Taking a closer look at the South African critical skills list

south african scarce skills list
south african scarce skills list

The South African critical skills visa makes it possible for foreign nationals to work in certain occupations in South Africa. These jobs are in areas with scarce, critical and special skills requirements by the South African economy and appear on the South African critical skills list, which replaced the use of the South African scarce skills list.

The reason for the change

Prior to June 2014, South Africa had a quota visa and exceptional skills visa as work visa options. The exceptional skills visa was based on occupations the South African government found to require exceptional skills, although these were never formally defined. The quota visa was based on a South African scarce skills list.

Then, in June 2014, the exceptional skills visa, quota visa and the South African scarce skills list made way for the critical skills visa and South African critical skills list. The critical skills visa works better for the foreigner and the South African employer, offering both a number of benefits.

Determining the critical skills list

It is not just any occupation that can go on the critical skills list. The Minister of Home Affairs consult with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Trade and Industry to identify areas of need and only then is the critical skills list drawn up.

The professional categories and occupational classes on the South African critical skills list are updated each year. The most recent critical skills list identifies more than 200 positions across 13 different categories.

What is a critical skill?

A critical skill, for the purpose of immigration, can be defined as a skill that is not easily sourced from local South African labour. Sourcing and employing foreigners to fill the gaps provides a workable solution that aid and grow the South African economy.

The types of careers on the South African critical skills list

As mentioned, there are hundreds of occupations on the South African critical skills list, with industries ranging from agriculture to business process outsourcing. Below is a summary of the categories or professions you’ll find on the list:

  • Architects
  • Many management and IT roles
  • Over 30 engineering roles
  • Health professionals
  • Scientists
  • Technicians
  • Trade workers
  • Foreign language skills
  • Academics
  • Successful PhD students who studied in South Africa

Make the South African critical skills list work for you

If you are contemplating immigrating to South Africa, why don’t you contact Intergate to see if you qualify for a critical skills visa? You can contact us in Cape Town on +27 21 424 2460 or in Johannesburg on +27 11 234 4275.

All of our immigration consultants are registered with the Department of Home Affairs and have processed more than 9 000 visa and visa related queries since Intergate’s inception in 2005. There is no-one better to help you with your immigration!