Critical Skills Visa documentary criteria eased

7 Nov 14

SOUTH AFRICA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? South Africa has eased certain documentary criteria to support a Critical Skills Work Visa application.

What does the change mean? If applicants have proof they have applied for registration with a South African Qualifications Authority accredited professional body, board or council, they do not need to submit additional written confirmation of their appropriate skills and/or qualifications and appropriate post-qualification experience.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Critical Skills Work Visas.
  • Who is affected: Companies sponsoring foreign nationals for Critical Skills Work Visas.
  • Impact on processing times: No direct impact, but the rule reduces the overall documentary burden and time.
  • Business impact: The directive eases the Critical Skills Work Visa application process as many professional bodies, boards and councils do not wish to issue a specific statement regarding the applicant’s skills and/or qualifications and appropriate post-qualification experience.

Background: Under South Africa’s recently amended immigration laws, applicants for the new Critical Skills Work Visa are legally required to submit, among other things, proof of registration application with a professional body recognized by the South African Qualifications Authority or a relevant government department, as well as written confirmation of the applicant’s skills and/or qualifications and appropriate post-qualification experience. In addition, they must provide proof of the foreign national’s qualifications evaluated by SAQA.

The directive clarifies that if an applicant has proof of an application for registration with a relevant SAQA accredited professional body, board or council, the applicant is not required to also obtain additional written confirmation of his or her appropriate skills and/or qualifications and appropriate post-qualification experience in relation to the critical skills category.

BAL Analysis: The directive is helpful in eliminating an onerous requirement that certain professional bodies, boards and councils do not wish to issue.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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