Scarce Skills & Work Permit Quotas
The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGI-SA) is a comprehensive government plan that was launched to ensure the continuation of South Africa’s vibrant economic growth. One of the key elements of this plan is to recruit skilled foreigners in certain key areas.
The Immigration Act of 2002 allows for the Minister of Home Affairs to consult with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Trade and Industry in order to identify areas of scarce, critical and special skills required by the South African economy each year. A list of professional categories and occupational classes are then identified and work permits made available.
The most recent list identifies almost 35 000 such positions across 53 different categories. These positions are available to be filled by formally qualified foreigners who have a minimum of five years practical experience.
Anybody who has formal qualifications in any of the above areas and a minimum of five years practical experience can apply for a scarce skills work permit.
- You need to have your formal qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). All information regarding this can accessed on SAQA’s website, www.saqa.org.za
- If your qualification certificates are not in English they must be translated by a sworn translator into English.
- You might also have to obtain registration with the relevant South African professional/trade organisation, board or council if your field is one where such permission is required. To find out whether your specific profession falls within this category please consult the list of professional bodies’ websites.
- Complete application Form BI-1738. You will need to submit all the documents listed under Part A and Part E of the form. The completed form must be submitted to your local South African Mission (if you are outside SA) or at a regional office (if you are inside South Africa).
- You will have to pay an application fee equivalent to ZAR 1520.
- The quota work permit application will be processed and finalised within a period of 6-8 weeks.
- Successful candidates will be required to report to the nearest Regional Office of the Department of Home Affairs within 90 days after having entered the RSA.
- The quota work permit remains valid for as long as the permit holder is employed within the area of expertise and permit holders are required to report to the Department of Home Affairs on an annual basis in order to confirm that they continue to be employed in their designated professions.
If you have entered South Africa on a tourist visa you will not be able to apply for a quota work permit inside South Africa as this is in contravention of the Immigration Act
For more information, kindly contact the customer service centre
National: 0800 60 1190
International: +2711 461 9252
Website Addresses of Statutory Bodies
AHPCSA: Allied Professional Council of South Africa
AHPCSA: Allied Professional Council of South Africa
ECSA: Engineering Council of South Africa (www.ecsa.co.za)
FSB: Financial Service Board (www.fsb.co.za)
HPCSA: Health Professional Council of South Africa. (www.hpcsa.co.za)
LSSA: Law Society of South Africa (www.issa.org.za)
PAAB: Public Accountants and Auditors board (www.paab.co.za)
SACPCMP: South African Council of Projects and Construction Management Profession (www.sacpcmp.co.za)
SIRA: Security Industry Regulatory Authority (www.psira.co.za)
SACAA: South African Civil Aviation Authority (www.caa.co.za)
SACNASP: South African Council for Natural Science Profession (www.sarnap.org.za)
SACPV: South Africa Council for Property Valuers (www.sacpvp.co.za)
SACSSP: South African Council for Social Service Professions (www.sacssp.org.za)
SACAP: South African Council for Architectural Profession (www.sacaps.co.za)
SACLAP: South African Council for the Landscape Architectural (www.ilasa.co.za)
SACQSP: South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (www.sacqsp.co.za)
SANC: South African Nursing Council (www.sanc.co.za)
SAPC: South African Pharmacy Council (www.sapc.co.za)
SAVC: South African veterinary Council (www.savc.co.za)
DTC: Dental Technicians Council (www.dentasa.org.za)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know if I qualify for a quota work permit?
You need to verify whether your profession or competency field falls within the schedule of categories that is published for that year. You also need to meet the proper qualification and experience requirements.
2. Where can I find more information about quota work permits and the application process?
3. How long does it take for the quota work permit to be issued?
About 6 to 8 weeks.
4. What are the conditions imposed on a quota work permit?
That employment be secured within 90 days That the bearer reports to the Department of Home affairs every year.
5. For how long is a quota work permit valid?
A quota work permit is open-ended and remains valid as long as the person stays employed within the same category or profession it was applied and approved for.
6. If I have enough experience in one of the fields but no formal qualifications, can I still apply for a quota work permit?
You need to meet all the requirements of the scarce skills quota permit. If not you may consider applying for general work permit.
7. I have 25 years of professional experience, but I lost my diploma. Am I eligible to apply for the quota work permit?
Yes, one can still apply, but you still need to get a copy/duplicate of your diploma.
8. I have professional experience in one field and education in another (both part of the quotas). Which one do I use to apply for the quota work permit?
One has to apply for the category where proof of qualification can be provided.
9. If I work for company A, am I allowed to move to company B?
Yes, as long as one stays employed in the same occupational category.
10. Am I allowed to change from one category of employment to the another? If so, what procedure should I follow?
The same procedure as a new work permit.
11. I have been working for five years in RSA on a quota work permit. Do I qualify for Permanent Residence?
Yes, the Home Affairs Director-General may issue a permanent residence permit to a foreigner who has been the holder of a (quota) work permit for five years in terms of the Immigration Act and has proven to the satisfaction of the Director-General that he/she has secured employment.
12. If I came to RSA on a quota work permit, am I allowed to bring my family?
One is allowed to bring his/her family but the family members still need to apply for temporary residency permits.
13. If I am in the country on another type of permit, can I apply for the Quota Work Permit?
Yes, if you are in the country on another type of work permit. However, if you are in the country on a tourist visa have to go back to your country of origin to apply.
14. What happens if 90 days pass (quota permits’ validity) and I still haven’t found a job?
15. My quota work permit has an expiry date. However, I was under the impression that a quota work permit does not expire?
Quota work permit documents are issued for a five year period but are automatically renewed.
16. Is there a specific place/employment agency that recruits people with quota permits?
The Department of Home Affairs does not offer employment nor does it facilitate employment for individuals with quota work permits. The Department of Labour is currently working on a project that will match potential employers with potential employees.
17. Where do I found out which quota permits are still available?
Visit the www.dha.gov.za website which will be updated monthly or call the helpdesk.
18. When is the new schedule of quotas released?
This comes out once a year (scheduled for November) and this information is released through publication of the Government Gazette as well as Departmental website.
19. What if my quota does not appear in a new schedule of quotas?
Am I supposed to leave the country? No, as long as one is still employed in the same category of profession that one has applied and got approval for.