Critical Skills Work Visa for South Africa

Critical Skills Work Visa for South Africa
Critical Skills Work Visa for South Africa

The critical skills work visa is based around the premise of the South African work force lacking certain skills that it needs to attract from abroad.

It is based on the critical skills list of June 2014 that lists 12 educational subject matters containing 214 different occupations.

In short of you appear on this list and meet the criteria attached to it you may make an application for a critical skills work visa.

So what is a critical skills visa?

As you may surmise from the name of this work visa, it is based upon what is deemed a critical skill. A critical skill can in this instance is derived from intensive research by various stakeholders in the South African economy that identifies occupations where there is simply not enough of the local labour to fulfil industry needs.

This research culminates in the publishing of a government gazette (current one – June 2014) that details the occupations where human resource is in short supply.

How does a critical skills visa work?

Unlike other work visa categories, and very importantly, the critical skills visa application is not judged on the applicant having a job offer. Rather it first looks at the educational subject matter where the shortage exists and then the specific skill shortage occupations within this.

You can view the entire critical skills list here but as an example:

Educational subject matter – Information Communication & Technology

Trade or occupations within it:

  • CISCO Solution Specialist
  • CISCO Engineers
  • Solutions Architects in Telecommunications and ICT
  • Integrated Developers (PHP, PERL, JAVA)
  • Network Analyst
  • IT Security Specialist
  • System Integration Specialist
  • Enterprise Architects
  • Data Centre Operations
  • Network Specialist (Security)
  • Database Specialist
  • Microsoft System Engineers
  • Network Controllers
  • AV Specialist (Anti-virus)
  • Desktop Support Engineer

So no job offer is required?

Absolute not. The research carried out points to the fact there are simply too many vacancies for local professional to fill. The only requirement is that you do obtain an appropriate position within a 12 month period.

Confirmation of employment will also need to provided to the Department at this 12 month mark.

No limit to the amount of work visas granted within the critical skills category.

Although the critical skills list will be reviewed from time to time there is no limit on the amount of critical skills visas that can be issued under each occupation.

How long is the critical skills work visa valid for?

Although a temporary visa category the visa is long time and issued for 5 years. The good news is that once you have hold a qualifying work visa for 5 years, the critical skills work visa being one, you can then apply for permanent residence.

Even better is for applicants with 5 years experience already in place, they may make an application for permanent residence immediately.

How many years experience is required?

As per the above, a total of 5 years post-qualification experience is required for permanent residence applications. You can read more on permanent residency application, known as a critical skills permit, here.

For the critical skills visa there is no specified years of experience as a criteria. You will however need to get registered with the local South African professional body.

Foreign PhD students

Further good news is for students who have obtained their PhD in South Africa – they will also now qualify according to the critical skill list.

Making an application

The first step is to ascertain if you appear on the critical skills list and meet the associated criteria.

If your educational subject is any of the below you may well have your occupation listed:

  • Agriculture, Agricultural Operations and Related Sciences
  • Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Business, Economics and Management Studies
  • Information Communication & Technology
  • Engineering
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
  • Life and Earth Sciences
  • Professionals and Associate Professionals
  • Trades
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Post-Graduates

If you feature in any of the above feel free to email us your CV here for a free evaluation. You may also view here for more details on applying for a critical skills visa.

Getting help

We have been assisting immigrants with their permit and needs since 2005 and are now widely considered the premier immigration consultancy within South Africa. Out track record is enviable with successful submission of in excess of 6000 in over 25 countries around the world.

At Intergate we also believe it is important to back up service claims and boasts with action, that’s why we are South Africa’s only ISO 9001 accredited South African immigration company.

Try us for yourself and discover why we have become the trusted immigration partner for hundreds of multi nationals and thousands of individuals, your enquiry for a critical skills work visa could not be in better hands.

Getting help with your visa or permit application

We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.

You can take our free one minute assessment here or request a call back for more information. Or simply call us at +27 (0)21 424 2460.

Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.


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