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South Africa approves digital nomad visa for foreign skilled workers - BUSINESSDAY

APRIL 20, 2024

South Africa has approved the enactment of its digital nomad visa regulations, extending the right to work to foreign skilled workers, including Nigerians.

Under the new policy, foreign workers earning an annual income exceeding R1 million ($53,665) would be qualified for visa relocation to South Africa.

“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,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa during the initial announcement of the policy.

“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,” he added.

Last month, when the government published the draft regulations for the visas, it invited the public to share feedback and comments.

Some South Africans supported the digital nomad visa with hopes that it would attract foreign talents into its tech ecosystem, while some others believe it could sponsor an increased cost of living, inequality, and tax evasion.

Mixed public opinion did not falter plans however, as the bill was passed into law and to begin operation this year.

The new law follows the same criteria introduced by different countries with similar visa requirements, such as Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan, Spain, and South Korea.

South Africa also joins other African nations offering remote work visas including the Seychelles Cape Verde, Namibia, and Mauritius.


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