Critical skills visa
The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGI-SA) is a comprehensive government plan that was launched to ensure the continuation of South Africa’s vibrant economic growth. One of the key elements of this plan is to recruit skilled foreigners in certain key areas.
The Immigration Act of 2002 allows for the Minister of Home Affairs to consult with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Trade and Industry in order to identify areas of scarce, critical and special skills required by the South African economy each year. A list of professional categories and occupational classes are then identified and work permits made available to formally qualified foreigners who have a minimum of five years practical experience.
A lits of professional catagories is available here.
Anybody who has formal qualifications in any of the above areas and a minimum of five years practical experience can apply for a critical skills work visa. The application needs to be supported with an assessment carried out by a recognised professional body. For professionals engaged within the broadcast, AV or communications industry, SACIA is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority as the relevant professional body.
In order for SACIA to assess whether foreign nationals have the skill, experience and qualifications to qualify for a critical skills visa, applicants must submit the following information/ documentation:
- Qualifications/Certifications (Certified)
- Transcripts (Certified), SAQA (Verification of foreign qualifications)
- Current/Updated CV (Resume)
- 2 X Employer Letters
- Stated Critical Skill(s)
- Proof of Payment.
If we do not have these we cannot begin with the Assessment.
Documents should be submitted to SACIA (send to CSA@sacia.org.za) – where “CSA” represents “Critical Skills Assessment”:
- Certified copies of:
a. Degree/ diploma qualifications
Detailed academic transcripts for the qualifications submitted
Vendor/ Industry certifications (e.g. InfoComm, Extron, Kramer, etc.)
SAQA equivalency certificate for foreign degrees / diplomas
- Your recent, updated resumé (curriculum vitae) – (Please refer to no. 9 Post-Qualification Experience below for more information*)
- A clear indication of the particular critical skill category (both Classification of Education Subject Matter and Specific Occupation/Critical skill, per the Government Gazette) that you believe applies to you. (Note that if you do not stipulate this, the assessment cannot be done). Please click here for an extract of the critical skills per the latest government gazette. Use this to indicate the critical skill(s) which you wish to be assessed against. – Please note that a maximum of three Critical Skill(s) will be accepted for assessment.
- Two Reference / Testimonial letters from current / previous employers attesting to your particular skills and competencies (related to the relevant claimed critical skill). (By way of explanation: We require two employer letters on a company letterhead so that we can corroborate the information provided in your CV or Resumé. Duplicate letters signed by different signatories will be treated as a single letter. Letters written on plain paper will not be accepted. If you have only worked for one company for at least five years, then a single letter will be accepted. The minimum information we need is: The date that you started working for the company, your job description, the date you left the company (or confirmation that you are still employed if you are still working for the company). Testimonials, Relieving Letters, Offers of Employment and Reference Letters are also acceptable. Employer letters are not forwarded to the authorities, but they are referred to in your Certificate).
- Proof of payment of applicable fees.
- Copy of your passport. Please confirm your names correctly as per the sequence in your passport (First name, Middle names, Last name (Surname)).
- PLEASE NOTE: If you have recently applied for membership of SACIA and have already submitted some / all copies of documents (certified where relevant) as noted in points 1a to 1d above, you do not need to resubmit these documents. Please just indicate that you have already done so and the date on which they were submitted.
2. Duration and costs:
Please allow approximately six weeks for your critical skills submission to be assessed from the date of the email acknowledging receipt of your critical skills application by SACIA. Note, however, that if the required documents and information are not submitted timeously, this could further prolong the process.
Requests to Expedite a Critical Skills Assessment: We wish to advise that the Association has been receiving a very high volume of applications for Critical Skills assessments, which is placing huge pressures on SACIA staff and Assessors alike. Applications are usually processed in the order in which they are received (assuming that all required documentation has been presented and is in order). We do not, unfortunately, have any additional resources to process expedited requests and are therefore unable to do so.
The non-refundable fee for a critical skills assessment is R3,000.00 plus VAT (R3,420.00), payable on application for assessment.
3. Membership Application / Registration:
If you are not a registered member of SACIA you will also need to complete the application form and indicate that you are applying for a critical skills work visa.
- Pay the first year’s registration / membership fee (R1,140.)
- If you are applying simultaneously for a critical skills assessment the cost would be R4,560.
- If you are also applying for SACIA certification an additional cost will apply (dependent on the certification level you are applying for)
4. Our Bank Account details are:
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Wierda Valley
Branch code: 260950
New applicants: please use your surname and initials as the reference if making a direct deposit.
5. Progress updates:
Please note that our processes do not allow for progress updates during the assessment process and we cannot provide you with any.
6. Critical Skills Assessment Certificates:
Successful applicants for critical skills assessment will receive two original copies of the written confirmation from the Association (SACIA). One of the originals will need to accompany your application to the relevant embassy / consulate / office of the Department of Home Affairs. These written confirmations will be posted by normal (non-trackable) post to the applicant. Should the applicant wish to make use of special postal services (e.g. courier), this will need to be arranged by the applicant, and any additional costs are for the applicant’s own account.
It is important to note that the provision of such a written confirmation of critical skills by the Association (SACIA) does not provide any guarantee whatsoever of a Critical Skills Work Visa or Permanent Residence Permit being issued by the South African Department of Home Affairs and SACIA gives no such assurances.
We very much regret that we are unable to provide such a service at this time, mainly due to the volume of requests for paid assessments that we are receiving, but also because the time taken to pre-assess an application is very similar to the time taken to prepare a full assessment.
9. Post-Qualification Experience:
“Post-Qualification Experience” (as the name suggests) is the professional experience you have gained since you graduated. It does not include any experience you may have gained while you were still attending an educational institution. Even if you are working towards your qualification part-time, our membership rules require us to subtract the equivalent for the period of your qualification as if it were studied on a full-time basis from your professional experience.