Despite COVID-19 and accompanying lockdowns, many international markets are seeing a surge in recruitment as optimistic companies prepare for an economic rebound.

“Before pursuing career opportunities abroad, South Africans should do their homework with the assistance of an expatriate professional,” says Zainab Bouziane, Immigration Specialist at Xpatweb.

By complying with requirements that could change radically from country to country, hopeful job seekers are more likely to land their ideal position.

Positive Outlook

Rob Ridout, International Job Search Consultant, says local professionals are eager to seek employment abroad for several reasons.

The first is that they want to live somewhere safer, not just for better security but greater economic stability as well.

Some also fear that, under current local conditions, they risk losing their jobs and remaining unemployed for a long time.

At executive level, many see the door to career progression slamming shut as local business continues to contract.

In contrast, international recruitment is thriving, with major economies like Germany and the Netherlands posting hundreds of thousands of job ads on the web.

The top positions on offer include IT, engineering, medical, logistics and management roles.

Ridout advises that candidates upgrade their CVs for AI-driven short-listing systems that are becoming commonplace overseas, and up their digital interviewing skills.

“International search exposes South Africans to a greater pool of jobs, but they need to pursue them aggressively to compete against global talent,” he says.

Immigration Considerations

Instead of getting too excited about their prospects, South Africans should take a level-headed approach to international job search.

“Before even considering an employment contract, they must engage an expatriate tax advisor and immigration specialist to ensure their relocation complies with local requirements and those of the destination country,” says Bouziane. Without following the correct processes, their career hopes may be dashed by unbreakable red tape.

As countries like Australia and New Zealand increase barriers to entry for foreigners, regions like Europe continue to impose restrictive visa rules on immigrants.

Job seekers are therefore turning to typically overlooked locations, like Mauritius. According to Bouziane, easier access and lower investment requirements are currently making the island, located east of Madagascar, a more attractive option to South Africans.

Eager to attract investors and businesses for economic growth, Mauritius currently offers both property and investment auctions that are more reasonable than those of other countries. Several multinational companies also maintain offices there, suggesting job opportunities for those willing to ask.


South Africans who can afford to invest in the island nation must consider the shopping list of concerns even the simplest relocation entails. At the top is definitely tax planning, for which professional assistance is a must.

“Anyone leaving South Africa must consider their status with SARS, as leaving South Africa does not automatically relieve you of your tax obligation. And a tax non-compliance could result in a costly delay,” warns Bouziane.

They also need to consider opening a bank account in that country prior to departing; finding accommodation; shipping their belongings; buying a vehicle; relocating their pets; registering their children in school; and much more.

“With all these pressures, experts who have completed the process many times before provide invaluable support,” says Bouziane.