that Article Posted: 17 June 2021 by Tania Copeland

Bringing you immigration news as it happens

With the start of the Coronavirus and the ensuing pandemic, we find ourselves working and living in interesting and different times.  SA is consistently one of the top tourist destination countries in the world and we have always managed to attract both short and long term visa holders. However, times are changing and so must we. Travellers are not travelling this year with a fear of being stuck in the wrong country or across a border that closes. So how can we continue to attract long term visitors?

A remote working visa could really bolster the tourism sector in the Western Cape. It is currently decimated and fractured. This visa could work towards ending some of those woes.

With so many people working from home SA is ideally placed to offer the working traveller a new home to work from. Many guesthouses and hotels have seen the need to reduce rates to encourage long term stays and I am sure they would support the need for SA to introduce the ‘remote working visa’.  These are already offered in other countries that were quick to jump on this new bandwagon.

With our rate of exchange and an abundance of empty guest suites, the Western Cape could capitalise on this option.  For now, I hope the Department of Home Affairs will act quickly if we wish to secure a piece of this pie. In the meantime, visitors can come for 90 days and this is renewable for a further 90 days. This does not allow visitors to receive any remuneration from any local source. However, they could work from home and receive foreign salaries.

We need to be innovative to stay above the breadline, we need to think and act quickly and methodically. Let’s hope DHA share this vision.

We have less than 6 weeks to get visas in order before the visa amnesty ends. Immigration Law states that renewals must be lodged 60 days in advance. Airports are still bungling along, sometimes banning visitors for overstaying their visas and other times letting them pass through without issues.

Still no news on when you can submit permanent residence applications. However rumour has it, DHA has put about a team together who are going to start reducing the backlog. Good luck with that DHA.

Yours in immigration news

Tania Copeland