Voted among the safest countries in the world, Portugal boasts a warm Mediterranean climate and a high standard of living. Picture: Pexels.
Voted among the safest countries in the world, Portugal boasts a warm Mediterranean climate and a high standard of living. Picture: Pexels.

Everything South Africans need to know when they migrate to these 3 countries

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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Deciding on moving to another country isn't a choice you make overnight.

While South Africa offers vast travel options and has some of the most welcoming people, many South Africans migrate to other countries for better opportunities and travel options.

Here are three countries popular within the South African market:

Australia

Australia has long been a top attraction for South Africans.

Sam Hopwood, Australia and Oceania Region Director at Sable International, said Australia offered open spaces, beaches and mountain ranges, perfect for South Africans who crave the outdoors lifestyle.

That, coupled with their education system, economy and job market, provide many opportunities for people migrating permanently. To qualify, South Africans will need to be sponsored by an employer in Australia and work in an occupation relating to critical skills on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).

"Occupations on this list will be prioritised and processed in as little as four weeks. Alternatively, business owners or investors are encouraged to assess their eligibility against the Business and Innovation visas subclass 188, aimed at people under the age of 55 with a successful business ownership career," explained Hopwood.

Application costs can range for Employer Sponsored visas from $2,690-$4115 (R39 123-R59 854). The Business and Innovation subclass 188 application fees are $6,085 (R88 509)

United Kingdom

The UK is home to many South African expat communities and offers many attractive options for them.

For example, if you become a legal resident of the UK, you’ll have access to the National Health Service and free healthcare. Then, there are the travel options.

Offering access to Europe and other international destinations, South Africans can travel to their heart's content.

The school and work options are pretty solid, with a demand for skilled workers increasing every year.

John Dunn, Citizenship and Immigration Director at Sable International, said visas for leisure travel were suspended, but all the settlement categories were open.

"An online application must be made, as well as an appointment to provide your biometrics. Visas are currently being issued between 15 – 90 days, depending on the visa category," he said.

Dunn said the government and health surcharge fees vary between £86 - £3516 (R1 746 to R71 408), depending on the category you apply for.

Portugal

One of the most overlooked destinations to migrate to is Portugal, but it offers plenty of options for South Africans.

Voted among the safest countries in the world, Portugal boasts a warm Mediterranean climate and a high standard of living.

And, after holding five years of residency in Portugal, people can apply for nationality regardless of visa type held.

Andrew Rissik, Group Commercial Director at Sable International, said the most popular visa’s for Portugal are D7 visas.

"Visa’s must be applied for through VFS Global. You will be able to find the relevant application form on their website, along with a list of the required documents, which is dependent on the visa type.

"From the time of application, it could take around 3 – 4 months to receive a long-stay visa valid for four months, which is converted to a 2-year temporary residency permit after the initial appointment at the Immigration office in Portugal," he advised.

Rissik said the Golden Visa requires a minimum investment and a minimum required amount of stay in Portugal.

"This is the most flexible type of visa that allows you to work towards nationality while remaining in your home country," he added.

The D7 visa price is R1659, subject to meeting the legislated minimum income amounts.

The Golden Visa minimum investment is from €280 000 (R4.8-million). Further application costs are dependent on each family structure.

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