The 7 most important things to do if you want to emigrate to South Africa

emigrate to south africaIf 2018 is the year you want to emigrate to South Africa, then you’ve come to the right place to start your journey. We’re going to share the seven to-do’s that should be top of your check list:

1. Get an immigration assessment done

To emigrate to South Africa to live here, you’ll need a visa to do so. There are a number of visas available for all kinds of purposes, from working to studying.

The best way to find out if you qualify for one of these visas, is to do an immigration assessment with an immigration specialist. The assessment will show whether or not you qualify for emigration to South Africa and which visa you qualify for.

2. Ensure that you have a valid passport

Your passport must be valid in order to make a visa application. Triple the check dates and make a note to renew if necessary.

3. Get cost estimates

We strongly advise getting estimates of costs to see how much your emigration is expected to set you back financially. Many people don’t realise just how expensive moving countries can get.

Flights and visas are often just the beginning!

It’s also advisable to add initial living and housing costs to your budget, as well as cash for emergencies, especially medical ones.

4. Research our provinces and cities

Hopefully you’ve been to South Africa a few times and you know what to expect. But if you have never set foot in our country, it’s wise to do some research on our provinces and cities to get a feel for how people live. You’ll get a much better feel for where you might want to put down roots.

5. Decide what you want to do with your home and its contents – and whether you want to buy or rent once you’re in South Africa.

When it comes to your belongings, you can choose to ship everything, to store some or all of it, or to sell everything. Our tip is to find out if you can afford to buy new in South Africa before you decide on the route you’ll take. It might be cheaper to start afresh than to ship the contents of your home.

The next decision to make is whether or not you want to sell your current home or keep it. If you keep it, you could rent it out. The extra money could come in handy.

Of course there is the possibility that you’ll be forced to sell your home to finance your emigration. If you’ve gotten those cost estimates we discussed, you’ll know if this will be necessary or not.

Then the time will come to decide between renting and buying in South Africa. Renting is a good place to start, as it’ll afford you the opportunity to scout the housing market once you’ve arrived.

If you’d like to buy straight away, be sure that you’re familiar with South Africa’s property market and its unique traits. Our advice is to work with a property buyer’s agent to protect yourself and your money.

6. Understand what it means to transfer money to and from South Africa

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world who still enforces exchange control regulations. These have a huge impact on how you transfer money, how much money you can transfer and repatriations later on.

You could try to make sense of it all on your own, but our advice is to have a chat to one of our colleagues at Incompass Forex, a money transfer company that’s part of the Intergate Group.

Also speak to Incompass about opening a bank account, a facility you’ll need as soon as you’ll land! They can open a bank account for you while you’re still overseas and start to transfer money too.

7. If you want to emigrate to South Africa to work here, start looking at jobs

Exploring the job market will give you insight into the available jobs in South Africa, the salaries within your industries, and the skills and experience employers ask for.

However, crucial to remember is that you’ll need a visa to work in South Africa. Should you qualify for a critical skills visa, you won’t need a job for the visa application. General work visas on the other hand do require a job in order for you to make a visa application.

Read more about the general work visa here and the critical skills visa here to better understand the relationship between the job and the visa in each instance.

You’re set for a successful emigration!

Once you’ve ticked off all seven tasks on our lists, and you qualify to emigrate to South Africa, you’ll be set for a smooth emigration. If you need help with your visa along the way, please do not hesitate to contact us.