6 Useful Tips for Emigrating from South Africa

How to emigrate from South Africa

Emigrating from South Africa can be a daunting experience, and rightly so. Because it tends to be a once-off undertaking for most, should you make the big move overseas it will presumably be your first. Unlike merely working overseas, the process of relocating or emigrating has its own, myriad challenges. As such, I have compiled the following list of tips for emigrating from South Africa .

6 Top Tips for emigrating from South Africa 

Tip No. 1 - Formal Emigration

Once you have settled on a country to which you wish to immigrate, it is worth deliberating whether you wish to formally emigrate from South Africa or not. Don’t fret about the term ─ formal emigration is merely a financial process which allows you to move assets, or their market value, to a specific bank account following your emigration out of the country. This decision can be costly, and only really worth undertaking if you have a large sum of assets you wish to move overseas.

Tip No. 2 - Jobs and accommodation

Look for jobs and accommodation in the new country you will call home. Unless you are of retirement age, a select number of countries will require that you provide proof of a job record, so it is wise to have an employment opportunity lined up before you arrive in your new homeland. Having your accommodation sorted before you emigrate will also be beneficial.

Tip No. 3 - SARS and SARB

Should you opt to formally emigrate you will deal primarily with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). The process is two-fold: obtain tax clearance from the former, and a foreign capital allowance account from the latter. Each process is far more detailed and intricate than presented here - involving everything from your tax being paid up, to bank cards being destroyed.

Bear in mind that formally emigrating does not relinquish your citizenship ─ it is merely exporting your assets to your new country of residence.

Tip No. 4 - M.P.336(b)

Visit your bank and request a M.P.336(b) form from a consultant. The consultant will take you through the application process to get the ball of your formal emigration rolling. Your bank will act as an ‘Authorised Dealer’ , working with the South African Reserve Bank to formalise your exit financial exit from the country. The process requires various forms of documentation to be submitted to prove your person, investments and other assets.

Tip No. 5 - Blocked account

Emigrating from South Africa

Selling your possessions

Once all your legal and financial matters have been wound up you will be issued with a ‘blocked account’ through which all your capital will flow offshore. The maximum an individual can hold in foreign capital allowance is R10 million and R20 million per family unit. However, to accommodate for the rate of exchange and cost of living in your country of choice, it is advisable that you spend at least half of your first year saving up to supplement your standard of living and provide for emergency expenses.

Tip No. 6 - Selling your possessions

Sell your car and furniture to add to your emergency savings cushion.  This will help you through the transition process once you’ve left. Give old clothes away to charity, or as a farewell party, have all your friends and family come over to buy your leftover belongings. It’s a great way to raise some funds without directly asking for help.

Here are some more articles you can read on emigrating from South Africa :

Formal emigration vs Relocation

Formal emigration not advisable for all

How to manage financial emigration: Three steps for South Africans moving or living abroad

Guidelines to emigration

Financial Surveillance And Exchange Control

Tax and Emigration

This is a guest post by Fazlin Karriem .

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