By Claire West

More people from Britain are looking overseas for jobs to secure a financial future for themselves and their families.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that 353,000 emigrants left the UK in the year ending March 2012. This is higher than the 336,000 who emigrated in the year to March 2011, according to provisional data.

The ONS says the increase in emigration is mostly due to more people leaving for a definite job. 127,000 left the UK for a definite job in the year ending March 2012, compared to 108,000 the previous year.

Edwina Shanahan, Managing Director of VisaFirst says she has witnessed a rise in people looking overseas for work, as opportunities in the UK have decreased.

“The slowdown in growth and continuing lack of employment opportunities in the UK mean an increasing number of people are now looking to countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada in particular. These countries are actively looking for British employees across a range of skill sets, plus they are prepared to pay competitive salaries for the right person.”

Edwina believes that the lure of countries where opportunities are growing will continue to tempt UK people to look overseas, particularly those with families. Below she gives her five top tips for those contemplating a life working abroad.

1. Consider distance. For example, Australia tends to be popular with those heading off on a long term working contract due to the distance and cost in returning home to the UK. Whereas Canada is a popular choice for those on shorter term contracts or those wishing to return home to the UK more frequently.

2. Check out the benefits. Establish at the outset who pays for visa applications and whether flights are included in your offer of employment? Also ask whether it is possible to contribute to a pension.

3. Lifestyle and location. Consider the climate and location of where you will work. Does it suit your lifestyle? Is there a regular expat community already?

4. Education and healthcare. These are two important issues, especially for those with families. Factor in any extra costs that may apply to those who aren’t considered permanent residents.

5. Visa options. Most countries have a range of visa options. Make sure you apply for the most appropriate visa to suit your needs now and in the future. This will save you time and money in the long term.