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Posted on September 25 2014

Quota work permits and critical skills visas under the new Immigration Regulations

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023

According to South Africa’s new Immigration Regulations, the quota work permit category has been replaced by the critical skills work visa.  Existing quota work permit holders expecting to renew their permits will no longer be able to do so. There is also no guarantee that you will qualify for the critical skills permit and renewal will depend on whether your skills, qualifications and experience fall within the new categories identified in the critical skills list which was published in the Government Gazette of 3 June 2014.

What if you are currently on a temporary quota work permit?

Your permit has an expiry date on the stamp in your passport. You will not be able to renew your quota work permit so will have to look at other work visa options. You are still entitled to rely on your permit, and must abide by the terms thereof until it expires.

Current holders of quota work permits are required to submit annual reports to the Department of Home Affairs confirming their continued employment in the designated position.  To comply with their quota reporting obligations, Quota Permit holders are advised to submit clear and readable copies of the following documents to

  • valid contract of employment
  • certified proof of registration with relevant professional body/board/council (if required)
  • comprehensive CV
  • testimonials
  • certified proof of SAQA evaluation certificate of qualifications
  • certified copies of pages in passport reflecting personal details and quota work permit obtained

On receipt of the above, the Department of Home Affairs will issue a compliance letter confirming whether the client continues to comply with the conditions of the work visa issued to them. The compliance letter will be signed and scanned back to the applicant via email.

What if you have an application pending?

Applications must be adjudicated in terms of the law as it stood at the date of submission of your application.

What if you have an application pending that is rejected?

If you are unsuccessful with your pending visa application, you may appeal the negative outcome, or alternatively you will have to consider another work visa option.  If your existing permit has expired, you will not be permitted to lodge a further work permit application in South Africa.

Critical skills work visa

This will replace the permit and will be an option for many current holders of quota work permits.

In terms of the critical skills work visa:

  • no job offer is required to apply
  • it allows the holder to enter and stay in South Africa for 12 months to secure a position
  • it is based on a identified skills shortage areas in South Africa, thus helping foreign employees and employers in the identified industries
  • there are no restrictions in terms of the numbers in each listed occupation
  • no Department of Labour recommendation is required, so turnaround times should be faster
  • A certificate of evaluation of foreign qualifications is required from the South African Qualifications Authority;
  • it requires registration with the professional body specific to the industry
  • Written confirmation of skills, qualifications and post-qualification experience from the accredited professional body, council or board recognized by SAQA, or any relevant government department is required;
  • it can provide the pathway to permanent residency, as well an immediate 5 year working visa

What if you don’t feature on the critical skills list?

You will have to consider other work visa options / visa categories.

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit


South Africa’s new Immigration Regulations

Work visa


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