Applying for a Critical Skills Visa in South Africa


The Critical Skills Work Visa is a work visa that applies to any professional who possesses a skill that is listed on the official Critical Skills Index set out by the South African Department of Home Affairs. The applicant must be able to prove their experience and qualifications in order to be considered for a Critical Skills Permit in South Africa.

What you need to know:

  • A Critical Skills Permit allows you to legally live and work in South Africa for a period of up to five years.
  • A Critical Skills Visa for South Africa will only be granted on the basis that you are able to prove they have the relevant experience and qualifications required by the jobs listed on the Critical Skills Index.
  • Ideally, you will have an actual job offer before applying for a Critical Skills Visa South Africa; however, in some cases you may apply for a South African Critical Skills Visa without an employment offer, in which case you will be required to secure employment in the industry for which this visa was granted within 12 months.
  • Subject to condition, a South African Critical Skills Work Permit also gives the applicant the option to apply for permanent residency in South Africa.
  • Where there is no offer of employment a critical skills visa shall be issued for a period not exceeding one year.

What you need to have:

  • Completed online form 
  • Passport valid for a minimum of 30 calendar days after the intended visit
  • Medical report, not older than 6 months on the day of submission
  • Radiological report, not older than 6 months on the day of submission
  • Marriage certificate or proof of official partnership recognition
  • If married to a South African citizen or resident, affidavit and documentation proving cohabitation, shared financial responsibilities and children, if applicable 
  • Original Police clearance certificate issued by the police or security authority in each country in which the applicant has resided for 12 months or longer after the age of 18 years, not older than 6 months on the day of submission
  • Biometric enrollment fee 
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • Written undertaking by employer accepting responsibility of the costs related to the deportation of the applicant and his or her dependent family members, should it become necessary (Where there is no employer: proof of sufficient financial means to the value of a minimum of R3 000 in the form of three months bank statements)
  • Written undertaking by the employer ensuring that the passport of his or her employee is valid at all times for the duration of his or her employment (Where there is no employer: written undertaking by the applicant to ensure that the passport of the applicant shall be valid at all times for the duration of his or her temporary visa)
  • Proof that the applicant falls within the critical skills category by specifically indicating the occupation/critical skill for which the application is being made. The occupation/critical skill must be on the Critical Skills list.
  • Proof of evaluation of the foreign qualification by SAQA and translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of the Republic.
  • If required by law, proof of application for a certificate of registration with the professional body, council or board recognised by South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in terms of section 13(1)(i) of the National Qualifications Framework Act;
  • A confirmation, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA in terms of section 13(1)(0 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 not attached, VFS official to check Directive 22 of 2014)
  • Proof of payment of the applicable fee