How To Move To South Africa From The UK - Hackworthy’s 2022 Guide

Friday 17th June 2022

Known for its diverse landscape and cultural diversity, South Africa is becoming an increasingly popular spot for UK citizens to immigrate to. If this is you, make sure to consider the following key steps for how to move to South Africa from the UK, to ensure that your move is as smooth as possible.

Applying For A Visa

A permanent residency permit can take a long time to obtain and so most people that are moving to South Africa permanently start by initially acquiring a temporary residence permit. This allows you to live and work in the country for up to 3 years, during which time you can obtain your permanent residency. You will need to meet one of the following requirements in order to obtain a permanent resident’s visa:

  • Be in possession of a permanent work offer in SA
  • Have exceptional skills and qualifications
  • Intend to establish a business in SA
  • Qualify as refugee
  • Qualify as retired persons
  • Are financially independent
  • Are related to a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder

You’ll also need to supply the following documentation:

  • A full set of fingerprints
  • A marriage certificate / Proof of spousal relationship, if applicable
  • A divorce decree / proof of legal separation, if applicable
  • Proof of custody of a minor, if applicable
  • A death certificate for a late spouse, if applicable
  • The consent of parents in the case of minors
  • Proof of judicial adoption of a minor, if applicable
  • Police clearance certificates for all countries in which you resided for a period of one year or longer since your 18th birthday
  • A valid temporary residency permit (if already in South Africa)

Once you have lived in the country for at least 5 years, you may be eligible to obtain full citizenship. 

Setting Up A Bank Account 

Another really crucial part of how to move to South Africa from the UK is sorting out your finances. Fortunately, the process of setting up a South African bank account is pretty straightforward for those who are looking to emigrate to the country. It’s best to set up your new bank account from the UK before you head out to South Africa. That way you’ll be able to transfer money into it as soon as you arrive. In order to set up your bank account you’ll need to provide the following:

  • A temporary or permanent residence permit
  • Your passport
  • Proof of address in South Africa

Organising Healthcare

South Africa does not have a universal healthcare system. Instead it operates on two separate private and public systems. The public healthcare system is open to everyone, regardless of their immigration status, and is subsidised by up to 40%. However, it’s important to note that unfortunately there is a huge difference in the care and facilities that are offered by the private system in comparison to the public system. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you take out private health insurance if you can. When searching for the best policies, make sure to choose one that covers emergencies as healthcare is paid for up-front in South Africa. 

Organising Your Pet’s Move

Our guide on how to move to South Africa from the UK certainly wouldn’t be complete without mentioning how to move your pets! What’s great about moving pets to South Africa is that there is usually no routine quarantine required, making the process a whole lot more simple. That being said, you will need to make sure that your pet has the following:

  • An Import permit (signed and stamped by a UK government- approved veterinarian)
  • Documentation proving all vaccinations (including rabies & kennel cough) are up to date
  • Permanent identification in the form of a microchip (tattoos are not accepted)
  • Blood tests for specific diseases (Dogs only)
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

It’s also important to check the airline’s policy for flying with pets. 

Arranging Shipping For Your Belongings

With the right planning and assistance, the process for how to move to South Africa  from the UK doesn’t need to be stressful. For large household relocations, the quickest and most cost-effective way of shipping goods from the UK to South Africa is by sole use container. Our experienced team at Hackworthy removals can organise the overseas removals process for you from start to finish. Our crew will arrive at your property in advance of the container to properly pack and wrap your effects. Once the container arrives at your property, your effects will be carefully loaded into it, sealed and driven to the port where it will be loaded onto the ship. It usually takes 6-8 weeks for goods to reach South Africa from the UK, however you should also allow an extra 10-14 days to clear customs before your belongings can be delivered to your new home.

Renting Or Buying Property

When moving abroad, finding a property that suits your requirements is sure to be one of your top priorities. Luckily, one of the many benefits of moving to South Africa is that property is surprisingly cheap to buy. Mortgage options are more limited for non-resident buyers, meaning higher upfront costs, however the price of property itself is still relatively low. The country also has a very lively rental market. This means there will be a range of affordable options for you to choose from if you’re looking to rent before you buy.

Importing Cars

Another key consideration to make when thinking about how to move to South Africa from the UK is driving.  Driving in South Africa is very similar to driving in the UK as they also drive on the left hand side of the road. You can ship your car over as long as you have been the owner of the vehicle at least 12 months prior to shipment. You will need to complete a DA 304/A form, as well as providing any supporting documentation, including insurance documents. You’ll also need an import permit and a letter of authority. 

For more information on how to move to South Africa from the UK, or to obtain a quote for your move, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced removals team.