New overseas visa options open for SA graduates

EU + UK flag image

Are you interested in living abroad and exploring overseas work opportunities? The good news is that the United Kingdom (UK) has now lowered entry requirements for South Africans, especially for skilled graduates. UK immigration lawyer and EU citizenship expert Garth Coates of Garth Coates Solicitors will be in Johannesburg and Cape Town this month to consult those interested in learning more about the opportunities available for both the UK and EU. (See end of article for dates and details)

UK Immigration

A variety of visa options are available for working, studying or setting up a new business while living in the UK, with the STEM route offering a fast-track to both settlement and UK citizenship for skilled graduates.

STEM route: For graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the UK government has announced a new route which will fall within the confines of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa route. South African and other non EU graduates in those fields can apply for the three-year STEM Visa. After three years, those with this visa will be eligible for settlement in the UK and then a year after eligible to apply for British Citizenship. Applicants need not have a job offer and can bring their dependents. The route is aimed at encouraging those in the scientific community to come and settle in the UK.

Post-study work visas: Students who have graduated in the UK can now apply for a Visa which will allow the student two years to find a job in the UK.

EU Citizenship by investment

According to Coates Global, this year has seen a record number of applications from South Africans seeking a second passport in the EU. Coates Global offers programmes for citizenship in Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Portugal.

“Travel, education, employment, business opportunities and safeguarding a better future for their family are key reasons for record numbers of South Africans in the past 12 months applying for second EU passports,” says Goates Global.

Depending on the EU Scheme, these EU Passports can be obtained through investments starting from €250,000 (R4.2 million) and can take between six months to seven seven years to attain the EU passport. An attractive feature for South Africans is the lax residency requirements, meaning that you do not need to permanently live in the country to attain the EU Passport.

Consultations available:

If you are interested and would like to find out more, you are invited to book a consultation with Garth Coates this month. He will be in Johannesburg from Tuesday October 7 til Thursday October 10 and in Cape Town from Thursday October 10 until Monday October 14.

To book an appointment, please contact Nitish de Ramduny at or call on +44 207 799 1600. Only limited consultations are available, so book early to avoid disappointment.