Critical Skills Work Visa


Processing Time in South Africa: 30-40 days

Processing Time if lodged abroad: 30 Days


Government Fee in South Africa: R1520

New Submission Centre Fee ( in SA ): R1350

Government Fee abroad: Dependent on Currency


Click here for visa enquiry


This visa is available to skilled workers who are in an occupation listed on the Critical Skills Visa List for South Africa. The list highlighted below reflects occupations that are in high demand in South Africa and was recently compiled and  published by the Department of Home Affairs.


  1. The applicant must show that they hold the necessary experience and qualifications pertaining to that occupation as listed in the Critical Skills List.
  2. Those applying for a Critical Skills Visa must register their occupations with the relevant Trade/Professional Board or Council in South Africa. Foreign qualifiers for the visa require a SAQA certificate and all qualification certificates must be translated.
  3. An application for a Critical Skills Visa can be made without the applicant having received a job offer. However once the visa has been granted, the applicant must secure employment within the specific field of expertise for which it was granted within a 12 month period.
  4. The Visa is not job specific and thus the holder will not have to apply for a new visa should they leave the Company they are working for.
  5. A letter of recommendations from the Department of Labour is not required.
  6. The visa is for a maximum period of 5 years, and a application for Permanent Residence can be made once it has been secured.


The newly published “Skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic of South Africa in relation to an application for a Critical Skills Visa or Permanent Residence Permit” – Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) – Section 19(4), to be read with Regulations 19(5), lists the following as being considered some of the critical skills.

The Critical Skills List - Published 3rd June 2014:

Business, Economics and Management Studies

  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Forestry Technician
  • Sheep Shearer
  • Architect
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Land Surveyor
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Actuaries and Risk Assessors
  • Corporate General Manager
  • External Auditor
  • Financial Investment Advisor

Information Communication & Technology

  • CISCO Solution Specialist
  • CISCO Engineers
  • Solutions Architects in Telecommunications and ICT
  • Integrated Developers (PHP, PERL, JAVA)
  • Network Analyst
  • IT Security Specialist
  • System Integration Specialist
  • Enterprise Architects
  • Data Centre Operations
  • Network Specialist (Security)
  • Database Specialist
  • Microsoft System Engineers
  • Network Controllers
  • AV Specialist (Anti-virus)
  • Desktop Support Engineer


  • Energy Engineer
  • Metallurgical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electrical Installation Inspector
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Industrial and Production Engineers
  • Industrial Designer
  • Manufacturing Managers
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Mining Engineer
  • Production/Operations Manager
  • Quality System Manager
  • Research and Development Manager
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Telecommunications Engineers
  • Electrical Engineering Technologist
  • Energy Engineering Technologist
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologist
  • Metallurgical Engineering Technologist
  • Mining Engineering Technologist
  • Air Conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber
  • Automotive Electrician
  • Automotive Motor Mechanic
  • Boiler Maker
  • Chemical Engineering Technologist
  • Civil Engineering Technologist
  • Diesel Mechanic
  • Electronics Engineering Technologist
  • Fitter and Turner
  • Materials Engineering Technologist
  • Mechatronics Technician
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Physical and Engineering Science Technicians
  • Pressure Welder
  • Structural Plaster
  • Toolmaker

Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Medical Superintendant/Public Health Manager
  • Public Health Physician
  • General and Specialist Medical Practitioner
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Nursing Professionals
  • Veterinarian
  • Registered Nurse (child and family health)
  • Retail Pharmacist

Life and Earth Sciences

  • Environmental Engineers
  • Environmental Manager
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Aquatic Scientist
  • Animal Scientist
  • Advanced Composites Engineering
  • Archaeological/Paleontological Specialist
  • Bioeconomist
  • Biochemists
  • Bioinformatician
  • Bioinformaticist
  • Biological Scientist
  • Botanical Scientist
  • Chemical Scientist
  • Computational Biologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Ecological Scientist
  • Food Scientist
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Geochemist
  • Geohazards Specialist
  • Geologist
  • Geophycist
  • Laboratory Technologist and Technician
  • Marine Bioscientist
  • Materials Scientist
  • Metallurgical Scientist
  • Metrology
  • Microbiological Scientist
  • Polymer Scientist
  • Protein Scientist
  • Seismologist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Toxicology Scientist
  • Water Resource Scientist

Professionals and Associate Professional

  • Land and Engineering Surveyors
  • Electronic Engineering Technician
  • Materials Engineering Technologist
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Practitioner
  • Draughtsperson
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Chemical Engineering Technician
  • Organisation and Methods Analyst (Incl. scheduler, estimator)
  • Surveying Technician
  • Geomatics Technician
  • Quantity Surveying Technician
  • Civil Engineering Technician
  • Materials Engineer Non-destructive Testing (NDT)
  • Materials Engineering Technician – Road materials
  • Materials Tester
  • Construction Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Agent/Manager/Officer
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Architectural Senior Technologist
  • Architectural Draughtsperson
  • Astronomer
  • Physicist (SKA)
  • Geomagnetic Physicist
  • Solar Physicist
  • Space Physicist
  • Plasma Physicist
  • Space Technologist
  • Space Weather Specialist
  • Magnetic Technology Specialist
  • Radar Engineering
  • Radio Frequency Engineering
  • Environmental Technologist
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Industrial Engineering Technologist
  • Industrial Engineering Technician
  • Landscape Architect
  • Landscape Contract Manager
  • Landscape Horticulturalist
  • Mining Technician


  • Millwright
  • Boilermaker (For Strategic Infrastructure Projects)
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanic
  • Pipe Fitter
  • Double Coded Welder
  • Rigger
  • Moulder
  • Raise-bore Operators
  • Raise-bore Foreman

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

  • Software Development Engineers and Managers
  • Systems Architects, Engineers and Managers
  • Foreign Language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support (German, Swiss German, Flemish, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and French)
  • Business Analyst
  • Quality Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Specialist/Auditor
  • Customer Service Manager/Team Lead

Academics and Researchers

  • Doctoral Graduates (Acquired Abroad)
  • Research in any of the following areas;
    • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
    • Galaxy Structure and Dynamics
    • Pulsars and Black Holes
    • Pulsars and Black Holes
    • Pulsars and Gravitational Waves
    • Deep Observations of the earliest Radio Galaxies
    • Dynamic and Transient Burst
    • VLBI Operations
    • Search for CO to investigate role of Molecular Hydrogen
    • Deep Surveyors of Neutral Hydrogen Gas in the Early Universe
    • Cosmology and Dark Energy
    • Cosmic Magnetism
    • Calibration and Imaging of Radio Interferometer data
    • Pulsar Research
    • Pulsar and Gravitational Waves
    • VLBI Operations
    • Signal Processing
    • Observational Radio Astronomy in General
    • Algorithm for Radio Astronomy
    • Signal Processing for Radio Astronomy
    • Supercomputing for Radio Astronomy
    • Software Development for Radio Astronomy
    • Data and Streaming- Real-Time Processing of Massive Data Amounts
    • Green Computing- Extreme Performance at Minor Energy Cost
    • Performance at Minor Energy Costs
    • EMC and Spectrum Management
    • Beam Modelling
    • Antenna Modelling
    • Feeds for Radio Astronomy Systems
    • Receivers for Radio Astronomy Systems
    • Signal Processing for Radio Astronomy
    • High Speed Data Transport
    • Nano-photonics-Data Transport Power
    • Nanotechnology
    • Palaeosciences
    • Reduction over Short and Long Distances
    • Antenna Design
    • Antenna Foundation Design
    • RFI Shielded Buildings and Facilities
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Space Science and Technology
    • Global Change
    • Energy Security
    • Information Communication Technology
    • Earth Observation
    • Natural and Applied Sciences


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