What is financial emigration?
Financial emigration is a process that concludes your financial affairs when leaving South Africa to settle in another country and simply means your status with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) changes from resident to non-resident. Financial emigration does not affect your South African birth right, your citizenship or your right to retain your South African passport. Instead, the financial emigration process facilitates the flow of your capital out of South Africa.
As a financial emigrant you many transfer offshore:
- The proceeds of your retirement annuity, even before age 55. This can be used for any purpose in your new country including buying property – or even a worldwide tour
- 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
How might you renounce your South African citizenship?
Many South African expats who move abroad for work purposes may end up with permanent residency or even naturalise as citizens of their new country. What some South African’s don’t know, is that if they accept a new passport without applying for dual citizenship prior to gaining their new citizenship, they automatically lose their South African citizenship.
What does the loss of SA citizenship mean?
If you lose your South African citizenship, you still retain your right to permanent residence in South Africa. If you have lost your South African citizenship because you did not follow the procedures by first applying for retention of your South African status, you can apply to resume your South African citizenship status.
How to financially emigrate
Now that you know that financial emigration does not mean you have to renounce your South African citizenship and instead brings with it many financial benefits if you are moving abroad for the long-term, you might like to know more about it.