Can Foreign Residents and Citizens Buy Property in South Africa

Many people are adventurous enough to want to either buy property to rent out or to settle down in a foreign country. When it comes to South Africa, foreigners can purchase immovable property without any type of restrictions. These individuals will be governed by the same laws as the rest of the South African people.

For those foreign residents and citizens that are looking to buy property in South Africa, here is an overview of the purchasing process as well as documents that will be needed to complete the purchase.

Purchasing Process for Non-SA Citizens

The process, of course, starts with finding the right property and location in the beautiful country of South Africa. This, of course, is made easier if utilizing a real estate agent, which you will then use to make an offer. This is done through the documentation of a formal letter that discusses the details of your offer. After this is done, the document is sent to the current landowner for approval.

Once both sides have signed the document, the sale is done. However, at this point, the current landowner will hire a conveyancer to help take care of all the legal parts of the transaction. This will be paid by the buyer and is included in the purchase cost. After that is done, all the identification documents will be sent to the deeds registry, where the land will be signed over to the new owner.

This tends to take about 6 to 8 weeks. But after this is done, the foreign resident or citizen is then the official owner and has to finish paying off the remainder of the balance.

Documents Needed

On top of a deposit of at least 50% of the price of the property, the foreign citizen will also be required to provide a list of documents to the government officials as well as the bank when it comes to gaining any type of financing. The types of documents may depend on your employment status, and so below, we have separated them for a simpler understanding.


For those that are employed full-time or simply employed by a company either within South Africa or abroad they will have to provide the following documents:

  • Client home loan interview form, which is signed and dated.

  • A copy of their ID which can be their home ID card, a passport, or a work permit.

  • Documentation of salary for the last six months or up to the submission date.

  • A contract of employment.

  • If currently living in South Africa, an updated signed lease agreement.


With entrepreneurship and self-employment on the rise, the South African government has also come up with a list of documents needed by these individuals.

Here is that list:

  • Home loan interview form, which is signed and dated.

  • A copy of the buyer's passport.

  • Documentation of income can be a letter from an accountant or the latest tax return.

  • A complete comparative annual financials which is signed and dated.

  • Six months of personal bank statements.

  • A signed lease agreement or list of rental history.

South Africa is one of the countries that may be easiest to purchase land by a non-citizen as long as they understand the rules and regulations. Ensuring that you understand the process as well as have proper documentation will make the process of buying property in South Africa that much easier.