Moving To South Africa

South Africa is a vibrant and diverse country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and diverse cultures. South Africa offers a range of experiences, from exploring the bustling city of Johannesburg to going on safari in Kruger National Park. The country is also famous for its thriving wine industry and beautiful coastal towns like Cape Town.

Despite certain challenges such as inequality and crime, South Africa continues to attract visitors with its warm hospitality and natural beauty. So, if you are planning to move to South Africa from the USA, be aware of all the aspects that can have an impact on your relocation and plan accordingly.

Moving from South Africa from USA

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to South Africa

What do you need in an international relocation? We will say the crucial thing to have is a proper plan in place. Rest of the steps of relocation can all come under this planning. At International Sea & Air Shipping we assist you in both the planning and execution stages. We handle A to Z of the international relocation for you. When you are moving to South Africa from the USA you are shifting from one continent to another and it can be challenging. From the packing of your household goods to planning and choosing the right container, freight and the process of actual move – all can have different levels of challenges.

But the good news is at International Sea & Air Shipping our team understands each and every step of an international relocation and are ready to assist you at each step. Whether it is to get you ready for the documentation processes or advising you on the move – we have our expert team to assist you. We specialize in many aspects of the relocation like moving the household goods or moving your car to your preferred country of relocation. Added advantage is that we are affordable.

So, let International Sea & Air Shipping handle your international relocation to South Africa from the USA while you can focus on the post move settling down activities.

About South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is located on the southern tip of the African continent, sharing borders with Namibia, Botswana, ZimbabweMozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South Africa on all sides.

South Africa is a distinctive country, with a total 11 officially recognized languages. While 79.5 percent of residents are from Black African ancestry, the country is racially and culturally diverse.

South Africa is a top tourist destination with abundant natural attractions (such as the Great Escarpment and the Cape Fold Mountains), stunning landscapes, exotic wildlife, comfortable weather and world class facilities. Some of the top cities where travelers can experience exciting nightlife and other entertainment include Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.

South Africa has a middle-income, emerging market economy with a stock exchange that is the eighteenth-largest in the world. South Africa is a member of BRICS along with Brazil, Russia, India and China. The country’s major trading partners are China, US, Japan, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Customs Regulations for South Africa

  • Original Passport or certified copy of every page (except for Cape Town South Africa)
  • Residence Visa
  • Residence Permit
  • Work Permit (temporary Work Permit for temporary residents)
  • Customs Forms D.A. 304 and P1. 160 (three copies) must be presented to the Department of Customs
  • Settler’s Declaration Forms (three copies) to be completed upon arrival
  • Letter from employer verifying that customer is moving to South Africa on contract
  • Detailed inventory, in English (“PBO” – packed by owner and “misc.” – miscellaneous not acceptable)
  • Keys for any locked items
  • Weights and measures must be same on all shipping documents

All necessary documents must be in Destination Agent’s possession at least seven days before vessel’s arrival. A consultation with the Destination Agent is recommended before above documents are completed.

  • All personal effects are subject to inspection by Customs
  • Temporary residents will be allowed to import used household goods and personal effects duty-free if:
    • They are in possession of a valid temporary Work Permit
    • Goods have been in their possession for at least one year prior to import
    • Work Permit is valid for more than six months
  • Returning residents may import personal effects and household goods duty-free if:
    • Customer has been out of South Africa for a continuous period of at least six months
    • Customer’s Work Permit is valid for more than six months
  • Foreign diplomats qualify for duty-free import with:
    • Detailed inventory
    • A diplomatic clearance certificate completed and signed by the embassy or consulate in South Africa and countersigned by the Department of Foreign Affairs
  • “The Ad Valorem” wharfage, terminal, and examination fees are payable by owner on all shipments at destination and are additional to door-to-door charges

  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Pornographic or objectionable materials
  • Plants, seeds, bulbs
  • Raw cotton
  • Uncooked meat and poultry
  • Honey, beeswax, bees, bee eggs or larvae, and used beehive appliances
  • Uncut diamonds
  • Unwrought gold
  • Ammunition
  • Perfume and tobacco products
  • New items, including new furniture, are subject to duties and taxes
  • Alcohol is dutiable and taxable
    • Import Permit and special Removal Certificate required
    • Must be easily accessible in container
    • A list of the quantity and value must be provided
  • Firearms
    • Require an Import Permit, Form SAP311, D.A.304 and P1.160 (three copies)
    • There is no guarantee that the Import Permit will be granted by the authorities, customers must obtain the Import Permit prior to their move to prevent the possibility of the entire shipment being denied entry into South Africa
    • A SAP312 will be issued by Customs, allowing the importer 60 days to officially license the firearm with the South African police
    • Firearms are subject to 100 percent inspection and must be easily accessible in the container
  • Inherited goods
    • May be imported duty-free provided the inheritor is in possession of a certified copy of the Last Will and Testament and a copy of the Death Certificate stating the specific items are bequeathed
    • An Import Permit is also required
  • Antiques
    • An Import Permit is required
    • Antique Dealer’s Certificate required
  • No left-hand drive vehicles, new or used, purchased after January 1, 2000 are permitted for importation
    • One auto per family which has been owned and used for at least one year prior to importation may be imported duty-free, but VAT of 14 percent is applicable
    • Special Import Permit (four copies) must be obtained from the South African Embassy in country of origin or from the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa
    • Once imported, the auto cannot be sold or otherwise disposed of for two years
    • Import Permit required
    • Original Passport required
    • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority required
    • The auto must be owned and used for a minimum period of 12 months prior to export from origin
    • The owner of the auto must have been out of South Africa for a minimum continuous period of 12 months
    • Full duties and taxes apply unless owner can prove that when they originally left South Africa, they had no intention of ever returning
    • Import Permit must be obtained from the Import and Export Control
    • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority required
    • Payment covering full duties and taxes must be lodged with South African Customs, which is refundable at time of departure from South Africa
    • Valid Temporary Permit is required
    • Import Permit not applicable
    • Compliance Certificate/Letter of Authority required
    • Diplomatic Certificate required
    • No duties or taxes apply
  • Documents required:
    • Original Purchase Invoice
    • Original Registration Certificate
    • Forms D.A. 304A and P1.160 required (three copies)
    • Passport
    • Import Permit
    • Temporary License
  • Import Permit and Veterinary Certificate required
  • Quarantine may be required
  • Rabies vaccination required 30 days prior to departure

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

Moving to South Africa from the USA – Steps you need to follow:

Remember that when you are moving to South Africa from the USA you are moving between two different continents! As such, while the relocation can be an exciting and life-changing experience, it is also important to be prepared for the many differences and adjust to a new way of life.

South Africa has a rich history, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes to explore. It is recommended to research the country’s immigration laws to understand the visa processes in detail. You should also find a place to live, and consider healthcare options before making the move.

Additionally, learning some basic phrases in one of the major languages like English, Afrikaans, or Zulu can help with daily communication especially focusing on the city you will be settling into. Overall, when you are moving to South Africa from the USA keep your heart and mind open and embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new country and its unique experiences.

Visa Process & residency permits to move to South Africa from the USA

South Africa offers different types of visas. Depending on your purpose you need to find the one that suits you the most and obtain the visa. In general, if you are staying in South Africa for more than 90 days you will require a proper visa to justify the length of your stay in this country. You can move to South Africa from the USA for work, study to reunite with a family member or to retire in this stunning country.

In the following few sections let us elaborate on the general requirements and processes for obtaining these visas.

Work Visa

South Africa offers different types of work visas. However, the general rule or process is –

  • Apply or secure a job in South Africa
  • Finalize the visa suitable for your type of work
  • Apply for the work visa and obtain the same
  • Move to South Africa from the USA
  • Apply for a temporary residency permit after entering the country

Take a look at the different types of work visas offered in South Africa –

General work visa – Valid for a maximum of 5 years this visa allows the holder to work and stay in South Africa matching the duration of the work contract.

Corporate visa – Valid for a maximum period of 3 years this visa is given to the corp-orates enabling them to hire foreign employees.

Critical skills work visa – This visa is also valid for 5 years and as the name suggests only highly critical skilled personnel can obtain this visa.

Intra-company transfer (ICT) work visa – If your company transfers you to South Africa then this visa is for you. This visa has a validity of 4 years.

Study Visa

If you want to relocate to South Africa from the USA on a study visa, you will have to apply for a course in a school or university in South Africa, and be accepted there. After moving to South Africa from the USA on a study visa you will have to apply for a temporary residency permit at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.

Family Visa

You have to be a close family member – parents, siblings, children or a spouse of a South African citizen to move to South Africa from the USA after obtaining a family visa.

Retirement Visa

South Africa offers two types of retirement visas. Take a look at the details below –

Retired Person Visa – Now to obtain this visa you will have to show proof of earning a monthly passive income of R37,000 (approx. $2,044). This can come from either a pension fund or an irrevocable retirement annuity. This visa is valid for 4 years.

Independent financial person’s permit – If you are looking to obtain a direct residency permit in South Africa then this is the visa you need to obtain.

The eligibility criteria is to show proof of a net worth of at least R12,000,000 (approx. $662,913). After this you have to pay a fee of R120,000 (approx. $6,629).

All these visas mentioned above can lead to a long term residency permit provided you have lived in South Africa for a period not less than 5 years.

Top reasons to move to South Africa from the USA

South Africa is a stunning country and there are many reasons that this country can be your second home when you move from the USA. Here is a list of a few favorable reasons –

  • Lip-smacking cuisines
  • Diverse cultural heritage
  • Pleasant climate
  • Low cost of living
  • Welcoming community

In general, a move to South Africa from the USA can be an exciting adventure provided you have planned your stay in this country properly.