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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