If you’re a South African interested in getting money out of South Africa, you already know how important (and difficult) that entire process can be right now.
In this article, I’m not going to dive into the political, economic, or social issues South Africans are facing. Instead, I’m going to address what you need to do, as a South African interested in getting money out of South Africa. So, if you want to protect your money from a plummeting currency, overreaching government, political unrest, or increasing currency controls, read on.
The challenges that South African’s are facing first came to my attention thanks to a handful of GlobalBanks Insiders from South Africa. After they joined GlobalBanks, they shared the challenges that they faced back in South Africa and how they used GlobalBanks to navigate account opening internationally.
But getting money out of South Africa isn’t their only concern. Many South Africans that I‘ve met have literally uprooted their lives, their families, and left everything behind to start over in a new country.
They’re putting down roots in countries with more sensible laws, lower taxes, fewer restrictions, and more freedom
But packing up your life and moving your family halfway across the world isn’t easy. Not even in the best of circumstances.
Can you imagine how painful and difficult it would be if you were forced to relocate or financially emigrate because of circumstances outside of your control? For things like land appropriation, violence, unemployment, currency controls, high taxes, or a plummeting currency?
As political and social unrest continues to escalate globally, it’s becoming more common for people to pick up and move their lives, their businesses, and their money to new countries far away from home.
Regardless of where you’re from, having a bank account outside of your country of citizenship or residence is an excellent way to protect your money from increasing social and political unrest and even financial crisis.
Picking a country to bank will be your first step. From there, you can narrow down your search and find specific banks and bankers that meet your other requirements.
I’m not going to tell you where you should move if you’re planning on leaving South Africa. But needless to say, there are a handful of great low-tax, safe haven options available with relatively easy residency requirements.
GlobalBanks already has several South African Insiders. And many of them have opened accounts as non-residents personally and for their businesses in various countries before ever moving there. In other words, if you’re interested in getting money out of South Africa, it’s possible.
Opening accounts now, even before moving, makes a lot of sense. It ensures your money is safe immediately and before things get even worse.
While many people think it’s impossible to open accounts remotely as a non-resident, it can be done. You just need to know the right banks, branches, and which specific bankers to talk to. You also need to know the specific opening strategies that work at those banks based on your situation, and know how to present yourself correctly to the banker. And while that might seem daunting, it’s all possible with a bit of guidance.
As a first step, South Africans moving money (and anyone in a similar situation), should seriously consider where they want to bank and then identify the best banks for non-residents that allow remote account applications.
Alternatively, if you’re a South Africa that is able to travel in order to open the bank account in person, even more options are available to you.
If you’re not sure where you’re moving but you still want to open accounts, you can use GlobalBanks Insider. We will help you to identify the specific banks and countries that make the most sense for you.
So far, the top banking priorities that South African’s moving money have shared with us include finding a strong currency. And near the top of that list is also a strong banking jurisdiction with strong rule of law. Not surprisingly, they also want the same legal protections for both foreigners and locals.
And while our conversations almost always focus on banking, a lot of the South African’s that join GlobalBanks also look for bank accounts in a country with favorable immigration and residency policies.
One example of a safe-haven that ticks all the boxes and has easy residency requirements that South Africans have been flocking to is Panama.
With a growing South African population, stable currency (Panama uses the US dollar) favorable immigration policy, and an established banking sector, Panama is a great place for relocation and has decent banking options.
Opening a bank account and getting money out of South Africa isn’t as easy as calling up the foreign bank, opening an account, and transferring your money.
Your biggest obstacle to opening an offshore bank account is actually… South Africa.
As is the case with most failing countries and crumbling economies, when times get tough, restrictions increase and currency controls get tougher.
But that doesn’t mean banking offshore is impossible.
You just have to do some planning on the front-end and get your paperwork in order.
In other words, there are additional steps to take. And you will need to jump through more hoops than others to make it happen.
But for now, South Africans can still open offshore accounts, transfer money out, and move their financial assets abroad.
1. Will it get more difficult to move money in the future?
2. Will the Rand go into free fall, decreasing your wealth even further?
3. Will the government increase restrictions on how much money you can transfer out?
4. Will the government make the paperwork required to transfer money even more insane?
Obviously, I don’t have the answers to those questions…
But what I do know is that history is littered with examples of people who have found themselves stranded. Typically this involves a horrible economic crisis, war, political instability, and violence.
Those who saw the writing on the wall took action and got their families and assets out early. Others stayed, denied reality, and lost everything.
If you’re wondering how much money you can transfer out of South Africa using the legitimate channels, the answer depends on which path you choose.
If you choose to use the foreign investment or annual discretionary allowance you can move 10 million rand. Or 1 million rand per year (around US $67,000), respectively.
If you choose to use the 10 million foreign investment option, you need special approval. This includes approval from the South Africa Revenue Service. But before approaching them, you will need to make sure that your taxes are in order.
After getting approval from the Revenue Service, your bank will be allowed to send the money. But you’ll need to know which foreign account of yours it will be sent to.
To do that, we recommend speaking with one of the many professionals that help South Africans navigate these steps.
Get educated on the options that are available to you. If you’re already a GlobalBanks Insider, start looking at your options now. Do this by using our banking intelligence reports and our private, members-only platform, GlobalBanks Insider.
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If you bank or do business internationally, knowing the truth about opening and maintaining offshore bank accounts is key. This can save you thousands of dollars and an incredible amount of time.
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