South Africa Joins Mauritius, Seychelles to Offer Skilled Remote Workers Digital Nomad Visas

South Africa joins Mauritius, Seychelles to offer skilled remote workers digital nomad visas. The South African government has officially approved its digital nomad visa regulations, signaling a noteworthy stride toward granting digital nomad visas to international travelers.

South Africa to Offer Skilled Remote Workers Digital Nomad Visas

South Africa to Offer Skilled Remote Workers Digital Nomad Visas

Skilled remote workers now have the opportunity to obtain a digital nomad visa in South Africa, allowing them to reside in the country for a specific period. However, to be eligible for this visa, applicants must demonstrate a minimum annual income of R1,000,000, which is approximately $53,000.

Under this visa program, foreign employees working in South Africa for less than six months may also qualify for an income tax exemption, provided that this provision aligns with the country’s existing tax laws.

With the implementation of these regulations, South Africa joins other African nations such as Cape Verde, Mauritius, the Seychelles (through the Workation Retreat Programme), and Namibia in offering digital nomad visas.

What a Digital Nomad Visa Mean

A digital nomad visa permits remote workers to reside in a foreign country for a duration longer than standard tourist visas allow. Those granted this visa enjoy similar benefits as residents, including access to healthcare and education.

South African Department of Home Affairs

In February 2024, the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) sought public feedback on proposed changes to immigration laws, including the introduction of digital nomad visas and the implementation of a point-based system for evaluating work visas.

Following the March 29, 2024 deadline, the government has now enacted these regulations into law.

These regulations primarily target highly skilled individuals, particularly those in the technology sector, who wish to live in South Africa while employed by foreign companies. Despite public input, no changes were made between the draft regulations and the final document.

South Africa’s Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) Tax System Concerns

Some concerns have been raised regarding South Africa’s pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax system, which requires foreign companies to register and comply.

Additionally, proposed amendments to the Copyright Bill may pose challenges for digital nomads engaged in software development due to potential implications for copyright protection.

What the Introduction of the Digital Nomad Visa Could Initiate

South Africa anticipates that the introduction of the digital nomad visa will stimulate its economy and enhance its technology talent pool. In recent years, the country’s tech startups have attracted significant funding, with 89 startups collectively securing over $336 million in 2021 alone.



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