South Africa Launches A Digital Nomad Visa For Remote Workers

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs changed its work-permit regime, creating a “nomad visa” for remote workers.

The visa will allow foreign nationals who work for a foreign employer, to work remotely from South Africa.

The changes, gazetted on May 20, became law after a previous withdrawal due to procedural lapses in public commentary periods.

The department previously faced backlash after publishing the regulations a day before the closing date for comments.

This led to the minister formally withdrawing the regulations on April 12, in order to follow the due process.

So, what are the requirements? And how do you apply?

Applicants must earn a yearly gross income of no less than R1 million (approximately $55,404).

Additionally, applicants must comply with South African employment laws where applicable.

Regarding the visa duration: “the visa will specify the duration of stay and permitted activities, facilitating a blend of work and travel”.

In the first draft of the legislation centred around the exemption from tax for remote workers, where they secure a visa for six months or less.

Instead, the revised version says that workers “may apply to be exempted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) from registering as a taxpayer”.

Those who are issued with a remote work visa for a period longer than six months in a 36-month period “must register with SARS”.

These updates are part of South Africa’s broader efforts to streamline its immigration processes and attract skilled foreign workers.


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