The Critical Skills Work Visa will enable the Department and the government to achieve the objectives of programmes such as National Development Plan (NDP), Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and New Growth Plan (NGP). The Department of Home Affairs has amended the Immigration legislation that came with various changes, which led to the introduction of Critical Skills Work Visa (CSWV).

The Critical Skills Work Visa emanates from the merger of the former Exceptional Skills and Quota Work visas. The latter was issued in line with the Quota List of 2009, which had skills categories, requirements, and the quota of skills targeted in the Republic of South Africa. The Critical Skills work visa is issued in accordance with the critical skills list. The list was developed in conjunction with the occupations in high demand and the scarce skills lists of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The main objective of the critical skills work visa is to assist the government to realise the achievement of the National Infrastructure Project, the Strategic Infrastructure Projects and Key National Strategic Projects in support of the Department of Trade and Industry. Critical Skills category before applying for a visa or permit. Copy the link List of Critical Skills as per Gazette


Occasionally, multi-national companies may decide to transfer an existing employee in a key position from a foreign branch to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of that company in South Africa. These employees must apply for intra-company transfer work permits. In such cases, no proof of steps taken to obtain the services of a South African citizen or permanent residence will be required. However, it is required that the applicant must have been employed in the company abroad for at least six months prior to his or her transfer to the South African operations and the South African branch, subsidiary or affiliate company must provide a skills transfer plan as proof that the transfer of skills to a South African citizen or permanent resident will take place. Intra-company transfer work visas are issued for a maximum period of four years and are not renewable or extendable. Should the continued services of the applicant for some or other reason be required by the South African operations at the end of the four year term, an application for a new intra-company transfer work visa must be applied for from the applicant’s country of origin or of permanent residence.

The holder of a general-, critical skills- or intra-company transfer work visa is entitled to study part-time, without the need to apply for permission from the Department of Home Affairs in the form of an application for change of conditions to an existing work visa.

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