Critical Skills Work Visa

The critical skills visa makes it possible for foreigners with exceptional skills or qualifications to live and work in South Africa.

One of the biggest advantages of the critical skills visa is that you do not need a job offer to apply for this type of visa.

How to qualify for the Critical Skills Visa

The South African government publishes a list of skills and qualifications that they reckon to be critical for the South African economy.

The main criteria are that the applicant must be able to prove that he/she is qualified and skilled according to one of the occupations or skills on the critical skills list.

The proof will, among other things, be in the form of recommendation letters from relevant professional bodies, evaluation of a foreign qualification by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The proof of your application for registration with a relevant South African body or council is also required.

The education subject matters on the critical skills list are; 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, Academics and Researchers and Post-Graduates.

There is a large number of occupations under each of these subjects. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant to find out whether your occupation is on the latest critical skills visa list.

Right to work with the Critical Skills Visa

You do not need to have a job offer to apply for the critical skills visa. However, you will have to secure a job within 12 months of moving to South Africa.

If no work offer is available at the time of the first application, a 12-month visa will be granted. Once a SA work offer is secured, you can apply for a longer-term visa from SA. 

If a SA work offer is available at the time of the initial application, a 4-year visa can be secured from the start. You can extend this visa from SA.

You can apply for your spouse, children, and other dependent family members to accompany you.  

Permanent Residence

The good news is that the holder of the critical skills visa can apply for permanent residence. You will, however, have to provide proof of your employment.

Applying for a critical skills visa can be a daunting process. We highly recommend that you contact our SA Immigration department to assist you in the process.