South Africa is one of the most geographically and culturally diverse country in the world. Although many people associate it with the unique nature and wildlife, there is more to that place. South Africa is witnessing rapid development and modernization. The cosmopolitan cities with skyscrapers and variety of leisure areas are a clear proof of that. The country offers a high standard of living at a relatively low price, attracting people from all around the globe. The abundance of outdoor attractions and activities provide a relaxed and exciting lifestyle.
There are many reasons to move to South Africa, but you should not go unprepared. Here are some essential things you need to consider before the whole removal process.
South Africa is situated on the southern tip of Africa, extending over an area of around 1.2 million km². The country is divided in nine provinces that vary in terms of size, climate, economics and population. It’s advisable to research well the place you are moving to before the relocation.
The state is located in the subtropical zone, but it has a variety of climates. The areas near the Indian and Atlantic Ocean have similar weather as the Mediterranean countries. The interior parts have more semi – desert climate. Since the state is in the Southern Hampshire, the coldest period is in the months between June and August.
In terms of demographics the region is still considered unsafe. There are big cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.
There are several ways to obtain legal residence in South Africa. You can apply for a visa on different grounds like education, travel or work. In general these permits will be valid for 3 months. The visa doesn’t guarantee that you will enter the country. It only allows you to travel a South African port of entry. Later on the immigration officers will determine whether you satisfy the basic requirements to come to the country.
If you need to extend your visa, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs and apply for extension. The maximum extension period is 90 days. If your visit is prolonged over that limit, you need to apply for temporary residence. Keep in mind that the documents you will need for temporary permits differ from the ones you needed for the visa.
The permanent residence is divided in two main categories: direct residence and residence on other grounds. The first type is issued to foreigners who have been on work permit for five years and have a permanent employment. The second category gives advantage to people with exceptional skills, with intent to set up a business or who are relatives of South African citizens.
You can apply for any of these permits in your residence country and wait for the outcome before moving house to South Africa.
Although the estate’s prices depend on the region as well as the type of home you want. Chances are you will be able to afford a middle or upper class place in one of the gated communities. These communities are preferable choice because they offer security service, shopping and park areas. The gated communities are a good way to avoid the high crime rate in some parts of South Africa. Be sure to get a good neighbourhood and try to avoid the “no – go” areas.
When you are hunting for home, don’t do it alone. You are not familiar with the environment and can become a victim of a scheme. Before the actual removal, scan for trustworthy and well established real estate agency. Often times these companies will offer to help you with the moving house process like contacting a removal company.
Because of the capital gains tax, it’s better to remain non – resident in South Africa. Otherwise all your assets, including those overseas are subject to taxation. South African residents are taxed on their worldwide income, while non – residents pay fees only on the income they make in the country. This includes salaries, interest from loans etc. The tax year begins on March 1. The best strategy is to consult with South Africa based accountant.