Permanent Residency Applications Pre-February 2022
Expatriates with foreign qualifications who obtained their Critical Skills Work Visa’s prior to the release of the new Critical Skills List, were allowed to progress to Permanent Residency once they were able to prove a minimum of 5 years post qualification experience. This allowed many foreign nationals who were highly experienced, to move to Permanent Residency immediately after they were issued their Critical Skills Work Visa.
It was considered satisfactory and in line with the requirements for the proof to be given in the form of a detailed, up-to-date Curriculum Vitae and reference letters from previous employers, however this is no longer the case.
Permanent Residency Applications Post-February 2022
As with many other changes, the Directive issued in March 2022 brought with it an additional requirement for those wishing to apply for Permanent Residency.
The Department of Home Affairs has now made it compulsory for all applicants applying for Permanent Residency under the new Critical Skills List to submit additional proof of verification of work experience. This proof will need to come from reputable organisations such as MIE or similar organisations, who will vet and provide written confirmation of the applicants’ experience.
What this means for applicants
This additional step has added to the already long list of information and documentation requirements, that will need to be submitted with their Permanent Residency applications. Not only does this step make the pre-submission process lengthier, but it also comes with an additional cost, which could frustrate the applicants even more so than before.
This new requirement is not only reserved for those who obtained their qualifications outside of South Africa but includes those who have South African qualifications. Proof of post-qualification experience was not required previously for those with South African qualifications, however with this addition it is now a compulsory requirement which has brought on further complications for these specific applicants.
Whilst it is not completely clear as to the reason Home Affairs have added this extra step, a possibility could be to ensure applications being submitted contain factual, vetted information. As of late, Home Affairs have been clamping down on corruption, specifically in their Immigration Permitting Department. This additional requirement could further assist them in in their cause, by ensuring that Permanent Residency is given to deserving, fully compliant and qualified foreign nationals.
Regardless of the reasoning behind the addition, it would be beneficial to those wishing to apply for Permanent Residency under one of the Critical Skills, to engage with a trusted and reputable immigration firm to guide them through the many steps and requirements, to ensure a positive outcome on their applications.