In this article, we delve into the possibilities surrounding a Digital Nomad Visa for South Africa. As of May 2023, South Africa is actively working on legislation to introduce this visa category, providing hope for individuals seeking to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle.
While the exact timeline for its implementation remains uncertain, we explore the potential requirements and benefits associated with a Digital Nomad Visa for South Africa.
Minimum Salary and Employment Requirement
One of the typical prerequisites for a Digital Nomad Visa is the minimum salary earned by the main applicant. In the case of South Africa, we expect the threshold to be set at $3500USD.
Considering the cost of living in South Africa and comparing it to other popular digital nomad destinations such as Spain, this range seems reasonable. Additionally, the salary must be derived from an employment that has no connection to South Africa, ensuring that the local labour market remains unaffected.
Inclusion of Family Members
To make the Digital Nomad Visa internationally competitive, it is crucial for family members to be eligible to accompany the main applicant. A Digital Nomad Visa that allows families to travel together creates a more appealing option for prospective applicants.
The ability to have family members join the main applicant enhances the overall experience of living and working remotely in South Africa.
International Medical Insurance
A common requirement for Digital Nomad Visas worldwide is the need for international medical insurance coverage. This prerequisite ensures that individuals have healthcare protection while residing in a foreign country. It is reasonable to expect that South Africa will also mandate international medical insurance for Digital Nomad Visa holders, safeguarding their well-being during their stay.
Duration of the Visa
Determining the duration of the Digital Nomad Visa is an important consideration. While Namibia offers a visa valid for six months and Spain now grants three-year visas, striking a balance is essential.
A visa duration of one year seems like a reasonable starting point for South Africa, allowing applicants to settle into the country and potentially extend their stay. However, some countries are exploring longer visa options, such as two years, and it remains to be seen which approach South Africa will adopt.
Police Clearance Certificates
Police clearance certificates may be required as part of the digital nomad visa application process. Recent changes suggest that South Africa may only request police clearances for the past five years, simplifying documentation requirements.
One crucial aspect that requires careful attention is aligning tax legislation with the introduction of a Digital Nomad Visa. It is necessary to establish provisions that exempt digital nomads from paying taxes in South Africa on their foreign salary. This alignment means their needs to be co-ordination between the relevant South African departments, which has probably caused the main delay of introducing this visa.
While South Africa may be playing catch-up in implementing a Digital Nomad Visa, it is an initiative with immense potential. South Africa can position itself as an attractive destination for digital nomads.
The introduction of a Digital Nomad Visa would not only benefit individuals seeking this lifestyle but also contribute to the growth of South Africa’s economy and foster cultural exchange on a global scale.
Written by Andreas Krensel, Managing Owner
Edited by Simon Carletti, PR and Creative Supervisor