An individual holding the South African passport is entitled to visa-free travel to 97 countries all over the world. Yet, there is growing demand amongst wealthy South Africans for a second passport, which requires obtaining citizenship of another country.
Despite South Africa being a developed nation, especially in the African continent, more and more affluent South Africans are relying on investment immigration and citizenship by investment programs to become citizens of nations like Malta and Cyprus or permanent residents of the UK, the USA, and Australia.
The reasons behind the demand for the second passport include the desire for a safety net, access to better education for children, and availability of newer and more profitable business opportunities.
Immigration experts have witnessed a sudden increase in emigration inquiries in 2015. As compared to one or two investment immigration inquiries in a week, firms are receiving queries from nine to ten clients every day. Citizenship by investment is a preferred option as it allows wealthy individuals to obtain a second passport along with permanent residence or citizenship without onerous physical residency requirements.
Those exploring this option do so primarily to ensure their children enjoy better opportunities for study and work in the future. The fact that investment immigration programs offer hassle-free access to developed nations in North America and Europe is another significant factor.
Those seeking citizenship via investment prefer Malta with Portugal’s Golden Visa being the next preferred option amongst the wealthiest 5% of South Africa. Countries like Malta and Cyprus offer direct citizenship on the basis of minimum investment of R 11.5 million and R 34 million respectively. Other options include Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Dominica that offer citizenship to applicants investing R 3.8 million, R 3.2 million, and R 1.2 million respectively.
The UK offers permanent residence for a period of five years in lieu of investment of R 39 million. Applicants have the option of applying for citizenship at the end of this period. The USA offers its EB-5 visa to those investing R 12 million in the country while Portugal’s Golden Visa, which is popular amongst South Africans, comes with a price tag of R 7.7 million.
Countries offering such programs for investors have confirmed that applications from South Africans have jumped by 100% over the past 12 months.
Source: MG.coGeneral Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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