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South African Employers are turning to International Talent to fill jobs in 220 Occupations

Migrants with proven skills and experience in a number of occupations are desperately needed by South African employers to fill positions for which local talent cannot be found.  Of particular interest are Engineers, ICT specialists, architects and business managers. To encourage and attract international talent South Africa offers a Critical Skills visa which allows qualifying applicants to legally live and work in the Republic for up to five years.

Vrouw Technologie

The South African jobs portal CareerJunction released its latest index for September 2018 with the ICT, architecture and engineering, construction and manufacturing sectors showing an increase in demand for the third quarter of the year.

The report showed that South African employers have been consistently looking for software developers and middle/department managers.  “Despite the volatile demand for software developers during 2018, software development remains the most sought-after skills set on the SA job market” said the CareerJunction report.

Based on research of the South Africa job market the country has historically been suffering from a major skills shortages, particularly in technical fields such as ICT and engineering but other occupations in the medical and business management fields were also not being filled due to a lack of qualified and experienced local talent.  As such the South African Department of Trade and Industry along with the Department of Home Affairs have compiled a list of occupations for which international talent must be imported.  These occupations have been identified as playing a key role in the country’s future development, economic growth and international competitiveness.

The list covers 220 occupations across 12 educational fields and includes:

  • Agriculture, Agricultural Operations and Related Sciences
  • Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Business, Economics and Management Studies
  • Information Communication & Technology
  • Engineering
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
  • Life and Earth Sciences
  • Professionals and Associate Professionals
  • Trades
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Academics and Researchers


The Critical Skills Visa:

  • If the applicant has a valid job offer from a South African employer the visa may be issued for a period of 5 years
  • The applicant must be able to prove sufficient knowledge and be in possession of appropriate qualifications to fill a position listed on the critical skills list
  • The applicant’s occupation must be registered with a professional body in South Africa and must be recognized by SAQA. Proof of this registration must be submitted along with the visa application
  • Any foreign qualifications must be assessed by SAQA and translated into one of the Republic’s eleven official languages
  • The applicant may be required to prove 3 – 5 years’ experience in their nominated profession or industry
  • Where the applicant does not have a job offer from a South African employer the applicant must find, and prove, suitable employment within 12 months of receiving the visa


Source: Business Tech,, Career Junction, New World Immigration

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South Africa occupations