Home Moving to South Africa Relocation Expat guide: Setting up your life in South Africa
Last update on February 17, 2020

If you’ve just moved to South Africa, this practical guide can help you get your life started in South Africa, from finding a job to opening a bank account.

If you’ve just landed in South Africa, it’s tempting to start exploring but there are some essential tasks to get through first. Our information on setting up a life in South Africa offers a wealth of important information and advice. Expatica provides information to help you open a bank account, get a residence permit, rent a home, find a job, navigate the education system and more.

Visas and permits

If you haven’t done it already, sorting out your residence permit is an essential first step.

Opening a bank account

Another essential step is opening a bank account. Visit our Banking section for details on banking in South Africa and to keep up to date with news from the financial world.

Finding a home

So you have your visa and bank account. Now you need to find a place to stay. Read Expatica’s guide to where to live in South Africa. Should you rent or buy? Expatica helps you to do the research and decide on the best housing option. Visit our Housing section for basic guides.


Education is another important point for you to consider when moving to South Africa with your family. You’ll need to decide on local or international education for your children and pick a school. Visit our Education section to find out about the South African education system.

If you have young children, you may need to enrol them in a daycare centre or hire an au pair. Expatica’s Kids section will help you to find suitable childcare. University students should visit our Higher Education section.

Setting up home

Once you have found accommodation, you’ll need to get connected and set up basic utilities. Ask around to find the most cost-effective service providers.

Finding a job

If you are looking for a job, then learn more about job hunting in South Africa and management culture in South Africa first. And don’t forget to check out our Employment & Trends section for more tips and advice, including our guide to business etiquette in South Africa.


So far so good, but don’t forget your health – moving country is stressful. Learn about the South health system by clicking on our Healthcare section.


If you want to get out on the roads, find out if you can exchange your driving licence. Driving in South Africa gives a good overview to get you started on the road.

Join the community

Get out and about, and network – use the dating site to meet and interact with like-minded people in the international community.