Home > General > South African Critical Skills Visa List, what you need to know

South African Critical Skills Visa List, what you need to know

The much anticipated South African Critical Skills Visa list was released this morning, 4 June 2014.

Causing much controversy and speculation among immigrants, travellers, immigration professionals and even the South African Law Society the list was published more than a week after the new immigration act had been gazetted.

While Department of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba a week ago said that the Critical Skills Visa list would be published in the first week of June he admitted, at the time that the register of jobs regarded as critical or undesirable had not been published yet.

“Undesirable businesses will be things like brothels. Artisans might be critical skills.”They will be gazetted next week and we will have a list,” was all he had to say at the time.

Dr Llewellyn Curlewis, president of the Northern Provinces Law Society, said to Independent News that apart from the fact that this list had not been made available sooner, the regulations still seemed incomplete.

“Department fees for all categories of visas have not been determined; the list of what are ‘critical skills’ has not been published; investment and income levels required for business and retirement permits were omitted from the regulations and the documentation required in order to apply for general and critical skills work visas was not gazetted,” said Curlewis.

This week a storm broke over the validity and legality of certain new visa specifications and questions are being raised about the constitutionality of the new laws. Immigration lawyers and professionals have as a result threatened to go to court.

But Gigaba remained confident the department has covered all the bases saying, “We have tested the regulations in the NCOP (National Council of Provinces) and believe they are constitutional. If anyone believes otherwise, they are most welcome to approach the Constitutional Court. We will contest them there.”

Yesterday, 2 June 2014 in a statement to the media, Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said; “We need people who will be able to come to our country in order to improve our economy.”

“To do that, we need to bring up permits which will allow people to easily come to the country.”

Among the regulations for the new visa applications is the list of critical skills which had finally been released this morning (4 June 2014). This list specifies what professions and trades will qualify for work permits regardless of securing an employment offer

Who qualifies?

The newly published “Skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic of South Africa in relation to an application for a Critical Skills Visa or Permanent Residence Permit” – Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) – Section 19(4), to be read with Regulations 19(5), lists the following as being considered some of the critical skills.

The Critical Skills List – Published 3rd June 2014

Business, Economics and Management Studies

Agricultural Engineer
Agricultural Scientist
Forestry Technician
Sheep Shearer
Construction Project Manager
Land Surveyor
Quantity Surveyor
Urban and Regional Planner
Actuaries and Risk Assessors
Corporate General Manager
External Auditor
Financial Investment Advisor

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 Architects
Data Centre Operations
Network Specialist (Security)
Database Specialist
Microsoft System Engineers
Network Controllers
AV Specialist (Anti-virus)
Desktop Support Engineer


Energy Engineer
Metallurgical Engineer
Chemical Engineer
Civil Engineer
Electrical Engineer
Electrical Installation Inspector
Electronics Engineer
Industrial and Production Engineers
Industrial Designer
Manufacturing Managers
Materials Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Mining Engineer
Production/Operations Manager
Quality System Manager
Research and Development Manager
Ship’s Engineer
Telecommunications Engineers
Electrical Engineering Technologist
Energy Engineering Technologist
Mechanical Engineering Technologist
Metallurgical Engineering Technologist
Mining Engineering Technologist
Air Conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber
Automotive Electrician
Automotive Motor Mechanic
Boiler Maker
Chemical Engineering Technologist
Civil Engineering Technologist
Diesel Mechanic
Electronics Engineering Technologist
Fitter and Turner
Materials Engineering Technologist
Mechatronics Technician
Metal Fabricator
Physical and Engineering Science Technicians
Pressure Welder
Structural Plaster

Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

Medical Superintendant/Public Health Manager
Public Health Physician
General and Specialist Medical Practitioner
Hospital Pharmacist
Nursing Professionals
Registered Nurse (child and family health)
Retail Pharmacist

Life and Earth Sciences

Environmental Engineers
Environmental Manager
Industrial Pharmacist
Aquatic Scientist
Animal Scientist
Advanced Composites Engineering
Archaeological/Paleontological Specialist
Biological Scientist
Botanical Scientist
Chemical Scientist
Computational Biologist
Environmental Scientist
Ecological Scientist
Food Scientist
Engineering Geologist
Geohazards Specialist
Laboratory Technologist and Technician
Marine Bioscientist
Materials Scientist
Metallurgical Scientist
Microbiological Scientist
Polymer Scientist
Protein Scientist
Soil Scientist
Toxicology Scientist
Water Resource Scientist

Professionals and Associate Professional

Land and Engineering Surveyors
Electronic Engineering Technician
Materials Engineering Technologist
Electrical Engineering Technician
Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Practitioner
Mechanical Engineering Technician
Chemical Engineering Technician
Organisation and Methods Analyst (Incl. scheduler, estimator)
Surveying Technician
Geomatics Technician
Quantity Surveying Technician
Civil Engineering Technician
Materials Engineer Non-destructive Testing (NDT)
Materials Engineering Technician – Road materials
Materials Tester
Construction Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Agent/Manager/Officer
Aeronautical Engineering
Architectural Senior Technologist
Architectural Draughtsperson
Physicist (SKA)
Geomagnetic Physicist
Solar Physicist
Space Physicist
Plasma Physicist
Space Technologist
Space Weather Specialist
Magnetic Technology Specialist
Radar Engineering
Radio Frequency Engineering
Environmental Technologist
Industrial Engineer
Industrial Engineering Technologist
Industrial Engineering Technician
Landscape Architect
Landscape Contract Manager
Landscape Horticulturalist
Mining Technician


Boilermaker (For Strategic Infrastructure Projects)
Industrial Machinery Mechanic
Pipe Fitter
Double Coded Welder
Raise-bore Operators
Raise-bore Foreman

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Software Development Engineers and Managers
Systems Architects, Engineers and Managers
Foreign Language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support (German, Swiss German, Flemish, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and French)
Business Analyst
Quality Analyst
Quality Assurance Specialist/Auditor
Customer Service Manager/Team Lead

Academics and Researchers

Doctoral Graduates (Acquired Abroad)
Research in any of the following areas;
Galaxy Formation and Evolution
Galaxy Structure and Dynamics
Pulsars and Black Holes
Pulsars and Black Holes
Pulsars and Gravitational Waves
Deep Observations of the earliest Radio Galaxies
Dynamic and Transient Burst
VLBI Operations
Search for CO to investigate role of Molecular Hydrogen
Deep Surveyors of Neutral Hydrogen Gas in the Early Universe
Cosmology and Dark Energy
Cosmic Magnetism
Calibration and Imaging of Radio Interferometer data
Pulsar Research
Pulsar and Gravitational Waves
VLBI Operations
Signal Processing
Observational Radio Astronomy in General
Algorithm for Radio Astronomy
Signal Processing for Radio Astronomy
Supercomputing for Radio Astronomy
Software Development for Radio Astronomy
Data and Streaming- Real-Time Processing of Massive Data Amounts
Green Computing- Extreme Performance at Minor Energy Cost
Performance at Minor Energy Costs
EMC and Spectrum Management
Beam Modelling
Antenna Modelling
Feeds for Radio Astronomy Systems
Receivers for Radio Astronomy Systems
Signal Processing for Radio Astronomy
High Speed Data Transport
Nano-photonics-Data Transport Power
Reduction over Short and Long Distances
Antenna Design
Antenna Foundation Design
RFI Shielded Buildings and Facilities
Advanced Manufacturing
Space Science and Technology
Global Change
Energy Security
Information Communication Technology
Earth Observation
Natural and Applied Sciences

What you would need.

Published in the Government Gazette on 22 May 2014 the following regulations apply:

An application for a Critical Skills Work Visa has to be accompanied by proof that the applicant falls within the critical skills category in the form of:

(a) A confirmation, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognised by the South African Qualifications Association (SAQA), in terms of Section 13(1)(i) of the National Qualifications Framework Act, or any relevant government department confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant and appropriate post qualification experience.

(b) If required by law, 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.

(c) Proof of evaluation of the foreign qualification by SAQA and translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of the Republic.

A Critical Skills Work Visa shall be issued for under 5 years. A spouse and dependent children of a holder of a Critical Skills Work Visa shall be issued with an appropriate visa valid for a period that does not exceed the period of validity of the applicant’s Critical Skills Work Visa.

Categories: General
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