07 July 2022

SA Immigration – Introduce a Digital Nomad Visa, please!

Submitted by Kyle Glover
SA Immigration – Introduce a Digital Nomad Visa, please!

Writer: Andreas Krensel for IBN Immigration Solutions
Editor: Lauren Daniels for IBN Immigration Solutions 

Summary

South Africa is yet to follow the example of many other countries introducing digital nomad visas. This visa category could be beneficial to our country in many ways, as IBN Immigration Solutions’ CEO Andreas Krensel explains in this article.

Introduction

In recent months, we’ve been receiving countless inquiries regarding whether South Africa (SA) offers a Digital Nomad Visa or any other visa solution for freelancers. We have received updates from several large multinational companies in the EU and US clarifying that, as a policy decision, they will allow their workers to work remotely in future. Most require their digital nomads to work in the same or similar time zones as their home employer. Considering that SA is in the same time zone as Europe, I wonder why SA has not already introduced a Digital Nomad or Freelance visa.

I personally suggested that to the Minister of Home Affairs about two years ago following the example of some of the Caribbean islands. Two years later, about 40 countries worldwide have already introduced a digital nomad or freelance visa. Why not South Africa? It would be rather easy to implement and can only benefit SA.

The main benefit is that we will attract skilled foreigners who come here as visitors, fall in love with our country and decide to retire, invest or start a business at a later stage. I’ve advised highly qualified foreigners coming into SA who have been investing here for over 20 years, so I know how the typical story goes. The Digital Nomad Visa would be an ideal path to attract foreigners.

Suggested Requirements for the Digital Nomad Visa
So, what are the requirements I’d suggest for Digital Nomad Visa in SA? All Digital Nomad Visas have certain similarities:

  • Firstly, they require a certain amount of monthly income. Usually, this is either salary income from the employer overseas or savings. For SA, I would suggest a monthly income or savings of around € 2000,00. This would place SA in a similar economic category with Croatia, a country with similar living expenses. For example, Portugal requires € 600,00, Mexico requires $ 1620,00 and Mauritius requires $ 1500,00. The funds will be proven with bank statements, as for any normal Visitor Visa.
  • The second common criterion is usually duration. I suggested a maximum duration of one year which would fall in line with best international practices. I further suggest a cooling-off period of at least six months until the applicant could reapply outside SA for the Digital Nomad or Freelance Visa.
  • The third criterion would be supporting documentation. I suggest that the foreigner would have to provide health insurance covering his or her full stay, a police clearance certificate from their home country, a medical report and a radiological report as requested for nearly all SA visas. In addition, I believe proof of accommodation would be a useful document.
  • A fourth criterion is usually the place of submission, which should be one of the SA missions or even, at a later stage, an e-visa solution.
  • Lastly, it is of paramount importance that the digital nomad or freelancer is allowed to bring their family along. Accompanying spouses and minors should be included when considering creating this visa option. Without this stipulation, SA will not be competitive.

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About Andreas Krensel LLM, IP (SA)

Andreas Krensel is a registered Immigration Practitioner and qualified German attorney. He holds dual citizenship and has spent the last 18 years in South Africa advising large multinationals as well as private customers on immigration into South Africa and the rest of Africa. He is a well-known expert on African corporate immigration, a regular speaker at international conferences as well as the author of two books on the topic of African corporate immigration.

About IBN Immigration Solutions

IBN Immigration Solutions is a multiple award-winning boutique immigration firm providing specialist immigration services for African countries, as well as some international markets. Our vision is to enable talent to work and live within Africa and contribute to developing this energetic and fascinating continent and its people. We believe in making Africa a better place and complying with international laws.

Contact Us
www.ibn.co.za

If you would like more information on this topic or immigration in general  or would like to arrange interviews or quotes, please do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To read more, visit https://www.ibn.co.za/blog-and-news/introduce-digital-nomad-visa/

IBN Immigration Solutions

IBN Immigration Solutions is a multiple award-winning boutique immigration company providing specialist immigration services for African countries, as well as some international markets. Our vision is to enable talent to work and live within Africa and contribute to developing this energetic and fascinating continent and its people. We believe in making Africa a better place and complying with international laws.