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How Many Skilled Professionals Are Leaving South Africa Every Day?

There has been a major increase in skilled professionals leaving the country as South Africa faces continued uncertainty.

Speaking to eNCA, Sable International’s Andrew Rissik said that people are leaving for many reasons – with two of the biggest reasons being economic uncertainty and crime.

“We are looking at around 25,000 skilled people leaving South Africa each year, with around 1,000 – 2,000 of these people also being very wealthy people who are able to buy their way into other countries.

“These are potentially very high-quality taxpayers that South Africa is losing,” said Rissik.

This averages out to around 68 skilled people, and between two and five ultra-wealthy South Africans, leaving the country every day.

“What we see is that a lot of people with young children tend to start getting pulled back to South Africa because of family links.

“Although we have seen this (trend) slow compared to the past decade because of the economic situation in South Africa as we know it – it’s really pretty negative at the moment.”

Rissik added that as long as these ‘push factors’ are present, people will continue to leave.

Popular destinations

The Department of Home Affairs does not keep record of South Africans who emigrate permanently; however, receiver countries do keep track of immigrants, which gives an indication of how many people are actually leaving.

This data shows that the UK is still the most popular choice for South African immigrants, while a growing number are also choosing to settle in Australia and New Zealand.

  1. New Zealand: The latest data from Stats NZ shows that there has been a sharp rise in South African migrants, with 8,200 people moving to the country between April 2018 and April 2019;
  2. Australia: The latest immigration data from Australia shows that a total of 5,397 South Africans moved in 2016/17 time period and 2,907 South Africans over the 2017/2018 period;
  3. UK: At the beginning of January, statistics provided to City Press by UK’s Office for National Statistics showed that approximately 7,300 people emigrated from South Africa to the UK in 2017

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Ross Parmly [1], [2].

UK Home Office Changes Will Make it Easier for South Africans to Emigrate to the UK

The UK’s Home Office has published more details about its future skills-based immigration system.

Earlier this month, the department said that a new immigration and borders system will be implemented in a phased approach from 2021.

“Proposals include scrapping the annual cap on the number of visas issued for skilled workers and widening the skills threshold to include people with qualifications equivalent of A levels,” the Home Office said.

“The new skills-based system will also remove the resident labour market test for high-skilled workers and introduce a route for temporary workers at any skills from low-risk countries, allowing them to come to the UK for a maximum of 12 months.”

According to JP Breytenbach, director of Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants, the new skills-based immigration system is definitely good news for South Africans looking to live and work in the UK.

“The new immigration system will mark the end of free movement for European workers to the United Kingdom. It will not favour any specific nationality. Europeans will have to compete with all other nationalities if they want to apply for UK jobs and visas,” he said.

Breytenbach said that the end of free movement will also mean that there will be more job opportunities available.

This, coupled with a simpler skills-based immigration system will allow South Africans to take up more job opportunities in the UK, he said.

“It will definitely be easier for South Africans with sought after skills and talent to apply to live and work in the UK.

“Furthermore, there will no longer be a cap on the number of workers that can come in a specific period. This will make it easier for UK employers in specific sectors to hire the number of workers they need.”

Still desirable

Despite recent Brexit troubles, Breytenbach said that the UK labour market remains a desirable location for South Africans.

“London is reckoned to be the financial capital of the world, and many global businesses have their headquarters in the city,”he said .

“This obviously means many attractive job opportunities for skilled and highly skilled persons in London, and the country as a whole.

“It is also easy for South Africans to adapt to the UK workplace and culture. Language is no barrier. The short flight distance also makes it an attractive destination for South African businesses looking to expand to the UK and EU markets.”

No typical applicant

Despite a recent uptick in the number of South Africans looking to emigrate, Breytenbach said that there a really is no ‘typical’ South African applicant.

“There are numerous young persons who are applying for UK student visas. Many of them then later switch to other immigration categories, upon finishing their studies,” he said.

“We also have skilled and highly skilled persons who apply for visas and permits from all age groups, and a number of business persons looking for visas in order to expand their businesses to the UK.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].