South Africa’s skills shortage get a boost after Home Affairs signs off on new remote working visa

The remote working visa was gazetted on Monday. Picture: Pexels.

The remote working visa was gazetted on Monday. Picture: Pexels.

Published May 22, 2024


South Africa’s skill shortage has been given a boost after the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi signed off and gazetted amendments to the immigration regulations which would allow foreigners to work, stay and spend in the country under a new remote working visa.

The amendments were gazetted on Monday, May 20.

The draft Second Amendment of the Immigration was published in the Government Gazette on February 8 and was open to public submissions on the draft until March 29.

The newly amended immigration regulations, a remote working visa is introduced as a species of visitors visa that may be issued in terms of section 11 (1)(b) of the Immigration Act.

The amended regulation is extends the list of prescribed activities in which a foreigner must be engaged in South Africa to qualify for such a visa to include ‘work conducted… for a foreign employer on a remote basis’.

For those applying to be considered for this visa:

The applicant must earn an income of no less than R1 million per annum.

If the visa is issued for a period not exceeding six months, the foreigner may apply to be exempted by the South African Revenue Services (Sars) from registering as a taxpayer.

If the visa is issued for a period longer than six months within a 36-month period, the foreigner must register with Sars.

This new regulation is set to assist employees from large conglomerates facing challenges due to delays in work permit processing along with a shortage of skilled workers.

On Wednesday, the City of Cape Town welcomed the announcement of the remote working visa on Wednesday.

Mayoral committee member for economic growth, James Vos was thrilled by the amendments.

“By enabling remote workers to stay longer in our city, we can substantially boost our tourism value proposition, as these visitors will spend more money, benefiting various local businesses and services,” Vos said.

He said it was now up to national government to focus its efforts on making sure that visas can effectively be issued and that the entire visa system is effective and efficient as it will be a major boost to the South African economy and drive investments and jobs for millions of desperate citizens.