Understanding what funds you can and can’t transfer out of South Africa
You may have been living overseas for several years and now you are the beneficiary of a deceased estate. When you have an inheritance due to you the executor of the will is going to get in touch with you to make payments and asks you some complicated questions. Often heirs are unsure of how to answer these questions or how to best send their inheritance overseas. We can help you on both counts.
Inheriting money from overseas as a South African expat
If you are living overseas and you receive an inheritance from a South African estate, you will fall into one of three categories below. Simply click the heading to read more about each case.
1. South African resident temporarily abroad
This means you have not completed formal financial emigration and are considered as a resident “temporarily abroad” by SARS. You are subject to the same tax laws and financial regulations as people living in South Africa.
If this is your situation, you can transfer your funds using your R10 million foreign investment allowance. This requires a tax clearance certificate and your green bar coded South African ID book. We can obtain your tax clearance certificate for you, as well as transfer your foreign investment allowance at the best possible exchange rate and lowest fee.
As a South African living abroad, you should, however, consider the benefits of completing formal financial emigration. By doing this, you can transfer your inheritance funds without being subject to the South African resident exchange control process. Despite a common misconception, financially emigrating does not mean that you relinquish your South African citizenship.
What’s more, financial emigration allows you to access your South African retirement annuities before the age of 55 and, should you have no intention of returning to South Africa, it would tidy up your tax affairs with the SARB and SARS.
Simply fill in our financial emigration questionnaire and we will contact you to begin your complimentary assessment.Complete the questionnaire
2. You have financially emigrated and are a non-resident of South Africa
The inheritance funds can be transferred to you, provided that you have proof or confirmation of your emigration. This involves providing the South African Reserve Bank with your reference number which you would have received when you originally emigrated. We can assist you should you wish to verify your financial emigration status.Speak to an expert
3. You were never a South African citizen
This is a straightforward process of providing evidence of your non-residence status and transferring your funds overseas. You will then be able to send any South African inheritance out of the country with relative ease.Speak to an expert
Frequently asked questions about transferring money to and from the UK
You may have some questions, and that’s only natural. The good news is that we have the answers you’re looking for. Below are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about our online international money exchange service.
1. How long does it take to activate my account once I’ve registered?
As soon as we have received a copy of your passport and proof of residential address (signed and dated by yourself), we will activate your account on the same business day. If your transfer exceeds £20,000, we will request a few additional documents.Register now
2. What is the best way to transfer money out of the UK?
Whether you’re sending a remittance or settling debt, the quickest and most convenient way to convert your money and transfer out of the UK would be online, with your UK debit card. All you have to do is charge your card on our website and, when you submit your transfer, your exchange rate will be locked in automatically. This ensures the rate you see is the rate you get.Register now
3. Can I send money to a credit card?
We can send money to South African credit cards only. At present, we cannot transfer money to Australian, New Zealand or UK credit cards.Register now
4. What is the processing time for a transfer?
Once we have received all the necessary documentation associated with the transaction and your funds have cleared in our client account, the converted funds will be credited to your nominated overseas account within one to three working days.Register now
5. How are your exchange rates determined? Why are they better than the banks’ rate?
To get you the best rates, we canvass the market on your behalf, add a small margin to the rates we obtain and pass that rate on to you. The exchange rates we offer fall between the interbank rate (the truest exchange rate) and the rate offered by high street banks and bureaux de change.
We are able to undercut the high street banks and pass that saving on to you in the form of great rates. Do note though, while the rates on our site are updated throughout the day, they must be viewed as indicative only.Register now
6. What are the minimum and maximum amounts that can be transferred?
There is no minimum or maximum amount when you transfer money with us. There are, however, certain benefits to sending larger amounts.
Please note: When transferring £10,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) or more in a single currency transaction, or £30,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) in a number of transactions over a 12-month rolling period, Sable International requires proof of “source of funds” as prescribed by HMRC’s Money Laundering Regulations.Register now
7. How much money can I transfer into South Africa?
8. What are the transfer fees?
Our fees are dependent on the size and destination of your transfer. Although you’ll be glad to know that any transfer above £2,000 (excluding transfers out of South Africa) is automatically processed free of charge. If you are transferring less than £2,000, the table has some general information on our fee structures.
We can send money to South African credit cards only. At present, we cannot transfer money to Australian, New Zealand or UK credit cards.
Fees to transfer from the UK
UK to Australia
UK to Eurozone destination
UK to New Zealand
UK to Poland
UK to South Africa
UK to UAE, USA and Canada
Australia to the UK
Eurozone destinations to the UK
New Zealand to the UK
Poland to the UK
South Africa to the UK
Remember, these are simply our most popular destinations; we can transfer to others, so if yours isn’t on the list, please contact us.Register now
9. How can I be sure that my funds will be correctly allocated?
If you are using internet banking, it is imperative that you ensure that your funds will clear under your name and surname. If you use your name and surname as the payment reference, we will know that the funds are from you and we can process your transfer as soon as the funds clear.
If the funds will be clearing under a reference other than your own name and surname, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, informing us as to what name the funds should clear under. Following these guidelines will decrease the likelihood of a delay.Register now
10. How secure is the site?
Our site uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption to protect your transaction details. This 128-bit encryption is the latest and strongest data encryption technique commercially available for securing information between you, our client, and our website.
SSL works by encrypting/scrambling data from our website to your computer. The data is encrypted on our web server and can only be decrypted/unscrambled by the person with the correct decrypt/unscramble key. You can visually verify our site’s use of SSL in two places: The "s" in https in the site’s web address and by the padlock on the left-hand side of the address bar.Register now
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International money transfer specialists with offices in London
For over 20 years, we have been helping UK citizens and non-citizens transfer money into the UK. Our experienced team in our London office is always on hand to help ensure you get the best deal when you’re converting your money into Pounds.
Registered and regulated
We are licensed and registered with all the relevant regulatory institutions. 1st Contact Forex is registered with HM Revenue & Customs in the UK as a Money Services Business (MSB registration number 12148630) and we also hold an MLR number (12585156).
We're registered and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (previously known as the Financial Services Authority or FSA) as an Authorised Payment Institution (authorisation number 517570).
We're also licenced for Australia and South Africa. In South Africa, we have an FSB licence (FSP licence number 41900). Our Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL number 335126) was issued by ASIC.
In Hong Kong we trade through our sister company, Sable FX (Hong Kong) Limited, which is incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (registration number 2207355).
We fulfil all of the capital and liquidity requirements set out by prudential regulation. We also stand under the financial controls and KYC (Know Your Customer) policies and procedures of our corporate bankers and regulatory institutions.
All our client funds are held in designated client money bank accounts with our corporate bankers.