The Top 5 Emigration Destinations for 2011

Are you considering leaving your home country next year to find greener pastures but unsure of where to go and what it entails?

Global immigration experts 1st Contact share their 5 favourite countries to relocate to in 2011, along with a few key facts about each location.

New Zealand

In 2009 emigration to New Zealand was at its highest since 2002, with more than 1000 new arrivals from Britain, as well as a huge increase in Irish immigrants.

What’s so great about it?

The climate, friendly inhabitants, low crime rate, low residential property prices, low taxes and a high-quality, laid-back lifestyle are all good reasons to live in New Zealand!

When to avoid:

If you don’t like the great outdoors or open spaces, you’re more of a sophisticated city slicker and have an extremely high-tech lifestyle, maybe New Zealand isn’t for you. There are parts in New Zealand where you won’t have phone reception or an internet connection and some consider New Zealand to be a bit “backward”.

Skills in shortage:

If you’re in the construction, engineering, IT, telecommunications and especially healthcare and social services industries, you might find that your skills are in demand!

Visa requirements:

If you are looking to live and work in New Zealand permanently, you can apply under the Skilled Migration Policy if you meet all the requirements. You must be aged between 20 and 55 and meet the standards of health, character, and English language proficiency to send an Expression of Interest (EOI) which is scored according to certain criteria. Every two weeks, all high-scoring EOI’s are placed in a pool and if drawn, the applicant is sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA).  

Famous New Zealanders:

Famous New Zealanders include actors Russell Crowe and Sam Neil, Lord of the Rings producer Peter Jackson and Tim and Neil Finn from ‘Crowded House’.


Australia, also known as the land down under, has plenty to offer visitors from all over the world.

It is the sixth largest country in the world and a giant island!

What’s so great about it?

With only two people per square kilometre, Australia has the lowest population density in the world. It also has over 10 000 beaches, amazing scenery and offers a fantastic outdoor lifestyle. Australia has a low crime rate, a booming economy and more than 100 000 jobs are currently advertised on job boards!

When to avoid:

Avoid if you prefer cooler weather, hate snakes and beaches and need constant excitement.  Some have described Australia has over-regulated and boring, but if this accounts for the low crime rate, it can’t be all that bad!

Skills in shortage:

Civil engineers, mining and mechanical engineers, aviation engineers, healthcare professionals of all kinds including midwives, surgeons and pharmacists are all in demand in Australia.

Visa requirements:

The General Skilled Migration (GSM) route is available to individuals wanting to migrate to Australia based on occupation skills. This category includes the subclass 175 and offers the opportunity for permanent residence.

Famous Australians:

Famous Aussies include Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman, Shane Warne and Cate Blanchet.


A 2009 study into the most ‘liveable’ locations in the world ranked many Canadian cities in the top ten. Canada is doing well to climb out of recession and despite a slight rise in unemployment figures in 2009, immigration levels have remained more or less the same.

What’s so great about it?

Great lifestyle opportunities – excellent healthcare and education, a low crime rate, working democracy and friendly people.  Canada also has some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world and the air and water quality are extremely high.

When to avoid:

Avoid if you don’t like the cold or ice hockey.  Canada is also highly regulated – high taxes and a high cost of living are some of the things that might get you down.

Skills in shortage:

Biologists, scientists, architects, chefs, plumbers, electricians, nurses, dentists and social workers are among those workers in demand in Canada.

Visa requirements:

Applicants for permanent residency to Canada as federal skilled workers enjoy a simplified application process. Only one form and fee is required to guaranteed you a place in the processing queue.  Points are awarded based on education, age, work experience, adaptability, English or French skills and arranged employment.

Famous Canadians:

Famous Canadians include Avril Lavigne, Pamela Anderson, Shania Twain, Keanu Reeves, Celine Dion,  Alanis Morissette, Jim Carrey and William Shatner.


The UK has always been an extremely popular emigration destination for those wanting to earn Pounds. In recent years popularity is slipping, but the UK still offers attractive advantages!

What’s so great about it?

London is a vibrant city, full of life and culture. Other parts of the UK offer breathtaking scenery, great job and earning opportunities and the opportunity to experience Europe fairly cheaply if using the UK as a base.

When to avoid:

Avoid the UK if you don’t like cold weather; you’re an outdoors, sun-loving type or you don’t like public transport.

Skills in shortage:

Health and social care, education, IT, litigation and social housing management are just some of the careers and industries where specialist skills are needed.

Visa requirements:

Since the interim visa cap was announced, it has become increasingly more difficult to get into the UK on a simple General Tier 1 visa. With the interim limits, the cap has been reached earlier and earlier each month, with the December cap hit on the 7th already! So if you want to get into the UK, you should consider applying as soon as possible and take the necessary steps to apply for the Tier 2 visa.

Famous Brits:

There are many famous Brits throughout history. For the purposes of this exercise and because celeb-spotting is a popular London pastime, here are some who are alive today: Robbie Williams, David Bowie, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Helen Mirren, Dame Judy Dench, Sir Bob Geldof and David Beckham.

South Africa

Despite its turbulent political past, South Africa is increasingly becoming a fantastic emigration destination, and Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most popular cities to live in.

What’s so great about it?

South Africa has a fantastic climate, great beaches, the 3rd best drinking water in the world, really good lifestyle opportunities, hospitable locals, a growing economy and reasonable property prices. The country also has exquisite landscapes and scenery – mountains, beaches, forests and deserts!

When to avoid:

Avoid if you are paranoid about crime. South Africa’s crime rates are relatively high and living in South Africa means you live fairly cautiously and know which areas and situations to avoid.

Skills in shortage:

Project Managers, engineers, scientists and IT professionals are in demand in South Africa.

Visa requirements:

Applying for a work permit allows you to work in the country and once in South Africa on a work permit, you can apply for permanent residency.

Famous South Africans

Nelson Mandela has to be the most famous South African living today, with Charlize Theron not far behind. Other notable South Africans include Pieter Dirk Uys, Johnny Clegg, Embeth Davidz, Ernie Els and Gary Player.

There you have it – the 5 top destinations as voted by 1st Contact Visas! Whether the warmer, laid-back lifestyle of the Southern hemisphere options or the highly developed, cooler Northern Hemisphere options appeal to you, the 5 countries detailed above represent a little bit of everything.

For information, advice or assistance with visa applications to any of these countries, visit

With more than 16 years in the immigration industry, 1st Contact can assist you with everything you need to know and do to apply for the visa of your choice!

  • L Mc Callaghan

    The immigration experts that listed New Zealand as a top destination should be sued for fraud. The only reason they listed this pathetic excuse for a country is because it is easily accessible and they make money off people’s ignorance. I spend 6 years in New Zealand and they bled me dry. The friendly inhabitants are the worst racist you can have the misfortune of running into and if you are South African hell will reign down on you. They despise immigrants, immigrants are there to do the work kiwis do not want to do. They want you to spend every last sent of you hard earned cash until you are forced to leave – making space for the next sucker to be tricked into crossing its borders.
    Low property prices??? Please this is such a blatant lie that it would be more believable saying that all New Zealand chickens have 3 legs. Property is unaffordable and rent is frighteningly high. The laid back lifestyle is the drawing card but unfortunately laid back isn’t so laid back when you can’t even afford to buy a loaf of bread.
    Healthcare sucks, if you would like to be treated with panadol for anything from a headache to terminal cancer this is the place for you. Unfortunately, most people prefer to live a long healthy life. Please read
    As with regard to work, you will be victimized and abused. You might have the right skills and qualifications but to get registration is next to impossible (I have seen this with nurses) and the system is designed to strip you of your hard earned cash. You will also be paid less that the incompetent Kiwi and do more of the work.
    If you are seriously considering moving to New Zealand ignore New Zealand Immigrations brilliant ad campaign and go and have a look at
    And if you still decide to leave for a bit of fun in the sun at least you can’t say you haven’t been warned.

    Beware of so called immigration experts. Anyway why move to New Zealand when Australia (lovely country with lovely people) is around the corner. It’s like chosing to live in the toilet when the main bedroom is just across the hall.

    • Parindalla

      Good to know the advice . At least I have rooted out the idea of visiting NZ

  • Patricia

    Ah, bitter much? If it was such a hell hole why did you stay for 6 years? It sounds like NZ was well rid of you. Save your rants for your “toilet” and spare us all.

  • matte

    Dear All:

    Attitude matters wherever we go anywhere in the world. The key to success is humility, patience, multi tasking or flexibility, be friendly so that many would help and accept you. Be excellent in anything you do and smile so that you offer healing and happiness to others. Appreciate little things so that many little things become bigger achievement.

    Spread Love and Peace!

  • Luiz

    This is the problem:
    People like many out there, migrating arrive on these countries already expecting to be have it all they have built in their homeland.
    As also the self defence mechanism enters into play, the open mind is already gone then what remains is just comparison, high expectation …
    Some people need to remember when they go abroad,they will have to build it all up again in every sense. So stop criticising the people who are already in there and put the head down, let the pride on the side and join the local and feel what they feel, laugh, cry and celebrate…till they trust you enough to form a bond.