How to immigrate

How to immigrate

How To Immigrate: Routes, Rules and Tips

In our previous article we showed you some of the jobs and skills other countries are looking for. Though our list was certainly not exhaustive, it should give you an idea of where you can fit in abroad.

In our next instalment, we delve a bit deeper into immigration requirements, regulations and tips.

How to get into your chosen country?

We discuss some crucial considerations for those who wish to immigrate. We give a brief overview on how to fast-track your immigration, what exclusions or restrictions apply in certain regions, and what you should or shouldn’t do. 

Visas, permits and citizenship

There are different types of visas and residency permits offered by different countries. Though no two are alike, there is some broad overlap between these nations.

Firstly, the question you will need to ask yourself is how long you want to stay abroad, and also how long you’ll be allowed to stay.

A common mistake South Africans make is to go to other countries on a travel permit or visa, and then seek work while there, subsequently overstaying their welcome. Though it is allowed in certain cases, foreign nations frown on this, as it’s considered deliberate deception – the more people from a certain region use this tactic, the stricter immigration controls become for this nation.

South Africans were flagged as repeat-offenders by New Zealand two years ago, which created many headaches for those who were in the process of moving there. So if you’re planning on making a permanent move, rather plan in advance and do things right, else you may just find your dream implode as you are shipped back to SA and banned from your chosen home.

What types of visas are there?

It should be noted that new visas are frequently added, old visas repealed, or the rules applicable to existing visas amended, so consult the home affairs or government sites for the region you want to move for if you want up to date info.

The categories below aren’t the formal names for these visas, but since they differ across territories, we’ve created broad classifications for similar permits and how they tend to work.

Travel visas

Travel visas are the most common visas issued and their purpose is exactly what the name implies. The common stretch for a travel visa is around 6 months, though some nations limit it to 3 months and some extend it to 18 months.

Transit visas

A transit visa is similar to a travel visa, except that it’s far shorter as it only allows individuals thoroughfare or a brief stopover. This is generally used for people who don’t have a travel visa for a certain region, but needs to move from one transport hub to another for connecting flights/trains/ships OR for individuals or travel crew who need to spend a few hours or days in a region until their travels continue.

Transit visas generally offer restricted movement within a certain radius from the transit locations.

Humanitarian visas

Humanitarian visas are pre-approved permits for individuals to enter a country based on human rights abuses, persecution, war, famine or other issues which have compelled someone to urgently seek asylum elsewhere.

It should be noted, however, that many countries don’t offer this type of visa, and rather issue refugee/asylum permits only once someone has reached or crossed their borders. It’s a bit of a catch-22, since the implication is often that someone must enter a region without authority to receive authority to stay there as refugees. This system is not ideal, since many people simply end up facing prosecution after fleeing from persecution.

Another type of humanitarian visa are those issued on compassionate grounds. An example is a visa or residency permit issued to an elderly, sickly or disabled relative who is on their own in their native country and wishes to join their family who are already settled in the country of issuing.

Work visas

The second most common visa issued is the work visa. There are numerous types of work visas with each country categorising these in different ways.

There are generally two main categories – temporary work visas and long-term work visas. The type of visa issued depends on the nature of the work to be performed, the type of contract issued by the employer, the skills of the applicant, the location of the employer and skills shortages within the region.

Assignment visas

Assignment visas fall somewhere between work visas and transit visas.

These are generally issued to someone who needs to conduct professional business for a set period such as film crew shooting on location, journalists or individuals on diplomatic/governmental assignments who don’t have diplomatic passports/permits.

Student visas

Student visas are quite self-explanatory. Individuals who wish to study in a certain region are granted temporary residency based on the term of their studies. In some instances a student visa and work visa could overlap – where students become involved in lecturing or educational institution activities or advance their education to post-graduate levels which offers them employment prospects regionally.

Family/partner visas

The family/partner visa is extended to family members of individuals with work visas, business visas or permanent residency in a particular jurisdiction.

While some countries disapprove of individuals systematically bringing their family over when they only have temporary residency themselves, other countries require individuals to follow this route. An example is Japan: although they relaxed some restrictions, they tend to issue visas to individuals employed in Japan and issue travel visas for their family or partners until such time as they allow permanent residency or if individuals are on long-term assignments.

Family/partner visas generally follow routes to permanent residency or citizenship.

Business visas

Unlike work visas, business visas offer individuals fast-tracked citizenship or extended residency based on the individual’s economic activities and assets.

This is generally offered to individuals who invest large amounts in the local economy, start businesses in the region, or own assets such as property or shares in local companies or immovable assets.

Special skills visas

Much like Business visas, special skills visas offer extended/unrestricted residency to individuals who hold remarkable skills, talents or fame. This is generally also a fast-tracked route to citizenship.

Examples include renowned athletes and fine artists, published authors, media personalities, humanitarians and philanthropists, award-winning experts in their fields, those who have overcome great feats and so forth.

Permanent residence visas

Permanent residency can either be issued upfront or is a bit of a second step from many other visas.

It is also the last step before citizenship for those who follow long-term paths. Many people never apply for citizenship and simply live abroad with their residency visas or permits.

Common movement permits

Common movement permits act much like passports which offer individuals in a certain region less restricted access or thoroughfare between countries – such as the EU’s Schengen visa.

Application and vetting criteria

There are a few important things to note about how visas are issued, to whom and when they should be renewed.

Check the dates!

Much like passports, visas need to be renewed punctually or else you may end up in warm water. While the visa may state that it is valid for a certain period, the last stretch is generally a bit of a red zone.

Individuals are advised to check the stipulations of their visas and passports and determine how much time is required in advance to renew their applications before expiry.

Travel and visa history

Before any other criteria is checked, authorities will check your international travel, visa and permit history to determine whether you’ve ever abused your rights, been barred from a region or deported.

Vetting systems and criteria

Some countries use point systems to establish an individual’s eligibility for a certain visa as well as their suitability for long-term residency or citizenship. Other countries don’t have strict checklists of requirements but vet each person on individual merit.

Common criteria


Most countries restrict visas, residency permits and citizenship for individuals over a certain age. The rationale is that those who enter the country above a certain age will not be able to contribute to the economy and will require social benefits.

Academic level

Individuals who have studied extensively are more likely to be allowed entry and permanent residency.

Professional experience

Individuals with extensive professional experience and experience at senior levels of their sectors are more likely to be allowed entry and permanent residency.

Type of skills

Most countries have essential skills which allow easier access to individuals who want to participate in professional activities. If your skills are highly necessary, access will also be easier.

Criminal history

Any and every country will screen for criminal activities. Some have a blanket ban on entry to anyone with a criminal history while others restrict entry or residency to individuals who committed particular crimes, or if their rehabilitation is questionable

Employment history

Your employment history is significant for the type and length of visa or permit you’re offered.


Some countries restrict the length of stay for individuals who suffer from significant health issues or disabilities. These restrictions protect the countries from having to take care of people who cannot contribute to economic activities and will require governmental funding and care.

Oddly enough, some countries which are quite strict on other fronts are more lenient in this regard, such as Russia, which will offer naturalised citizenship to parents with disabilities if their children are Russian citizens or if they’re from former USSR countries.


A great consideration for a visa or residency permit is whether you have any local affiliations. This could be familial, professional (such as an institution or organisation), or social (such as a group of friends or network).

While spouses or partners of citizens tend to get fast-tracked access to permanent residency or citizenship, authorities are prone to scrutinising all aspects of such individuals’ lives and following their tracks and activities for months and even years post-immigration.

Financial status

Whether you want to go on holiday or work in a region, your financial status will play a part in your visa approval. Even for quick excursions you will need to prove that you have enough money to travel to and from your chosen destination and that you have enough money to live there for whichever period you intend.

Diplomatic ties

Individuals from certain countries enjoy less visa, travel and residency restrictions purely due to their country of origin. Countries with strong ties with South Africa are more likely to issue visas and permits to saffas.

Additional vetting criteria

Tax compliance

Tax compliance isn’t always a requirement – especially for short-term visas, but individuals who dodge their tax responsibilities are less likely to be offered long-term residency should they be vetted for this

Credit history

While it may seem odd, some countries use credit histories and credit scores to determine how well you’ll manage your finances and if you’re a responsible citizen.


Your recreational or additional activities are usually only applicable where the type of visa relates to a certain activity (arts, culture, sport, etc.) or when your suitability for long term residency or citizenship is determined. If you’re an active member of society you’re more likely to get approval.

Political affiliations

Political affiliations aren’t always considered, but this would depend on the region you’re travelling from and the type of visa you require.

Your political activity and affiliation will generally be a factor when:

 – you’re travelling from a region known for human rights violations OR whose political system contrasts that of the region you’re travelling to

 – you’re seeking permanent residency or citizenship – to determine your suitability

 – you’re visiting a region specifically for political activities

Social media activity

A very rare vetting criteria, but some regions may delve into your social media activity to judge your general sentiments, activities and likelihood for becoming a progressive member of society.


Though not generally an issue, some nations flag individuals of certain religions as problematic – whether Muslims in the USA or Israel, Buddhists or Christians in China, Hindus in Pakistan, Christians in Tanzania or Pakistan and so forth. Many nations may not issue restrictions, but will still track an individual’s past activity as part of their religion to determine their suitability to live in the country.


Also not generally an issue, but gender does play a role in certain regions where gender inequality is the norm, as women may not be allowed to participate in certain activities, will receive a lower income and/or may not be deemed capable of autonomy and independence without the input and governance of a man. In many regions gender-fluidity is also frowned upon or outlawed, so people who are known to be on the LGBTQ+ spectrum would not be allowed entry or may be accused of criminal activity once they’ve landed within country borders.

From visitor to citizen

How long will it take to get residency or citizenship? Well, as with all other criteria – this depends.

Barring business, humanitarian and transit visas, the route to permanent relocation could take some time. Most countries only offer applications for citizenship after a set period living there.

Most places will require individuals to have secured residency permits before they apply for citizenship, and to have honoured those permits for a set period before citizenship will be granted.

Naturalised citizenship

Naturalised citizenship does not confer the same rights and protections as birthright, heritage or economic contributions. In some cases such citizenship can be forfeited, even if you have relinquished your former citizenship. There are also exclusions and limitations, such as forfeiting citizenship on dissolution of marriage, not having autonomy over your children’s citizenship classifications, restriction on voting, standing for public office or taking on other political, religious or leadership roles, and restriction on the allowance, frequency or stretch of your travels to your previous territory.

Below are general timeframes for citizenship through naturalisation. Note that these vary based on individual suitability, activity and circumstances and don’t include fast-tracked citizenship.


2 years continuous residency

18 years+

application for naturalisation before a federal judge

* federal courts are reluctant to recognise rights of irregular immigrants. Though citizenship is generally faster in Argentina, the formality and high scrutiny of the courts has eliminated many people from citizenship.


4 years legal residency

maximum 90-day travel outside Australia for previous year

maximum 12-month travel outside Australia for entire 4-month period

proficiency in English

age 18 – 59: competition of citizenship test

all candidates 16+: completion of citizenship pledge


10 years uninterrupted residence

sound grasp of German language

renouncing former citizenship


5 year minimum permanent residency (maintain registration in population register)

complete language test to qualify in Dutch, German or French proficiency

proof of social integration

proof of Belgian accommodation registered to City Hall for the entire 5 years

proof of economic participation and investment in Belgium

proof of uninterrupted employment for 468 working days with statements of social and health insurance payments/deductions OR proof of social and health contributions as self-employed individual for a minimum of 18 months in 5 years


police clearance

5 years minimum residency if married to a Botswana national

automatic naturalisation for Angolan refugees under tripartite agreement

persons vetted by the President for distinguished services

renouncing foreign nationality


18 years+

3 years cumulative residence over previous 5 years

tax filing and clearance for the previous 3 years

passing tests regarding rights and responsibilities

language proficiency in English or French

successful candidates of 14+ required to take an oath of citizenship


21 years+

5 years minimum uninterrupted residency

proof of clear criminal record

proof of financial income


renouncing foreign nationality

application with examination and approval from mainland or special administrative Chinese regions based on ‘legitimate reasons’ (unspecified) by the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China.

compliance with freedom of movement and political regulations within the three jurisdictions and abroad

Costa Rica:

proof of sufficient sources of income

proof of Spanish proficiency

proof of historical and cultural knowledge of Costa Rica

7 years of permanent residence in Costa Rica or two years of residence while married to a Costa Rican


9 years continuous residence (normal applicants)

8 years continuous residence (refugees/special applicants)

uninterrupted residence of 1- 2 years pre-application

6 years continuous residence – spouses of Danish nationals

*concession: 1-2 year absence allowed for spouses of Danish citizens provided this period is part of 10 years of continuous residence. If a Danish citizen is working abroad, their spouse is considered residing in Denmark for the period.


proof of good character

proof of good conduct

proof of sound mental health

proof of physical health

proof of economic self-sufficiency

10 years minimum permanent residency

*concessions: fast-tract citizenship based on paternal heritage or paternal Muslim, Arabic or Egyptian ties. Fast-tracked citizenship to heads of Muslim religious sects. Reduced to 5 years for persons who have made significant financial investments.


5 years continuous residency OR 7 years residency since the age of 15 with continuous residence for the past 2 years

knowledge of either Finnish, Swedish or Finnish sign language


18 years+

5 years minimum habitual and continuous residence in France

primary source of income from France for a minimum of 5 years pre-application

proof of integration into French society (language, rights, responsibilities)

completion of interview

proof of respect for French values and society

proof of good character

an obligatory delay of 12 months from the date of submission before the applicant is notified of their naturalisation


8 years minimum residency

successful completion of integration course

proof of command of German language

knowledge of German history and norms

knowledge of legal system and living conditions

completion of naturalisation test

proof of income

clear criminal record

renouncing prior citizenship


no time restriction – general timeframe is 6 years from entering Ghana

proof of understanding of customs, tradition and society

proficiency in a native Ghanian language

proof of good character and conduct

testimony of at least 2 attorneys or public officials

proof of contribution to society

all adoptees of Ghanian nationals

*concession: any person of African descent may request permanent residence based on their heritage.


declaration in presence of two witnesses (mayor, chairman or village council) which attests to their wish for naturalisation

7 years minimum residence in Greece

forfeiting voting rights

proof of clear criminal record

proof of Greek language proficiency

proof of active participation in Greek social life

passing examination


7 years minimum residence

declaration of commitment to Icelandic citizenry

proof of no income from social services for 3 years

proof of no fines or sentences

passing Icelandic examination


12 year minimum residency in India + 12 months uninterrupted residency before application over an aggregate period of 14 years

renouncing prior citizenship

proof of Indian citizens’ attestation to character

proof of Indian language proficiency (two-language certificate)

cuttings of different dates of two newspapers from districts of residence to be submitted to the district collector who will submit proof to competent authorities


5 years minimum cumulative residency over 10 years

proof of physical health
proof of mental health

proof of financial self-sufficiency

proof of clear criminal record

full grasp of Indonesian language

proof of Indonesian civics knowledge

approval by the President of Indonesia

renunciation of prior nationality


5 years permanent residence out of the previous 9 years

1 year of uninterrupted residence immediately before application

Aged 18+ or married if under the age of 18

intention to reside in Ireland indefinitely

of good character

attendance of a citizenship ceremony to declare fidelity

Proof of residence


Non-Jewish foreigners

Automatic: Law of Return

provided the persons or one of their parents are/were of Israeli descent (extended to include children and grandchildren)

Possible: Law of Return:

if applicant’s deceased parents or grandparents were eligible for automatic citizenship under the Law of Return (extended to include children and grandchildren)
application was made between the individual’s 18th and 25th birthdays

applicant has resided in Israel for 5 consecutive years preceding application


5 years minimum residence

command of Hebrew

Adherence to Oleh’s certificate

Proof of financial, scientific, academic and/or socially progressive impact

Jewish persons

automatic citizenship pending proven Israeli heritage

testing of apostate or irreligious Jews against legislation by religious and legislative authorities


citizenship excluded for individuals who engage in activity directed against Jewish people

excluded for individuals who endanger public health or state security

excluded for individuals likely to endanger public welfare

(we understand there are many heated views on the status of Israel and Palestine. To date, most South Africans who have immigrated to the region have moved to Israeli territories and not Palestinian territories and our focus is on the predominant regions of South African emigration, not on their particular political or , so our representation is merely aimed at our readership, not representative of personal or organisational norms)


10 years minimum permanent residency

proof of clear criminal record

proof of financial income


5 years minimum permanent residence with a valid status of residence throughout this period

20 years+

proof of financial stability and independence

agreement to not renounce Japanese citizenship

renouncing former citizenship

proof of no involvement in political action against the Japanese government

description of relatives, family, spouse, business, finances and engagement

tax clearance

drivers licence

statement of assets


21+ years of age

Aggregate residency in Kenya for a minimum of 4 in 7 years preceding application

12-month uninterrupted residency in Kenya before application

proof of good character

proof of adequate grasp of Swahili

proof of intention to continue Kenyan residence


automatic citizenship to descendants of native Lebanese men

*Lebanese women can neither receive or pass on citizenship to their children or foreign spouses, citizenship is only granted to them and their children by their native Lebanese husbands


5 years minimum permanent residence in Malta

passing Maltese history and law exams


5 years minimum permanent residency

automatic citizenship for adopted children of Mauritian citizens

4 years minimum permanent residency for foreign spouses of Mauritians


proof of Arabic proficiency

proof of understanding of Moroccan customs and traditions

proof of good character and conduct

proof of solid mental health

proof of good physical health

proof of economic income

clear criminal record

5 years minimum residency


5 years minimum permanent residency

renouncing former citizenship

18 years +

*Dual citizenship not recognised after the age of 18.


5 years minimum residence

Namibian medical report letter

Police clearance certificate from country of origin

Two character references

Job descriptions for applicant and spouse

Copies of Namibian IDs or birth certificates if applicable


18 years+

5 years residing in the Netherlands or EU with residency permit for a minimum of

5 years living with a Dutch partner or reintegration from a Caribbean part of the Kingdom

integration examination

*concessions are made for close familial ties and applicants may qualify for citizenship from abroad without the requirement for work permits – certain native

Dutch citizenship rights may be ceded. 

New Zealand:

5 yrs minimum residency

a maximum of 4 months per year outside New Zealand in the past five years, whether continuous or incremental)
proof of intention to remain in New Zealand

proof of language proficiency with possible interview requirement (school certificate, reports, IELTS forms, employer references, university academic records, diplomas and/or degrees)

police clearance if you resided outside NZ for more than 12 months in 12 years or 4 months in the past 3 years

automatic disqualification:

failure to comply to health, travel  or vaccination mandates

100 or more driver licence demerit points

recent pattern of fines or traffic infringements in New Zealand or abroad

pending charges anywhere in the world

former prison sentence more than 5 years

prison sentence in past 7 years

unresolved protection orders

recent bankruptcy

debts to the government

made or contributed to the making of chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapons


minimum 2 sponsors/endorsers min (one of whom should be a religious leader)

17 years+

minimum 15 years residency

proof of good character

familiarity with Nigerian language and customs

proof of support system

renunciation of prior citizenship


5 years minimum permanent residency OR 3 years residency married to a Panamanian spouse or having Panamanian children or parents

approval by the Ministry of Government and Justice, Ministry of Public Service, Electoral Tribunal, Government Office and Presidency

formal approval by Panamanian president

confirmation of good health

confirmation of sufficient income

*concessions: time reduced to 1 year for Colombians and El Salvadorians, 2 years to Argentinians, Ecuadorians, Spaniards, Hondurans, Mexicans, Nicaraguans and Peruvians., 3 years for Uruguayans


21 years+

10 years minimum continuous residency

proof of good moral character

proof of adherence to the Philippine Constitution

proof of real estate ownership in the Philippines worth more than R158

proof of enrolling minor children in Philippine schools


persons opposed to organised government

persons defending or teaching violence, assault or assasination for their ideals


non-conformist individuals who don’t abide to societal norms

persons with terminal illness

persons with mental illness

persons who don’t socialise with Fillipinos

persons who haven’t learnt about Filipino traditions


Absolute confirmed intention to live in Poland indefinitely – naturalisation is not offered to individuals who seek dual-citizenship or have any intention to live elsewhere. Poland doesn’t offer temporary or permanent residency to individuals who live or work abroad, or those who want to claim citizenship by heritage or affiliation.


18 years+

5 years minimum legal residence

sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language

proof of active connections to the local and national community

automatic citizenship to adopted children of Portuguese citizens


proof of continuous residence for a period of 25 years with less than 2 months absence per calendar year

proof of lawful income

proof of good reputation and character

functional knowledge of Arabic


5 years residency with no more than 3 months per year in this year continuously outside Russia

proof of subsistence per individual

renounced citizenship of their home countries (barring treaties between countries)

proof of basic command of Russian language

agreement to abide by Russian constitution

*concession to 1-year for highly qualified professionals and refugees


5 years residency in Samoan territory

evidence of good character

familiarity with Samoan civics

intention to live permanently in Samoa

* concession: reduced to 3 years for distinguished service, economic development or sporting achievement with minimum net worth of R15,4-million (est.)


21 years+

10 years minimum residency over a 12 year period

5 years minimum permanent residency in previous 6 years

proof of language competence (English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese or Tamil)

proof of intention to reside in Singapore permanently

renouncing former citizenship

swearing an oath of allegiance

South Korea:

no permanent residency path

proof of committed relationship with a South Korean national

continuous sojourn of 3-6 months incrementally over an indefinite timespan to renew F-1 visa

on allowance, a citizenship test can be conducted after 2 years of marriage

renouncing former citizenship


10 years+ residency

clear criminal record

completion of language test (DELE)

completion of culture test (CCSE)

*concessions: individuals under the tutelage of Spanish citizens, individuals of Ibero-American descent, those with Spanish heritage of mothers born before 1982, or individuals of Spanish parents adopted after the age of 18. reduced to 1 year for individuals who did not exercise their residency/citizenship rights within the past 10 years.


18 years+

permanent residency permit

right of residence card

compliance with habitual residence requirements

proof of good conduct

5 years minimum legal residency – uninterrupted

any period over 6 weeks per year outside Sweden will lead to all periods outside Sweden accumulating for the total calculation of recent absence


10 years continuous permanent residence

years spend in Switzerland between the ages of 8 and 18 are doubled for the calculation

application and approval via confederation, canton and commune routes

proof of integration into Swiss way of life

proof of familiarity with Swiss customs

completion of spoken B1 and written A2 Swiss national language tests

no period spent on welfare within the previous 2 years unless all monies are refunded to benefactors


5 years permanent residence

proof of minimum income

renouncing former citizenship

proof of clear criminal record

*concession: reduced to 3 years for foreign women who marry Thai men. V


no automatic naturalisation routes


Citizenship by naturalisation is only offered to native males and their offspring or those of Arabic ancestry and Islamic orientation from neighbouring countries on concession.


5 years minimum legal residency

12 months continuous residency preceding the application

proof of sufficient knowledge of UK history, culture and law

proof of proficiency in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic

two referees of status who can vouch for the candidate

proof of good character

completion of Life in the United Kingdom test


18 years+

own a US Green Card

5 years permanent residence

30 months uninterrupted presence in period preceding application

3 months+ residence in state of application

proof of language proficiency

clear criminal record

examination of all travel records for total period before application

proof of enrolment for selective service – all males between the ages of 18 and 26

tax certificates

explanation of any changes to names: whether voluntary, by marriage, divorce or death of a spouse or parent

proof of commitment to the US constitution, laws, and principles

swearing of the Oath of Allegiance


5 years minimum residency

proof of income

renouncing foreign citizenship

willingness to change names to Vietnamese names

proof of adherence to Vietnamese traditions, customs and habits

proof of proficiency in Vietnamese language


18 years+

10 years minimum residency

residency permit

completion of citizenship questionnaire

recording of biometrics

financial statement/status tracking and verification

minimum of 3 recommendations from Zambian citizens with established companies or organisations

advertising intent for immigration in Government gazette and at least 3 leading Zambian newspapers

attach adverts from such publications to application form

Preparing your documentation

Though many immigration agents can assist you with editing, formatting and translating your documentation, it’s good to know what requirements you may face, and what prospective employers and governments will look for in your documentation.

 – formal translation of documentation

 – apostilisation of documents

 – correct formatting, positioning and sequencing of documentation

 – supporting/motivational documentation

 – verifiable letters of recommendation from religious, business, cultural or academic leaders

 – a concise history of your activities, movements, affiliations and/or noteworthy achievements or failures over the years

 – a list of affiliates, connections, partners, friends, family, colleagues and/or associates

 – a summary of your skills

 – a summary of your personal and familial health and mental health issues

 – a summary of your financial history and skills

 – a list of assets

 – a letter of motivation

 – an overview of persons you would like to bring with eventually

Prep these documents separately

Prepare each section on the abovementioned list separately to slot into different documents as required.

These things may seem far-fetched since different organisations and entities will ask for distinct information, but it’s important to note that some will ask for a range of information.

While you will essentially provide formal motivational letters, notarised records, authenticated notices of employment or references – each aspect could serve in your favour for different parts of your immigration journey. Some of these letters, snippets or documents could prioritise your application with immigration consultants, some input may motivate prospective employers to engage with authorities around your relocation, some may simply be an indication to authorities that you are being forthcoming which will affirm your role as a responsible citizen.

While any country may delve into your personal, professional or financial history, and scrutinise formal documentation or data to this effect – an individual’s willingness to disclose and summarise certain points upfront has a definite impact on their immigration journey.

This holds especially true in territories which don’t have strict points systems or checklists which inform choices around suitable citizens. The process of immigration is still very much based on human perceptions and emotions – even if you’re perfectly qualified, affluent or skilled to move to another country, the immigration process could be significantly protracted if you’re willfully obtuse, arrogant, aggressive, passive-aggressive, snobbish or lazy along the way.

Prep in advance – the more cooperative and forthcoming you are, the faster and easier your journey and assimilation will be.

Your motivation

We all like to focus on the negatives – those things which drive us to relocate, but know that utter cynicism won’t get you accepted any faster.

No matter your views on South Africa, any employer, sponsor or government wants to see a sense of resilience and personal motivation. Some territories do accept disgruntled individuals, this trend has been tapering off in the past few years with most applicants who display such negativity restricted to very specific territories of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, EU, Namibia and New Zealand in general.

There is nothing wrong with using negative experiences as a catalyst to drive your actions, but these should not become a persona. In recent years, many native citizens and businesses in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the EU in particular have become increasingly cynical and opposed to South Africans and South African immigrants because this negative view of their homeland or stark political, racial, cultural or religious views don’t allow them to assimilate well into their new home and society.

Whatever your reason for leaving, don’t make this the focal point of your motivation; show the lawmakers, communities and employers who must accept you that you are moving on, and that you are capable of maintaining an amicable relationship with places and people of your past.

We’re sure you’re getting excited…

Many South Africans have been putting their emigration plans on hold for months, and even years. With all the lockdown and economic restrictions, many have also become quite despondent and downtrodden.

Your new life and new home are within your reach. Kickstart your plans today so you’re prepared to go whenever restrictions allow. Leave your details below and Rand Rescue will advise on the best course of action for your taxes, financial assets, retirement savings, foreign exchange and reinvestment in your new home.

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