A Guide To Obtaining A Digital Nomad Visa In South Africa

Obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa can be a great opportunity for remote workers to experience the vibrant culture and natural beauty of the country while working remotely. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of a Digital Nomad Visa, the eligibility requirements, the application process, and the costs and fees involved. We will also provide key takeaways on living and working in South Africa, exploring the country, and networking opportunities for digital nomads.

Key Takeaways

  • A Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa allows remote workers to live and work in the country for an extended period of time.
  • To be eligible for the visa, applicants must meet certain requirements, including having a valid passport, proof of health insurance, and documentation of their income source.
  • The application process involves filling out the application form, setting an appointment with an embassy or consulate, and submitting the required documents.
  • There are costs and fees associated with obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa, including visa fees and possible additional expenses.
  • South Africa offers a high quality of life, with affordable cost of living, diverse accommodation options, reliable internet and infrastructure, and a focus on safety and security.

What is a Digital Nomad Visa?

Benefits of a Digital Nomad Visa

If you’re a remote employee who is interested in the digital nomad lifestyle, applying for a specialised visa might be beneficial for you. It’s always important to thoroughly research the countries you’re interested in working from and find out about their digital nomad visa requirements. Getting this type of visa could increase your travel opportunities whilst also letting you continue with your employment.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa, you must meet certain requirements. These include having a job that allows remote work and having health insurance that covers your stay. You will also need to provide proof of employment, health insurance, and a valid passport during the application process. The processing time for applications is estimated to be as little as 10 business days. There is no cost to apply for the visa.

Application Process

To apply for the Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa, you will need to complete an online application form and provide the necessary documents. These documents include proof of employment, health insurance, and a valid passport. The processing time for applications is estimated to be as little as 10 business days.

Costs and Fees

When applying for a Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa, there are certain costs and fees to consider. The application fee for the visa is $100 USD. Additionally, there may be other processing fees and administrative costs involved. It is important to budget for these expenses when planning your digital nomad journey to South Africa.

Living and Working in South Africa

Cost of Living

The cost of living in South Africa can vary depending on your location and lifestyle. If you choose to live in a smaller town or village, you can expect lower rent prices. However, if you prefer to live in popular digital nomad hotspots like Cape Town or Johannesburg, the cost of rent may be higher. On average, the monthly cost of living for a digital nomad in South Africa ranges from $1,500 to $2,000. Keep in mind that these figures are subject to change and can vary based on individual preferences and choices.

Accommodation Options

When looking for accommodation in South Africa, there are a few options to consider. Travel accommodation sites are easy and accessible, but they can be more expensive. Additionally, these websites contribute to rising living costs in the country. If you’re in a pinch and can’t find any accommodation, try out sites like Airbnb, Booking, Vrbo, Agoda, and Hostelworld. It’s important to find a digital nomad-friendly accommodation with high internet speeds and reliable infrastructure. Having a mix of housing options and a low cost of living is also crucial for digital nomads.

Internet and Infrastructure

When it comes to being a digital nomad, one of the most important things to consider is the speed and infrastructure of the internet. It’s completely out of your control, but thankfully, most big cities in South Africa have excellent wireless infrastructure. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the internet and mobile connection here are often better and cheaper than in more developed countries. Even if the Wi-Fi connections are not great, the mobile 4G networks are strong enough for hotspotting. This was a lifesaver for me when I was in Zanzibar and the Wi-Fi was terrible.

Safety and Security

Safety in the city and residential areas is second to none. Police patrols are always around during the night, and the 911 hotline is always online though the response may be late by mostly 30 minutes. Nairobi is a large city, and as such, it is going to have some issues related to crime, just like any other major city around the world. And yes, there have been some incidents in the past where tourists have been targeted, so this is one issue that you need to be aware of. But overall, Nairobi is a very safe city compared to many other places around the world. Like any city, you need to be sensible in how you operate and aware of your surroundings. Obviously, you should avoid walking around dark areas late at night and not flash your cash around to avoid becoming a target for petty theft. You should also be careful where you store your money (don’t keep it in your wallet) and any important documents you may have. Staying in Westlands and other estates like Runda, Kilimani, Gigiri, Muthaiga, Karen, Rosslyn, Kitisuru and AirBnBs is highly safe too with cool neighborhoods and a luxurious shopping Centre. Best

Exploring South Africa

Top Tourist Attractions

South Africa is home to a diverse range of tourist attractions that cater to every interest. From the iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town to the stunning wildlife of Kruger National Park, there is something for everyone. Explore the vibrant city life of Johannesburg, visit the historic Robben Island, or take a scenic drive along the Garden Route. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Cape Winelands or the cultural richness of the Zulu Kingdom. South Africa’s top tourist attractions will leave you in awe.

Outdoor Activities

South Africa offers a wide range of outdoor activities for digital nomads to enjoy. From hiking trails to safaris, there’s something for everyone. Explore the stunning Nairobi National Park, where you can witness a variety of wildlife. For a unique experience, visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and even adopt a baby elephant. Nairobi is a great city for digital nomads, offering a fast-paced and exciting environment. With numerous events and activities, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Cultural Experiences

When living as a digital nomad in South Africa, it’s important to take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture. South Africa is a country rich in history, traditions, and diverse communities. Visit museums, art galleries, and cultural centers to learn about the country’s past and present. Engage with locals, try traditional cuisine, and participate in cultural events and festivals. By embracing the cultural experiences, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of South Africa and create lasting memories.

Local Cuisine

When it comes to local cuisine in South Africa, you’ll find a wide variety of delicious dishes to satisfy your taste buds. Some must-try dishes include nyama choma (barbecued meat), ugali (a type of cornmeal), and kiko na ugali (another cornmeal dish). These dishes are not only tasty but also affordable, making them perfect for digital nomads on a budget. If you’re in the mood for something different, you can also explore international cuisines in South Africa, thanks to the diverse population in the country. From Ethiopian restaurants to gourmet burger joints, there’s something for everyone.

Community and Networking

Co-working Spaces

South Africa offers a variety of co-working spaces for digital nomads to work and connect with like-minded individuals. One popular option is the Nairobi Garage, known for its incredibly fast internet connection (150 Mbps) and a range of amenities. Another popular spot is iHub, which serves as an innovation hub hosting events and classes. In addition to these, there are plenty of other co-working spaces in Nairobi where you can get your work done.

Digital Nomad Communities

Being part of a digital nomad community can greatly enhance your experience while living and working in South Africa. These communities provide a supportive network of like-minded individuals who understand the challenges and joys of the digital nomad lifestyle. You can connect with fellow digital nomads, share tips and advice, and even collaborate on projects. Some popular digital nomad communities in South Africa include Nomad List, Digital Nomad South Africa, and Remote Year. Joining these communities can help you build valuable connections and make the most out of your time in South Africa.

Networking Events

Networking events are a great way to meet fellow digital nomads and expand your professional network. In South Africa, there are regular networking events specifically designed for digital nomads. These events provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and collaborate on projects. Attending networking events can also lead to potential job opportunities and partnerships. Make sure to check online platforms and local communities for upcoming networking events in South Africa.

Socializing Opportunities

As a digital nomad, you may enjoy the freedom of traveling to unknown destinations, but human interaction is still important. The community of the city you choose to live in can greatly impact your ability to make new friends. Luckily, most digital nomad places have large groups and meetups, making it easy to meet like-minded individuals. Building a strong community not only enhances your social life but also provides networking opportunities and a platform for idea creation.

In Conclusion

Obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa in South Africa can be a great opportunity for remote workers looking to explore a vibrant and diverse country while continuing their work. With a simple application process and a range of benefits, South Africa offers an attractive option for digital nomads. Whether you’re drawn to the stunning landscapes, rich culture, or bustling cities, South Africa has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your laptop, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. See you out there, fellow digital nomad!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a Digital Nomad Visa in 2023?

Yes, South Africa offers a Digital Nomad Visa in 2023.

What are some of the best countries to get a Digital Nomad Visa?

Some of the best countries to get a Digital Nomad Visa include Germany, Estonia, Costa Rica, Croatia, and Norway.

How do I apply for a Digital Nomad Visa?

The application process for a Digital Nomad Visa typically involves filling out the application form, setting an appointment with an embassy or consulate, preparing the required documents, and submitting your application to the embassy along with your documents.

What documents are required for a Digital Nomad Visa?

You will generally need the following documents for a Digital Nomad Visa: Digital Nomad Visa Application form, a valid passport, ID photos, proof of health insurance, documentation of your income source, confirmation of your remote work, and any other personal documents as required by the specific country’s regulations.

How long does it take to get a Digital Nomad Visa?

The processing time for a Digital Nomad Visa typically takes about a month, though it can vary depending on the country.

How long is a Digital Nomad Visa valid for?

Digital Nomad Visas are usually valid for one to two years, but the validity period may vary depending on the country.


Aemilius Dost is originally from the Netherlands but moved to Mexico more than two years ago. He started traveling when he was 19 and visited over 20 countries spread over North, and Central America, Europe and Asia. He currently works as a freelance SEO specialist and has worked with companies such as Surfshark, SafetyWing, and BP.

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