South Africa has added 39 medical professions to the critical skills list!

The Department of Home Affairs has released an updated critical skills list. This updated list includes 39 medical professions that weren’t on the list released in February 2022.

Dentists, specialist medical practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists were added to the list

South Africa has a critical shortage of medical professionals, so the decision by Home Affairs to add medical professions to the critical skills list was absolutely the right choice to make.

Home Affairs classifies the professions as ‘specialist medical practitioners’ and defines the unit group as such:

Specialist medical practitioners diagnose, treat, and prevent illness, disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans, using specialised testing, diagnostic, medical, surgical, physical and psychiatric techniques, through application of the principles and procedures of modern medicine. They specialise in certain disease categories, types of patient or methods of treatment and may conduct medical education and research in their chosen areas of specialisation.

The occupations within the Specialist Medical Practitioner unit group that are now on the critical skills list are dentists, medical practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists:

  • Dentists:
    • Community Dentistry
    • Maxillo and Oral Pathology
    • Maxillo Facial and Oral Surgery
    • Oral Medicine and Periodontics
    • Prosthodontics
  • Medical Practitioners:
    • Anaesthesiology
    • Cardiothoracic Surgery
    • Clinical Pharmacology
    • Public Health
    • Dermatology
    • Diagnostic Radiology
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Medicine
    • Neurology
    • Neurosurgery
    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    • Ophthalmology
    • Orthopaedics
    • Otorhinolaryngology
    • Paediatrics
    • Pathology (Anatomical, Chemical, Clinical, Forensic, Haematological, Microbiological, and Virological)
    • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    • Psychiatry
    • Radiation Oncology
    • Surgery
    • Urology
  • Registered Nurses:
    • Intensive/Critical Care
    • Mental Health
    • Peri-operative
    • Emergency
    • Paediatric
    • Midwife Specialist
  • Pharmacist:
    • Industrial Pharmacist

Critical skills work visa applicants must have HPCSA registration

Professionals whose occupations appear on the critical skills list must register with the relevant professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA to apply for a critical skills work visa.

In the case of medical professionals, registration must happen with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

The HPCSA provides control over the education, training and registration of health professions registered under the Health Professions Act and ensures that health practitioners uphold and maintain professional and ethical standards.

Get more information about the critical skills work visa

Do you work in one of the medical professions on the critical skills list and want to learn more about the critical skills work visa?

If you do, you are welcome to contact us to speak with one of our immigration consultants. You can call us on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or request a call back if you want us to contact you instead.

Our immigration consultants can advise you on the critical skills list, and the requirements of the critical skills work visa.

The consultant you speak with can also do an immigration assessment with you to see if you qualify to apply for a critical skills work visa. If you do, the consultant will discuss how to realise your dream of working as a medical professional in South Africa.