Draft Second Amendment to the Immigration Regulations, 2014

On 8 February 2024, the Minister of Home Affairs published the Draft Second Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014 (Regulations) in order to make it easier for foreign nationals to travel to, work from, and conduct business within South Africa. The Regulations were open for public comment until 29 March 2024.

10 Apr 2024 2 min read Immigration Alert Article

The Regulations sought to inter alia

  • Introduce a remote working visa in order to allow foreign nationals who are employed by foreign employers to work remotely from within South Africa. One of the proposed requirements for the remote working visa is that a foreign national must earn no less than R1 million a year.
  • Implement a point-based system for the issuing of a general work visa based on a foreign nationals’ age, qualifications, language skills, work experience, offer of employment and ability to adapt within South Africa. The implementation of the point-based system will replace the requirement for a prospective employer to obtain a certificate from the Department of Employment and Labour confirming that despite undergoing a diligent search of the South African job market, it was unable to employ a South African citizen or permanent resident into the particular position, prior to the foreign national being able to apply for a general work visa.
  • Introduce the Trusted Employer Scheme (Scheme), which has already been implemented, in order to provide a flexible and expeditious pathway for foreign nationals to obtain work visas in South Africa. The Scheme is intended to shift the focus to prospective employers to collect documents, on behalf of foreign nationals, to be used in support of their work visa applications. In order for an employer to be registered with the Scheme, the employer must inter alia
  • invest a minimum of R100 million in South Africa;
  • have more than 100 employees, with 60% of them being South African citizens or permanent residents; and
  • prepare a skills transfer plan or graduate development programme for the benefit of the South African citizens and permanent residents they employ.
  • Update the positions contained on the critical skills list regularly, based on the skills shortages identified in South Africa, as and when they arise.
  • Remove the requirement to submit radiological reports in support of visa applications.

The above Regulations were gazetted and came into effect on 28 March 2024 (a day before the closing date for comments).

Notwithstanding the above, the Minister confirmed that the Regulations would be withdrawn in his press conference on 9 April 2024 in order to inter alia: remedy the error in publishing them prior to the last date for public comments; and address any confusion in relation to the Regulations. In confirming the withdrawal of the Regulations, the Minister did however emphasise that the substance of the Regulations (as gazetted on 28 March 2024) would remain the same.

We will keep you updated on any further developments once the Regulations have been republished.

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