I am not quite sure about this but I was wondering I am currently 22 years old and I am a software developer in South Africa.

The recent political tension and instability in the country is forcing me to consider working and possibly immigrating to another country more and more.

What would be the best way to do this? And how? Are there any agencies out there that specialize in finding you a job abroad? Is there anything I should look out for like a red flag? For example I don't want to work in a country for 5 years and not get citizenship. Perhaps a guide to follow would be useful.

I was hoping there would be like an agency that you can give your CV to with countries that you would be interested in then they try to find you a job there.

  • 3
    Would you consider further studies as a way of getting a foothold in a country? Some countries give graduating students a year or so to look for a job after finishing their degree.
    – phoog
    Nov 24, 2015 at 20:46
  • I would but I hear that studying abroad is very expensive especially due to our weak currency. And I would have to work my way through more studies.
    – Dave
    Nov 25, 2015 at 13:13

2 Answers 2


While there might be very specific agencies that handle the research for you globally, the best thing for you is to first limit the list of countries, and more importantly cities / regions where you would like to move. There are quite a few things to consider, including:

  • The language you have to use during your work and generally
  • The country's visa laws (for South Africans)
  • Citizenship laws
  • If you want to bring a partner / childrens / family what laws apply to them
  • What kind of jobs are available
  • The salary range you can expect (and whether that salary range is enough to obtain the visa in the first place)
  • Whether the locals are friendly when encountering expats, or not
  • Wheter you would like the climate of the region
  • And lots of other things. Generally you might want to go there as a tourist first to check it out whether you actually want or could live there, or not

Internet forums, and sites like this one would be a good start for this, but don't expect a comprehensive list, as they would all depend on your circumstances.

Once you managed to get the list down to a few candidates, you should contact some job sites and headhunters who operate in that region, send them your CV and ask them about advice. Depends on the region (especially on the shortage of the local/easily hireable developers) they might be interested or not.

Ultimately it will be up the the company you'll be working for to decide whether you are good enough to warrant the extra risk and costs in hiring you. Usually the more experience you have, the better your chances.

Just to give you some specific example: I'm usually involved in a few interviews in London, United Kingdom, and we do interview and hire people who don't yet have the right to work in the country (we do have South Africans working here as well for example), but mostly for mid, senior (and higher) level positions. For graduate and junior level there are usually enough local or EU based applicants, who are much easier to hire.

Additionall in the UK if you can get the work visa, then as a Commonwealth citizen you'll get some additional rights (for example voting on national elections, something that is usualy not allowed for expats without citizenships in most countries), that might be useful.

That said the best thing you could do is is to start looking around, and get more experience in a field where there are shortages in your chosen region.

  • 3
    +1 on specific shortages. Some countries, even for skilled visas, require that a company "prove" that they couldn't find a citizen/permanent resident for the job.
    – mkennedy
    Nov 24, 2015 at 22:50
  • Thanks a mil! This helps! I will start working on a list and I will try to stick it out a bit longer to gain some more experience to ease the process while I do research and take the next steps
    – Dave
    Nov 25, 2015 at 13:17
  • 1
    The OP may have trouble getting a tourist visa. The stable 1st world countries usually look for strong family or economic ties that ensure the tourist will go home rather than going underground. The fact that the OP is young and in a position to emigrate will make that difficult to prove. Jul 23, 2017 at 6:08

If you have a university degree and have been schooled entirely in English for at least 12 years, you could come to Japan first as an English teacher, which is normally very easy (Just Google It™). Of course you probably don't want to do this long-term, but it will allow you to stay in the country for an indefinite amount of time (as long as you are willing to put up with it...), during which you can attend a Japanese language school to learn the language, and job-hunt for development jobs.

Japanese citizenship is very easy to obtain, if you are willing to renounce your current citizenship (at least in principle...).

  • While your plan is possible, teaching English is a career dead-end and Japan is among the worst places in the world to do IT (outdated tech, low demand, low salaries). You'd be much better off putting the same time and effort into migrating to a place where IT is demand. Nov 27, 2015 at 4:29
  • I know many people who are very happy with their IT career here.
    – fkraiem
    Nov 27, 2015 at 4:31
  • 1
    So do I: half my team is in Tokyo. But I still can't recommend purposely moving to Japan to pursue a career in IT, and this essay is a good summary of many reasons why: kalzumeus.com/2014/11/07/doing-business-in-japan Nov 27, 2015 at 4:34
  • Oh, I am certainly not recommending it either (in fact I rarely ever recommend anything, especially to people I do not know very well), just stating a possibility I am familiar with.
    – fkraiem
    Nov 27, 2015 at 5:54

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