Emigration skilled workers

Photo: Unsplash

Huge spike in South Africans looking to emigrate – here’s where they are going

It’s official: More South Africans are looking at emigration options this year, as the devastating impact of COVID-19 takes its toll.

Emigration skilled workers

Photo: Unsplash

The latest enquiry data released by Henley & Partners – who specialise in emigration matters – shows that there has been a tremendous surge in the amount of South Africans looking to move abroad since the start of the pandemic.

Large increase in the numbers of South Africans looking to emigrate

Issuing a statement earlier this week, the group revealed that there had been a 48% spike in enquiries from South Africans in Q1 and Q2, with regards to moving abroad permanently. However, the largest increase in emigration queries came from Nigeria, which has experienced an incredible 185% surge this year:

“In terms of quarterly growth in the numbers of enquiries between Q1 and Q2 2020, the sharpest rise was seen in Nigeria. Henley & Partners recorded an astonishing 185% increase in enquiries from Nigerian citizens between the first two quarters and an increase of 48% for enquiries made by South African nationals.”

Henley & Partners

Where South Africans are looking to emigrate?

Six countries have been identified by Henley & Partners as the locations which are receiving a lot of attention from those deciding to emigrate. Options in Europe, the Caribbean, and even Down Under prove to be the most desirable:

  • Australia: It’s ranked as one of the best-performing countries on the Covid-19 Regional Safety Assessment list.
  • Austria: The offer of ‘alternative citizenship’ in a secure, well-off European nation has turned plenty of heads overseas.
  • Montenegro: The emerging nation is following a similar path to citizenship as Austria.
  • New Zealand: By topping the Global Peace Index, NZ is an attractive proposition for foreign residents.
  • Singapore: Sitting second in the Global Ease of Business charts, this nation has become a haven for executives and high-flyers.
  • St Lucia: Many affluent families are drawn to island nations due to their relatively small populations – and the fact that they proved easier and quicker to lock down and secure in the current pandemic.

The motivations and methods

Dr Jeurg Steffan, a specialist on emigration, has explained how priorities have changed in a post-COVID world:

“Many business owners, investors, and their families have realized that they can operate remotely and that there is no longer a need to be based in or close to the large financial city centers. Investment migration programs are a reliable back-up plan, providing investors with unparalleled safety, security, and opportunities – including access to major money markets.”

“As a tried-and-tested hedge against volatility, securing alternative residence or citizenship is one of the safest, smartest, most sustainable investments you can make right now — an indispensable asset for many generations to come.”

Dr Jeurg Steffan