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Spotlight on EMEA – South Africa

In our Spotlight on EMEA series we round up the latest immigration developments from across the region.  In this post we focus on the draft changes to immigration law and policy in South Africa.


The proposed changes are under public consultation until 29 March 2024 with the South African Government requesting feedback and comments from the public on the key proposed changes listed below:

  • A points-based work permit system is introduced, assessing applicants on their work experience, job offer, qualifications, age, language skills and ability to adapt within the Republic.  This follows a number of other jurisdictions globally that have introduced points based systems for assessing work permit applications;
  • A new digital nomad visa category is proposed, with a three-year duration, which allows family to accompany the principal applicant and has a minimum income requirement.  This follows the recent trend of Digital Nomad visa categories emerging across Europe and Asia;
  • The draft proposes a one-year critical skills visa which requires a job offer and proof that an application for professional registration has been submitted (rather than proof that professional registration has been granted);
  • The medical clearance process will be amended to remove the requirement for radiological reports;
  • police clearance certificates will only be required for the last five years of residence;
  • It is clarified that spouse and children of South African permanent residents or citizens are permitted to change their status within the country;
  • Parents of South African children would also be allowed to change their status within South Africa.

The proposed changes were published in the Government Gazette Staatskoerant on 8 February 2024 with a call for written submissions by post or email to the Chief Director of Legal Services to be received by 29 March 2024.


We will continue to monitor changes to law and policy in South Africa following the closure of the public consultation.


If you require further information on global immigration matters please contact [email protected] and [email protected]



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