Moving abroad brings with many considerations and questions – and one of the biggest of these is how to manage your South African financial affairs when you are abroad. As an expat in a new country, you’ll want easy access to your money and you’ll need to consider what you plan to do with your finances in South Africa. Here are some things to consider:
Your South African bank account: Open or close?
If you are planning on returning to South Africa, it probably makes sense to keep an account open. Before you leave South Africa ensure your bank is aware of your move and has your new email and residential address, so you can keep up-to-date with the workings of your account.
Financial emigration: Yes or no?
Financial emigration does not necessarily need to happen when you leave South Africa – it is also a process that you can choose to undertake when you are settled abroad. Financial emigration is the process where a South African resident changes their status with the Reserve Bank from resident to non-resident. It does not affect your citizenship or your right to retain your South African passport. What it does do is provide you with a number of benefits. As a financial emigrant you may transfer offshore:
- The proceeds of your retirement annuity, even before age 55
- South African source inheritance
- The proceeds of assets declared in your emigration application
- Passive income, i.e. rent, dividends, director’s fees, salary for services rendered in South Africa and income from discretionary or vesting trusts
- Proceeds from a third party life policy
Transferring foreign exchange: Now or later?
To ensure you hit the ground running in your new country, it’s advisable you have some foreign currency in your local account when you arrive. All foreign exchange transactions in South Africa are subject to exchange control regulations, which are governed by the South African Reserve Bank.
As a foreign exchange intermediary approved by the South African Reserve Bank, FinGlobal is able to offer you a totally compliant solution that provides you with excellent exchange rates, low fees, unrivalled personal service, free exchange control advice, signature-ready documentation and secure processing.