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16. May. 2024 euronews.travel

Laptop squatters - Cafes in Europe are fed up with space-hogging digital nomads




Some cafes have banned laptops completely while others charge an hourly rate for the privilege of using them.
One of the perks of being a digital nomad is swapping a dreary office for a rotation of trendy cafes in destinations around the world.
But in some places in Spain, remote workers and their laptops are becoming undesirable customers.
Bars and cafes in Valencia, Santiago and Barcelona are cracking down on digital nomads who overstay their welcome.
Owners say teleworkers hog tables for hours, sometimes for the price of a single coffee.
Fed up, they are now taking action. And they are not the only ones in Europe. Coffee shops and snack bars from Paris to Berlin have already established rules for so-called “laptop squatters”.
Cafes in Spain crack down on remote working
Remote working continues to be a popular lifestyle choice, encouraged by the increasing list of digital nomad visa and accommodation schemes.
With plenty of sunshine, reasonable prices and culture-rich cities, Spain is a top choice for digital nomads.
But their way of working is not always compatible with a destination’s lifestyle. Cafes and bars in cities in Spain are growing frustrated by people ordering a single drink and then occupying a table for several hours or even a whole day.
For small business owners, it is not a viable form of income and many have decided to take action.
Raquel Llanes, who runs a cafe in the Raval area of Barcelona, explained to local website Barcelona Secreta that the situation was out of control.
`We`ve had customers who have ordered an espresso and sat for eight hours, people who have asked us to turn the music down so they could have meetings, customers who took out their Tupperware to eat,” she said.
“At first we adapted the space with sockets and to work, but after two years we realised that the numbers weren`t working out.”
In Valencia, Santiago and Barcelona, bars and cafes have decided to switch off WiFi to dissuade teleworkers.
Some cafes have put up posters stating that remote working is banned during peak hours between 8.30am and 12.30pm.
Others allow laptop-equipped customers to use the space but will ask them to move if they need room for a group or regulars.
Laptops banned in cafes in Paris and Berlin
For several years now, cafes in European cities including Paris, Berlin, Lisbon and Brighton have been taking a stand against remote workers.
Some have banned laptops completely while others charge an hourly rate for the privilege of using them.
For many cafe owners, it’s not just about the unprofitability of remote workers but also about protecting their business’ primary function: a convivial place to interact with other customers face-to-face.
If you’re a digital nomad in Spain looking for remote working space, consider taking advantage of the dozens of co-working spaces popping up all over the country.Austin Distel
“It`s definitely a bad image for the cafe if you walk past it and keep seeing the same four or five faces with their laptops on, regardless of whether they`ve paid or not,” one commenter wrote on a Reddit thread.
“The cafes are supposed to be fun places where people go and have conversations.”
“I know lots of people here glamorise the idea of working from coffee shops in exotic places, but it’s both socially unacceptable and burdensome to the business much of the time,” said another.
Sometimes, it is also a case of frustration at digital nomads’ disrespectful behaviour.
“The worst is those people [who] leave the supermarket sandwich wrappers on the table for the staff (me, in the past) to clean up,” another user on the same thread wrote.
Where to remote work in Spain
If you’re a digital nomad in Spain looking for remote working space that won’t ruffle feathers, consider taking advantage of the dozens of co-working spaces popping up all over the country.
In Barcelona, trendy Betahaus (also in Berlin, Hamburg, Sofia and Bucharest) has a luminous interior space and a plant-filled terrace. Spread across five floors, it has private offices and meeting spaces as well as communal working areas.
La Vaca (meaning cow and so-named because it is an ex-dairy) is an easygoing, greenery-filled space where you can listen to music, do yoga or have a game of pool when you need a break.
In Valencia, look up Vortex Coworking Playa in the seaside El Cabanyal neighbourhood. The restored building has a stylish interior of exposed wooden beams and brick walls and is equipped with a kitchen.
In Santiago, try Campus Stellae inside a 17th-century building. The five floors of communal spaces and private offices have prime views of the neighbouring cathedral.



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21. Jun. 2024 Business Tech

Big loss for Home Affairs in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has lost its legal battle over Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs). The Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) previously took the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to court over his termination of the ZEP under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA). V.5436

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21. Jun. 2024 Business Day

The real culprit behind SA’s immigration woes

Proposed changes to the Citizenship Act fail to deal with the most serious problem: the department of home affairs The final white paper released recently by the home affairs ministry has brought SA’s immigration landscape into sharp focus. While it highlights several areas of concern within the present immigration framework, it fails to address the deeper issue at hand: the department of home affairs itself. V.5437

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21. Jun. 2024 The Citizen

Woman still fighting Home Affairs for ID 10 years later

Primrose Modisane, denied South African citizenship, fights decade-long battle for identity documentation and recognition. A Gauteng-based woman has been living a life of squalor because she does not have an identity document Primrose Modisane, 36, from Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni, claims she has tried in vain to convince the department of home affairs to issue her documentation as they kept on demanding endless proof that she was South African. V.5438

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21. Jun. 2024 MoonStone

SCA overturns precedent-setting cyber-crime judgment

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has set aside a judgment that opened the door to liability claims against businesses that send their banking details in an unsecured manner to a debtor who falls victim to cyber-crime. In January last year, the High Court in Johannesburg ordered law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS) to pay Judith Hawarden R5.5 million, plus interest and costs. Hawarden lost the money in August 2019 when she transferred the balance owed on a R6m property purchase. Hawarden thought she was paying the money into ENS’s account, but a cyber-criminal had accessed her email account. V.5440

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21. Jun. 2024 Tourism Update

Onerous visa regs threaten SA’s headquarter ambitions

South Africa’s immigration regulations could threaten the country’s aim to be the headquarters base for multinationals wanting to expand their operations into Africa, the Business Day reports. According to the report, Tata International has decided to base some of its key personnel in Tanzania because of the long delay in getting visas and work permits for its senior managers in SA. V.5441

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19. Jun. 2024 Business Day

There is a palpable change at home affairs department

But efficiency is not enough; applications must be processed fairly and approved without bias Something appears to have shifted within the department of home affairs, sparking a glimmer of hope for visa applicants and practitioners alike. In recent months there has been a noticeable increase in the speed at which applications are being processed. While it is too early to determine the exact cause, it is worth noting that this acceleration coincides with ongoing court cases challenging the department’s handling of immigration matters. Whether these changes are a direct response to legal pressure remains speculative, but the progress and outcomes we’re witnessing are undeniable. This is a significant step forward, signalling a potential turnaround in the backlog that has plagued the immigration system since the reopening after the Covid lockdowns. Could this be the beginning of the end for the backlog? We cautiously hope so. V.5432

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19. Jun. 2024 BBC

Biden to give legal status to 500,000 undocumented spouses

President Joe Biden has announced a new policy that would protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented spouses of US citizens from deportation, according to administration officials. The issue of immigration has proven an election-year headache for Mr Biden, who recently issued a sweeping executive action to curb record migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border. The new policy will apply to those who have been in the country for at least 10 years and will allow them to work in the US legally. The White House believes more than 500,000 spouses will be eligible. Speaking at an event at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Biden said the move would help the US immigration system become less `unfair` and `unjust` for the benefit of immigrants, married couples - and all Americans. V.5433

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19. Jun. 2024 News24

Constitutional Court dismisses application for leave to appeal Zimbabwe permit decision

he Constitutional Court dismissed an application by the home affairs minister for leave to appeal a June 2023 Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruling that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme had been unlawfully terminated. The court ordered the minister to meaningfully consult with the 178 000 affected permit holders, according to GroundUp. The matter was brought to court by the Helen Suzman Foundation, which argued that the minister had not taken into account the profound impact of the termination of the ZEP programme on those who had been living and working in South Africa, legally, for more than a decade. V.5434

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18. Jun. 2024 Enca

GNU | PA wants either Home Affairs or Police Ministry

JOHANNESBURG - The Patriotic Alliance says it`s willing to take the Police Ministry if Home Affairs isn`t up for grabs. The party has been gunning for Home Affairs, promising to mass deport all illegal foreigners. V.5429

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18. Jun. 2024 Travel Channel

Schengen-Style Visas For Asia & Africa? Exploring A New Era Of Multi-Country Travel

Will the proposed Schengen-style multi-country unified visa system ease travel across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and southern Africa? Visa applications can be time-consuming, with embassies evaluating documents, biometrics, and travel history. The US and Schengen visas have gained a global reputation for their thorough and extensive processes. However, in the wake of the pandemic, there has been a global surge in tourism and many countries are seeking to streamline visa processes to boost tourism and the local economies. Visas are being reimagined through new schemes and policies, with many nations bringing in the Schengen-style unified multi-country visa. V.5430

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18. Jun. 2024 The South African

Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa rolls out e-passports

Zimbabwe’s consulate in South Africa has announced that it will start rolling out an e-passport facility, starting on Tuesday. Consul-General Eria Phiri explained in a public notice that the first phase involved training consulate staff. This concluded on 15 June, and will now be followed by a system test run from June 18 to 21. South Africa is home to over one million Zimbabwean nationals. This is according to the country’s census data and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The IOM also notes that many have entered South Africa without proper documentation. Zimbabweans have left their home country en masse to escape a political crisis, harsh economic conditions and chronic underdevelopment. V.5431

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13. Jun. 2024 IOL

Namibia demands reciprocal visas for their nationals

Nationals from thirty one countries will need to complete an online application form and obtain visas-on-arrival. Namibia`s Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS) has declared that thirty one countries, mainly from Europe, will be removed from its visa-exempt list due to the lack of reciprocal visa arrangements for Namibian citizens. While the implementation date is yet to be determined, nationals from these countries will need to complete an online application form and obtain visas-on-arrival, as stated by MHAISS. V.5428

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11. Jun. 2024 IOL

Border management dispels rumours claiming that there are flight delays at OR Tambo Airport

The Border Management Authority (BMA) has dismissed reports claiming that a transition to a biometric system at OR Tambo International Airport is causing delays for all international departures and arrivals. Commissioner at BMA, Dr Michael Masiapato said the false reports have caused unnecessary concern among travellers and stakeholders. V.5427

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10. Jun. 2024 Times Lives

Home affairs grapples with authenticity of relationships

The department needs to establish authenticity before granting spousal or relative visas A major headache for the department of home affairs in processing temporary residence visas is having to establish the authenticity of relationships claimed between individuals. V.5421

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10. Jun. 2024 Visa News

5 South African Countries Announce Plans to Introduce Single Visa to Promote Tourism

Key Takeaways • Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are planning to introduce a single tourist visa. • This visa, similar to the Schengen one, will permit entry to all these five countries for a short period. • GCC countries will soon also launch a single visa. Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have announced plans to simplify the movement of foreign travelers within their territories without the need to apply for separate documents. V.5422

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10. Jun. 2024 The South African

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling SA

It’s ironic that with so many South Africans trying to leave the country, it’s a visa backlog for people trying to get INTO the country that’s stifling economic growth. According to a report from Business Tech, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has a visa backlog of 62 000 applications. These are for people and workers trying to get into the country to fill critical skills shortages. Now, visa agent Xpat, says the DHA are rejecting applications out of hand to simply try clear the huge visa backlog. The agent specialises in work permits for people coming to South Africa. It says individuals, HR professionals and businesses face lengthy delays and a needlessly complex application process WHAT’S THE REASON FOR THE VISA BACKLOG? Since COVID, there have been a number of changes to rectify problems within the DHA. And Xpatweb believes these administrative processes have led to mounting rejections for frivolous reasons. V.5423

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10. Jun. 2024 News24

`Habibi, come to South Africa!`: Dubai Bling`s Ebraheem confirms Forever Rose coming to SA

• Ebraheem Al Samadi, celebrated for his role on Dubai Bling, chose South Africa as his exquisite holiday destination. • He praised the country`s stunning landscapes, rich history, and the warmth of its people, declaring it an ideal vacation destination. • Al Samadi revealed plans to expand his Forever Rose café franchise to South Africa and teases what he describes as the ultimate season of Dubai Bling. `My name is Ebraheem, and this is my tongue. Beware!` The Blooming Man says in Netflix`s Dubai Bling, an iconic line that cements his place as `the son of a king, and the son of a queen`. V.5424

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10. Jun. 2024 The Guardian

High court rules Home Office acted unlawfully over visa documents

Home Office failed to provide digital proof of status to those applying for visa extensions, in new Windrush-style scandal The Home Office is facing a new Windrush-style scandal after a landmark high court ruling found that the home secretary acted unlawfully by failing to provide documents to thousands of migrants proving they are here legally. The charity Ramfel brought the legal challenge along with Cecilia Adjei, a healthcare worker and mother of two boys aged 17 and 11, who came to Britain from Ghana in 2000. V.5425

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10. Jun. 2024 City Press

SA`s population is getting older: `New report offers government blueprint for future planning`

Expert says the new report gives government an opportunity to plan ahead to meet the country’s needs. The South African population has grown by 1.1% in the past year to about 63.1 million. Of this number, 51.6 million are black Africans, followed by coloured people and the white population projected at about 5 175 608 and 4 607 554, respectively. People of Indian and Asian origin are estimated to be at 1.7 million. V.5426

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07. Jun. 2024 BusinessTech

South Africa scores massive own-goal

Woes within South Africa’s visa processes have left businesses and skilled workers in limbo, hurting investment and business activity as a result. Recently, French diplomats warned that South Africa’s strict visa requirements are driving investors away. In addition to this, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said that a key obstacle attracting investment and expanding business is “the broken South African visa regime.” “To facilitate foreign investment, companies need to be able to easily access South Africa and those who apply for critical skills visas typically help to develop new and existing sectors, in line with international best practice or by helping to new industries through skills development,” said Wegner. Companies aiming to operate in the country must invest a minimum of R5 million and ensure at least 60% of their employees are South African. V.5419

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Articles

21. Jun. 2024 Business Tech

Big loss for Home Affairs in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has lost its legal battle over Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs). The Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) previously took the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to court over his termination of the ZEP under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA). V.5436

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