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  • Writer's pictureSue-Allan Mehl

South Africa's new Immigration Amendment Regulations explained

Updated: Jun 27


Immigration Law Books

South Africa's new Immigration Amendment Regulations have been Gazetted on 20 May 2024 - two (2) months after the initial Amendment Regulations have been withdrawn.


I must admit, we expected a complete overhaul of the Gazetted version, but nothing much changed since April 2024. A bit of a long description on key changes, but worth the read below -


Police Clearance Certificate Requirement:


As with previous regulations, a police clearance was required from every country where an applicant resided for 12 months and longer since the age of 18. With the new Regulations, only a police clearance with the same condition, but for the last 5 years, is required.


Radiological Report:


With this requirement, the Department of Home Affairs officially implemented Directive 05 of 2023 in the Regulations. This means, a radiological report is no longer required for any long-term visa or permanent residence application. Applicants would still be required to submit a fully completed medical certificate though.


Immediate family of SA citizens or Permanent Residence holders:


Directive 07 of 2019 was also officially implemented in the Regulations and it simply means that spouses and children of South African citizens or Permanent Residence holders may apply for a change of status or conditions in South Africa from a tourist visa without the need for a waiver.


A very pleasant surprise is that this courtesy has now been extended to the parent/s of a South African citizen or permanent resident child as well. I do think many children will welcome this change as their elderly parents are often alone and require the care of their children.


Remote worker visa:


The much sought after 'remote worker visa' remained included in the Gazetted Immigration Amendment Regulations, but it certainly comes with an additional load of questions on the practicality of applying for this visa. For instance, applicants applying for this visa must conduct work for a foreign employer or derive a foreign source income of at least R1,000,000.00 (one million South African rands) per annum.


How must this be proven? What will the South African missions abroad ask for? How do you prove foreign source incomes?


If the visa is issued for less than six (6) months within a 36-month period, the visa holder may apply to be exempted by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) from registering as a taxpayer.


What does 'may' mean? Can SARS still insist on them paying tax?


If the visa is issued for a period longer than six (6) months within a 36-month period, the visa holder must register with the South African Revenue Services (SARS).


Will the SA missions abroad issue these visas with tax-related conditions?


Unfortunately, there are still no clear guidelines on how anyone can or must approach these visa applications and our guess would be that it's going to be trial and error for the first few applications. Hopefully we receive clarity from the Department soon.


Critical skills work visa applications:


Critical skills work visa applicants may now submit their visa applications again with only proof that a professional body membership registration has been applied for. This means, however, that if the visa application was successful, only a 12-month visa will be issued.


For those individuals who submit the actual membership certificate and skills letter, a work visa may be issued for a maximum period of five (5) years.


We would, of course, strongly recommend that applicants rather wait for their membership certificates and confirmation of skills letters before they submit their critical skills work visa applications.


Point-based system:


All work visas in terms of Section 19 must now be adjudicated according to a point-based system as determined by the Minister of Home Affairs. For clarity, these visas would be the intra company transfer work visa, general work visa as well as the critical skills work visa. The Minister may consider the following when determining the point-based system -


  • Age;

  • Qualifications;

  • Language skills;

  • Work experience;

  • Offer of employment;

  • Salary; and

  • Any other relevant factor


Hopefully the guidelines or brackets for the point-based system will be released very soon.


The above are but key factors included in the new Immigration Amendment Regulations, and we invite anyone who still requires clarity to be in touch with us via our Contact Form on www.movingsouthimmigration.com. Alternatively, we can be contacted via email or telephone on +2773 5357 534 or sue@movingsouthimmigration.com.


We look forward to being of assistance!



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