, contact us for a free consultation.