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If your children are emigrating from South Africa, you might be feeling as if your entire world is falling apart. The good news is that the world is still there, and you can still connect to family, regardless of your child’s citizenship status. Keeping your South African family connected is something you can do right here from South African shores! Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could pack up your life and follow your kids to distant shores – the choice is yours! This article takes a look at how you can continue connecting with family when your children move abroad.

Emigrating from South Africa

Why your children are emigrating from South Africa

The first thing that’s bound to pop into your mind when your children first mention leaving the country is “Why?” which is probably quickly followed by “What now? What should I do?” First and foremost, let’s take a look at the South Africa emigration statistics.

In a survey held in 2020, 30,000 South Africans were asked to report their opinions, feelings, and intentions. This is what came out of that survey.

  • 60% cited crime as the number one thing that keeps them up at night.
  • 30% said they were optimistic about the country’s future.
  • 27% indicated that they might consider emigrating in the next five years.

According to Statista, cumulative South African emigrants in 2020 totalled a whopping 915 million people. The countries where South African’s (and probably your children included) are heading to are:

  • United Kingdom (currently with over 247,000 South African emigrants)
  • Australia (with around 200,000 South African emigrants)
  • United States (approximated 117,000 emigrants from SA)

These South Africa emigration statistics should be enough to show you that your children emigrating from South Africa are thinking along the same lines as millions of other South Africans.

Families South Africa: connecting with family after emigration

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, hearing that your children are moving overseas. Your entire life is rooted in South African culture. Braai time courses through your veins, the unfailing sunny weather accents your days, and the sound of 11 different official languages have become your norm. But what are these things without the connection you have with your family?

When considering how to keep the family connection alive, it’s best to put in some time to think about what you want. Do you want to emigrate from South Africa too, or do you plan to simply visit your children and host them when they visit you?

Below are a few things to consider at this time:

  • Second passport option

Is it an option to get a second passport where your children are emigrating to? Countries that offer easy second passports to South Africans include Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Spain, Belgium, and Italy.

Alternatively, you could investigate if you are entitled to a new passport in the country your children are emigrating to. For instance, many South Africans have been able to obtain a British passport through descent or a similar route.

Obtaining a second passport will enable you to travel between South Africa and the foreign country as much as you like, making it easy to see your children whenever you want to and for as long as you want to.

  • Plan a visitation schedule in advance

Knowing that your children are emigrating can present feelings of finality, leading to depression and anxiety. This doesn’t have to be the case. Before your children leave, sit down with them and explain how important a visitation schedule would be to you. This type of schedule can plot which dates you should visit them and when they will come home to spend time with family. This provides a sense of control for both parties and gives you something to look forward to when your kids are away from home.

  • Get all the necessary technology before they leave

Most parents rely on their children to help with technological hiccups. Still, it will prove challenging to help you from far away – especially when the technology you need is to help you connect with your South African family abroad. The technology you need to have in place includes WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, and Facebook (for sharing photos etc.).

  • Create a support network for yourself

If your children have been the main driving force in your life, you can expect things to feel a little empty when they relocate. If you have family members in South Africa and abroad, get them all to join the same “chat” group. WhatsApp is great for this. This way, your children can share information about their new lives and adventures, and you have the support of your siblings and other family members all in one place.

It’s safe to say that when your children emigrate, they will take a piece of your heart with them. But, that said, it’s not the end of the world. On the contrary, their relocation could mean the start of a new adventure for you! You get to travel more and may find yourself connecting even more with your children than when they were just around the corner. It’s what you make of it!

FinGlobal: preparing your children for their emigration

As parents of children who are emigrating from South Africa, you’re bound to want to help in any way that you can. One such way could be to assist your children with the research portion of their upcoming trip. Are your kids aware of the financial and tax implications of the move? Do they know what paperwork is required? Putting them in touch with our dedicated and highly skilled team at FinGlobal is a step in the right direction. We have helped thousands of South Africans with their emigration process and look forward to helping your family too.  For more advice and guidance, simply contact us today.  You can give us a call on +27 028 312 2764 or send us an email at info@finglobal.com today.