The South African government has published the new Critical Skills List.

Key Points:

  • Eligible applicants with appropriate skills, qualifications and post-qualification experience falling within the parameters of one or more of the critical skills categories may apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa, subject to meeting other application requirements.
  • The Critical Skills List includes 101 occupational categories, including in a number of STEM fields such as information technology, engineering and natural sciences, among others.
  • The new list also covers a number of fields for corporate professions not previously provided for; however, a number of categories for health-related professions, including nurses, general and specialist medical practitioners and researchers were removed.
  • The South African government will no longer accept applications that use the 2014 Critical Skills List.

Additional Information: The Critical Skills List reflects skill sets that are deemed critical for South Africa and its economy. The list affects which occupations companies are eligible to recruit foreign workers for without needing to conduct labor market testing.

BAL Analysis: The announcement of an updated Critical Skills List is welcome news as the current list dates back to June 2014 and it did not sufficiently provide for South Africa’s skills requirements.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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