The Hong Kong Effect
Prolonged unrest in Hong Kong has prompted its affluent citizens to explore the investment immigration route to secure permanent residence in safer and more stable countries.
With its expensive real estate market, Hong Kong is increasingly offering fewer attractive investment opportunities.
Continuing political instability and clashes between protestors and security forces have further complicated matters and forced wealthy residents to explore alternatives.
High Golden Visa Demand Among South Africans
Another country contributing significantly to demand Greece and Portugal’s golden visa programs in South Africa.
While the 2008 recession impacted the global economy, South Africa has struggled to recover from the damage caused by the last economic downturn.
This has led to a flight of capital into other countries offering better investment prospects for wealthy South African investors.
The stagnant economy combined with a lack of optimism about the future has led to an 80 percent surge in golden visa investments into Greece and Portugal from South Africans over the last 16 months.
Greece is preferred over other EU destinations not only because it is one of the cheapest golden visa programs.
While foreign investments have contributed to the recovery in the country’s real estate sector, property valuations in Greece are significantly lower than in other EU countries.
Investors stand to earn steady returns on attractively-valued real estate investments with the added benefit of fast-track EU permanent residence.
Portugal, which was the most popular golden visa program in the EU until the Greek program gained traction, also offers easy access to the EU at a low cost.
While valuations are higher than Greece, real estate investments continue to be affordable compared to other developed economies.
Further, Portugal offers multiple investment options ranging from the creation of jobs in the country to the purchase of old properties for renovation.
Becoming an EU Citizen
There is no dearth of foreign investment opportunities for South Africans.
Even the island nation of Mauritius, with its own permanent residence by investment program, is an attractive destination.
However, Greece and Portugal score over other destinations because these programs offer investors the option of becoming a citizen of the EU down the line.
Unlike Cyprus and Malta, Greece and Portugal don’t offer direct citizenship. Yet, a permanent resident fulfilling all applicable conditions related to citizenship can eventually obtain the Greek or Portuguese passport.
For South Africans seeking a better life for their children in the developed nations of the EU, the golden visa can be a simple and easy first step towards becoming a citizen of the European Union.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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