3 destinations South Africans can emigrate to that offer plenty of travel options
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Deciding to emigrate isn't an easy choice. There are many factors that one has to consider before they pack their bags and leave.
Of course, while South Africa offers some of the best tourist attractions in the world, many destinations offer great living benefits and travel options.
Experts at Sable International shared three destinations that South Africans should consider if they are thinking of emigrating.
The UK, which is home to Stonehenge and the Tower of London, offers top class schools and universities and excellent state-sponsored healthcare.
John Dunn, Citizenship and Immigration Director at Sable International said the UK is an English-speaking country with a vibrant South African expat community.
"There are two great visa options for South Africans looking to move to the UK," he said.
These include The Ancestry visa and the new Skilled Worker visa.
"The Ancestry visa is for those with a UK-born grandparent. Many South Africans with British grandparents don’t know about this option. It’s a great option because the visa is granted for five years, after which time you can claim indefinite leave to remain followed by full British citizenship.
“While on this visa, you can work for whomever you choose, enter and leave the UK as many times as you like and even bring dependants with you.
"The new Skilled Worker visa is a points-based work visa. Prior to Brexit, South Africans were at a disadvantage when applying for UK jobs as employers had the workforce of the entire EU at their disposal. This new visa puts South Africans on a level playing field with EU citizens.
“You will require sponsorship from a UK employer, but there is currently no cap on the number of visas granted in this category. The new Skilled Worker visa allows you change visas within the UK, which means you can change to another job, provided that the employer can sponsor foreign workers. This visa allows you to bring your family to the UK and can lead to citizenship," he explained.
To qualify for an Ancestry visa, you need to have a grandparent who was born in the UK and you must be over the age of 17. To qualify for Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need a total of 70 points. The first 50 of those points are from a job offer at the minimum skill level. There is no age cap on this visa.
Many South Africans emigrate to Australia due to its prosperous economy and high quality of life. Sam Hopwood, Australia and Oceania Region Director at Sable International detailed the visa options.
"While the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is the most popular and the one we often receive the most queries about, the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is also an excellent choice for South Africans," he said.
Hopwood said regional Australia has a lot to offer.
"It’s less expensive to live in and, importantly, is often easier to get into. According to the 2020-2021 planning levels announced in October last year, there were only 6,500 Skilled Independent visas available, but there are 11,200 Skilled Work Regional visas, which is nearly double.
“This visa lets you live and work in a designated regional area in Australia for five years. The best part is that you can bring your family with you. After three years living on this visa, you can apply for a permanent residence visa that leads to citizenship," he said.
To qualify, you must have an occupation on the skilled occupation list, receive sponsorship from an eligible relative or state or territory government, be under 45 and meet an English language requirement. You must score at least 65 points, and you get bonus points for having a skilled spouse/de facto partner and STEM qualifications.
If you love the climate of South Africa, then Portugal should be on your list. Portugal is one of the safest places to live and provides a gateway to Europe. That's not all, you can travel visa-free throughout the European Schengen area.
Andrew Rissik, Group Commercial Director at Sable International, said Portugal offers a residency-by-investment option known as the Golden Visa programme.
"While the Golden Visa allows you to live and work in Portugal and travel visa-free throughout the European Schengen area, the primary benefit is that you can qualify through an overseas investment, rather than a donation like many other countries offering residency-by-investment. This means that you can grow your wealth while also qualifying for a visa that can lead to EU citizenship, without having to move to Portugal immediately," he explained.
Investments start from €280,000 (R4,8m). The most popular investment options are €350,000 (R6m) into a private equity fund (PEF) or the purchase of a €500,000 (R8,6m) property. However, both of these options are changing in January 2022. The PEF option will go up to €500,000, and the €500,000 property investment is limited to Portugal’s interior and less-populated regions.
"It would be best for South Africans interested in the GVP to act soon before these changes come into effect," Rissik advised.