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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My wife and I are both Americans and she has a job offer in Johannesburg that is sort of her dream job. I'm trying to figure out what my prospects would be in regards to finding work there after we arrive. Her position would keep us there for a minimum of two years, and I don't want to be in a situation where I sit around doing nothing for two years.

I recently completed my Masters degree in International Affairs / Economic Development. My past work experience has primarily been in the aerospace sector dealing with satellite operations, though I don't have an engineering degree.

From what I've read, it seems people are able to find work in technical sectors, but have a hard time obtaining positions outside of those specific areas where there is need.

I'm also wondering if I will have problems with getting a work permit later if I arrive there with a visa based on my wife's work there.

Are there any good methods of looking for jobs as a foreigner or possibly international recruitment agencies that I might contact ahead of time?

We are planning on moving in August and my wife as already begun the work permit process via her company.

Thanks!
 

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Hi all,

My wife and I are both Americans and she has a job offer in Johannesburg that is sort of her dream job. I'm trying to figure out what my prospects would be in regards to finding work there after we arrive. Her position would keep us there for a minimum of two years, and I don't want to be in a situation where I sit around doing nothing for two years.

I recently completed my Masters degree in International Affairs / Economic Development. My past work experience has primarily been in the aerospace sector dealing with satellite operations, though I don't have an engineering degree.

From what I've read, it seems people are able to find work in technical sectors, but have a hard time obtaining positions outside of those specific areas where there is need.

I'm also wondering if I will have problems with getting a work permit later if I arrive there with a visa based on my wife's work there.

Are there any good methods of looking for jobs as a foreigner or possibly international recruitment agencies that I might contact ahead of time?

We are planning on moving in August and my wife as already begun the work permit process via her company.

Thanks!
why dont you volunteer as a teacher in the under-priviledged schools?
you wont get paid, but then the chances of getting a work permit within a year are slim too.
 

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/SNIP/

While both my wife and I realize that Johannesburg is a dangerous city, I'm not as worried about crime. I spend many years living in Moscow and parts of Ukraine, and recently spent a year working in Eastern DRC where having our house shot at with AK-47's was common. I know Johannesburg cannot be that bad.

My wife also lived in South Africa for a few years. She will be starting low-income schools using an American Charter School model.

Mostly I'm curious if anyone else has ever come over with a husband or wife who was taking a job there and then also ended up taking a job.
 

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While both my wife and I realize that Johannesburg is a dangerous city, I'm not as worried about crime. I spend many years living in Moscow and parts of Ukraine, and recently spent a year working in Eastern DRC where having our house shot at with AK-47's was common. I know Johannesburg cannot be that bad.

My wife also lived in South Africa for a few years. She will be starting low-income schools using an American Charter School model.

Mostly I'm curious if anyone else has ever come over with a husband or wife who was taking a job there and then also ended up taking a job.
We live in Joburg since December 2011 and love it here. My husband got a job here so that is why we moved to Joburg. I was at home with our baby then but once I was ready to go back to work I put my cv on a job search site and got a call back within a week. I am still working at that place now and loving it. Its hard to give advise on job opportunities since it totally depends upon what you do. I was a lawyer in the UK but UK legal qualifications are not recognised in SA but I still managed to get a job as a legal adviser so it suited me perfectly. As I said we love it here and have up until now not had any problems but Joburg is not for everyone and I have said it before, it is not called Gangsters Paradise for nothing:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We live in Joburg since December 2011 and love it here. My husband got a job here so that is why we moved to Joburg. I was at home with our baby then but once I was ready to go back to work I put my cv on a job search site and got a call back within a week. I am still working at that place now and loving it. Its hard to give advise on job opportunities since it totally depends upon what you do. I was a lawyer in the UK but UK legal qualifications are not recognised in SA but I still managed to get a job as a legal adviser so it suited me perfectly. As I said we love it here and have up until now not had any problems but Joburg is not for everyone and I have said it before, it is not called Gangsters Paradise for nothing:D
Thank you Saartjie.

I am curious if you had to get a work permit after getting the job offer and how long it took? Or did you apply for a work permit before moving to South Africa?

Again, it's nice to hear a positive reply.
 

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Thank you Saartjie.

I am curious if you had to get a work permit after getting the job offer and how long it took? Or did you apply for a work permit before moving to South Africa?

Again, it's nice to hear a positive reply.
Ah, the work permit was a real pain. As a spouse of an SA citizen I had to get a Spousal Permit, then find a job and then get my permit endorsed for work. I got my job offer in April 2011 but only received my work endorsement about a month ago so March 2012. Therefore, from April 2011 until March 2012 I was forced to work illegally but I was lucky in that my company would allow that. I arrived in SA on a visitors permit and got all my subsequent permits here.
 

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Hi Johnbt

I am sure that you will have a wonderful time in Johannesburg. It really is a very safe city. We have no hurricanes, tornadoes or tsunamis. No earthquakes or volcanoes and certainly no terrorists or suicide bombers! I don't know where Charlize was living - maybe under Nelson Mandela Bridge. I work in an organisation that helps inbound expats and we have been responsible for over 10,000 of them over the years. In that time we have never had anybody harmed in any way by criminals. That's not to say that there hasn't been the odd burglary or smash and grab incident on the roads - but even those I could count on the fingers of both hands. It is just a matter of taking care of yourself and being aware of your surroundings, as you would anywhere else in the world. Obviously indulging in deliberately unsafe behaviour is asking for trouble.
As for the work permit, it is possible to get, but a bit bureaucratic. You need to get a job offer, but don't sign up until the process has been completed. It should be possible to do in a couple of months, but would help if you enlist the assistance of a professional immigration services company. Work on an unpaid voluntary basis is obviously possible to keep busy in the meanwhile.
 
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