One such change is the requirement for a solid offer of employment.
What the previous guidelines allowed
Before the issuance of the New Critical Skills List and subsequent Directive, applicants were allowed to apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa without an offer of employment. Applicants were issued a visa valid for one year, which would allow them to enter South Africa to seek and secure employment. Once they had secured employment, they would then be allowed to apply for a full 5-year visa. This, however, will no longer be allowed.
What the new guidelines say
New guidelines as per the Directive, state that all applicants in the categories listed on the 2022 Critical Skills List must have an offer of employment in hand at the time of making the application. This means that those wishing to apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa, will need to secure employment before they will be able to submit their applications. This may prove to be a very difficult hurdle for many who wish to apply for the visa, as vast majority of companies in South Africa require a valid work visa before they will issue an offer of employment.
What is the way forward?
Those wishing to apply for a Critical Skills Work visa will need to ensure that they have secured an offer of employment before considering applying for the visa. Potential employers will need to be informed of the new guidelines when requesting a valid work visa and submit the offer of employment in line with this.
Working with an experienced and knowledgeable immigration firm will prove to be of great importance to help both the potential employer, as well as the applicant navigate the new guidelines successfully.