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Non Resident and Resident Bank Accounts

The process involved with opening a bank account in South Africa

Residents and non-residents are able to set up a South African bank account. In order to open up a bank account in SA, you need to be over the age of 18. SA nationals will need to provide some type of official identification when applying.


Obtaining a resident bank account

Foreign nationals will need to do the following:

  • Declare all the foreign assets and funds that are brought into SA.
  • Fill out the Foreign National Declaration and Confirmation of Employment forms.
  • Provide written proof that no foreign assets will be given to any third party in SA.
  • Provide the bank with copies of study or work permit, valid passport, proof of address in SA and copies of recent bank statements from the country they were living in.

It is possible to open a South African bank account from abroad, but the application needs to be accompanied by a certified letter containing the signature of either a solicitor or lawyer.

A bank account can be opened if you are not currently employed, but you might have to pay quarterly fees. More information can be obtained from the different banks.

Obtaining a non-resident bank account

It is not that difficult to open this type of bank account. Some exchange regulations and control rules might apply though.

  • These types of accounts can be funded by foreign currencies. Documentary evidence might be required in order to prove this.
  • Non – residents might be required to prove that they are in fact not residents in South Africa.
  • Should you want to open a multi – currency bank account, you will need to also open a Rand account at the same time.
  • Any foreign funds that are deposited into a SA account (non – resident) can be remitted abroad at any given time provided that the transactions occurred within the South African Reserve Bank.

In order to open a non-resident account it is necessary to:

  • Be able to deposit at least the minimum required deposit.
  • Provide at least three months bank statements to prove what you earn.
  • Have a certified copy of your passport that has been authenticated by your overseas branch.

It is important to have a South African bank account in order to be able to do normal transactions when you are in the country.

by Robbie Ragless

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