As part of a push to attract more talented workers, South Africa will consider introducing remote work visas.
President Cyril Ramaphosa stated in his state of the nation speech on Thursday (10 February) that the government was also adopting other visa reforms to make it easier for individuals to enter the country.
Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa
“The world over, the ability to attract skilled immigrants is the hallmark of a modern, thriving economy. We are therefore streamlining and modernising the visa application process to make it easier to travel to South Africa for tourism, business and work. A comprehensive review of the work visa system is currently underway, led by a former Director-General of Home Affairs, Mr Mavuso Msimang. This review is exploring the possibility of new visa categories that could enable economic growth, such as a start-up visa and a remote working visa.”
For the first time since 2014, Ramaphosa said, the government has published an updated key skills list, following comprehensive technical study and broad consultations with business and labor.
To guarantee that the country’s immigration strategy matches the demands of the economy, the new list reflects the skills that are now in short supply. The president also stated that South Africa’s eVisa system is now operating, with 14 countries, including China, India, Kenya, and Nigeria, having signed on.
The provincial administration of the Western Cape has previously proposed a Remote-Work visa as a means of recruiting skilled and rich visitors to the country.
The visa would be focused primarily at luring ‘digital nomads,’ or those who live and work remotely from locations like Cape Town.
Visas for digital nomads are travel documents that confirm their position as working professionals on the go. They are similar to tourist visas in that they are simple to obtain and do not require extensive paperwork or a job contract. They do, however, allow for lengthier stays.
Subscribe to Think Remote for the latest news, tips and stories from the remote work world.