How To Retire In South Africa As A Foreigner | A Step By Step Guide | expatne.ws
30 June 2023
If you live in another country and wish to retire in South Africa, there are a number of steps you will need to take before your retirement can become a reality. Firstly, you will need to ensure that you meet all of the South African government’s eligibility requirements for retirement. In order to be eligible for retirement in South Africa, applicants must be:
• Over the age of 50 and have valid proof of age;
• Have a minimum annual income equivalent to five times the average annual salary in South Africa;
• Unmarried, or if married, both spouses must meet the financial criteria;
• Have valid health insurance;
• Have no criminal record;
• Demonstrate that they are able to support themselves financially without relying on local public funds.
Once you have established that you meet these requirements, there are further steps which must be taken in order to officially retire in South Africa. These include:
1. Obtaining a Retirement Visa – To obtain a Retirement Visa, applicants must provide documentation confirming their eligibility as outlined above as well as a valid passport and supporting evidence that they are able to support themselves financially (which can include details on investments and/or pension).
2. Applying for Residency Status – After successfully obtaining a Retirement Visa, applicants can then apply for permanent residency status which gives them the freedom to work and study as well as access public services such as healthcare and education. To do this, applicants must provide proof of residence (such as rental agreements or property deeds), proof of identity (such as birth certificates or passports) and proof of funds (such as bank statements or investment documents).
3. Opening an Account with a Local Bank – Once applicants have permanent residency status, they must open an account with one of South Africa’s local banks in order to deposit money into it before being able to withdraw funds from their overseas accounts via transfers or withdrawals at ATMs.
4. Registering with SARS – Applicants also need to register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) so that all income earned by them locally is subject to taxation at the appropriate rate.
5. Applying for Social Security Benefits – In addition, retirees who wish to receive social security benefits such as pension payments must apply directly with the relevant government department or agency responsible for issuing those payments. Applicants will need documents confirming their identity, residence and financial resources available when making this application.
6. Visiting a Local Home Affairs Office– Finally, once all other steps have been completed successfully retirees must visit their local Home Affairs office in order to request an Identity Documents Booklet which officially records all relevant information related to their status such as name, date of birth and resident address etc.. This booklet is then given by Home Affairs officials who issue it upon presenting valid ID documents previously provided by applicants when registering with SARS and opening an account with one of South Africa’s local banks etc…