4,424 critical skills visas issued in 2015

Improvements at Home Affairs

22 April 2016: Of the 16.1 million foreign “movements” in 2015, close to 5,000 of those were followed with critical skills work visas issued by the Department of Home Affairs, said Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday. This means that just under 4,500 individuals managed to obtain visas that allow them to work in South Africa in critically skilled positions, where the demand far exceeds the supply thereof in the country.Critical-skills-work-visas-issued-in-South-Africa-in-2015-300x239

It is uncertain if this is a higher or better outcome than 2014, or if there are limits to the amount of critical skills work visas that are allowed to be issued. Previously, the quota work permit and exceptional skills work permit both had restrictions on the amount of successful applicants per year.

Almost 5,000 critical skills visas issues in 2015

Minister Gigaba spoke first about local wins in the Department of Home Affairs (such as ID smart cards being issued within a week). Gigaba said: “In 2015-16 we facilitated 16.1 million movements of foreign nationals entering the country. The number of tourists arriving in South Africa in January increased 15% year-on-year. We also issued 4,424 critical skills visas last year. We finalized 80% of these applications within our target turnaround time of 8 weeks.”

But forums on the Internet have numerous question marks about the delivery times, especially for those applied for within South Africa’s borders. Those applying in foreign SA missions seem to claim faster adjudication and issuance from the date of application.