What to do before you emigrate from South Africa
Our country truly has a lot to offer and has made a name for itself internationally as the gateway to business throughout the rest of Africa.
When South Africa was steeped in its tumultuous past, the decision to leave was easy but nowadays it’s a bit more difficult.
South Africa is a beautiful country filled with a variety of different cultures and a burgeoning economy. It’s won awards as a top destination for travellers and it has produced some technological groundbreakers (such as Elon Musk) and world leaders (Nelson Mandela) who’ve taken the world by storm.
However, many South Africans choose to leave and the reasons are often personal, nuanced and opportunity-driven. And they can be forgiven because there are many first world countries with top class economy which provide opportunities that the average South African could not dream about.
Hence we find expatriate communities in the likes of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. If you’ve thought about joining them, don’t feel guilty. It’s understandable and, as most of us know, it’s rather difficult to emigrate to these countries too. But if you are serious about exploring foreign lands, you need to know how to emigrate – what it actually entails – before packing up your home and flying out of here.
Here are key things you need to consider when you’ve decided to emigrate.
It’s a long process
Be prepared to spend a couple of years setting up your emigration. You need a visa for each of your family members who’ll be joining you and sometimes you need to have secured a job in the country of your choice before you can apply for a visa. This means you need to fly back and forth for job interviews and contract signing. You also need to present the country with all of your personal information. This means criminal checks, education documents, references, credit checks and so on. So expect to spend approximately two years being cross-questioned. That is unless you secure a position of employment and the company handles all of your paperwork, then you can expect to wait around for a couple of months before moving.
Decide what belongings to take
This is a big deal because if you decide to sell all of your belongings, you’ll save on the container and shipment costs. But can you accrue enough money from selling your things to replace them all when you’re in your new home? You need to draw up a solid budget with the currency of your new home country in mind. Shipping all your items over in a container might cost you around R60 000 (ideally gather quotes from various relocating companies) but you could spend a lot more than that trying to replace all your furniture and so on when you are in your new home. This is also the time to purge. Make sure you get rid of everything you hoard but don’t use and start this early on in your moving process. This can take quite a while considering it’s basically your whole life you’re relocating.
Sell your car but don’t be hasty
Do your research before selling your car. Find out what your settlement value will be if you’re paying monthly installments and make an effort to sell at a profit or at least to cover the balance owing. To find out your car’s value, scroll through used car dealerships and make use of a car book value calculator to ascertain what you could realistically get for the vehicle. Make sure to use a car book value calculator on a reputable financial institution’s website for reliability. Also, decide if you want to sell your car privately or if you’d like to do a trade in. You need to find out which option will bring you the most money. Most times, a private sale is best but this will take time so start early.
What about your faithful fur babies?
This one’s a biggie. You need to make some serious decisions about your pets. This sounds harsh because most people are completely happy to take their animals with them. In fact, they wouldn’t have it any other way. But animals older than ten years won’t be allowed to travel if they don’t qualify as healthy enough. If your pets are younger you can easily find the companies who offer pet emigration services. But they need to have their shots, be deemed healthy and not carrying any diseases and so on. They need to also go through the medical rigmarole that you can expect for yourself and they need to be micro chipped.
These are, of course, only key considerations for when you’ve decided to emigrate. A quick online search will assist you with finding out the rules and regulations of the specific country you’re planning to move to. Also, your emigration lawyer will have all the answers for you while you’re in this process.