How the proposed ‘remote working’ visa for South Africa would work

The Western Cape provincial government will engage with both president Cyril Ramaphosa and Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi about the introduction of a ‘Remote Working Visa’ for South Africa.

The visa is aimed at attracting ‘digital nomads’ – people who will live in and work remotely from cities such as Cape Town.

Visas for digital nomads are travel permits that legalise the status of travelling professionals. Like tourist visas, they are easy to obtain and do not require long paperwork and a work contract. However, they allow for longer stays.

The city’s mayoral committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, said with people working from home during the pandemic, the digital nomads concept has become a much-needed escape and great opportunity to take work on a holiday.

“We are seeing innovation within the tourism sector to accommodate the changed behaviour of remote working by offering affordable long-term stays, including other benefits required to work remotely and we will expand this message through the broad range of products and businesses who can use a leg up in this challenging time.

“An abundance of natural beauty and wide-open spaces makes Cape Town an ideal location to live and work with solid fibre infrastructure and top-class hospitality services and products.”

Vos said that the visa will be targeted at workers who are looking to end ‘work from home boredom’ and ‘Zoom fatigue’.

He added that cities such as Cape Town are able to offer ‘workations’ where people can a new remote office for a day or months at a time.

“Digital nomads are a new kind of tourist that will benefit our visitor economy. To expand on this opportunity, South Africa urgently needs a Remote Working Visa.”

“We have everything it takes to be the best remote working location in the world only if we make it easier for people to travel to South Africa.”

Vos said that many leading tourism destinations in the world have a type of Remote Working Visa already. “We should have one too.”

Read: Port Elizabeth is now Gqeberha – and other name changes for towns and airports in South Africa

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How the proposed ‘remote working’ visa for South Africa would work