Moving to South Africa


Delivery timescales

Prohibited and restricted items

Every country has its own rules and regulations surrounding prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to be aware of these prior to the move to avoid any delays.

We have further information should you require it – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria – there are a number of popular destinations within South Africa that are perfect to relocate to. Ideal for animal lovers and thrill seeking adventurers, South Africa is currently home to more than 200,000 UK expats with the most popular cities being Cape Town and Johannesburg. In the past there have been problems caused by racial tensions and inequalities in South Africa, but in the last decade the country has managed to shake this image and is now classed as a middle-income country with a globally competitive economy.

If you are intending to stay and work in South Africa there are different types of visa available to you. The ‘General Work’ permit allows you to live and work in the country for the length of your work contract, the ‘Exceptional Skills’ permit lasts for three years and an ‘Intra-company Transfer’ permit lasts for two years. However, if you are planning to work in South Africa whilst remaining employed and paid by a company abroad you will need a ‘Business Visitor’s’ visa instead or a retired persons permit if you have retired.

South Africa’s culture consists of a variety of ethnic groups and there are 11 official languages spoken within the country. English is used to conduct business, politics and within the media but is actually only the fifth most-common language in the country. The most widely spoken languages in South Africa are isiZulu, isiXhosa and Afrikaans.

Before moving to South Africa there are a number of things you should carefully consider, such as crime ratings which can be fairly high in certain areas of the country. The education system in South Africa is also not as highly developed as European countries and you may need to do your research before choosing which school to send your child to. Also, whilst English is used to teach in most schools there are some where Afrikaans may also be used.

Unemployment rates are high in South Africa so it is advisable to secure employment before relocating there. The sectors that tend to have the most opportunities for employment are the finance, communications, media and energy.

Whilst living in South Africa you will also need to pay for any medical treatment you may receive, the cost of which is worked out using your salary and is affected by how many dependants you provide for. There are certain illnesses that you may need to be vaccinated against in South Africa, particularly if you are going to come into contact with them through work or travel. The main diseases to consider vaccinating against are cholera, hepatitis A and B, rabies and typhoid.

Shipping your goods overseas to South Africa can take anywhere from 5-14 weeks, but can be delayed by customs and immigration policies.

For more information about moving to South Africa, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
E: enquiries@squab.co.uk T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.


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