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Immigrating to South Africa – Top Ten Tips

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If you, like many other prospective Immigrants are considering making the move to South Africa, it may seem like a daunting task which is why Intergate Immigration has put together a Top Ten list of tips you should take into account before you pack your bags.

“Whether you are moving with your company, retiring, setting up a business or joining a loved one, your South African immigration process is going to play a pivotal role in ensuring you enjoy a successful relocation.”

Here’s the list below with a brief summary of the explanations set forth in the full article:

  1. Be patient and plan for delays – in one of our previous posts titled ‘Home Affairs modernised: Biometrics for the free movement of Africans’, we touched on the improvements made to the Department of Home Affairs and their systems; the fact remains however that you will still encounter delays. The department’s official website provides time frames of 30 days for temporary residency permits and 6 months for permanent residency permits but according to Intergate Immigration; it takes closer to 2 – 3 months to process temporary applications, and 2 years for permanent residency applications.
  2. Do your research on your selected immigration company – it is important that you only deal with registered immigration practitioners and lawyers – dealing with anyone else can put your application in jeopardy and offer you little reassurance in the way of accountability. Ask for a copy of their registration papers if you have to.
  3. Get medical insurance – in South Africa this is a must. More information can be found here.
  4. Always try and submit your permit application abroad – South African immigration rules are changing and the new rules specify that an applicant may not make an application in South Africa that changes their status. In laymans terms this means a foreigner cannot enter South Africa on a tourist visa and then apply for, say, a work or business permit.
  5. Do your home work – the biggest reason for an unsuccessful immigration is the failure of the family to settle into their new environment. Areas need exploring, schools selected and amenities matched to your requirements.
  6. Get organised – compiling a visa or permit application means supplying lots of documentary evidence. Check you have all your paperwork and it is up to date, this includes items such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports etc
  7. Get the finances in order – try and set up banking in South Africa before you arrive, Intergate Immigration can help with this. Make sure your banks and credit card providers in your home country are aware you are moving to South Africa so they do not prevent you accessing funds.
  8. Find a good money transfer company – South Africa has exchange control in place, something that most immigrants will not have come across before. It controls the flow of money into and out of South Africa and can effect your ability to repatriate funds.
  9. Read thoroughly your relocation report. The better immigration companies will supply you with a detailed immigration report covering the many areas that will affect you during your move. The information in a relocation report is invaluable in assisting you and preventing mistakes.
  10. Do not assume or be afraid to ask – South Africa offers a first world infrastructure but there are many things which will be different to your home country. No matter how small the question may be, always check.

This list is in no way exhaustive but should set you in the right direction as there are things that you may encounter that have not been covered here. You can also find the full article by Intergate Immigration that this post was extracted from here.

Happy travels 🙂

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