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South Africa introduces new remote work visa

Sameera Casmod |
24 May 2024 | 17:04 SAST
1-minute read


Image: LinkedIn

The Department of Home Affairs has re-gazetted substantial amendments to the country’s immigration laws. The changes, effective from May 20, include the introduction of a new remote work visa, a streamlined points-based system for general work visas, and an expedited process for critical skills visas.

These updates have sparked interest and optimism among the business and tourism sectors, as well as prospective immigrants.

The newly introduced remote work visa allows individuals employed by foreign entities to live and work remotely in South Africa.

This visa requires applicants to meet two primary criteria: they must be employed by a foreign company and earn a minimum of R1 million per annum or its equivalent.

It aims to attract individuals to live in the country without taking jobs away from South Africans, as emphasised by Keri Culver, Senior Immigration Consultant at ExpatWeb.

“The candidate must be employed by a foreign entity. So, this is not a visa that has been intorcduced to take jobs away from South Africans,” Culver stated.

Another significant change is the implementation of a points-based system for general work visas. This new approach evaluates applicants based on age, education, language skills, and work experience, potentially replacing the need for a recommendation from the Department of Labour.

This system aims to streamline the visa adjudication process, making it more efficient and attractive for international companies looking to hire in South Africa.

The amendments also include provisions for an expedited visa application process for individuals with critical skills.

The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa has welcomed these changes, noting that they should ease administrative burdens and support economic growth.

The remote work visa, in particular, is seen as a catalyst for attracting high-spending foreign nationals who will contribute to the local economy through housing rentals and other expenditures.

While the changes are promising, Culver acknowledged potential initial challenges with the implementation, such as teething issues in the adjudication processes. She emphasised the importance of a well-planned approach to visa applications, including tax considerations.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie here.


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