expats moving to south africa

Moving to South Africa Expat Guide

Are you thinking about moving to South Africa? Many people refer to South Africa as the “rainbow nation” due to the country’s multinational diversity. South Africa is a country that has been welcoming expats for many decades now. Despite the financial hardships in recent years, South Africa remains a popular destination for expats that would like to take advantage of the opportunities in the country.

Moving to South Africa as an expat requires careful preparation. At Holborn, we always recommend getting some professional advice and guidance to minimise the stress and anxiety deriving from such a move.

In this blog, we will give you some valuable information regarding your relocation to South Africa, so keep reading and taking notes.

Relocating and working in South Africa

If you have made your decision to relocate to South Africa, you should review the available visas and see which one would be in line with your plans. The types of visa are many, covering most individuals who are eager to live in one of the most beautiful countries on the continent. 

South African tourist visas

If you would like to see what the country looks like, you should visit her as a tourist. If you are a citizen of one of the countries in this list prepared by the Department of Home Affairs, you come from a visa-exempt country and you can spend 90 days in South Africa without facing any issues.

E-visa in South Africa

The South African authorities launched in February 2022 the e-Visa programme. Eligible travellers coming from 14 countries are capable of getting their visa online without visiting an embassy or consulate. For the time being, the countries are the following: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Congo, Kenya, India, Ethiopia, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Philippines, Uganda, Mexico, and Nigeria.  

Coming from a non-exempt country?

Foreigners who are not passport/travel document holders who are exempt from the South African visa requirement are subject to visa control. Therefore, it is advised to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to South Africa. 

Obtaining your South African work visa

Foreigners with critical skills which are in demand in the country can obtain a work visa. Its duration depends on how much you will have to stay in South Africa. Multinational companies are allowed to bring personnel from other countries to their SA branches using the Intra-Company Transfer Visa. 

We should note that individuals who’d like to invest or consider investing in the country can apply for a Business visa. You will have to invest a prescribed financial capital contribution as an applicant. For more information, please visit the Home Affairs Department website. 

There are many other types of visa such as the medical visa, the study visa, the exchange visa and the retired person’s visa. There are different requirements for each of them, and the application process may vary. 

Managing your finances in South Africa

Most of the country’s taxes come from personal and corporate taxes. Residents are taxed on worldwide income and non-residents are taxed on South African-generated income. Every homeowner should register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) as they might be liable for paying capital gains tax on property. Every individual that qualifies as a tax resident should visit the local SARS branch to register as a taxpayer. 

You can review below the SA tax bands:

table of South Africa tax bands Several countries have tax treaties with South Africa, which help expats avoid double taxation in their home countries. If you are a pensioner moving into the country, you should know that there is no tax on international pensions. 

A tax system can be complex to interpret, especially if you’ve recently relocated to a new country and need to familiarise yourself with it. The good news is that professional assistance is available. Getting in touch with our advisers at Holborn Africa would clarify what you have to be careful of, helping you minimise stress and anxiety. 

Taking care of your health

Good quality of life is not only about the Mediterranean climate and lovely weather, living in a beautiful city such as Cape Town, for example, or enjoying the perks of a popular tourist destination. You also would have to look after your health. 

With a huge subsidized public sector and a small but very high-quality private sector, the healthcare system in South Africa is divided into two distinct categories. Eight out of ten citizens use the public healthcare system whilst 20% opt for the private health system. You should take into consideration that there is no official public health insurance scheme in South Africa. 

Taking out health insurance is the best option for you. That’s how you can ensure that you will take advantage of the private healthcare system and stop stressing if something unexpected happens. Holborn’s advisers listen to your needs and can recommend the best option out of a wide range of insurance products. 

Where are the expat hotspots in South Africa?

Cape Town and Johannesburg are among the most popular expat destinations in the country. Almost 200,000 Britons have moved to South Africa. Choosing the right home is a challenge that most expats experience, regardless of where they choose to relocate. The most crucial thing is to rent a unit in a secure complex in a medium or low-density residential area.

Unfortunately, South Africa is not included in the safest countries in the world. That’s why you should be careful when choosing locations. However, having fellow Britons around you will surely give you a sense of security. 

Do you want to move to South Africa? Call Holborn!

If you have made your choice or you are still considering moving to South Africa, one thing is for sure: you will be needing the right guidance. Holborn hires only the most experienced and fully qualified financial advisers. Combined with a wide array of products, you can be sure that working with Holborn can bring financial success one step closer. 

With offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Winelands Holborn’s advisers are ready to design a financial plan for you and make the transition as smooth as possible. Why don’t you call us today to discuss what we can do for you by filling in the contact form?

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