How to move from South Africa to Australia - Mygration
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How to move from South Africa to Australia

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Australia is a beautiful, active, economically strong and culturally diverse country that is brimming with opportunities and thus has become a popular and prosperous destination for South Africans seeking to move abroad. Common reasons that South Africans prefer to migrate to Australia are due to the relaxed laid-back lifestyle. This allows most families to use Australia to reset and re-evaluate the important things in life.

The fact that the country has systems tailored to benefit its residents and citizens, help ease the pressures and lighten loads relating to providing financially and emotionally for families. You will not have the prestige lifestyle as you may be used to back in South Africa (yet, for at least 2 years) however the initial standard of living covers all the basics and more during your settlement period. The local weather helps, having other lekker locals who enjoy the occasional shisa nyama keeping the local vibe going without having to worry about safety and security is another big motivating factor.

Other reasons include the endless business opportunities. With the increase in population growth from Asia Pacific and other major skilled countries, savvy and hard-working South Africans are seizing these opportunities to get their foot in as the competition is much lower, and this drives innovation and ideas to business owners. The fact that South Africans are not skaam to try anything to make things work gives them an added advantage as more work is available that other locals might not be keen to do.

While it’s still advisable to be always cautioned, worrying about home invasions or the level of crime that occurs in South Africa is not a prime concern on a day to day basis. One cannot imagine how great it is to go almost anywhere and not have to wonder who is hiding in the bush, or even wearing your jewellery. The beaches, family days and night entertainment are refreshing for all nationalities in Australia and people striving to obey the local laws. Oh! and the cleanliness… The streets are super clean. Australians are friendly, incredibly lovely people and always willing to lend a helping hand.

For those who want to earn and make money, there is no shortage of work especially if you hold key skills and are work savvy. Trade persons are in high demand, but there is a process to go through, should this pathway interest you.

If you like sunshine, relaxed and semi-comfortable lifestyle, Queensland is the state for you. Housing is also very affordable in Queensland. (I would liken Queensland / Gold Coast to Durban) – Its like a large coastal village with beautiful green mountain regions by the sea.

If you like living life on the edge and happy to carry with you every day a coat, a scarf, an umbrella and love the arts and unpredictable weather, then Melbourne, Victoria is for you. Melbourne is full of international students, international food and little alleyways, sort of like a mini London. Wages are good but only industry specific.

Western Australia was once upon a time the place that almost 90% of South Africans migrated to. Especially during the mining boom. WA is like Cape Town – very laid back, flat city and suburbs and quite a lot of South Africans. So, if you feel like a home away from home and love Cape town weather, then I would recommend Perth, Western Australia.

New South Wales – and popular Sydney is for you if you have a super high paying job to go to, if you love major busy cities and don’t mind swiping your credit cards without caring about the price tag. It is an expensive city to live in compared to the others. Why not compare cost of living between areas in your spare time?

Adelaide, South Australia is known for its beautiful wineries, and agriculture lifestyle especially with the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. It’s well known for tourism and usually a chosen holiday destination for Australians.

It’s always advisable to undertake accurate demographic research which will help you in making an informed decision on where you would like to settle, either based on lifestyle, economy, family or any other personal choice.


Genuine humility, gratitude and respect are the key attributes to settling in your new environment. Whilst the government is aiming to entice skilled workers and business owners to move to these regions, it’s important to remember that to the local residents, this is their home and their community. They have been here much longer than you. Yes, they may seem to be just getting on with their daily routine which to you may seem boring or slow, but they are happy.  Change to any human is usually met with apprehension and anxiety as this could seem like their daily world ‘safety bubble’ will burst and this could make it a challenge to adapt to the new changes with new migrants and businesses integrating into their communities.  Put yourself in their shoes. How would you want to be treated if you were them?

Transparency and communication are key! It’s important to connect with locals asap through their local chambers and events. Most Australians are lovely people and always willing to lend a helping hand. Work with the Indigenous community elders as well and involve them in your events. Once you are settled, visit local business owners – community clubs and connect with other professionals in the area. Side note – for the first month (you just have to initially ask them to speak slower and carefully lipread at the same time so as to understand their accent, trust me they are probably doing the same to you!) In my opinion, laughing at yourself also helps.

This means that all the characteristics of self-importance you held back in SA, whether you held a high executive role or you had 100 maids, your children went to top schools or you knew the president of some country, this is not what matters. Seriously though, no one cares about what car you drive or have driven or what brand you wear. It’s about the community spirit and how you can genuinely contribute. Be sure to consider that as this may be a new phase of yours and your family’s life, making a good name will make you succeed. In the fast paced international business world, it seems like this is just a myth – #truestory – if you are a good person to others, they treat you well and this is the key to your happiness in your new environment – the rest follows automatically and over time.

It’s the values, ethics and morale that you display to the community and being down to earth, that will earn their respect. Over time once settled and the trust is earned on both sides, then you will be able to work with them in new developments to benefit the community as a whole. After all, hard work and good community and happy families is one of the main reasons moving to the land of opportunity!


That’s the easy part… the difficulties arise in trying to figure out how to move to Australia and which visas to choose or apply for. Key factors are understanding that each person’s case is unique. It is extremely unlikely that you will have the same circumstances as your friends or other family so it’s imperative to speak with a professional that will take all your information and situation into account. We can then organise a holistic approach which satisfies all your needs.

With Mygration, the problem of “how” is removed due to the knowledge and guidance of our experienced immigration agents. A team of skilled, registered and highly experienced Australian Migration Agents will be there alongside you through every step of your application process providing immigration advice and working closely with the Australian Government in line with the immigration legislation, resulting in a less than usual stress-free and transition to your new chapter in Australia.

Making the decision to migrate is the easy part. Starting and sticking with the process can be challenging especially when all you want to do is just get here. We will be there with you during these frustrating and difficult times, even when you want to give up. We will edge you on as we are all migrants and multicultural in our organisation and we know the journey is challenging at times, but also know that the rewards and outcomes are worth it! Our CEO Requel Ogle, who now holds an Australia Citizenship, is originally from South Africa and has migrated to Australia 10 years ago. She is not immune to all the stages of migration, its complexities, the emotional side that can affect a person in making this huge move. She has also witnessed and dealt with all the legislative changes by assisting over hundreds of families to navigate these challenges and is proud to have achieved successful outcomes for them.

We specialise in the following visas:

  • Temporary and Permanent Skilled Work visas for Australia
  • Business Innovation Visas and Business Investment Visas for Australia
  • Family visas for Australia

Skilled Work Visas pathways for Australia

Student graduates who have completed studies at a reputable registered College or TAFE qualification or higher university education studies in Australia, may be eligible for graduate skill work visas after successfully completing your studies. In addition, there are several suitable options that will support your needs to work temporarily or permanently in Australia. The type of skilled employment relating to your individual skilled occupation you choose will be the determining and deciding factor on which visa you may be eligible for.  Depending on what degree you have completed or approved qualification, you may be eligible for one of the work visas through independent pathways or sponsorship

Overseas applicants who have skills through study or work experience that are in high demand in Australia may also be assessed for the several available work visas such as:

407 occupational training visas (temporary skills enhancement)

The main objective of this visa is taken part in workplace-based training to enhance your skills in your current occupation, the area of tertiary study, the field of expertise.

Whilst being on a valid student visa and undertaking a registered CRICOS approved course with an approved CRICOS training registered training organization, visas that might be suitable are 407 Occupational Training visas to enhance their skills or gain further work experience for up to 2 years.

This work experience can benefit the trainee/student to demonstrate their skill set within their work environment. Depending on their enhancement, the employer may decide to extend their work opportunities and offer to sponsor the employee.

Main criteria that graduate applicants need to meet are as follows:

  • Must have functional English equivalent to overall IELTS score of 5 with no less than 4.5 in each band
  • Must have at least 12 months in the last 2 years work and or/study experience in the nominated occupation you meet and able to provide supporting evidence for this
  • Must undertake on the job structured workplace training program to enhance your skills or gain registration or licensing for your nominated occupation
  • Must have Health Insurance for the duration of your training program and stay in Australia
  • Must be of good character and meet health criteria

482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa – Temporary skilled Employer Sponsored visa

This visa has replaced the (457 visa). There are several options available for work visas to Australia depending on what you are wanting to achieve during your time in Australia.  Your visa application will be looking at several different personal factors such as age, family circumstances, finances and professional experience.

If you are interested in applying for a Work Visa to Australia or wanting to understand which visa option is best suited to you, please contact our head office and speak with one of our registered and qualified migration agents who can assist you. Whether you are offshore or onshore, we provide professional assistance for both Temporary and Permanent Work visas to Australia.

TSS visa holders can work in Australia in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor under one of three streams:

  • A short-term stream of up to two years (unless international trade obligations apply). This stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill short-term skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced;

This stream is available to you if your employer wants to sponsor you (as an overseas skilled worker) on a temporary basis only in occupations listed on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a TSS visa – see lists of eligible skilled occupations. It can be used to fill positions for a maximum of two years or four years if an International Trade Obligation (ITO) applies

  • A medium-term stream of up to four years and allows eligibility to transition to permanent residency after 3 years provided all other criteria is met at the time of application. This stream allows employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrower range of occupations in medium and long-term need, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced;

This stream is available if your employer wishes to sponsor you (as an overseas skilled worker) for periods of up to four years in occupations listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) for a TSS visa.

  • Labour Agreement stream. This stream may be utilized in exceptional cases where standard visa programs are not available and there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market.

Should you want to check which list your occupation falls under please visit the most recent combined skills occupation list for 2019  **from 16/11/2019 the occupation list is subject to change

General criteria for skilled applicant:

  • Be nominated for a position by an approved sponsor and that nomination has been applied for or approved
  • Meet any or all required skills and qualifications requirements including completing any skills assessments requested for your occupation
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Must provide substantial evidence of a minimum 2 years full time work experience in your nominated occupation

Employers who will sponsor or nominate the applicants must:

  • Lawfully operate an Australian company and generally be trading or operating for a minimum of 12 months
  • Have no relevant adverse information against their business
  • Have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour

Skills required and in demand in Australia

We are often approached by a number of employers requesting applicants we may have within our database to urgently fill specific positions.

Requel Ogle is constantly working with industry sector across Queensland state specifically to understand and try to assist these employers to meet their labour force needs. The main issues they face in trying to find suitable qualified skilled workers are:

  • Workers who are willing to move and remain for at least 5 years to regional areas throughout Queensland.

To clarify to any South African – Regional/Designated areas in Australia are not the same as we would view in South Africa. It’s not the BUNDU’S! It has some of the most beautiful spots and for any savvy zaffa, they would look at this as an opportunity to build something within a safe environment integrating with amazing locals to grow their communities. I know for a fact that most who have moved to regional areas, don’t want to leave as they have embraced their new calm and satisfying life.

  • Great attitude to all things new
  • Must be ready and willing to start usually within 3-5 months maximum from the date of recruitment activity

Current common situation that we come across on numerous occasions

-Employer needs skilled worker  -employer advertises for skilled worker  -skilled worker applies for job                   -employer interviews worker  – employer offers worker position and requires them to arrive asap  -skilled worker or employer contacts migration agent to arrange visa  -migration agent assesses employer and skilled worker against migration regulations  -migration agent determines that skilled worker needs 3 main requirements before visa can be applied for and or granted  -migration agent advises skilled worker and employer that these requirements can take up to 3 months to obtain before visa can be lodged    -employer frustrated but knows that he has no choice as cannot fill position locally            -employer and skilled worker obtains the additional criteria which delays process by over 2 months  -after migration agent lodges the applications, the processing time to finalise the application is between 2- 3 months  -applicant starts planning their move and putting house on market or resigns and is now ready to move but has to wait the processing period for the visa to be granted  -anxiety sets in for both parties during the waiting game… not pleasant for anyone!  -What should be an exciting time becomes a stressful time and the chance of the position being lost to another ready applicant.

Our advice

If you are considering moving to Australia and determine that you fall into a skilled working visa stream, before anything else (before applying for jobs), you must do the following:

  1. Book the first available English Test as waiting times are generally up to 3 months (mandatory even if you are from South Africa – unless you hold dual British/USA/Canada passport)

The following testing methods and models can be used for visa purposes. Unless you are a medical professional and specialised, there is no need to undertake the academic version for the first two – General test is sufficient. PTE however only offers academic tests.

TOEFL – IBT English Test

IELTS – Cambridge English Test

PTE Pearson English Test

  1. Apply for yours and all accompanying dependent family members unabridged birth/marriage certificates if applicable.
  2. Apply for yours and all accompanying dependent family members who are 16 years and over – police clearance certificates. We recommend using the following third party agency called DocAssist based in South Africa as they are quite efficient in obtaining these for you.
  3. The main applicant/s must ensure that their qualifications and transcripts if any are available and CV’s are accurateand outline in detail their work experience with exact start and end date periods. [DO NOT JUST PUT THE MONTHS AND OR YEAR TO YEAR PERIODS]
  4. Make sure you apply for your skills assessment immediately and have an approved skills assessment ready when applying for jobs. ** (This is subject to certain occupations such as trades etc. and/or the visa you will be applying for – must check with your agent first- As most skills assessments take up to 3 months to finalise, this is one of the most important processes to begin first once you have decided you want to move to Australia)

Having these key documents above will place you as job ready applicant. When applying for positions, and the employer has decided to offer you the position, you will have all this ready and can be assessed to integrate in the most suitable visa application as quickly as possible. As the waiting period for the actual visa processing period is acceptable to both yourself and the employer.

SC186 ENS Permanent Employer Nominated Visa

Alternatively, should the job offer, and the employer/company be in any other area besides regional, the applicant may be eligible for the Standard SC186 Employer Nomination Visa. ​This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream

This visa requires that the position is tested in the labour market and must be offered employment according to market salary rates relating to the nominated position. This visa may be applied for from within Australia or outside of Australia if the applicant holds the appropriate substantive visa at the time of application.

The applicant must:

  • Be nominated for a position on the designated skills occupations list in any area within Australia for full-time employment no less than 2 years
  • meet any required skills and qualifications requirements including completing any skills assessments required
  • meet English language requirements of competent English
  • Must be under 45 years of age

For other skilled applicants, you may also explore your eligibility for the skilled points tested visas which require a minimum of 65 points pass mark to access the skill select program. Other points will be subject to which state you decide to relocate to and their individual criteria and conditions for allocating points (on a case by case basis).

Currently the following subclasses are available under the skilled points tested streams

SC189 Skilled Independent Permanent points tested visa

SC190 Skilled State Nominated Permanent points tested visa

Generally, Applicants must:

  • Hold a relevant skilled occupation on the new points occupations list
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Meet the minimum points test pass mark of 65 points
  • Be under 45 years of age at time of invitation
  • Have minimum Competent English and be invited by DOHA to apply or should have proficient English of minimum 7 in each band to achieve higher points

Should your points not meet the required threshold, we would be happy to discuss other methods to achieve these.

Significant changes to the skilled migration program will be implemented on the 16/11/2019 and relate to the following visa subclasses:

The department is trying to encourage regional settlement to migrants to grow the economy and business in designated regional areas throughout Australia.

For all of the visa’s pathways listed above, you may include your immediate family members including spouse and children. Children however must be under 23 years for certain visas.

Extended family who want to migrate to Australia that cannot be included as dependents can be assessed for other visa options under the family stream options. ** subject to eligibility

What if you want your parents to move to Australia once you have settled?

This is also possible. Your parents may come on short or long periods of time especially with the current parent visa options opened up to parents of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. Certain parent visas can be fast tracked depending on your individual needs.

General criteria for your parents are – they need to be of a certain age and/or be old enough to receive the Australian aged pension. The other criteria are that at least half of your siblings must live in Australia than any other country. Key requirements such as the balance of the family test must be met along with other criteria

Get in touch!

Over the next few months we will be featuring key information on specific regions in Queensland which may be of interest to current and future applicants seeking to relocate to regional Queensland.

If you are considering making the move to Australia, please contact us to determine which visa pathways best suit you.

Australia is 8 hours ahead of South Africa operating Monday to Friday between 1:00am – 8:30am South African time should you wish to book a consultation or chat on our platform. Alternatively emails usually are responded to during Australian office hours.

Have a quick question? Chat with one of our professionals now

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