Easiest Country to Immigrate to from South Africa

Easiest Country to Immigrate to from South Africa

Easiest Country to Immigrate to from South Africa

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When considering a move from South Africa to another country, various factors come into play, such as improved living conditions, employment opportunities, travel, and a better work-life balance. Thankfully, multiple nations warmly welcome South Africans, providing both a sense of familiarity and a promise of a brighter future. Below are some of the easiest countries for South Africans to immigrate or move to, whether for work, study, or permanent residency.

1. Portugal

Portugal offers a family-friendly environment, ensured safety, and vast business opportunities. South Africans will also appreciate Portugal’s economic, political, and social stability. Additionally, with Portugal being a European Union member, relocating there opens up easy travel throughout the EU.

Immigration Pathways

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa grants residence to non-EU individuals who make significant investments in Portugal, like buying real estate, capital investments, or creating jobs. This visa offers a quick route to permanent residence and citizenship in Portugal, with eligibility for citizenship in just five years.

Student Visa

Portugal has student visa options for those who would like to study in the country.

Work Visa

Work visas are available to those with a legitimate job offer from an employer in Portugal.

2. United Kingdom (UK)

The UK is one of the easiest countries to immigrate to for South Africans because of its popularity and large expat community. It also boasts a powerful economy, top-notch educational institutions, and a rich history of diplomatic ties with South Africa. With chances for high employment, top-tier education, and exposure to world-renowned sports teams, it’s a hotspot for South Africans.

Read more about Moving to the UK

Immigration Pathways

UK Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa lets non-UK nationals work in the UK if sponsored by employers for qualified roles. To be eligible, individuals must score 70 points based on criteria like skills, salary, English proficiency, and a valid job offer from a licensed UK employer. This visa permits spouses, long-term partners, and dependent children to join the primary applicant in the UK. It is valid for up to five years, after which the worker can apply for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain.

3. Namibia

Namibia is close to home and offers breathtaking landscapes like national parks and unique wildlife. Its infrastructure is also one of the best in Africa.

Immigration Pathways

There are five routes to apply for a permit in Namibia:

  • Individuals married to Namibian citizens and holding a certificate of identity for at least a decade.
  • Naturalised individuals who’ve worked in Namibia on a legitimate work permit for 10 years or more.
  • Business entrepreneurs who’ve run a company in Namibia with a valid work permit for over five years.
  • Persons aged 60 or older with sufficient funds to sustain themselves in Namibia.
  • Family members, including spouses and children, can be eligible. However, adult offspring aged 21 or older must lodge their applications separately.

4. United States (US)

The US offers a blend of excellent education, healthcare, housing, and employment opportunities for South Africans.

Immigration Pathways

F1 Student Visa

To study in the U.S., first apply to an SEVP-approved school. Once accepted, you’ll be registered with SEVIS and must pay its I-901 fee. The school will then give you a Form I-20. With this form, you can apply for a student (F or M) visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and present it during your visa interview.

US Employment Visas

With the appropriate combination of skills, education, or work experience, you could qualify for an employment-based immigrant visa to live and work in the U.S. permanently. The Permanent Workers webpage outlines the five categories of these visas.

Investment Visa

USCIS runs the EB-5 Program. Through this, investors and their immediate family can apply for a Green Card if they:

  • Invest in a U.S. business; and
  • Aim to create or save 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

5. Montenegro

This southeastern European country boasts incredible natural beauty, from the Bay of Kotor to the Tara Canyon.

Immigration Pathways

Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program

Requires a €100,000 investment in the country’s development fund.

Employment Visa

Applicable for those with a job offer in Montenegro.

6. New Zealand

Famous for its picturesque landscapes and safety, New Zealand offers South Africans a high quality of life and a low crime rate.

Immigration Pathways

Work Visas

There are a variety of visas to choose from that allow you to work for a length of time in New Zealand.

Student Visas

For those wanting to study in the country, view the online Fee Paying Student Visa.

Students may apply for this visa to study full-time in New Zealand.

7. Canada

Canada promises an easy transition for South Africans with its friendly locals and vast natural resources.

Immigration Pathways

Express Entry Program

To immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, begin by submitting your profile to the Express Entry pool. If eligible, you’ll be ranked based on various factors. Only the top candidates will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence, which is exclusively done online. However, entering the Express Entry pool doesn’t ensure an invitation for permanent residence.

8. Mauritius

As one of the safest nations in Africa, Mauritius boasts stunning beaches and a friendly community that speaks English.

Immigration Pathways

South Africans can enter Mauritius without a tourist visa for up to 90 days. For longer stays or to work, a work and residence permit is required. After three years, one can apply for permanent residence, which allows a stay for ten years. Permanent residents can acquire properties under various schemes, granting them a 20-year residency permit.

9. Panama

Panama, located in Central America, lures South Africans with its tropical weather, low cost of living, and the promise of no language barriers.

Immigration Pathways

Panama offers eight different visas, providing plenty of options for South Africans.

Considering Factors for Relocation

The easiest country to immigrate to from South Africa may be the one that offers the best lifestyle quality.

Making the life-altering decision to emigrate from South Africa entails more than simply choosing a new destination. Multiple factors will play key roles in shaping this decision.


The financial implications of moving abroad are paramount. This involves not only the immediate expenses associated with relocation but also the long-term cost of living in the chosen destination. Given the fluctuating state of the South African Rand, understanding global exchange rates and the purchasing power of one’s savings in a new country becomes essential. This also extends to understanding tax implications, property acquisition costs, and potential fees back home.


Cultural adaptation can be both exhilarating and daunting. While some South Africans might be seeking a new cultural experience entirely, others might be comforted by traces of familiarity. It’s crucial to gauge how much of a cultural shift one is prepared for. This includes possibly learning a new language and understanding local customs, social norms, festivals, and even the cuisine. A smooth cultural transition can significantly impact one’s satisfaction and happiness in the new country.


For families, the education system of the potential country is often a top concern. It’s not just about the quality of education but also about the curriculum, the approach to teaching, and the opportunities available post-education. Many South Africans prioritise ensuring that their children have access to world-class educational institutions that can pave the way for international opportunities in the future.


Employment isn’t just about securing a job. It’s about understanding the work culture, employee rights, growth opportunities, and work-life balance in the new country. For entrepreneurs, considerations might extend to the ease of doing business, local regulations, market saturation, and the potential for innovation.

Economic Stability

Beyond personal finances, the larger economic landscape of the chosen country plays a critical role. Stable economies often translate to job security, consistent growth opportunities, and a predictable cost of living. Conversely, politically turbulent, or economically unstable regions might pose challenges that can offset the benefits of moving.

Safety and Security

Personal and familial safety is non-negotiable. It’s essential to understand crime rates, local law enforcement’s efficiency, and the general sense of security in neighbourhoods, especially if one is accustomed to the gated communities prevalent in South Africa.


Access to quality healthcare is vital. This includes understanding the healthcare infrastructure, the quality of local hospitals and clinics, health insurance mechanisms, and even the general health and hygiene practices prevalent in the new country.

Social Networks

Having a support system or community can make the transition smoother. Countries with established South African expat communities might be more appealing to those who value this sense of camaraderie and shared experience.

Relocate with Elliott

If you choose to relocate abroad from South Africa, ask an Elliott sales representative about our extensive relocation services and partner networks. Our team is ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the rules and regulations for moving your belongings to your country of choice.

Remember to read our comprehensive moving guide for a checklist of things you must consider when moving with Elliot.


The information provided in the Easiest Country to Immigrate to from South Africa can be found at the following sources. Although the information was correct at the time of publishing, please refer to the source articles for up to date information.












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