Bank Accounts

Resident and Non-Resident Bank Accounts

Due to digitalisation, banking is not the major hassle it previously was in South Africa. Banking is now quick, simple, and available to anybody, not just South Africans.

The kind of bank account you are able to open in South Africa will directly depend on your immigration status within South Africa.


Only those who have a current temporary or permanent residency visa are permitted to open “resident” bank accounts in South Africa. A resident account is just an ordinary bank account without any restrictions.

Requirements for residents when opening an account

  • Passport/birth certificate
  • Work or study permit
  • Proof of address (such as a utility bill)
  • Three months of bank statements


The only type of bank account that may be opened in South Africa while you are on a tourist visa or temporary residency visa which does not allow work or business in South Africa (eg: a relatives visa or retirement visa) is a non-resident account. These accounts have all the characteristics of a typical bank account; however they are limited in that individuals cannot deposit in South African Rands and can bring in money from abroad.

Requirements for non-residents when opening an account

The following documents is required of non-residents:

  • A current passport
  • The address of your present home
  • Three months’ worth of bank statements from the bank in your former country detailing account activity
  • Certificate of Introduction from the bank in your former nation, with your name and contact information on the letter, and bearing the official’s signature.

Getting house bonds for residents and non-residents

Real estate investment may be both intimidating and thrilling, especially if it’s your first time. Given the allure of purchasing property in South Africa for non-residents due to favourable exchange rates, it’s critical to understand your legal options.

According to existing laws, a non-resident may only pay for property using money that is (a) imported from another country or (b) deducted from a local non-resident bank account. The bond can only be up to 50% of the value of the property, and must pay the other 50% as a deposit.

When applying for a bond, foreign nationals who are residents of South Africa permanently are evaluated similarly to South African nationals.

Temporary residents are eligible to apply for local financial aid, such as a mortgage bond for the purchase of a home. A mortgage bond of this type is not constrained. However, it’s vital to keep in mind that the limits on foreign purchasers indicated above will apply when the temporary resident leaves South Africa.