The Deputy Director-General of Home Affairs Jackie McKay issued a new directive on the 24th of October 2014 pertaining to the critical skills visa requirements.
The Department of Home Affairs has recently under the new immigration regulations of 2014, introduced the critical skills visa which aims to fill the gap of skill shortages in South Africa. Home Affairs published the critical skills list in June 2014, which boasts more than 100 occupations desperately needed in SA. The critical skills list welcomed researchers, foreign students who obtained their PhD in SA, engineers and ICT occupants to apply for the new critical skills visa.
Confirmation of the skills or qualifications of the applicant as part of supporting documents for a critical skills visa:
In addition to general requirements for a work visa, Regulation 18(5) of the immigration act, 2002 (Act NO 13 of 2002) requires that an application for a critical skills work visa be accompanied by proof that the applicant falls within the critical skills category in the form of:
- A confirmation, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA in terms of section 13(1)(i) of the national qualifications framework act, or any relevant government department confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant and appropriate post qualification experience:
- If required by law, proof of application for a certificate of registration with the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA in terms of section 13(1)(i) of the national qualifications framework act: and
- Proof of evaluation of the foreign qualification by SAQA and translated by a sworn translator into one of the following official languages of the Republic.
The requirements for a critical skills visa required applicants to submit a confirmation letter, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA which confirms the skills or qualifications of the applicant and appropriate post qualification experience. This requirement, however, has been one of the main reasons for the high rejection rate which has been a concern to many applicants.
The Department of Home Affairs has failed to notify all professional bodies in South Africa about the issuing of confirmation letters to applicants, when applying for professional registration as per the critical skills requirements. Most professional bodies are refusing to provide applicants with confirmation letters and have ever since been ignoring this requirement.
The new Immigration Directive NO 22 of 2014 now specifically advises all immigration officers that where proof of application for a certificate of registration with a professional body, council or board recognised SAQA is available, there is no need to submit or request an additional document from the professional body as confirmation of skills, as that would have been considered by the professional body in the process of registering the applicant.
So in future, applicants will not need to provide a confirmation letter from a professional body as proof of application for a certificate of registration will be sufficient.
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