Despite having relocated abroad, as an expat there might still be a need for you to bank in South Africa. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to open a bank account in South Africa from overseas as well as some important tips about non-resident banking.
Can non-residents have bank accounts in South Africa?
Yes. As a South African non-resident living overseas, you are eligible to open bank accounts with greater transactional functionality that makes it much simpler to take care of your banking requirements back home.
Since there is no longer as much of a distinction between residents and non-residents for exchange control purposes, banks have welcomed the opportunity to attract foreign currency and have made it possible for international clients to save and invest with them, while facilitating foreign exchange transfers to make it easier to get money in and out of South Africa.
What is a non-resident bank account used for in South Africa?
A bank account that is held by an individual that is not a South African resident (whether for tax or exchange control purposes) can be used for:
- Accessing financial assets remaining in South Africa: If you want to cash in your retirement annuities, pensions or provident funds, you can only access these funds for offshore transfer by means of a local account.
- Moving money out of South Africa: a local bank account is the only legal vehicle through which funds can be moved out of the country.
- Transacting in South Africa: You might still have financial interests in South Africa, and the only way to facilitate these is through a non-resident account. Such interests might include the maintenance of immovable property, the repayment of debt or using money when you return for visits.
When it comes to moving money out of South Africa, both residents and non-residents will face the same tax verification process establishing that their funds are legitimately sourced and they are compliant with the tax authority.
How to open a non-resident bank account in South Africa from overseas
Each bank has its own set of internal requirements for South African expats who wish to open a non-resident account with their institution. Generally, you must be older than 18 and must be able to furnish the following documentation:
- Proof that you have ceased to be a tax resident in South Africa (after 1 March 2021) via the South African Revenue Service, or completed formal emigration via the South African Reserve Bank (before 1 March 2021).
- Proof of identity and current residence.
- Bank statements for at least three months
- Proof of income (payslip etc).
Life hack: Open a bank account online in South Africa, fast
Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to open a bank account in South Africa from anywhere. How? With help from FinGlobal, of course. As a proud partner of Bidvest Bank, we deliver a convenient, trusted online banking service for expats and South Africans who have ceased tax residence in South Africa.
FinGlobal: your cross-border financial partner in South Africa
Managing your South African financial interests from overseas shouldn’t be complicated. To get started with the opening of a non-resident bank account, leave us your contact details, and we’ll be in touch to complete the process.