The last thing you want when you move overseas to start a new life is to be caught without access to your money. Planning your financial transition is an important step in preparing for your overseas move, so you’re probably wondering: how can I open an offshore bank account from South Africa? Is it even possible to open a foreign bank account from South Africa? Let’s take a look at these questions, and what you need to know about banking once you’ve emigrated from South Africa.
Is it possible to open a foreign bank account from South Africa before you’ve emigrated?
Answering this question all depends on which country you’re moving to. Some countries will allow non-residents to open bank accounts from beyond their borders, while others will only allow you to open a bank account once you’re physically on their soil and there are some that will only let you open an account once you’ve become a resident.
How to open an offshore bank account from South Africa
To make life easier, you’re obviously going to want a local bank account wherever you choose to move to. Let’s take a look at some of the questions we are asked most frequently about bank accounts and emigration.
Can I open a bank account in Australia before I immigrate there?
Yes, you can. Australia is pretty easy-going when it comes to expat banking, and opening a bank account in Australia as a non-resident is a relatively straightforward process that you can complete online. Australian banks give you the benefit of opening an account up to three months before your arrival date.
Once you arrive, you will need to go into your closest bank branch to activate your accounts and pick up your bank cards, but as soon as you’ve done that, you’ll be set to make withdrawals and swipe your bank cards in stores, and pay online.
Take a look at our Australian banking partner, here.
Can I open a UK bank account from South Africa?
Yes. Opening a fully transactional account in the UK from South Africa can be done if you plan to move there. While the UK is pretty strict about banking for non-residents, there are a number of banks that offer emigrants the opportunity to open an account up to three months before their arrival. Once you’ve landed in the UK, you’ll need to complete the process at a bank branch.
Can I open a bank account in the United States before I move there?
No. Unlike Australian and British banks, American banks aren’t very welcoming before you’ve moved there. Overseas applicants are not permitted, even if you’re planning to move there.
You will not be able to open a bank account in the United States from South Africa. You will need to physically visit a bank branch in the United States to open an account. You will be required to provide a US ID document (e.g. a passport or a Green Card), a Social Security Number (SSN), or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
FinGlobal: cross-border financial service specialists
Overwhelmed by all the emigration admin? Let us handle your cross-border transfers.
FinGlobal is a proud and trusted partner of Bidvest Bank, providing a convenient, secure banking facility in South Africa for South African expats and non-residents. Leave us your contact details, and we’ll be in touch to see how we can assist you.