Retiring to South Africa: South African Retirement Visa Requirements

south african retirement visa requirementsFrom October to March, Intergate experience a spike in enquiries about South African retirement visa requirements.

It’s no coincidence that this period is the South African summer. Our beautiful weather is a major pulling factor for many foreigners, especially those coming from Europe.

Another pulling factor is of course the exchange rate.

South Africa’s ‘something for everyone’ lifestyle is popular too. You can go to the beach, climb mountains, taste wine, go on a game drive… The list is long!

Since it’s ‘retiring high season’ right now, we wanted to help anyone weighing up the pros and cons of retiring to South Africa at the moment.

We’ll be doing this by sharing the most pertinent information around retiring to South Africa over the next four weeks.

In this first article, we discuss the South African retirement visa requirements so many have questions about.

The South African retirement visa requirements

To apply for the South African retirement visa, you have to be able to show that you can support yourself financially.

BUT – you do not have to bring your money into South Africa.

That’s right. You could transfer money to South Africa, but you don’t have to. It is not required as per the South African retirement visa requirements.

Your money can stay where it works hardest for you in your retirement years.

This is in direct contrast to most other popular retirement destinations around the world.

Why is important to show that you can support yourself with money you already have? The retirement visa is extended under the assumption that you are not coming to South Africa to work or start a business. In other words, that you won’t earn or generate an income once you’re here.

How much do I need?

You must have an income of R37 000 a month available.

If your spouse or life partner is joining you, they must also have R37 000 a month available.

With the retirement visa available for 4 years, i.e. temporary residency, it means each partner must have R37 000 x 48 (48 months in 4 years) available.

The total is R1 7756 000 per person.

Income can be from:

  • Cash or cash equivalents;
  • Cash income generated by capital asset(s), like rental income or pension;
  • Or a combination of both.

To have this explained in person, speak to one our immigration consultants. You can either give us a call or get us to call you by requesting a call back.

Your alternative

It is difficult at times to show life-long income. Your alternative would be to apply for a financially independent permit for South Africa. Here, you only need to show a net worth of R12 million.

The financially independent permit comes with a huge benefit – immediate permanent South African residency. You don’t have to apply for temporary residency first.

Another reason why the South African retirement visa is great

Most countries have minimum and maximum age restrictions in place for retirement visas.

This is not the case for South Africa.

Anyone of any age can retire to South Africa.

Why is this? Because South Africa values the contributions foreigners make to the country; financial and otherwise.

It’s that simple.

Don’t forget to check in next week

In our second Retiring to South Africa article we’ll look at money matters. Come back next week Friday to find out how retiring to South Africa will affect your pension. Or simply like our Facebook page – we’ll be sharing all Retiring to South Africa  articles there.

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