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You have obviously thought a lot about emigrating, but have you given much thought to the impact migration has on the country you head to, and the country you leave? When you take the global population – which is expanding at an explosive rate – and economic factors into consideration, you may start to realise that your move has an impact on two countries. This impact can be both negative and positive.

What could the positives and negatives be? Well, for starters, when you decide to up and leave South Africa, it means you are adding one more person to the population of your destination country. This could place economic strain on the country, especially if things go badly when you arrive on the other side and you end up needing help from the state/government. Think about the situation South Africa finds itself in when new migrants find their way over the border. The already struggling economy takes a knock as it is now the country’s obligation to feed, shelter, and provide health care to the migrants.

Why do people emigrate?

Factors impacting on emigration

Why do people emigrate? There’s no one reason why people emigrate. There are usually a number of variables involved. The fact that emigration takes money and effort usually means that those who do leave do so for very good reasons. Let’s talk about the factors that impact on people’s decision to leave the country.

The reality is that there are both push and pull factors that influence a person’s decision to emigrate. Common factors that push people to a different country include lack of job prospects, war (or unrest), food and water shortages, and natural disasters. Common pull factors include a better quality of life, improved health and safety, family ties (overseas), better education, and of course, job prospects (earning potential). Why do South Africans emigrate? Some of the above-mentioned push and pull factors are certainly at play. Emigration from South Africa is at an all-time high.

To truly understand how your emigration from South Africa can impact on the country as well as on the country you are heading to, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages involved for both countries.

The advantages of migration for the country losing people (South Africa)

When you emigrate from South Africa, the country could stand to lose out in the following ways:

  • The pool of able-bodied workers in the country decreases, which is bad for the economy.
  • You may cause an even bigger strain on the skilled market (most skilled people exit South Africa, leaving the country desperate for highly-skilled people, but only with access to non-skilled or limited workforces).

The advantages of migration for the country receiving migrants

When you immigrate to a new country, the new country stands to benefit in the following ways:

  • There’s no shortage of skilled workers.
  • Low paying jobs are readily taken up by migrants who want to get a foot in the door and earn their place in the community.

The disadvantages of migration for the country receiving migrants

When you immigrate to a new country, the new country stands to lose out in the following ways:

  • In some instances, the country could suffer from increased over-crowding or climbing unemployment rates, if you are unable to find a job.
  • The cost of health care and education increases for the country.
  • The diverse population could lead to cultural clashes and general discontent in the population.

What to keep in mind when emigrating from South Africa

What do you personally have to offer a new country? Do you consider yourself an attractive prospect? Moving to a new country isn’t only about what that country can do for you, but also about what you can do for (or offer to) that country. It needs to be a mutually beneficial situation in order for it to be worth your time (and the country’s time). If you want to emigrate from South Africa, take the time to think about what benefits your new chosen country will enjoy as a result of your move. The ideal migrant has the following attributes:

  • A hard-working and dedicated approach.
  • The ability to learn quickly.
  • A strong sense of loyalty (don’t plan to simply job hop the moment you start earning).
  • Enough starting money to support yourself for the first few months.
  • Willingness to actively seek employment, even before arrival.
  • A good education and skills to offer (expertise and qualifications).
  • An independent nature (not planning to rely on the state to look after you).
  • A law-abiding approach (have all your legal paperwork in order – respect the laws of your new country).
  • Be a self-starter (be prepared to create opportunities for yourself and others when you arrive).

Professional tax and financial emigration processing

Another great way to be an attractive prospective migrant is to take the tax legalities of your emigration seriously. It’s a good idea to know your tax residency status in South Africa and to confirm whether you need to pay tax while living and working abroad.  Alternatively, you can process your financial and tax emigration from the country, so that you are no longer a tax resident in South Africa. Understanding how tax works when emigrating can be tricky, especially if you have no prior experience in the field. That’s where FinGlobal truly shines. At FinGlobal, we can assist you with getting your paperwork in order and ensure that you know precisely what your options are when it comes to your finances overseas and in South Africa. With our professional advice and guidance, your emigration from South Africa will run smoothly. To learn more about our services and to chat to a knowledgeable tax and financial emigration consultant, simply contact us.