South Africa prepares visas for International remote workers

by Catherine Carey | February 13, 2024
Zulu girls from South Africa

New amendments to South Africa’s immigration regulations, introducing a remote working visa and a critical skills visa are being set up in South Africa. 

South Africa’s department of home affairs has proposed some amendments regarding the so-called “Digital nomad” visas. These can be categorized in two distinct visa types: a remote working visa and a critical skills visa.

Who is eligible for South Africa’s remote working visas?

The main target of such visas are highly skilled workers in the IT sector, such as programmers and software architects. Nevertheless, these visas are also for workers that are digital nomads. 

All we know about the remote working visa

  • It targets digital nomads, tech-savy individuals and those who can work from any location. 
  • It seeks to attract long-term tourists.
  • Aims to make the country an attractive destination for workers and stimulate its economy and innovation.

All we know about the critical skills visa

  • This visa will be granted based on a novel points system, which takes into account factors such as age, qualifications, language proficiency, work experience, and confirmed job offers.
  • This process wants to streamline the process of attracting and retaining top-tier talent and pushing to keep the country competitive. 
  • High-earning workers in the IT sector, engineering and education are the target of this visa.A minimum income requirement of R1 million ($55,000) annually is needed.

What are the general goals of these visas?  

President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasized that these revisions of the visas are part of high-impact structural reforms designed to enhance the business operating environment and promote job creation. 

With these changes, it is expected to improve the current visa regime, make South Africa more competitive on the global stage, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, attract industries such as business process outsourcing, create more jobs, bolster economic growth and grow a more diverse skilled workforce landscape.