South Africans are coming home

South African Expats
South African Expats are coming home

The returning of the prodigal sons (and daughters)

Cast your minds back to the 1990’s and early 2000’s and the in fashion phrases such as “brain drain” and “emigration.”

Everyone it seems knew someone moving abroad and the bulk of them seemed to be heading to the UK.

Whilst it can be said with certainty, it was not the warmer climate that was attracting the hordes of SAFA’s, the reasons stated varied from:

  • the impending blow up of South Africa and all in it (we are still waiting for this one)
  • black empowerment
  • and the more practical career opportunities, international experience and travel.

It was said at the time that some 4 jumbo jets a week were arriving at Heathrow with South African immigrants! What a loss of youth, skills and education.

Fast forward to the last year or two and the tale has turned somewhat. Its now 4 Jumbo jets a week bringing home our prodigal sons and daughters. Of course sceptics will say this is down to the UK’s new immigration laws but there are a lot of other reasons cited:

  • wishing their children to grow up in South Africa (and not the UK)
  • missing the lifestyle
  • the grass was not so green
  • the depressing early dark evenings
  • job prospects (yes better prospects in South Africa!)
  • to set up a business

All good and valid reasons and who amongst us does not welcome the return of countrymen and women with their experiences, education and South African passion.

Buts let’s focus on another reason – the South Africans partner. Intergate Immigration report that they have seen the demand for life partner permits increase rapidly over the last 24 months. This permit is the requirement for the boyfriend or girlfriend (of the South African) to be be able to enter and stay in South Africa. With the appropriate endorsement it also allows them to work , set up a business or study.

Very often it is this partner who is the catalyst for the “move back home”. After visiting South Africa and experiencing all on offer (and lets be honest there is a lot despite the odd problem) they motivate the move to South Africa and help convince the ‘prodigals” to come on home.

So lets say a thank you to all those life partners out there, for opening up their minds and seeing South Africa for the positives it has. We hope you stay long!

If you want more information on life partner permits or endorsement Intergate Immigration can be contacted on 021 424 2460 or visit

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