The South African government has identified areas in the South African work force that may be lacking qualified and experienced staff to fulfill those roles.

The government also realized that skills need to help grow the country and ultimately support the economic growth of the rainbow nation may have to be attracted from outside the country’s borders, and with this in mind the Critical Skills Permit was implemented. This visa aims to attract international talent and experience to specific areas requiring development on South African shores. As one of the fastest growing countries on the African continent with the most progressive laws more and more qualified migrants are establishing themselves here and are at the forefront of the country’s development boom.


  • This visa falls in the temporary residency visa stream and allows foreign nationals to legally live and work in South Africa for a period of up to five years.
  • Visa’s are granted based on the applicant being able to prove that they hold the experience and qualifications needed in that specific field of occupation as listed on the Critical Skills List of more than 200 occupations for which this skills shortage exists.
  • The applicant will not need a job offer on application and may apply for this visa without a job offer.
    Under this visa the holder must secure employment in his specific field, for which this visa was granted, within 12 months.
  • The applicant need not obtain a letter of recommendation from the Department of Labour
  • This visa also offers the bearer the option to apply for permanent residency in the country subject to certain conditions. But can be applied for straight away if the applicant can prove more than 5 years’ experience in their field of expertise.


  • The applicant is able to prove sufficient knowledge and qualifications to fill a position listed on the critical skills list.
  • The applicant’s occupation must be registered with a professional body in South Africa and must be recognized by SAQA. You will have to submit proof of this registration along with your visa application.
  • Any foreign qualifications must be assessed by SAQA and translated into one of the Republic’s eleven official languages.


  1. Agriculture, Agricultural Operations and related sciences
  2. Architecture and the Built Environment
  3. Business, Economics and Management Studies
  4. Information Communication & Technology
  5. Engineering
  6. Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
  7. Life and Earth Sciences
  8. Professionals and Associate Professionals
  9. Trades
  10. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  11. Academics and Researchers
  12. Post-Graduates (acquired in RSA)


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