These 30 jobs could get you a visa for the UK, New Zealand and Australia

 ·13 Jun 2019

We now live in a global economy, where countries often source skills and workforces from all over the world to fill gaps in the economy that may be lacking locally.

South Africans have a reputation for being some of the hardest workers in the world, with research in 2018 showing that our skilled workers are used to putting in 43-hour plus work weeks on the regular.

This makes South African workers some of the most sought-after by companies, and shoe-ins for the many skill visas on offer from countries like Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Statistics provided to BusinessTech by Stats NZ show that 2,953 South Africans entered New Zealand on a work visa in 2018.

The ‘skill stream‘ is by far the most popular way for South Africans to move to Australia, with a total of 4,419 South African applicants on this visa type in 2016/17.

In New Zealand, approximately 7,900 South Africans made the move to the island nation between 2017 and 2018 – and the UK is also a net beneficiary of South African skills, adding approximately  7,300 South Africans at last reporting (2017).

Below are the jobs that frequently feature on the skills lists of Australia, New Zealand and the UK which will help South Africans land a job in these countries.


To combat a so-called ‘Brexodus’ – the departure of talented professionals or companies leaving the UK due to Brexit – the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has updated its recommended shortage occupation list (SOL) – adding new occupations to the list and expanding current jobs to include all roles within that occupation.

The new list would include nearly 10% of jobs in the UK labour market, compared with 1% under the current list.

Some of the most notable jobs on the revised recommended SOL list include:

  • Civil engineers;
  • Mechanical engineers;
  • IT business analysts, architects and systems designers;
  • Medical practitioners;
  • Nurses;
  • Teachers;
  • Graphic designers;
  • Web design and development professionals;
  • Programmers and software development professionals;
  • Dancers and choreographers;
  • Chefs.


Australia has undergone a number of visa reforms over the last year in a bid to curb high immigration levels.

This includes reducing the number of jobs which would be eligible for a temporary visa by over 200 occupations and a possible ban on immigrants moving to Sydney and Melbourne.

Immigration consultants, Sable International, said that while cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth continue to become more developed, rural areas in regional Australia are slowly but surely becoming more urban. In both the big cities and regional territories, the key skills of trade workers are needed to keep this development going strong.

“The current supply of trade workers is simply not satisfying the demand in Oz, which is why occupations like bricklayers, building inspectors, plumbers and electricians continue to feature on Australia’s list of eligible skilled occupations.”

However, they are not the only jobs in demand, and the Australian Department of Home Affairs keeps a detailed list of these occupations as well as the visa you would need to apply here.

These jobs include:

  • Chef;
  • Civil Engineer;
  • Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher;
  • Electrician (General);
  • ICT Business Analyst;
  • Landscape Architect;
  • Life Scientist (General);
  • Locksmith;
  • Management Consultant;
  • Occupational Therapist;
  • Panelbeater;
  • Registered Nurse;
  • Software Engineer;
  • Telecommunications Engineer;
  • Zoologist.

New Zealand 

New Zealand has published its updated Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) lists for 2019, highlighting the jobs that foreigners could help fill.

The country currently has three different lists  – long term, immediate and regional – that records the skill shortages it faces.

If a job is on a list, a New Zealand business can apply for a visa for a qualified worker from overseas.

One of the most in-demand skills is teaching, as the country has faced  continued to face a teacher shortage in recent years.

New Zealand Immigration said that it is looking for early childhood, primary school, and secondary school teachers across all regions.

In November 2018, New Zealand education minister Chris Hipkins said that he would target countries with teaching qualifications that are similar to New Zealand, including the UK, Ireland Canada, South Africa, Australia and Fiji.

Other jobs which feature on the shortage list include:

  • Clinical psychologist;
  • Developer;
  • Electrician;
  • Engineering (chemical, electric, mechanical, structural);
  • General Practitioner;
  • ICT Project Manager;
  • Physiotherapist;
  • Programmer ;
  • Software Engineer;
  • Veterinarian;

You can check for your job using Immigration New Zealand’s search function here.

Read: An alternative to emigration – people are moving to Cape Town

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