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The benefits of financial emigration for South Africans

By June 30, 2017October 3rd, 2023Financial emigration

The benefits of financial emigration for South Africans

June 30, 2017


Just leaving South Africa to spend years or a lifetime abroad does not mean that you have financially emigrated from South Africa. Financial emigration, also known as formal emigration, involves a specific process where a South African resident formally changes their status with the South African Reserve Bank from resident to non-resident. Financial emigration does not affect your South African birthright, citizenship or your right to retain your South African passport.

Advantages of formal emigration

You will always be a South African; financial emigration is simply a status change for exchange control purposes. Financial emigration can be very beneficial for the following reasons:


Accessing retirement savings and annuities.

When you financially emigrate, you are allowed to access the proceeds of your retirement savings and annuities, even before the age of 55. As South Africa’s leading migration brand, one of our top services is assisting emigrating South Africans with surrendering retirement annuities and cost-effectively transferring their funds abroad to their new home. The good news is that the funds can be used for any purpose – whether you want to use them for adventurous travel or save a nest egg for later use.


The right to transfer other funds offshore

Along with your retirement annuity, as a financial emigrant you may – over and above your annual Discretionary Allowance of R1 Million and your Foreign Investment Allowance of R10 million – also transfer any of the following funds abroad:

  • A South African source inheritance
  • The proceeds of your assets declared in your emigration application
  • All passive income including rent, dividends, director’s fees, salary for services rendered in South Africa
  • Income from discretionary or vesting trusts


Your freedom to be…

By financially emigrating, you are opening up the possibility of adopting another citizenship, residing in another country with all your financial assets by your side, financially in the position to ‘get on’ with life. While you will never lose your South African heritage, it makes sense if you have made the decision to leave the country, to take as much of your accumulated assets as you can with you. Financial emigration makes this possible and puts you on a firm financial footing in your new home.


If you decide to return to South Africa, you can do so without restriction – you just have to inform the South African Reserve Bank formally of your return. If you are contemplating financial emigration, it’s important you speak to an expert in the field. With thousands of clients in over 105 countries, we have extensive experience with helping our clients financially emigrate. We offer a full range of in-house services including:



If you thinking of financially emigrating and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.


  • Ewoud says:

    More information on immigrating financialy from South Africa and becoming an non resident.

  • i taught in SA before leaving in 01/1995. before i left, i requested for my retirement payment. at that time it was 9000 rand. is there anything left for me to claim?

  • Benjamin Van Eeden says:

    I would like to know. I have money invested in Eskom pension fund. I can only get the money at the age of 55. I understand that. But I have immigrated to New Zealand and is a citizen of New Zealand. I did not keep duel citizenship. In September I will be entitled to my funds, but now Eskom says they will only pay me a third and then the rest as a monthly pension. This was not the original agreement and as a non citizen of South Africa, I would like to move all my money to New Zealand. Is there a way to do this?

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