South Africa Critical Skills Work Visa (CSWV) benefits immigrants with exceptional skills in high demand in South Africa. We will start this blog post by defining what critical skills in South Africa means.
What are Critical Skills in South Africa?
According to the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA), critical skills are:
“Skills that are regarded, through labour market availability and analysis, to be critical for improvement in economic growth and without which certain projects and work could not be undertaken, as well as high-level skills that will enhance the skills pool in the economy which in turn will encourage and potentially accelerate growth in the economy (DHA, 2019)”.
A critical skills work visa allows Nigerians with exceptional skills to live and work in South Africa. To obtain a South Africa Critical Skills Visa, the applicant must check the critical skills list to see if they qualify for the visa. The critical skills list also contains specific requirements for each trade or profession the applicant is interested in. The Minister of Home Affairs recently published on 18 February 2021 the latest draft list of critical skills required in South Africa. To find what the new draft list contains, click here to download the draft. The public was invited to submit comments regarding this new critical skills list by 31 March 2021. The Department of Home Affairs will gazette the new updated critical skills list later.
What are the current preliminary requirements for a critical skills visa?
For now, the following documentation is required by the Department of Home Affairs:
- A passport that is valid for more than 30 days
- Original police clearance certificate from the Nigerian police
- An offer of employment letter or contract of employment that contains signatures of both the employee and the employer (Optional).
- A letter written by your employer stating that the company will accept responsibility to cover deportation costs for employee and his family (Optional). In the event that the employer’s letter is not available, a proof of cash deposit that is equivalent to the value of return or deportation costs is required.
- A letter written by the employer stating that the company will ensure that employee’s passport is valid at all times (Optional).
- A recent medical report (not older than 6 months)
- A recent radiological report (not older than 6 months)
- Yellow fever vaccination
- Marriage certificate if it is applicable
- Affidavit of a spousal relationship to South African citizen if it is applicable (the applicant must prove cohabitation through financial statements, residential statements apart from the identification documents of their children).
- Divorce decree if it is applicable.
- A letter containing consent from parent/s if it is applicable.
- A legal separation order if it applicable.
- Proof of adoption if it applicable.
- The applicant must prove their skills fall under critical skills category.
- Qualification’s evaluation proof from SAQA. See how to apply for a SAQA evaluation certificate here.
- Proof of registration with a professional council or regulatory body in South Africa that SAQA recognizes.
- A letter from the professional council or regulatory body certifying registration and confirming the applicant post qualification and experience.
- Proof of financial means in the form of bank statements, cash available or travelers’ cheques to cover the applicants stay until he or she gets a salary.
- Completed and signed online application form
NB: Critical skills work visa can be issued for a period of 5 years if proof of employment is present during the initial application submission, or it can be issued for a year (12 months) if there is no employment offer letter.
Below are requirements for critical skills work visa applications for an extension after a year (12 months).
- Passport that is valid more than 30 days.
- Original police clearance certificate from the South African police.
- An offer of employment letter or contract of employment that contains signatures of both the employee and the employer.
- A letter written by the employer stating that the company will accept responsibility to cover deportation costs for the employee and his family.
- A letter written by the employer stating that the company will ensure that employee’s passport is valid at all times.
- The applicant’s copy of recent critical skills work visa.
- Proof that the applicant falls within the critical skills category.
What is the cost of the critical skills work visa?
Currently, the Department of Home Affairs requires a non-refundable application fee of R1 520. As wells as an extra R1350 service fee for visa facilitation. Visa application and facilitation is made through VFS. Click here to learn more. You can make payments through direct deposit, internet banking transfers or direct online payments. You must attach the proof payment to your visa application documents.
What is the visa application processing time?
A critical skills work visa takes anywhere between 4 weeks to 3 months to process.
Where can I submit my application documents?
You can submit documentation for critical skills application at any of the VFS centres in Nigeria, which is then processed by the South African Consulate in Nigeria.
Points to remember About South Africa Critical Skills Visa:
- The critical skills work visa allows you to live and work in South Africa for a year or 5 years.
- Critical skills work visa is given to applicants who can prove that they have the required experience and qualifications for a Critical Skills Visa.
- You must be registered with a recognized professional body in South Africa, and SAQA must recognize your educational qualifications.
- The visa gives options to apply for permanent residency in South Africa.
- You can apply for a critical skills work visa with or without an offer letter of employment.
- The non-refundable application fee for Critical Skills Work Visa is R1, 520
- Submit your application at any of the VFS centres in Nigeria.
- Application processing time takes between 4 weeks and 3 months.