Learn all about why retiring to South Africa on temporary and permanent residency may be an option for you.
South Africa’s prominence as a retired destination has risen greatly over the last few years as those seeking alternatives to the traditional retirement destinations have sought out new options. Boasting of an enviable climate, an already large expat presence and a lifestyle that is hard to emulate in other countries, South Africa has welcomed new arrivals from all over the world.
Intergate Immigration has been providing retired person’s visa, visa and relocation services since 2005 and our holistic approach to ensuring not just a successful retired visa application but a successful move and settling in provides the perfect support and advisory service for retirees.
Below we answer some of the most common questions we receive on retiring to South Africa.
Why consider South Africa as a retirement destination?
South Africa is of course not without its problems and there are issues regarding crime, unemployment and corruption, but the reality is that certain sectors and geographical areas suffer more than most and common sense can eliminate many of these issues.
Countering the negatives there are many positives and signs of substantial progress when taking into account South Africa’s history. Focusing on those who are considering retiring to South Africa you can look forward to:
Very affordable housing – as with any property market prices vary from location to location but as an example a 3 – 4 bedroomed property in a lifestyle estate in Noordhoek can be secured for approx 3.5 million rand and smaller units at around 2.5 million rand. This buys you a swimming pool, good size garden and a well equipped property.
Location – South Africa boasts some of the most amazing scenery in the world (9 million visitors a year are testament to
this). Whether you seek a view from your balcony of the rugged coastlines or the tranquillity of the countryside South Africa has it all on offer in abundance.
Natural beauty – Retirees can look forward to the legendary wonders of South Africa. From Table Mountain, to the Drakensberg mountains there is an endless list of mountains, forests, coasts and deserts to fill your retirement years.
First world infrastructure – from some of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest shopping malls, to a world class banking infrastructure and every creature comfort you could desire, South Africa rivals the very best of the acclaimed first world countries.
Things to do – As one of the world’s top holiday destinations you can look forward to a long list of attractions, which means you will never have to leave these shores for another holiday. In addition, South Africa is passionate about its hobbies and activities. Swimming, hiking, golf, bowls, cycling, tennis, to name but a few, are available everywhere.
Value for money – As mentioned, retiring to South Africa sees you benefit from some superb and affordable housing and ‘going out’ is also superb value for money. Membership of a world class golf club can be secured for as little as R7000. Enjoying a superb bottle of wine whilst watching the sun go down costs less than R100 and a first class meal can be had for around R100 – R150 per head.
Sense of community – This is hard to out into words, perhaps, but it’s about knowing your neighbours, being greeted by your name at your local restaurant or pub, being smiled at by a stranger and young children being polite to their elders. South Africa is often portrayed in a negative fashion in the press but for those who live here the friendly vibe and Ubuntu is one of the main attractions.
Tax friendly – South Africa has in place numerous double taxation agreements, does not levy tax on foreign pensions and has a very low capital gains tax rate; all good news of the retiree seeking to maximise their income and savings.
Retired visa friendly – many countries around the world do not seek retirees, but workers who will pay taxes and be seen as contributing to the economy, not draining it. South Africa is not so short sighted and recognises that retirees contribute hugely to the economy – creating employment with domestic workers directly and many jobs indirectly with eating out, visits to attraction and so on. As such there are no age restrictions on retired visa and the main criteria revolves around the ability of the retiree to finance their retirement years.
Making a visa application for retiring to South Africa
Any permit or visa application can be a daunting and complex process, but that’s why Intergate are here to help. We not only advise on your eligibility but also compile, submit and monitor your application. All backed up with robust relocation support.
As referred to, the main criteria is financial:
- Applications for retirement visa on a temporary basis require R37,000 per month of a guaranteed lifetime income, or the equivalent in accessible investments, or a combination of the two;
- Application for retirement permits on a permanent basis require R37,000 per month of a guaranteed lifetime income;
- Applications for financially independent permits (permanent residency) require the applicant to show a net worth of 12 million rand (please note there is no requirement for this net wealth to be brought into or invested in South Africa.
Contacting Intergate Immigration with your retiring to South Africa queries
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.
Alternatively you can fill out the below online enquiry form to contact us.