South Africa Digital Nomad Visa: What We Know [May 2024]

Last Updated on 7 June 2024 by Brittany

The southernmost country in Africa has officially announced it will welcome remote workers to come and reside with the new South Africa digital nomad visa

South Africa’s government has officially signed the South Africa digital nomad visa into law as of March 29, 2024. However, questions still remain about whether the income requirement is net or gross and the actual application process.

Already a favorable destination amongst digital nomads, especially during the winter months, South Africa is working to attract more foreigners and tourists to enjoy the country. After the effects of travel restrictions, there has been a sharp decline in visitors. 

So, the country is turning its focus on digital nomads, who tend to stay in destinations longer than a traditional tourist, therefore better boosting the local economy. 

The South Africa digital nomad visa will allow digital nomads to live in the country for one year.

Digital nomads granted a six-month visa will not be taxed in South Africa. However, digital nomads staying longer than six months in a 36-month period must register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and pay local income tax.

It is still unclear exactly how long the initial visa term will be and if there will be limited renewals.

As we wait for the South Africa digital nomad visa to start accepting applications, digital nomads interested in exploring the area are encouraged to visit!

We will update this article as the government releases more information about the requirements and application process. The Department of Home Affairs is expected to publish more information in its official gazette in the coming months.

south africa digital nomad visa
via Unsplash

What is a Digital Nomad Visa?

A digital nomad visa allows remote workers who are location independent of residing in a foreign country on a temporary residence permit. 

In order to be eligible for a digital nomad visa, you must either be employed by or own a company established outside of the country where you hold a visa. You may also be a freelancer or self-employed with clients located outside of the country. 

Most digital nomad visas last for one year, but offer options to renew. This means you could potentially live abroad in the same country for two or three years. 

south africa digital nomad visa
via Unsplash

South Africa Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

As with every digital nomad visa, there are a set of requirements you must be in order to be eligible to apply. While we are still waiting for more information about the requirements for the South Africa digital nomad visa, this is what we know so far. 

  • Valid Passport – Your passport must be valid while applying for the visa
  • Work Remotely – You must prove that you work remotely through contracts
  • Earn $55,000 USD per year – Applicants must earn at least R1 million annually to qualify for the South Africa digital nomad visa
  • Clean Criminal Record – You must present a clean criminal background check from your country of residence from the last three years
  • Address of Accommodations – You must have a lease or online booking of where you plan to stay in South Africa

We will update this article once more information becomes available. 

Steps to Apply

While the South Africa digital nomad visa is not accepting applications yet, the application process may look something like the steps below.

Step 1: Gather Documents

As we wait for an official list of documents for the South Africa digital nomad visa, we can assume that you will need the following documents based on other visa applications.

  • Copy of passport
  • Passport photos
  • Proof of remote work
  • Proof of income
  • Certified criminal background check
  • Address of Accommodations in South Africa

Documents will need to be submitted in English and apostilled when necessary.

Step 2: Attend Visa Appointment

To apply for the South Africa digital nomad visa, you must visit a South African embassy or VFS office in your country of residence.

Depending on the availability of appointments, you could wait up to a couple of months before attending your visa appointment.

You will need to bring your completed visa application along with the required documents. It’s recommended to bring original and copies of documents.

Step 3: Wait for Approval

After attending your visa appointment, you will have to wait a few weeks to receive approval of your South Africa digital nomad visa application. Once approved, you may travel to South Africa.

Information about next steps after arriving in South Africa are yet to be released. With many digital nomad visas, visa holders must also apply for a residence permit, but we are unaware if this will be the case for the South Africa digital nomad visa.

south africa digital nomad visa
via Unsplash

South Africa for Digital Nomads

How would you like to watch penguins playing on a beach? Or hike up the infamous Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town? Maybe you just want to experience a unique new culture and country with an important history. South Africa is the place for you, then! 

Modern cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg have long welcomed remote workers and digital nomads. With plenty of cafes with free wifi and coworking spaces popping up, youโ€™ll find comfortable places to set up your laptop. Itโ€™s important to note that the wifi isnโ€™t always the best in the area, so itโ€™s a good idea to bring a mobile hotspot with you. 

If itโ€™s nature and wild animals youโ€™re looking for, then South Africa has it all for you. Hop on a genuine safari and hike some of the most gorgeous trails this world has to offer. 

The cost of living in South Africa is also fairly affordable. You can live comfortably on just $2,000 per month, including rent. Youโ€™ll also find a large expat community to make friends and grow your network. 

south africa digital nomad visa
via Unsplash

Get Help Applying for Digital Nomad Visas

When the South Africa digital nomad visa does become available, it may be overwhelming and confusing to apply for it. 

Thatโ€™s where Nomads Embassy: The World’s First Embassy for Digital Nomads can help! 

We are partnering with hand-selected lawyers to create a Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa service to assist you in submitting your documents and application to easily apply for digital nomad visas worldwide. 

To stay up to date with the latest digital nomad news, join our newsletter to always know which digital nomad visas are coming.

You can also join the South Africa digital nomad visa waitlist by completing the form above to be the first to know when the visa and Nomads Embassy’s Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa service is available.

Brittany
Content created by
Brittany
When Iโ€™m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.
At Nomads Embassy, we independently test and review digital nomad services and provide detailed insights on digital nomad visa applications and requirements using a detailed, multi-step methodology. When you use our affiliate links to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our editorial process and read our full disclosure.
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