South Africa (SA) is one of the largest key players in the current African economic boom. It also has a thriving expat community with communities from the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and other African states calling it home.   


Please See the new Critical Skills List, valid from 1 February 2022 here

As African countries modernise and grow their economies, there is a rising demand for skilled talent – talent that could be imported, if necessary. The Critical Skills Work Visa could be your entry to working and settling in SA.  

What is a Critical Skills Work Visa? 

  • The Critical Skills Visa was launched in SA in 2014 and replaced the former Exceptional Skills and Quota Work Visas. It is a work visa that benefits both the SA economy and expats who qualify for it. The Critical Skills Work Visa is aimed at skilled professionals whose occupation is on the Critical Skills List. 
  • For example, as a professional in agriculture or engineering, a Critical Skills Visa will give you freedom and multiple opportunities to move up in your career, improve your quality of life and eventually, settle in SA as a permanent resident.  
  • In fact, the top goal of the Critical Skills Visa is to assist the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC I in achieving the objectives of programmes like The National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.  

Why should I apply for a Critical Skills Visa? 

  • A key benefit of having a Critical Skills Visa is that one is immediately eligible to apply for permanent residency if one has a permanent employment offer. 
  • A Critical Skills Visa can be issued to an applicant for a period of up to five years. The actual validity will depend on the applicant’s specific circumstances. If the applicant has not already secured a job and no offer of employment has been made, the Critical Skills Visa will be valid for no longer than one year. 
  • The Critical Skills Visa allows the holder to add their spouse and dependant children to the permit. The applicant’s family members will be allowed into South Africa for as long as the Critical Skills Visa remains valid. 
  • The SA Critical Skills Visa can be renewed, provided that all requirements for renewal are met. Foreign nationals wishing to renew their visa must pay the relevant fee. 

Read more about the Critical Skills Visa in this Ventureburn article featuring our CEO, Andreas Krensel.   

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Original article written by: Christian Mpazayabo 

Edited by: Lauren Daniels