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Frequently Asked Questions about the South African Work Visa

Frequently Asked Questions About The South African Work Visa

1. Do I qualify for a Critical Skills work visa?
Foreign nationals are asked to confirm that their profession is listed on the schedule of categories which is published by the South African Department of Home Affairs. Applicants will also be required to meet all the additional specifications and requirements of qualifying for a work visa.

2. Where can I find more information about the critical skills work permits and the application process?
Contact one of the immigration professionals at New World Immigration who will offer you the best and most up to date advice about the South African visa requirements and application process. You can reach New World Immigration by giving us a call at Tel +27 21 555 0951, email your query to or visit our website for the latest information about South African visas.

3. How long does it take for the critical skills work permit to be issued?
In our experience the visa is normally ready for collection or delivery within about 6 to 8 weeks.

4. What are the conditions of a critical skills work visa?
One of the basic conditions of the critical skills work visa is that the applicant must secure employment with-in 12 months of receiving the visa. Holders of this visa are also required to report to the Department of Home affairs annually.

5. For how long is a critical skills work permit valid?
A critical skills work permit is open-ended and remains valid as long as the person stays employed within the same category or profession it was applied and approved for.

6. What happens if, according to the scarce skills list, you have enough experience in a certain field but lack formal qualifications?
The conditions of the South Africa scarce skills list and critical skills work visas specify that applicants must meet all the requirements of the critical skills permit. This means a formal qualification in your field or occupation is required. Failing which, applicants may consider applying for general work permit.

7. Can I still apply for a critical skills work visa if I have lost my original proof of qualifications?
Yes you can by furnishing copies of the original document which must be attained through the tertiary institution that originally issued them.

8. What happens in the case where you have experience in one profession on the scarce skills list but your formal qualification is in another field?
According to the conditions of the critical skills work visa, you would have to apply for a profession for which you hold an official qualification.

9. If I obtained my critical skills work visa while working for one company, can I switch employers while on the same visa?
Yes you can, but you must still be employed in the same occupational category as the one on which your visa was granted.

10. If I decide that I would like to switch critical skills work categories what is required?
You would have to apply for a new work permit.

11. I have been working for five years in RSA on a critical skills work permit and heard I qualify for Permanent Residence, is this so?
Yes, the Home Affairs Director-General may issue a permanent residence permit to a foreigner who has been the holder of a work permit for five years in terms of the Immigration Act and has proven to the satisfaction of the Director-General that the applicant has secured employment or applicants must prove 5 years relevant work experience to be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

12. If I came to RSA on a critical skills work permit, can my family join me in South Africa?
Holders of critical skills work visas may bring family members to live in South Africa with them, but these family members are required to hold temporary residency permits.

More questions? Contact the New World Immigration team for professional advice and answers to all your critical skills work visa questions and more.

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