This is the fair, and generally first, question people want an answer to when financial emigration comes up for discussion… The answer is no – short and sweet. Allow us be the myth busters because this is a question we have to answer on a daily basis.
Citizenship is a South African Home Affairs subject – here they keep records of births, deaths, facilitate visa applications and basically control people traffic into and out of the country. The home office has no interest or influence over your financial affairs whatsoever.
Emigration comes as result of your financial exit from the country when your tax record with SARS is cleared and the SA Reserve Bank has a record of your assets and liabilities. It is at this point the South African authorities will declare you a bona fide non-resident, and you are free to move your money and other financial assets to a country of your choice.
There is no difference between emigration, financial emigration or formal emigration. From a South African point of view it is one and the same thing and do not affect your citizenship, birth right or right to your South African passport. After emigration, and for tax purposes, you merely become a South African non-resident. That’s all folks!
Holding a foreign visa or permanent residency does not mean you’ve lost your South African citizenship; to the contrary, you’ve become a Global Citizen of the World.
And therein lies the beauty of financial emigration.
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