Over the past couple of months we have been looking into the issues around Artisans and Trades category of the Critical Skills Work Visa. A number of applicants applying under this category had been receiving a number of rejections when applying for their critical skills work visa due to the fact that they were not registered with the Engineering Professionals Council of South Africa (ECSA). When approached for membership ECSA would indicate that they do not register artisans or tradesman because their minimum qualifying NQF is 5 and all artisans where ranked by SAQA as holding NQF 4 qualifications. After some research and liaising with officials we have now found the solution to this conundrum.
All applicants for the CSV visa must register with a professional body in addition the Department of Home Affairs required every artisan to be trade tested. This proved to be a challenge since all of them had been trade tested in their respective home countries and had their qualifications confirmed and benchmarked by SAQA. Those that approached the Department of Higher Education`s Indlela National Artisans Moderation Body were issued with letters that stated that the provisions of the Act that empowered the NAMB and DHET to keep a register of Artisans had not been implemented. That letter was to be used in submitting the application for the visa. But even with this letter the applications were still being rejected.
We attended on the NAMB and made enquires around this issue. The information was promising. The NAMB and DHA had met to discuss this issue and it was resolved that the DHA would accept these letters however Home Affairs still required that the Artisan be trade tested at some point during their stay in the country. Upon following up with Home Affairs we received confirmation of this and that a Directive would follow shortly to that end.
We are yet to confirm if such a directive has been issued however since our meeting with the NAMB we have successfully applied for the Critical Skills Work Visa for one of our clients leading us to believe that the Directive was issued.
The procedure is now that an artisan must approach the NAMB at their Olifantsfontein Office and secure this letter before applying for the critical skills work visa.
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