South Africa releases proposed digital nomad visa for remote workers earning around $53,000 

South Africa has introduced a proposed digital nomad visa program for remote workers. 

The proposed visa is designed for remote workers with a minimum annual income of approximately R1 million (~$53,000). 

To put the visa scheme into effect, the country has published draft regulations for the visas, inviting the public to share feedback and comments that will shape the eventual outcome of the visa.  

Although details about the exact requirements for these visas are still very much in the works, interested travellers can expect to learn more if they’re officially approved shortly. 

The country is set to follow the same criteria introduced by different countries with similar visa requirements, such as Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan, Spain, and South Korea.  

What the President said 

According to South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s, newsletter, the country’s Department of Home Affairs published draft amendments to introduce two new visa categories: a remote working visa and a “critical skills” visa, meant to employ “a points system for critical skills visas. 

  • The introduction of a remote working visa responds to the rapidly evolving world of work, where increasing numbers of skilled workers, notably in the tech industry, are attracted by the lifestyle benefits of working from a remote location”. 
  • “It also caters to so-called digital nomads, who can work virtually from any location in the world. A remote worker who wants to work in South Africa while being employed by a foreign company will be able to receive such a visa.” 
  • “A remote worker who wants to work in South Africa while being employed by a foreign company can receive such a visa. 
  • “International experience shows that employees with critical skills contribute to improved productivity, enhanced innovation, and improving the competitiveness of the firms they work for”. 

If these plans are finalized and put into action, South Africa will join four other African nations in offering such visas, aiming to become a leading destination for digital nomads worldwide. 

In South Africa, Nomads typically spend around $2,000 each month on housing, sustenance, commuting, professional needs, and recreational pursuits. 

The Department of Home Affairs emphasized that to qualify for South Africa’s critical skills list, aimed at attracting jobs in demand, candidates must earn a minimum of R1 million ($55,000) annually. 

This ensures they can contribute substantially to the economy and sustain a high standard of living. Additionally, the President mentioned that proposed draft regulations would implement a points-based system for critical skills visas, considering age, educational background, language proficiency, work experience, and job offers among the evaluation criteria. 

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