Announced last month, foreign nationals in South Africa now qualify to apply for the South African Critical Skills Work Visa. This decision comes in the light of government efforts to retain critically skilled foreign workers who would benefit the country’s economic growth plan.
Immigration Directive No 36 of 2014 (Critical Skills-Corporate visa)
“South Africa has taken an executive decision to import skills to fill the critical skills gaps that are a major impediment to inclusive economic growth and development,” said Malusi Gigaba, minster of Home Affairs, this week via a media statement. He continued that the Department of Home Affairs is required to contribute to the economic development of the country by realizing a positive skills migration trend of critically skilled migrants who possess those skills listed as Critical Skills. This list, containing more than 200 occupations was published by the Department of Home Affairs in June 2014.
“In terms of Regulation 20(11) a corporate worker may not renew his or her corporate worker status or apply for a change to this status while in the Republic,” said Gigaba. However Gigaba’s statement continued that corporate workers who are on a Corporate Visa and wish to apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa will now be allowed to do so whilst within the Republic provided the applicant continues to remain in the employment of the original Corporate Visa holder and meet the Critical Skills Work visa requirements.
It is noteworthy that all the other provisions of Regulation 20(11) remain effective for all other persons who are on a Corporate Visa. This means that Corporate Workers who do not meet the requirements as stipulated for the Critical Skills Works Visa would not be eligible to apply for this visa and would have to heed the normal prescriptions and limitations of their Corporate Visa.
This visa grants the holder an automatic gateway to apply for South African permanent residency with far reaching positive effects on the applicant’s career and personal circumstances as family members of this visa would also qualify for general work visas etcetera.
Speak to a professional immigration consultant about your options. With access to the newest legislation and up to date knowledge about the South African visa system they will be able to guide you through the application process.