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The New Scarce Skills Visa for South Africa

Some Insight into the Scarce Skill Visa that will be taking over Soon

Exceptional Skills

The scarce skills visa will soon be replacing the quota and exceptional skills visas that are currently in place. This article’s purpose is to shed a little light on what you can expect from this new type of visa, what the requirements and so forth will be in order to apply for this particular visa in future.

This type of visa refers to relative or absolute demand. This applies to both current and future employment for qualified, skilled and experienced people to fill certain professions or roles, specializations or occupations. Scarce skills are normally measured in terms of qualification or occupation. Critical skills refer to certain capabilities that are needed within certain occupations.

A differentiation between relative and absolute scarcity of skills according to the Department of Labour

Absolute scarcity

This refers to people who are suitably skilled and who are not available in the market at the moment.

  • An emerging or new occupation where there are very few qualified people in the country fall under this category.
  • Sectors, firms and the national economy are not able to implement planned growth strategies due to service delivery, productivity and quality problems are directly affected by lack of skilled people.
  • Replacement demand could reflect an absolute scarcity if there are no people engaged or enrolled in the process of acquiring the necessary skills needed.


Relative scarcity

This refers to the situation where skilled people are available in the labour market, but they do not have certain employment criteria, for example:

  • High-level work experience; such as project management of a large construction site (power plants or dams etc).
  • Geographical locations; such as people who are not willing to work outside of their area or in non-urban areas.
  • Equity considerations; such as if there are not many candidates who possess the required skills that the firms in question need them to have.


More detailed information regarding scarce skills visa’s can be obtained from your immigration expert. It pays to get professional advice, especially with new visa applications and processes.

More information regarding this type of work permit will be available on New World Immigrations blog shortly.

by Robbie Ragless

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