As a country with a growing economy and a developing manufacturing sector, South Africa requires a large number of skilled workers in various positions. For this reason, many foreigners are employed in South Africa. Any person who is not a citizen of South Africa and who wishes to work in the country needs to apply for a Work Visa.
There are some skills and qualifications which are regarded as exceptional by the South African government. A person who has such skills and/or qualifications may obtain a Critical Skills Work Visa. In order to obtain this visa, the applicant does not have to secure a specific position of employment at the time of application. The legislation does not specify what qualifies as exceptional, but a relevant South African organisation needs to confirm the applicant’s skills and/or qualifications in writing. The Critical Skills Work Visa is valid for a maximum period of three years, and extension is possible.
If you have a doctorate in a specific field, and have published articles and/or are considered an expert in a field, this can aid your application.
It is possible to apply for Permanent Residence on the basis of holding a General Work Visa. Anyone who has held a General Work visa for a period of five years may apply for Permanent Residence. Holders of a Critical Skills Work Visa visa may apply immediately. It is very much to the applicant’s advantage to be in possession of a contract of permanent employment, or an offer of permanent employment, at the time of application.