A guide to help you save time & money when transferring funds to Australia.
If you’re in the process of moving to Australia, then you’ll know how stressful and overwhelming the process can be. There are so many things to think about and consider like when to go and where to live. Australia is also an expensive country to move to. The Australian Dollar is relatively strong, and the property market has been overpriced for a long time. So, you might things a bit more expensive in Australia than you’re used to.
Obviously when you emigrate, you’ll need to convert your South African money into Australian Dollars. Currency exchange and money transfer is usually regarded as an afterthought but it’s so important to make sure you get the very best exchange rate when you transfer money to Australia. The exchange rate you get will determine how much money you have to start your new life abroad. So, it’s worth doing a bit of homework and comparing exchange rates among providers to find the best currency provider.
We received a great service from FX Paymaster. They were helpful and supportive when we needed guidance and advice. The process was so simple and easy, we will definitely use them again.
Janet Littlewood, Melbourne, Australia
How to transfer money from South Africa to Australia?
When it comes to physically converting your funds and transferring money to Australia, you have a couple of options. You can either transfer money through the bank or you can use an independent Foreign Exchange Business. More and more people these days are using independent Money Transfer Businesses as the rates are better, the transfers are cheaper and in most cases these companies take care of all the admin and paperwork.
Some of the bigger, more advanced Money Transfer businesses even offer Online Money Transfers where customers can sign up and do everything quickly and easily online. It’s the equivalent of internet banking but for international payments. In most cases these platforms are easy to use. It’s worth noting that businesses offering online payments also tend to be more competitive & consistent with their forex rates and service as everything is automated. (Meaning there is less room for manual intervention & error)
Understanding South African Exchange Controls
What are exchange controls and how do they apply to South Africans? Exchange control restrictions are imposed by the government and are designed to regulate the inward and outward flow of money in South Africa. Exchange control regulations exist in South Africa to protect and stabilise the South African Rand.
Most South Residents are aware of the existence of South African Exchange Controls but don’t always fully understand what the transfer limits are and how they apply to individuals. Every South African wanting to transfer money out of South Africa will have to meet the South African Exchange Control requirements before they can send money abroad. Fortunately, information about exchange controls and how they apply to international transfers is easily accessible online.
South African residents are limited by the South African Reserve Bank as to how much money they can transfer out of the country, so it’s best to do your homework beforehand so you know exactly what you’re in for, in terms of numbers and paperwork. Doing your homework will also help you avoid hidden fees and costs that many companies attach to their international money transfers. Transferring money from South Africa to Australia doesn’t have to be complicated, or costly if you explore all your options thoroughly.
How much money can I transfer out of South Africa?
It’s important to know that Exchange control regulations apply to all foreign exchange transactions in South Africa. This applies to both inbound and outbound money transfers. These rules are set by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and enforced by appointed Authorised Dealers in South Africa (Banks). Breaking these rules is a criminal offence.
Exchange controls apply to all foreign exchange transfers, but the requirements depend on the amount of money you are sending out of the country. South African residents have 3 options:
Option 1: Foreign Investment Allowance (FIA)
Amount: Up to R10 million per person per calendar year.
Transfer requirements: must be 18 years or older, must obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate – FIA from SARS and have a green bar-coded South African identity document or a Smart ID card.
Option 2: Annual Discretionary Allowance (DA)
Amount: Up to R1 million per person per calendar year.
Transfer requirements: must be 18 years or older and have a green bar-coded South African identity document or a Smart ID card. No tax clearance certificate is required.
Option 3: Special Dispensation (SARB Approval)
This applies to individuals who wish to transfer more than Excon limits currently permit. In addition to being over 18 and having a South African Identity document, individuals will need to obtain a tax clearance certificate for the amount they would like to move and apply to the SARB requesting special dispensation.