What to do if you have a quota or exceptional skills temporary work permit
If you hold a quota or temporary skills work permit you are probably sat there wondering (concerned) what impact the New Immigration regulation that came into effect in June 2014 will have on your situation.
The new immigration regulations saw some major changes to work visa (previously called permits) categories.
Not least, and the reason for concern for quota and exceptional skills permit holders, was the removal of these two permit categories. Applications will no longer be accepted for neither a quota work permit nor an exceptional skills work permit.
Was this expected?
Absolutely – we have been aware of this since Mid February and stopped providing advice on them at this point as applications would not have been completed for submission before the cut off in June.
What if you are currently on a temporary quota work permit?
This permit will have an expiry date recorded on the stamp in your passport. You will not be able to renew your quota work permit so will have to look at other work visa options.
We suggest you do this as soon as possible and our contact details are at the bottom of this article.
Please also bear in mind that although the quota work permit is not longer available you will still need to abide by the terms of the permit – mainly the need to still submit confirmation of employment within 90 days and every 12 months thereafter?
What if you are on a temporary exceptional skills work permit?
Again this permit will have an expiry date recorded on the stamp in your passport. You will not be able to renew your exceptional skills work permit so will have to look at other work visa options.
As above please contact us as soon as possible – our contact details are at the bottom of this article.
What if you have an application pending?
If you have submitted an application to the Department of Home Affairs there has been nothing official to say that the permit application will be processed under the regulations of the old immigration act.
However to not do so would be unprecedented and unfair and our expectation is that it will be processed as per the old immigration act.
What if you have an application pending that is rejected?
If you are deemed to not qualify for either the quota or expectational skills work permit that you have applied for, once again you will have to consider another work visa option.
If there is a query on the application, then it is down to the Department of Home Affairs. Common sense dictates that where they reject it based on the query, you will not be able to resubmit it. Once again resulting in a need to look at other work visa options.
If it was your intention to apply for permanent residency under the exceptional skills category
Simply put you may no longer apply under this category.
What’s the good news?
It is not all bad news and for some people it will be great news!!
The ‘demise’ of the quota and exceptional skills work permits brought with it the birth of an alternative work visa – the critical skills work visa.
The critical skills work visa will be an option for many current holders of quota and exceptional skills work permits. In this case, the Department deserve some praise for what is a much improved work visa option.
You can read all about the critical skills work visa here but highlights include:
- No job offer is required to apply.
- It allows the holder to enter and stay in South Africa for 12 months to secure a position.
- It is based on a well researched list of occupations that are badly needed in South Africa, helping foreign employees and employers.
- No restrictions in terms of the numbers in each listed occupation.
- No Department of Labour recommendation, so quicker turnaround times.
- Deals with the professional bodies specific to the occupation.
- Can be a pathway to permanent residency immediately as well an immediate 5 year working visa.
- Qualification for a critical skills visa if you qualified as a Doctoral graduate (PhD) in South Africa.
- Freedom to move between employers.
- Less obligation on employers.
What if you don’t feature on the critical skills list
There are other work visa options and possibly other visa categories to consider. Key here it to make contact with us as soon as you can so we assess your personal circumstances.
At Intergate we have successfully completed in excess of 6000 permit and visa applications since 2006. We are no strangers to immigration act changes and we are also very aware that they are implemented with little or no notice.
Importantly we are also aware that these changes can cause huge amounts of stress and anguish, particularly in this instance for quota and exceptional skills work permit holders.
The best way forward, and at a risk of repetition is to contact us so we can advise you of your options. Do not wait until your permit or visa is expiring as this may leave little time for a plan B.
You can call us on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 (Cape Town) or +27 (0) 11 234 4275 (Johannesburg), email us here or even request a call back.
We also welcome visits to our offices:
Intergate Immigration Service (Pty) Ltd.
Graphic Centre, 2nd Floor
199 Loop Street
Cape Town, 8001
Intergate Immigration Service (Pty) Ltd.
Block D – Second Floor, Edenburg Terraces
348 Rivonia Boulevard
Rivonia 2128, Johannesburg