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Which countries are best for unskilled immigrants?

By June 15, 2021December 21st, 2022FinGlobal

Which countries are best for unskilled immigrants?

June 15, 2021


When you think about emigration, you often read that countries warmly welcome immigrants who are highly skilled and have something to offer the country in terms of education and expertise. What if you’re keen to emigrate from South Africa as an unskilled worker? Or what if you have an unqualified family member who will need to find a job and settle in when you emigrate?

Which countries warmly welcome unskilled workers, and where is it best to settle in order to get all the desired changes in lifestyle, such as work opportunities, safety, good healthcare, and excellent schooling?

This has been on our minds recently, so we put in the time and effort to create a shortlist of the best countries for unskilled workers to emigrate to from South Africa. The list includes:

  • Canada
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

 For the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on our top two; Canada and Norway.


Countries that welcome unskilled immigrants

The following countries are great options for unskilled workers – check them and see if any appeal to you.



Canada is a great place to immigrate to from SA. Not only does it have an 8% unemployment rate, but it’s also considered one of the countries in the world that encourages immigrants to join them.

When it comes to immigration, Canada works on the National Occupation Classification (NOC), which is a code assigned to the level of skill each job has. Canada’s immigration program is divided into two sections: skilled and unskilled (or low skilled). Each worker has two categories that they are assessed on:

  • Skill type – this is the industry or sector that job or occupation falls under (according to Canada’s labour market). The number ratings run from 0 to 9, with 0 being management jobs and 9 being manufacturing jobs.
  • Skill level – this is the type of training or qualification your occupation will need. The skill level ratings run from A to D, with A being jobs that require university education and D being jobs that require basic on-the-job training.

Jobs that are considered high-skilled in Canada are usually 0 rated jobs that fall into the A or B category. Unskilled and low-skilled jobs are classified as type C and D jobs. Jobs that fall into C and D categories are typically butchers, food servers, truck drivers, cleaning staff, oil field staff, and fruit pickers.

If you’re scouring the internet for jobs in Canada, you will be surprised to find just how many C and D rated jobs are available.


Emigrating to Canada as an unskilled worker is done in four ways:

  • The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) – for unskilled immigrants who want to immigrate and already have a job offer.
  • The Rural Northern Immigration Pilot – Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Alberta participate in this program. It’s for people aiming to obtain a full-time job in Canada. It’s best to find a job or possible job before processing the application.
  • The Agri-Food Pilot – aimed at people seeking work in meat manufacturing, animal production, and agricultural sectors. To immigrate as part of this program, you must have a full-time job offer and have one year of non-seasonal work experience. You also need to speak fluent English, have enough supporting money to start with, and have a certain level of education.
  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot – Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Labrador, and Newfoundland participate in this program. To immigrate as part of this program, you must have a full-time job offer in the abovementioned Canadian areas.

One of the biggest challenges is to get a job offer before you apply for a visa.



South Africans often overlook Norway as a destination to emigrate to, but it actually holds great promise. Norway’s unemployment rate is only 5% which is minute compared to South Africa’s 33%. If you do a bit of online reading on immigration status in Norway, you will find that projections point to 26% of immigrants being high-skilled and 75% being unskilled by 2040.

One of the biggest challenges you can expect to face when looking for unskilled work in Norway is the language barrier. That said, many people in Norway speak English, and it’s not always a requirement to know the local language.


In Norway, an unskilled worker is someone who doesn’t need to go through any special training to do a job. They also don’t need a specific education level to learn on the job.  The following occupations are determined “unskilled” in Norway and would have to be the jobs you go for:

  • Craftsmen
  • Laundry assistants
  • General cleaners
  • Bus drivers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Bar and restaurant staff

Here’s something you might find interesting about Norway. The country has a lack of unskilled workers of their own, and as a result, they are constantly seeking out workers from other countries who will happily fill unskilled roles in the country.

It’s fairly easy for a foreign immigrant to get a permanent residence card as an unskilled worker if you have a job offer or promise of employment. Many online resources point to the Jobs Norway website as a great place to start. Employers can often assist with the visa application process.


Head to Norway, Canada, or anywhere else in the world? Chat with FinGlobal about your tax and financial emigration obligations

At FinGlobal, we are well-versed in all things emigration. Whether you’re heading to Norway, Canada or anywhere else in the world, we’re ready to help ensure that the relocation is a success. When leaving South Africa for a foreign country, there’s a lot to think about. Most people search for a job and worry about housing and transport, completely overlooking their tax obligations when moving abroad.

If you want to ensure that you’re on the right side of the law, chat with us about your tax and financial emigration when leaving the country.

It’s never too late to get your tax and finances in order, so reach out even if you’ve already landed in your new country. For help and guidance, all you have to do is contact us. You can give us a call on +27 28 312 2764 or email us at today.


One Comment

  • Musiwa Jerome Obi says:

    Very articulate and easy to understand information,I highly applaud the writer of this piece of information

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