Skip to main content

Easiest Countries to Immigrate to from South Africa

By January 27, 2020January 19th, 2023FinGlobal

Easiest Countries to Immigrate to from South Africa

January 27, 2020


Life is complicated enough without trying to get into countries that aren’t all about those easy immigration requirements. Making the decision to leave South Africa is a tough one so if you’re leaving the land of your birth behind, you might as well make the transition as simple as possible. We took a look into which countries South Africans are finding it easiest to immigrate to, to give you some food for thought. If you’ve been weighing up your options about staying versus starting afresh abroad, you’ll find this particularly interesting and hopefully inspirational.

Living abroad doesn’t have to cost a fortune unless you pick an expensive country to move to. By avoiding popular, expensive emigration destinations, and stick to some of the cheaper countries with easy immigration requirements, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that you can live really well, even on a moderate income. Would the improvement in lifestyle and the reduction in stress be worth taking a pay cut? Without a doubt. If you think about it – the low cost of living in some countries is one of the biggest attractions prompting South Africans to move abroad for work. Although there are many well-paid jobs to be found, it makes a huge difference when you’re able to make the most of your money.

Bulgaria: A fine destination country with the easiest immigration requirements for South Africans

If Italy and France are a little out of your price range right now, you’d do well to explore Bulgaria as an alternative. The high price tags you’d usually associate with living in a European country don’t apply in Eastern Europe and Bulgaria is one of the most inexpensive countries in Europe to live in. A modest income will afford you a high standard of living in Bulgaria, and it’s geographically convenient, as you’ll be well placed to explore neighboring travel options like  Greece, Turkey, and Romania – all of which will be practically in your backyard. The cost of living is low – with a single bedroom apartment at around $230 monthly. Bulgaria also offers inexpensive public transport and reasonably priced restaurants. 

How to get a Bulgarian Residence Permit

Bulgarian residence starts with applying for a long-term D visa at the nearest Bulgarian embassy or general consulate. There are 5 routes in terms of which a D visa is granted:

  1. Registration of a Trade Representative Office of a foreign company in Bulgaria.
  2. Registration of a Bulgarian limited company employing no fewer than 10 local citizens for no less than 6 months.
  3. Investment in property –  €312,000 to buy real-estate in Bulgaria.
  4. Non-EU citizens who are pensioners and have sufficient funds and accommodation to enjoy their retirement in Bulgaria.
  5. Family reunification in Bulgaria.
  6. Bulgarian residence for European citizens.
  7. Bulgarian passport by investment.

Who is eligible for a Bulgarian temporary residence permit?

If you’re a foreigner and you’re entitled to operate a business in your home country or abroad, you might want to consider setting up a branch in Bulgaria. Registering a trade representative office in Bulgaria will enable you to apply for a long-term D visa and Bulgarian residence permit.

What are the perks that come with a Bulgarian temporary residence permit?

  • You get a Bulgarian ID card for foreigners that allows multiple entries and stay in Bulgaria.
  • You’re entitled to stay legally in Romania, Croatia and Cyprus for 90 days in any 180-day period, visa free.
  • This permit is renewable for a maximum of five years, after which you are eligible to apply for a Bulgarian permanent residence permit.
  • Once you’ve got Bulgarian permanent residence and you reside in Bulgaria for 183 days annually in any 60 months period, you can then apply for a Bulgarian citizenship by naturalisation.

Paraguay is fast becoming one of the easiest and most affordable countries to immigrate to from South Africa

South Africans are flocking to Paraguay, because this South American country offers its perks to more than just the wealthy. Their immigration system is cheap, efficient and friendly and it’s a simple matter to start a business with an investment that isn’t astronomical in terms of zeros required.

What makes Paraguay one of the easiest countries to immigrate to from South Africa?

Getting all your paperwork ducks in a row is easy, you buy your flight ticket and pick up a visa entry at the airport when you land. Your status changes at that point from tourist to short-term visitor, which is your gateway to qualifying for Paraguay immigration and eventually becoming a permanent resident. 

What are the benefits of immigrating to Paraguay?

  • South African citizens can enter Paraguay without a visa, and it’s possible to become a permanent resident of Paraguay in under three months. 
  • Paraguay is the most secure country in South America and property, land and investments are affordable and foreign-sourced income is tax exempt.
  • Paraguay is a Member State of the Mercosur, and the permanent resident permit allows free movement and simplified settlement, business and taxation in other member countries.
  • The cost of immigrating to Paraguay is one of the lowest globally, with admin costs, legal and agency fees adding up to around €3000. You’ll need $5000 dollars per person in a temporary bank account in order to show you’re solvent for three months – and that’s it!

Bonus: Vietnam is another option for some South Africans.

Living and working in a culturally exciting destination that provides lots of opportunity for travel and exploration, without costing a fortune? Good morning, Vietnam! There’s plenty to see and do, because Vietnam has incredible natural assets, delicious food and lots of opportunity for adventure.  The main cities are Ho Chi Minh City in the south, the capital of Hanoi in the north, and Da Nang in the centre of Vietnam. If you’re looking for work, you should concentrate your search in these hotspots.

The Vietnamese currency is called the Dong, and 1 South African Rand currently equals 1 613,21 Vietnamese Dong – which is in your favour, clearly.  As for the cost of living in Vietnam, it depends on where you choose to settle. Cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi will cost more than than outlying locations, but as a result the opportunity to earn is higher. Transportation is cheap, a small apartment can be rented for roughly $250 a month, and eating out won’t cost you too much either.

Do South Africans need a visa to visit Vietnam?

  • There are 3 basic kinds of Vietnam visa requirements for South African citizens: trade visa, tourism visa, and work visa. The procedures are different depending on the type of visa. South Africa passport holders can apply for visa by 2 ways: Obtaining directly by visiting Vietnam embassy, or obtaining online for a Vietnam visa on arrival.
  • In order to work in Vietnam, you’ll need a work permit that allows South African employees live and stay in Vietnam for business – this can’t happen on a tourist visa, in other words.

FinGlobal: Financial emigration specialists

We can’t help you pick your emigration destination, nor can we help you pack boxes and say goodbye to your loved ones when you decide to leave South Africa, but we can help you with the process of financial emigration, including retirement annuity withdrawals to fund your new chapter abroad.

FinGlobal is here to offer you support and advice every step of the way. We’ll tell you exactly what documentation is required for every transaction and provide you with signature-ready forms. We’ll help open temporary bank accounts, deal with forex requirements and international transfers, and ensure that your money lands safely on the other side where you need it. Contact FinGlobal to start your free, no-obligation financial emigration assessment.

Contact FinGlobal to start your free, no-obligation financial emigration assessment.

One Comment

Leave a Reply