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How South Africans Can Bring Their Parents and Grandparents to the UK

Part of the process of deciding to move to the UK is weighing up the impact on your extended family.

While even simply the idea of leaving loved ones behind can be devasting, moving from South Africa to Britain will most likely mean a long-term physical separation from beloved family members, says Lisa Aspeling from immigration consultants Move Up.

Below she outlined the different ways that emigration South Africans can bring their elderly dependents with them when moving.

How to qualify for the Elderly Dependent Permit

Issued for five years, one major advantage of the Elderly Dependent Permit is that it leads to British citizenship.

However, the rules around being granted this particular visa are very strict and it’s common for many of these applications to get refused, said Aspeling.

“Unfortunately, if your parents do not qualify to move to the UK based on ancestral rights or the other more traditional routes to UK settlement and they don’t need round-the-clock care, they won’t be eligible for the Elderly Dependent Permit.

“Applicants must prove that they require long-term, hands-on care in order to handle everyday living. The kind of care your parent or grandparent will be required to prove they need includes daily tasks like washing, cleaning and cooking. Essentially, your parent or grandparent will have to prove that they are absolutely unable to live independently.”

Aspeling said that a comprehensive doctor’s report about your parent or grandparent’s state of health would be an important document to include in your application.

Full medical records, including specialist reports and hospitalisation records, as well as a letter from the applicant’s current carers – for example, their nursing home manager – is also essential, she said.

“The letter should state the healthcare professional’s full recommendations, whether that is being admitted into a frail care facility or receiving special medical attention.

“The only silver lining here is that the UK government will accept a broad range of reasons for this: the specific care your parent or grandparent requires might not be available locally, or no one can reasonably provide it, or it can come down to a lack of affordability.”

Requirements from the sponsor to qualify for the elderly dependent permit

“Not only do your parents (or grandparents) need to jump through some hoops to qualify for this rare visa, but you as the sponsor need to prove that you can provide adequate maintenance, accommodation, and care for your elderly dependant – and here’s the catch – without having to withdraw public funds,”said Aspeling.

“You as the sponsor will be required to sign a sponsorship undertaking form, confirming that you are entirely responsible for your dependant’s care, without relying on public funds, for at least five years.”

EU law and elderly dependents in the UK

While no one knows what will happen to the UK’s immigration laws after Brexit is completed, as things stand, if you have EU nationality, rather than British citizenship, it is easier to qualify to bring your parents or grandparents to the UK, said Aspeling.

This is largely because the rules for elderly dependants are much more lenient under EU immigration law, she said.

“Under EU law you will, among other things, need to show you are exercising treaty rights in the UK by studying, working, being self-employed or self-sufficient. The UK Home Office will also need proof that your parent(s) or grandparent(s) is dependent on you.

“Although being granted an Elderly Dependent Visa is admittedly a rare outcome, our experienced immigration consultants are available for a free consultation and assessment to help you determine if this is a viable route for moving your parents or grandparents to the UK with you.”

 

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].

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].

Doctors May Be Leaving South Africa Ahead of New National Health Insurance (NHI) System

The incoming NHI will rely on a large network of doctors to service patients around the country, with government promising ‘universal health coverage’.

However, the Sunday Times reports that the bill has renewed fears about mass emigration of doctors and other health professionals, which would kill any health plan that relies explicitly on there being more doctors.

Speaking to the paper, Dr Chris Archer, CEO of the South African Private Practitioners Forum said that his members are extremely concerned and that the bill may drive emigration as “those who want to leave see it as a reason to do so”.

Profmed medical aid CEO Craig Comrie said that health professionals are already emigrating.

Comrie said Profmed’s members are mainly health professionals, of whom 17% leave each year. This rose to 30% in June and July.

Alex van den Heever, Wits School of Governance professor, added that he expects medical professionals to emigrate in their hundreds, joining their countrymen in countries like Dubai and Australia.

Research

These concerns align with research published by Solidarity, which has previously warned that the introduction of the NHI could lead to a mass exodus of doctors from the country.

One of the most worrying findings in the survey was that 83.2% of healthcare workers believed that private health professionals will leave the country if the NHI is implemented. 43% of the respondents said that they themselves would consider emigrating.

There was also a firm belief that the scheme would completely destabilize the country’s healthcare as a result.

The major points of concern are:

  • Shortages of specialists, doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare workers;
  • Financial management of the NHI;
  • Purchasing and distribution of medicines and equipment; and
  • Maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.

 

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].

How to Deal With Expat Burnout

This article is courtesy of Vivien Chiona at Expat Nest.

Most of us will be familiar with the word “burnout” but what does it actually mean, and how does it apply to us as expats? Here are some signs of expat burnout and some pointers to help bring back the spark to your international life.

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration. It is more commonly understood in the context of work, but can also occur due to stresses in relationships, financial problems or other external factors. Expats can become vulnerable to burnout – or “change fatigue” – when the stresses of a transition-rich lifestyle begin to feel overwhelming and impact our everyday functioning.

Symptoms of expat burnout

The sense of exhaustion, frustration with your expat lifestyle and increasingly frequent thoughts of wanting to give up and return home can indicate that you are heading for or experiencing expat burnout. You may feel constantly tired, unmotivated, hopeless and/or overwhelmed, and experience anxiety at the thought of moving house or country again.

Expat burnout can occur at any stage of an expat experience: when you’re preparing to move (again) to another country, when you’ve just arrived and are setting up your new life, or during the daily routine of an established expat life. For many expats this feeling will pass, but for some it may persist.

Tips for dealing with burnout

If you are questioning your decision to join the expat culture and have lost your sense of purpose or motivation, these pointers are a good start to getting back on track. For colleagues, friends and family of expats, they may offer ways for you to support the expat in your life.

  • Look after yourself first – Make your self-care a priority. On aeroplanes we are asked to place our own oxygen mask in an emergency, before assisting others. Listen to your body and mind: if you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, it’s a sign to take some time out and to prioritise your needs.
  • Go with the feeling – Step back and accept that you feel the way you do. Recognise that this uncomfortable feeling is a sign that you are stretched beyond your limits right now. Know that in time you will recover and begin to feel like yourself again.
  • Get back to basics – Stability is a basic need and there are simple ways to create it in your expat lifestyle. For example, establish a weekly routine that feels right for you; set up a regular chat slot with loved ones back home (e.g. Sunday 6pm); or plan simple and nutritious meals for the week, so that your diet supports your health and energy needs. For those who can’t avoid a highly mobile lifestyle or frequent travel, find continuity through rituals – this can be as simple as having breakfast at the same time every day no matter where you are.
  • Explore your current city or a new place – It’s easy to stick to what we know, seeing the same people and places. Follow your curiosity and explore what is around you and further afield. Look about with new eyes. You might discover some gems to refresh your outlook on expat life.
  • Have kinder expectations of yourself – Stop doing the things that are undermining your sense of wellbeing or putting unrealistic pressure on you. Take back control by reorganising your life step by step. Ask yourself: does this really have to be done today, or can it wait until I have more energy?
  • Schedule time to relax – Make sure your to-do lists build in plenty of rest and downtime! Set some time aside each day to unwind and do something that nurtures your soul, such as joining a meditation class, jogging or going for a walk (find what works for you). Making this a part of your daily routine is key to supporting your wellbeing.

Many expats will feel stressed and despondent at some point. It is important to recognise the signs so that the negative state doesn’t overwhelm you and lead to burnout. If you need any guidance or somebody to explore your feelings with, please feel free to contact us for extra support. We are always here for you.

With thanks to Sophie Patrick for her contribution to this article.

 

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: Erwan Hesry [1], [2].

Expat Story: Lessons from a Nomadic Childhood

Being born into a family of diplomats has both its pros and its cons, says expat Diana Predosanu. On the one hand is a great adventure, even a life of privilege. On the other hand, many families lack the support they need for the ongoing changes of this nomadic lifestyle. Here are some of the lessons Diana learned as a child ‘growing up between worlds’.

Lesson #1. As a child, leaving friends behind was hard, but making new friends was relatively ‘easy’
Leaving friends in my ‘home’ country to accompany my parents on their mission was never easy, but the excitement of taking a flight and moving to a new country usually outshone any doubts or fears.

I was nine years old when we moved to Brazil. I have memories of learning Portuguese at home and slowly becoming integrated at school. Unlike other diplomats’ children, I never joined the international schools, so every move, every country, came with the challenge of learning the local language and making friends with locals. Often, the only ‘different’ child in school was me. But I found the other children were open and friendly and, as I was quite resilient, I made friends easily in Brazil (and later in Colombia).

My basic approach was: learn the language, go to school, make new friends and keep in touch with friends back ‘home’ via letters.

Later I did my university studies in Australia. In this environment – where everyone is ‘new’ and part of a multicultural society – I found my place and was able to enjoy the melting pot of Sydney.

Lesson #2. Going back ‘home’ was more challenging than I ever imagined it would be
Going ‘home’ was hard, arguably harder than arriving in a new place. Leaving everything that had been built in those years and going back to a place that had changed, as a person who had changed too, was never easy. I was expected to belong, but I didn’t… not really, not anymore. The experiences abroad had filled my soul with other smells, colours, tastes. I rekindled childhood friendships, but found it hard, as a teenager, to make new friends at ‘home’.

Lesson #3. A heart in search of a home and yet ‘itchy feet’…
Growing up constantly moving from one country to another made me think that I would like to settle somewhere and build a home. But my reality has turned out to be so different! I continued to study abroad and I accepted jobs in different countries. I realise I feel the need to keep moving, to keep trying new destinations. Every place I go to, I feel that something is missing. My first reaction is to pack my bags and head somewhere else. I keep trying to find that one place that will feel like my home, a mix of the various experiences I’ve had. Time is passing and I am still looking…

Lesson #4. It’s never the same when you visit any of your adopted countries
In my experience, no matter how well we keep in touch with a place, or with people, things change. In 2012, I went back to Australia, hoping to ‘get back’ my life there and with it my friendships and habits. This turned out to be impossible. Although my friends welcomed me back, so much had changed. My friends were now adults, employed, married, with commitments… we were no longer students. I, on the other hand, was employed part-time and no longer had both my friends and my family in one place. Things had evolved and I couldn’t go back to how they had once been.

Lesson #5. Home is everywhere you’ve lived, and nowhere
(See Lesson #3!) I have called every country I have lived in ‘home’. I am proud to have adapted each time, as a chameleon blends in with its environment. But nowhere have I really belonged. In my ‘home’ country, I don’t feel quite at home – after all, I have lived abroad for more than half my life. I don’t speak the same as my local peers and I think differently to young people my age. In my adopted countries, I may have adapted, but I wasn’t born there, so I am not quite one of them either. Home really is everywhere and nowhere.

 

Author: Vivian Chiona (Expat Nest). Source: [1]. Image source: [1].

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