Critical skills visa update

Critical skills visa update
Critical skills visa update

If you hold, or have applied for, a critical skills visa the below critical skills visa update provides you with important information about the ongoing obligations that have to be met.

In May 2014 the new immigration regulations brought with it a new type of work visa – The Critical Skills Visa. As with many of the visa categories the critical skills visa is not a once of process, what we mean by this is that on obtaining the visa there are ongoing obligations that the visa holder must fulfil.

What are the ongoing obligations

Holders of a critical skills visa must, on each anniversary of the issuance date, submit proof that they are in an employed position.

The repercussions of not doing so have yet to be tested in application due to the fact the visa has not yet been in existence for 12 months.

What is the process for meeting this obligation?

The aspect of compiling documentary proof, confirming the critical skills visa holder is in employment, should be fairly straight forward. A combination of payslips, employment contracts and confirmation from employers providing such proof.

The big question is what then?

With all the documents gathered it should be a simple case of submission – but to where?

Is it the DHA (Department of Home Affairs) or VFS (A visa facilitation centre)

One of the other repercussions of the new Immigration Act, was a new process of submission. The government outsourced the submission, collection of bio-metric data and collection of visa decisions to a third party company called VFS.

The role of VFS is purely as a facilitator of applications – they are not there to give applicants or visa holders advice and all decision making remains with the DHA.

So who do you submit your proof of ongoing employment to – is it VFS or DHA? We wish we knew.

Despite repeated requests we have yet to be informed of which of the two will be taking the required proof in. Ultimately it is for the DHA’s records but will they be accepting it directly or will it be via VFS.

Further an appointment at VFS costs R1350 for a visa application. Surely if they are facilitating this simple process they will not levy such a high charge on applicants.

So what to do?

The DHA has a long standing record of providing extremely short notice of processes and regulation changes. It may be that any announcement regarding this obligation (of proof of employment) to critical skills visa holders is not made until very close to the 1 year anniversary of it’s introduction (May 2015).

So get ready, compile your proof and watch this space as to what the actual process needs to be.