financial emigration

Financial emigration is the process to conclude your financial affairs when leaving South Africa to settle in another country – and simply means your status – for exchange control purposes – changes from resident to non-resident. That’s all. Emigration does not affect your South African birth right, citizenship or the right to retain your South African passport – because once a South African always a South African.

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

What is formal emigration?

In plain English – formal emigration from South Africa constitutes an agreement between you and the Reserve Bank where, for exchange control purposes, your status changes from resident to non-resident. That’s all. As an emigrant you will always retain your birthright, citizenship and right to your South African passport – because once a South African always a South African.

Important to keep in mind:

  • for exchange control purposes your South African bank account becomes a blocked rand account which is subject to regulatory restrictions.
  • your remaining South African based assets, and transactions from this account, will be controlled by the bank holding your blocked account.
  • your tax affairs must be in order and up to date.

The key benefit to financially emigrate from South Africa? Your freedom to be.

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I recently had a great experience with CashKows and the transfer of my SA retirement annuities to Ireland. CashKows also offered to submit a closing tax return to SARS.

Mike Louw

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