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My husband and I arrive in Cape Town in late August. We would like to open a bank account. He is a South African citizen, whilst I am British (entering on a two year spousal permit).

My husband will probably set up an account first, as it would probably be easier for him as a citizen. Neither of us have employment in South Africa at the moment (we are hoping to find work within a year). We do have funds though. I don't suppose any of you know whether it is possible to open a current account in our situation and to transfer R200K initially from our UK account?

Capitec sent us this (which implies the answer is no):

· A SA identity document or, if you are not a SA citizen, a passport with a permanent residence or work permit;
· Proof of your residential address – bring an original document of any utility bill (water, lights, rates) or account in your name with your street address, not older than 3 months;
· A minimum balance of R25.00 to maintain your account.
· A letter of employment or payslip not older than 3 months

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I think your best bet would be to apply for a non-resident bank account usually intended for those that reside outside of SA but need banking facilities. Same requirements a valid passport/VISA, proof of income & residential address from your home country. No cash deposits are allowed for this type of account strictly electronic transactions but cash withdrawals are permitted. You can always change the bank account type or open a standard cheque/savings account when your status changes and you're employed e.t.c.

It's a murky area you'll find that generally bank (and government) employees are often ignorant or reluctant to deal with foreign passport holders, they just couldn't be bothered.

I'm now an expat in SA and my 1st time to open a non-resident bank account as a visitor involved printing web pages from First National Bank (FNB) website and SA reserve bank regulations and took all this to a big branch in Johannesburg and even then the bank manager was scratching his head.

Tell them you haven't emigrated permanently as yet (to lessen the confusion) you're still weighing your options, and stick with the big banks!
 
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