On 2 February 2022, the Minister of the Department of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, signed and had published the new Critical Skills List.

Who is affected?

This applies to all prospective applicants of Critical Skills Work Visas or individuals who intend to apply for Permanent Residence Permits who qualify based on their status as holders of Critical Skills Work Visas.


In terms of Section 19(4) of the Immigration Act No. 13 of 2002 (as amended) a Critical Skills Work Visa may be issued to an individual possessing such skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic from time to time by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.

The previous list was published in 2014 and in dire need of updating to reflect the current shortages of skills in South Africa. The proposed new list was published for public comment in February 2021 and the final list was signed and published in the Government Gazette (No. 45860) on 2 February 2022.

The new Critical Skills List can be viewed here


As with any major change in the qualifying criteria for a specific visa category some confusion may be expected in the interpretation, and the implementation of the change may not be completely seamless.

The new list is however much clearer on the qualifying criteria for the listed skills in that it lists the description in line with the Organising Framework for Occupations and the minimum qualifications required.

There are some significant omissions in skills from the new list, which may impact certain industries, none more evident than the following categories:

• Health Profession and related Clinical Sciences;
• Academics and Researchers; and
• Doctoral Graduates.

We do however believe the new Critical Skills List is a positive development and will open new avenues for companies to attract foreign, critically skilled talent to South Africa.

How Santa Fe can assist

Santa Fe can support your business with reviewing and assessing a prospective foreign hires’ skills and qualifications and provide advice if they qualify for a work visa. We can also assist with any immigration compliance and advisory issues concerning your expatriate population to ensure ongoing compliance with the South African Immigration Act and Regulations.

We will also keep your business updated on ongoing developments on all South African immigration matters and will advise on any changes requiring your attention.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Terence Rover
Immigration Manager – South Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 442 8933
M: +27 (0) 72 279 9606
E: Terence.Rover@santaferelo.com

Paolo Longo
Regional Immigration Director – India, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 595 2337
M: +27 (0) 83 677 7949
E: Paolo.Longo@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here

About our Immigration Services

Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

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