The "nomad" visa has officially been implemented in South Africa

Following the withdrawal of the Proposed Second Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014 (Regulations) during April 2024, the Regulations were republished by the Minister of Home Affairs on 20 May 2024, and came into effect on the same date.

21 May 2024 2 min read Immigraton Alert Article

The most noteworthy amendment that was introduced by the Regulations was the introduction of a remote working visa which will allow foreign nationals who work for a foreign employer, or who derive their income from a foreign source, to work remotely from within South Africa. One of the requirements for the remote working visa is that the foreign national must earn a gross income of no less than R1 million a year.

From a tax perspective, if the remote working visa is issued for a period not exceeding six months within a thirty-six-month period, the foreign national may apply to be exempted by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) from registering as a taxpayer in South Africa. However, if the foreign national is issued with a remote working visa for longer than six months within a thirty-six-month period, they must register with SARS.

Additional amendments to the Regulations include inter alia

  • the introduction of a points-based system in the adjudication of an application for a general work visa as determined by the Minister from time to time. The points-base system includes an assessment of a foreign national's age, qualifications, language skills, work experience, offer of employment and salary. This amendment seeks to make a general work visa more accessible to foreign nationals who don’t qualify for an alternative work visa; and
  • a reduction in the period in which police clearance certificates must be obtained by a foreign national prior to applying for a work visa to the five-year period immediately preceding the date of their visa application.

Whilst the above amendments may be welcomed by some foreign nationals, how they will be applied practically by the Department of Home Affairs remains to be seen. We will keep you updated on any further developments.

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