Work visa points system and remote working visa in the works

The Department of Home Affairs released the latest immigration updates on 8 February 2024.

The Gazette dealt with several proposed changes to the Immigration Act, of which the most notable is the introduction of a work visa points system and a remote working visa.

The public can comment on the Gazette until 29 March 2024. Anyone who’d like to submit comments can send an email to

New points-based system for work visas

The Department of Home Affairs first mentioned a points-based system for skills in the 2017 White Paper on International Migration for South Africa.

Finally, seven years later, Home Affairs has gazetted such a system. A points-based system for work visas is nothing new. Many countries, including Australia and New Zealand, require migrants to meet points requirements to apply for work visas.

South Africa’s points-based system will apply to all work visas, including the critical skills work visa and the ICT visa. Furthermore, the Minister of Home Affairs will determine the criteria, which could include:

  • Age
  • Qualifications
  • Language skills
  • Work experience
  • Offer of employment
  • The ability to adapt in the Republic

The new regulations will also enable the Minister to consider other factors not included in this list as deemed necessary by the Minister.

A remote working visa is finally on the cards

The Western Cape Government has been lobbying the South African Government to introduce a remote working visa since 2021. Their motivations have been that remote working visas “boost tourism, facilitate foreign investment, and allow digital nomads to work in South Africa while spending their earnings here”.

That is exactly why numerous countries already have remote working visas, including our neighbour Namibia.

The Western Cape Government and the immigration industry were thus pleased to see the introduction of a remote working visa in the Gazette of 8 February 2024.

Here are the key points about the proposed remote working visa:

  • South Africa’s remote working visa will enable foreign nationals to conduct work for a foreign employer on a remote basis while in South Africa.
  • The visa will be valid for up to three years, making it an attractive option for remote workers. Most remote working visas are valid for one to two years with the option of extending it for a total validity period of up to five years.
  • Remote working visa holders must earn no less than the equivalent of R1 million per annum.
  • Remote working visa holders whose visas are valid for six months or less within a 12-month period do not have to register with SARS (South African Revenue Service). However, visa holders with visas valid for longer than six months within a 12-month period must register with SARS.
  • The spouses and children of remote working visa holders are allowed to accompany them to South Africa.


The new regulations drafted in the Gazette mean the South African Government is a step closer to delivering on its undertaking of reforming the country’s visa system, making it easier to attract the skills South Africa needs, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

These are all great motivations for amending the Immigration Act, and we look forward to the regulations coming into effect.