Breaking News: Draft New Critical Skills List

The draft critical skills list has been released. The list has been significantly shortened and simplified.

The draft suggests that there will no longer be additional requirements to those listed in the Immigration Act and Regulations. This means that registration with a professional body will only be required if such registration is required by a law applicable to that particular profession.

The option to obtain a critical skills visa WITHOUT JOB OFFER may be abolished for all categories but STEM Academics and Researchers.

ICT experts: Reworded and restructured listing may cause problems with professional body registration and possibly a requirement to show formal qualifications, whilst currently proven “skills” are sufficient.

Some important categories have been retained or included in the list, but the removal of others is of serious concern. Below are some key changes:


STEM Teacher (Science, Technology, Economics and Maths)
Medical intern at a public health facility
Certain Oil & Gas and Marine professions


Corporate General Manager
Built Environment: Architect, Construction Project Manager, Land Surveyor, Quantity Surveyor, Urban and Regional Planner
Managers in various fields
Various Engineering Technologists and technical experts
Automotive professions
A number of Scientists (although the list is “not limited to” the listed fields, the removal of some fields may cause challenges)
All Professionals and Associate Professionals (including various Technicians and Engineering Technicians, Landscape Architect and Horticulturalist)
All trades but Double Coded Welder, Millwright and Boilermaker
BPO: Business Analyst, Quality Analyst, Quality Assurance Specialist
Doctoral graduates (other than STEM fields)
Sheep Shearer (understandably)

NOTE that this is a draft only and has not been finalized or implemented. We have been assured that the Department of Home Affairs will consult widely before finalizing the list and implementing it in April 2019. Keep checking this newsbox for updates on opportunities to comment on the list.

Contact our IMCOSA consultants for guidance on any necessary action in light of the impending changes.