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“Let SAIBA verify your critical skills as a corporate general manager”

If you have the required critical skills and meet our membership criteria we can issue you with a CBA(SA), CFO(SA) or BAP(SA) designation, and a critical skills confirmation letter.

How it works

The Critical Skills Work Visa (CSWV) facilitates access to skilled labour for the South African economy. The Critical Skills work visa is issued in accordance with the critical skills list. The list was developed in conjunction with the occupations in high demand and the scarce skills lists of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The main objective of the critical skills work visa is to assist the government to realise the achievement of the National Infrastructure Project, the Strategic Infrastructure Projects and Key National Strategic Projects in support of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Section 19(4) of the Immigration Act, 2002 set the requirements for a Critical Skills Visa. This includes, proof of application for a certificate of registration with the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA in terms of section 13(1)(i) of the national qualifications framework act, and a confirmation, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA in terms of section 13(1) of the national qualifications framework act, or any relevant government department confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant and appropriate post qualification experience.

The Southern African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA) is a registered and regulated professional accountancy body established in terms of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (CA) as an NPC and recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act of 2008 (NQF) in South Africa.

The issuing of a Critical Skills Confirmation (CSC) by SAIBA is dependent on an applicant demonstrating achievement of the knowledge, skills and experience requirements to be awarded a SAIBA designation (minimum requirement, Certified Business Accountant (CBA)).

In addition, SAIBA will assess an applicant’s employment history to determine if the experience obtained is relevant to the most recent critical skills list as issued by the Department of Home Affairs, and at a level expected from South African employers.

Upon successful completion of the assessment, SAIBA will issue a CSC in the form of a letter. However, this letter does not serve as a guarantee that the Department of Home Affairs will approve the visa application. Home Affairs will apply its internal processes and requirements to arrive at its own decision. The purpose of the letter is to confirm your good standing as a SAIBA member and CBA(SA) designation holder, and relevant employment history.

Professional qualifications/designations

SAIBA is authorised by the Companies Act, 2008 and the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 to issue professional designations to qualifying applicants.

Prior to being issued with a designation an applicant will have to demonstrate that he/she has met the qualifying criteria for a designation. SAIBA performs a verification function on the information and assessments provided by the applicant.

SAIBA designations are issued to conform to specific professional category or occupational class, as follows:

Our designations have been carefully researched and aligned to industry norms and regulations. Each designation is based on a set of competencies that reflect the expertise required for each level within the finance department.

Choose the designation that fits your career stage.

Critical Skills Confirmations (CSC)

In terms of sections 19(1) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), (IA) read with immigration regulations 18(5), foreigners who fall within a specific professional category or occupational class as determined by the Minister of Home Affairs, may apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa (CSW-Visa).

It therefore follows that SAIBA can only issue a Critical Skills Confirmations (CRC) where a designation is issued relevant to a specific professional category or occupational class, as stated above.

CSC’s are issued based on agreed-upon-procedures as prescribed in the International Standard on Related Services 4400 (ISRS4400). This guide incorporates the ISRS 4400 text verbatim but makes amendments as appropriate to the requirements pertaining to IA and Regulations.

CSC alignment to a SAIBA designation

The Critical Skills list issued by the Department of Home Affairs in 2014 classifies Critical Skills into 11 Education Subject Matter fields. One of these is Business, Economics and Management Studies with the following critical skills listed:

  1. Actuaries and Risk Assessors;
  2. Corporate General Managers:
  3. External Auditors;
  4. Financial Investment Advisors.

As a professional body SAIBA operates within the Business, Economics and Management sector and hence can only issue CSC for critical skills listed under that classification.

Currently, occupations 1, 3, and 4, is not aligned to any SAIBA designation. SAIBA is therefore not able to issue CSC for these critical skills.

Critical skill 2 i.e. Corporate General Managers is aligned to SAIBA designations but would require additional verification elements.

The applicant will have to demonstrate achievement of the knowledge, skills and experience requirements to be awarded a SAIBA designation, plus evidence of employment history to determine if the experience obtained is relevant to the most recent critical skills list as issued by the Department of Home Affairs, and at a level expected from South African employers.

Application process

  • Who can apply for a critical skills letter:
    • Foreign nationals that want to obtain a Critical Skills Visa from the South African government, who have
    • registered as SAIBA members, and have
    • applied for SAIBA designation e.g. CBA(SA), CFO(SA) or BAP(SA).
  • How do I apply:
    1. Go to the page “Earn a designation” and apply for a CBA(SA), CFO(SA) or BAP(SA).
    2. Complete the online application form.
    3. Upload all the relevant documents as per “Supporting Documents”.
    4. Pay the relevant membership and designation fee online.
    5. We will confirm receipt of the documents and issue an additional fee to perform the assessment of your critical skills. The additional fee for the critical skills assessment is R9000,00. This is paid in addition to the membership and designation fees.
    6. We will assess the documents and issue you with either a rejection or confirmation letter. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet our requirements as per the “Supporting Documents”.

Supporting documents

Log in to your membership profile and navigate to the Critical Skills page

The supporting documents will be subject to a verification by us. The verification is performed in terms of the International Standard on Related Services 4400. You may download a SAIBA guide on this process here.

  1. Qualification:
    1. SAQA Evaluation Certificate
  2. Designation:
    1. Completed SAIBA designation application form;
    2. Certified passport/identity documents;
    3. Completed SAIBA verbal assessment related to the chosen SAIBA designation.
  3. Occupation competency areas:
    1. Testimonial from your employer that:
      1. is written on the official letterhead of the employing business. The letterhead should indicate clearly the full address of the business and any telephone, email and website addresses includes the name and position of the person authorised to sign the employment reference/testimonial and should include the authorised person's signature. References from colleagues of the applicant at the same level or below will not be considered;
      2. includes the work contact number and email address of the person writing the reference. Personal phone numbers or addresses will not be accepted;
      3. The testimonial must include:
        • start and end date/s of your employment history (multiple roles within the same organisation must be listed separately) position/s held;
        • whether your role/s were permanent or temporary; full-time or part-time;
        • your required working hours per week;
        • the duties or responsibilities undertaken in each position;
        • the salary you earned;
        • Volunteer work and experience carried out as part of a qualification are not considered for skill employment.
      4. Third party documentation:
        • taxation certificates;
        • employment contracts;
        • pay slips;
        • a letter from a work colleague confirming your relationship and work duties.
    2. If self-employed:
      1. Self-employed applicants must provide a testimonial that is written on the official letterhead of your business. The letterhead should indicate clearly the full address and any telephone, email and website addresses.
      2. The testimonial must include:
        • start and end dates;
        • your working hours per week;
        • the duties or responsibilities undertaken in each position;
        • the salary you earned.
      3. You will also need to include certified copies of the following documents:
        • registration of your business name;
        • practicing certificate or business licence;
        • tax returns of first, a middle and final year (if relevant) of business operation;
        • references from two or more clients on letterhead, stating work done by your business and the period your business was employed by the referee