If you study or have experience in a business or IT related profession, then you can apply to become a member of IITPSA Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa and obtain a Critical Skills certificate. Then you’ll be able to use this certificate to obtain your Critical Skills visa.
In this post, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to become a member of IITPSA and get your certificate of registration and letter confirming your critical skill. I did it and now I’m living in Cape Town, South Africa with a Critical Skills Visa as a Business Analyst.
Critical Skills Visa
Let’s start from the beginning. If you are you trying to obtain a Critical Skills visa to work in South Africa, you should have read on the official website of the Department of Home Affairs that 2 of the documents that you’ll need to get are:
- Proof of application for a certificate of registration with the professional body, council or board recognized by SAQA
- A confirmation, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognized by SAQA confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant and appropriate post qualification experience
Professional Body recognized by SAQA
In my case, I have experience as a Business Analyst and there are 2 institutions that can process this critical skill certificate: IITPSA Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa and IBASA Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa.
I contacted both institutions but IBASA never followed up on my application. After many phone calls and emails they never helped me so I strongly recommend you to become a member of IITPSA – the staff was very efficient and friendly during all my application process.
*Important: this post is exclusive for IITPSA applications but if your critical skill is not related to business or IT, then you should become a member of another institution (each institution will have different requirements and application process). You can check all the institutions HERE and you can read about the whole process to obtain a Critical Skills Visa HERE.
The following are the steps:
- Check if IITPSA recognizes your profession
- Get all the documents needed
- Pay for the application, fill in the formulary and upload the documents online
- Wait for 6 to 8 weeks for your application to be processed
- Receive your original certificates
1. Check if IITPSA recognizes your profession
The following are the list of Critical Skills that IITPSA recognizes, you can also open this link.
1. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
- Software Development Engineers and Managers
- Systems Architects, Engineers, and Managers
- Business Analyst
- Quality Analyst
- Quality Assurance Specialist/Auditor
2. Academics and Researchers
- Information Communication Technology
- Telecommunications Engineers
4. Information Communication & Technology
- CISCO Solution Specialist
- CISCO Engineers
- Solutions Architects in Telecommunications and ICT
- Integrated Developers (PHP, Perl, Java)
- Network Analyst
- IT Security Specialist
- System Integration Specialist
- Enterprise Architecture
- Data Centre Operations
- Network Specialist (Security)
- Database Specialists
- Microsoft System Engineers
- Network Controllers
- AV Specialists (Anti Virus)
- Desktop Support Engineer
- Post-Qualification Experience” is a relevant professional experience that you have gained since you finished your studies. It does not include internships.
- The minimum period of post-qualification experience for which IITPSA will issue a Critical Skills Certificate is 24 months.
- IITPSA will calculate and confirm your post-qualification experience in your Critical Skills Certificate. So, for example, they’ll write “John Smith has 3 years and 8 months of experience as a Business Analyst”.
a. Certified copies of diplomas and transcripts
- Degree / diplomas
- Academic transcripts
- Industry certifications (e.g. Microsoft or Oracle)
- SAQA certificate *this is important, you can read more about how to obtain it on the official website of SAQA
*Note: a certified copy of a document is one which has been stamped, signed and dated to confirm that it is a true copy of the original by an authorized person. If your diplomas and transcripts were translated to English, they should have the stamp of the certified translator. Your SAQA certificate can have the stamp of the police or a lawyer.
State every job held with a start and end date in the format MM/YYYY.
c. Two reference letters of your current/previous employers
The letters should have a company letterhead and have a signature. The minimum information IITPSA needs is the date when you started working, your job description, and the date when you left the company, but more references are welcome.
d. Proof of payment
This will be explained in more detail in the next section.
Scanned copy of Passport.
a. Application fee
You will also need to go to the bank and pay the following application fees (click HERE to see the current prices ):
- Membership R1,690
- Critical Skills assessment R3,450
After making payment you’ll need to scan the receipt of the bank and also upload it online.
On the link mentioned before you’ll see that you’ll need to fill in a formulary with basic information:
- Personal details
- Positions held over the past 10 years
- Key skills
- Key achievements
- Professional bodies in which you are involved
- Name of 2 referees
c. Upload documents
I recommend you to scan all the documents and leave them on a folder on your computer. At the end of the online application you’ll need to upload 1 Zip file (max. 5 MB) with:
- Certified copies of all your Certification and Qualification Documentation (including SAQA Assessment for non-South African qualifications)
- Proof of payment
4. Wait 6 to 8 weeks for your application to be processed
In approximately 6 to 8 weeks, from the date you receive an email acknowledging receipt of your documents, you’ll receive another email confirming if your application was successful or not.
- Applications are usually processed in the order in which they are received, on a first-come-first-served basis.
- If the required documents are not submitted timeously, this could further prolong the process. So make sure you have gathered all the documents.
5. Receive your original certificates
IITPSA won’t send you scanned copies of the certificates, successful applicants for critical skills assessment will receive two original copies of the written confirmation bearing the embossed seal of the Institute.
You will submit one of the originals to the Department of Home Affairs for your application for the Critical Skills Visa.
The confirmations will be sent by normal post. If you want to have them faster and be able to track them, then you should arrange for a courier service – you’ll need to pay for this extra cost.
I hope that this was useful.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
You can also contact IITPSA directly here:
- Email: CSA@iitpsa.org.za
- Phones: +27 11 315 1319 / 086 100 2772
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In the Work Abroad section, you can find more experiences earning internships and full-time job positions abroad! If you had a similar experience and want to inspire others to apply please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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