The 2019 draft critical skills list: Here’s our advice to our clients

south africa draft critical skills list
There has been a lot of press around the draft critical skills list that is rumored to come into effect in this month (April 2019).

Thus far, Intergate has refrained from commenting simply because we don’t want to create unnecessary panic among our clients.

However, with the intended date of signing in rapidly approaching, we decided to give input on the matter.

Why is the draft list getting so much press?

As discussed on both BusinessTech and Moneyweb, the draft critical skills list is much shorter and restrictive than the current critical skills list. This has led to expats fearing that they won’t be able to continue their stay in South Africa past the validity of their current visa. Even worse still, that they’ll be forced out of South Africa once the new critical skills list comes into effect.

This will not only negatively impact the individual or family, but also South Africa. South Africa could suffer a huge skills loss – skills that are needed to grow the economy.

It should come as no surprise then that corporate South Africa is equally concerned about the draft critical skills list.

Bonang Mohale, chief executive of Business Leadership SA, said to BusinessTech, “South Africa suffers from a gross skills shortage, so all of these reductions are not helpful.”

Here’s what we’re telling our clients

Unfortunately we don’t know when the new list may come into play. It  may be much, much later than April.

Right now, we’re still assessing against the current list. Where occupations are conspicuously absent from the draft list, our advice to clients is to explore alternative visa solutions. This means we’ll have a plan B ready should the new critical skills list come into effect before the client is able to submit their application under the missing category.

However, if clients still want to submit an application, we make them well aware of the risks. There aren’t many potential clients who are still affected though. We’ve noticed that the Department of Home Affairs has been tightening up on some of the occupations missing from the draft list for some time now already.

Our advice to existing clients is to submit their applications as soon as possible. Unfortunately this isn’t always easy, as the required professional body registrations often take weeks or months to finalize.

Stay up to date with developments

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