South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has knocked on their Canadian counterpart’s door for tips on the Republics immigration system.
Canada is well reputed for having a very sophisticated, if not the most sophisticated, immigration systems in the world. Even the American president, Donald Trump, has consulted Canada on his planned changes to their immigration system.
Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize says South Africa needs to attract highly skilled and professional immigrants to grow the economy – similar to what Canada is doing.
Speaking at a press conference the minister said that South Africa experiences an influx of unskilled immigrants who add little value to the country's development. She added that skilled, schooled and experienced workers should be attracted to the country’s skills pool to ensure economic growth – leading to job creation. Not enough of these skills are currently available in South Africa and the government is interested in making the country attractive for such foreign-based talent.
Mkhize briefed the media in Pretoria following a meeting with her Canadian counterpart Minister Ahmed Hussen.
Unlike South Africa, Canada attracts skilled migrants who benefit that country' economy.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada's Minister of Immigration, refugees and citizenship said that, “Canadians understand the value of immigration, immigrants to Canada create jobs, they don't take jobs from the locals. We value the role that immigration plays in a country like Canada with an aging population and a low birth rate, we value how immigrants bring skills.”
Do you qualify for a South African Work Permit?
The South African Critical Skills Visa is specifically designed to attract skills, knowledge and experience to the South African economy.
But before applying for a South African work visa is considered it would be good practice to establish that your field of expertise is listed on the South African critical skills list. This list details more than 200 professions and occupations that have been identified by South African lawmakers as necessary for the country's growth and prosperity.
Essentially this means that, should your occupation be listed on this list, you would be able to apply for a South African Work Permit without an offer of employment as you would be expected to find employment in your field relatively easily.
Applicants should also be able to prove sufficient knowledge and qualifications to fill a position listed on the critical skills list and that their occupation is registered with a professional body in South Africa. Applicants’ qualifications must also be assessed by SAQA and translated into one of the Republic’s eleven official languages.
There are more criteria that must be met before a Work Visa will be issued to an applicant; it is therefore a good idea to consult a recognized immigration agent about the criteria and to find out if your occupation is listed.