South Africa Refiles Work-Permit Changes to Create Nomad Visa

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs refiled long-awaited changes to its work-permit regime to allow for the creation of a so-called nomad visa for remote workers.

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The May 20 gazetting of the changes, which had last month been withdrawn after the department failed to observe a mandatory period for public comment, means that the changes are now law.

It’s also seeking to allow people employed and paid by companies elsewhere to live in the country as long as they earn at least 1 million rand ($55,404) annually. The visa comes with a short-term tax exemption.

The step, acting on recommendations made by the office of the president, comes amid criticism from some of the nation’s biggest foreign-owned employers over their inability to get technicians and executives into the country. South Africa’s byzantine system means applicants can wait for more than a year to get a work permit even though a poor local education system has left companies without skilled workers.

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