Critical Skills Visa Change of Employer
You applied for a critical skills visa for South Africa and received a 12-month visa to secure employment or you are in the process of securing new employment. You are in a state of confusion and do not know where to start.
Today we aim to give you all the necessary information you need when it comes to changing employers or applying for a change of condition.
Working for a new employer means that this is essentially a new application. So everything you previously submitted must be resubmitted at VFS in South Africa.
If you are an I.T professional and thinking of applying for a critical skills visa, then you can read our full guide IITPSA Critical Skills Visa assessment or if you are a business analyst critical skills visa assessment for this temporary residence permit / visa.
Previously applicants could apply for the critical skills visa to come and seek employment in SA for 12 months, however, the Department of Home Affairs has decided against this. What this means is that you must include a contract of employment when applying for the visa.
The visa is no longer regarded as a work seeker visa. You must have an offer of employment when applying for a visa in your country of residence.
The critical skills list has recently been updated and we are in the process of creating the new list. Immigration is constantly changing and it is best you make use of an immigration consultant to prepare your application.
Corporate general managers have not been removed from the list and if you fit the criteria then we recommend you read our corporate general manager critical skills assessment post.
These are the different South Africa visa types you could apply for.
What documents do I need to secure new employment on the Critical Skills Visa?
You need to compile a new visa application for a critical skills visa in SA. This means that you need to obtain all of the below documents to work for a new employer:
- Duly completed the online form which is available on the VFS website.
- The passport is valid for 30 days or more after the expiry of your work visa.
- A medical report which is no older than 6 months at the time of submission.
- The radiological report is no older than 6 months at the time of submission. (Pregnant women & kids under the age of 12 do not need to obtain the radiological report.)
- Marriage certificate the event of a foreign spousal relationship (Accompanying spouse dependent)
- A spousal affidavit if the applicant is married to a South African citizen, including documentation that proves cohabitation, financial shared responsibilities and particular settings of children in the spousal relationship.
- Proof of union in event of a custom marriage.
- Divorce decree if applicable.
- Court proving custody if applicable.
- Death certificate in respect of late spouse.
- Written consent from both parents and/or sole custody parent, where applicable, with proof of sole custody.
- Proof of legal adoption if applicable.
- A legal separation order if applicable.
- Applicable biometric fees
- A written undertaking from your new employer confirming that the company accepts responsibility for the cost of deportation of the applicants and their family members.
- A written undertaking from your new employer confirming that they shall at all times ensure that the applicant’s passport will remain valid at all times for the duration of their employment.
- Proof that your application falls within the critical skills visa occupation list.
- Proof that your qualifications have been assessed by SAQA.
- Proof that you are registered with a professional body, council or board.
- A letter from the council, professional body or board confirming the applicant’s skills.
What are the fees for the Critical Skills Work Visa?
The fees are as follows for the critical skills work visa:
- Department of Home Affairs Fees – R 1,520.00
- VFS fees – R R 1,550.00
There are other fees involved that you need to pay for the critical skill visa such as the medical report, radiological report and if you are making use of an immigration consultant then you must keep their fees in mind that they charge to render their services.
Can I apply for a permanent residence permit rather than applying for a critical skills work visa?
No, you need to first apply for the visa and once you have been issued a critical skills visa and you can prove more than 5 years of work experience, then only can you apply for the visa.
The South African Department of Home Affairs expects that an applicant must have some form of status when working and permanent residency applications have rather taken years to be approved. So in layman’s terms visas must be renewed whilst awaiting the status of your application for permanent residency.
So when securing employment with a new employer, you need to ensure that you apply for a new work permit and then once you qualify for permanent residency may you then apply.
Do I have to work under the same occupation?
Yes, you need to work under the same critical skill occupation you have applied for. Ignoring this means that you are in direct contravention of the immigration act and your new company can be fined or face imprisonment.
You face the possibility of being deported from South Africa and ultimately being banned for some time.
If you have successfully received your permanent residence then you are free to work for any company or in a position within the business.
Migrate With Q is based in Cape Town and can assist you no matter where you are based in the world. Contact us and we’ll be more than happy to assist you in applying for the visa. Our highly trained immigration consultants will give you the peace of mind that you need during this confusing process.
It is important to note that due to the impact of COVID-19 the Department of Home Affairs is currently working to clear the backlog of visa applications. This means that you might have to wait a bit longer to receive the outcome of your visa.
The best advice we can offer to applicants is to continue checking VFS’s website and email the Department of Home Affairs to query the status of your visa application. We are currently receiving many calls with regards to applications which has been submitted years ago. Migrate With Q is constantly keeping a finger on the pulse where our clients are concerned and giving them updates.
Charl Vollmer has 8 years of experience helping people immigrate to South Africa. I am passionate about helping people and making their dreams a reality. Charl constantly stays up to date with South African Immigration rules and regulations. To contact Charl, visit our contact page.