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Financial emigration: the how, what and when for South African expats

By October 22, 2015July 25th, 2020Financial emigration

Financial emigration: the how, what and when for South African expats

October 22, 2015

South African emigrants often face the tough decision of whether or not they should emigrate financially. Although the process doesn’t affect your status as South African resident, it dóés affect your financial status for exchange control purposes.

Why should I emigrate financially from South Africa?

Financial emigration is not for everyone. Most South African expats are perfectly happy to use their annual Discretionary Allowance of R1 million, or their Foreign Investment Allowance of R10 million to transfer funds from South Africa each year. If, however, you want to transfer more than these allowances permit, are expecting a trust or inheritance payout, want to cash in your retirement annuity or no longer own a South African green bar-coded ID, then financial emigration could be for you.

How does financial emigration work?

So you’ve decided to use services? Good for you! You’ve made the best choice (If we do say so ourselves)!

Your financial emigration journey will look something like this:

  1. will gather information specific to your assets and financial situation in South Africa
  2. If needed, we’ll provide cross-border tax advice
  3. We’ll determine the most effective route for financial emigration
  4. will draft and prepopulate documentation required by SARB, SARS and selected authorised dealers
  5. You’ll complete and sign the documentation and we’ll collect it from you via courier.
  6. We’ll prepare your emigration application, draft supplementary documentation and ascertain the status of  your tax record with SARS
  7. Depending on your situation, we may need to reactivate your tax record, submit prescribed returns as required and obtain emigration-specific tax clearance certificates.
  8. will submit your emigration application to SARB via the selected authorised dealer
  9. will open your blocked rand account with your selected authorised dealer
  10. SARB will confirm your emigration status

If you are emigrating for the purpose of surrendering retirement annuities these steps must also be included:

  1. we’ll inform your insurers of your emigration status and pre-populate surrender documents
  2. you will sign the surrender documents and return them via email
  3. will surrender your policies and credit proceeds to your blocked rand account
  4. Funds available in your blocked rand account can be transferred overseas

How long will financial emigration take?

This depends on the complexity of your case – your personal financial situation in South Africa, the status of your tax record and the extent and type of assets you hold all play a part. However as a guide you should allow between five and seven months.

This may seem like a long time, but it’s quicker than the ‘do it yourself’ approach. Numerous people have come to us for help having failed to make headway despite being in process, in some cases for as long as two years! Getting it wrong could leave you hanging indefinitely and potentially cost you a fortune.

Don’t wait, start the process today! can assist you with all aspects of financial migration. And, seeing as you will need to wait a few months before the process will be finalised, the best time to kick it off is now. Talk to a financial adviser today.

Simply leave your details and we’ll call you!

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