Department of Home Affairs provides insight on critical skills in South Africa

On October 9, 2019 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

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The Department of Home Affairs Director of the Corporate Accounts Unit, Mr Phindiwe Mbhele, has provided some much-needed insight regarding the Critical Skills Visas and its requirements at the recent SARA International Mobility event.

The first list identifying the scarcity of critical skills in South Africa, first published in 2006 and revised in 2009 and 2014, has become an ever-evolving element in recruiting skilled foreign nationals within the country. Throughout the years it has been evident that the Department of Home Affairs has continuously strived to improve the visa application process to allow employers to attract the right skills across the globe.

Many may identify Critical Skills and Scarce Skills as the same thing, however Mr Mbhele clearly differentiated the two terms. The definition of “Critical Skills” are those that are regarded as critical for the improvement of economic growth, and without such skills, projects that serve to improve the economy, cannot be undertaken. Naturally, it also refers to high-level skills that are not easily sought within South Africa.

There is availability of certain levels of skills as prescribed in the Critical Skills list, however, the intention is to expand the “skill pool(s)” in order to accelerate further growth within the South African economy. Conversely, Scarce Skills are identified as those that are unavailable in the country, however, are not always necessarily deemed to be in high in demand.

In order to qualify for a Critical Skills Visa, a person must possess a certain level of skills and qualifications and must be able to demonstrate such skills in line with the prescribed critical skills category.

One of the upsides of obtaining a Critical Skills Visa in South Africa is that the person immediately qualifies for Permanent Residency, however such a permit may only be issued once a permanent offer of employment is available to the applicant. A Permanent Residency application is further reviewed and processed based on the person’s professional category and/or occupational class.

Mr Mbhele advised that the new Critical Skills draft list is due to be published by April 2020.

If you are looking to obtain a visa for South Africa, it’s always easier when you use the help of an Immigration Consultant. Make sure you get in touch with one of our qualified Immigration Consultants today to make your move to South Africa a seamless one.

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