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Things every soon-to-be expat needs to know about relocating

By March 26, 2021December 22nd, 2022Newsletter

Things every soon-to-be expat needs to know about relocating

March 26, 2021


Moving to another county is undoubtedly one of life’s biggest adventures, but it can also be a terrifying one if you are heading to a place where you don’t know anyone. Emigrating from South Africa is a huge chore. There’s nothing walk-in-the-park about it, so it’s best to be armed with tips and advice to make the move and transition easier, before you even set foot on foreign soil.

According to an article published in Cape Business News in 2019, roughly 23,000 people are emigrating from South Africa annually. In the upcoming months, you could be part of this particular statistic, so make sure that you’re prepared for the challenge and hurdles that such a big move will present you with.


Moving to another country


Relocation tips for South African expats

When relocating abroad, there are just a few things that you need to think about, to make your immediate arrival comfortable. It really doesn’t matter where you are moving to in the world; you can tweak these tips just a little bit, to suit your specific experience. Without much further ado, let’s jump right into exploring our tips and advice (and everything you really need to know) for relocating abroad.


  • Avoid being stranded without access to your own money
    • Do you have any idea what happens if you flit off to another country, pop your bank card into the ATM and try to draw money? It usually blocks the card and access to the bank account and you find yourself stuck on the side of the road without a cent! Can you imagine being locked out of your own accounts while in a strange country and no support system yet? It is important to call your bank and let them know that you will be overseas. They will put an alert on your cards to ensure that you can spend your money without it being flagged as fraud. Make sure that you do this for each and every card. This all in mind, it’s still a good idea to take some cash along with you – in the currency of the new country – just in case you run into any card or bank issues.


  • Ditch dreams of roaming and opt for a local SIM card
    • At first, you probably think that you would never give up your South African number because family and friends must be able to reach you the way they always have. This thinking will quickly change when you experience network issues and heft roaming fees added to your cell phone bill. It’s best to get a cheap local SIM card, buy airtime for it and then share that number with all of your contacts. WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it possible to share a new number really easily.


  • Set up 2-factor authentications before emigrating from South Africa
    • When you log into your bank account and make a payment, your bank probably sends you a text message or activates a USSD code. This won’t make it to you when your usual mobile number is not receiving messages in your new country. Before leaving South Africa, ensure that your bank sends important codes to your email instead. Much the same, if you log into your social media accounts in a new country, it will probably spark a security process that may lock you out of the various platforms. Before you leave SA, change your settings so that your email is your preferred method for 2-factor log in and not your cell phone number.


  • Get familiar with visa and passport requirements
    • Don’t rely on information provided by anyone else on visa and passport requirements when moving abroad. One thing that’s never going to change is that things change and you don’t want to be breaking any immigration laws unwittingly while in another country. Read up as much as you can on the visa requirements for your specific situation and keep up to date on those throughout your time in the new country.


  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date
    • Vaccinations have been a hot topic of late, due to the COVID-19 vaccines released. While it’s important to ensure that you have the COVID-19 vaccine if you are heading to a country that requires it for entry, there are other vaccinations that you should ensure are up to date too. For instance, the Yellow Fever vaccination is important if you plan to travel around once you have emigrated from South Africa. Make sure that you have your updated vaccination card with you.


  • Personally see property before you rent it
    • It’s tempting to rent a property that you see online before you arrive in your destination country. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when moving to another country. Keep in mind that images online can be deceiving and you can’t really be sure that you aren’t being over-charged. Rather book an Airbnb offer for a few weeks so that you can investigate the right area for you and chat to the locals about the expected local rental rates. Arrive first and then start looking around. You will regret doing it any other way.


Process your tax & financial emigration when emigrating from South Africa

One of the most important relocation tips that we can share with you is to ensure that you’re on top of your financial emigration and tax emigration processing when emigrating from SA. Many expats overlook the importance of this and are then shocked and surprised at the tax implications that they are later faced with. At FinGlobal, we provide premier advice and guidance on financial and tax emigration to thousands of South African expats across the globe. And we are ready and available to assist you too.

If you want to make sure that your emigration process runs smoothly, especially on the financial front, simply get in touch with us to discuss your specific situation.