The shocking events in South Africa over the past week have been enormously distressing. My colleagues and I are anxious and deeply concerned for our family and friends back at home and are worried sick for the future of our country.
This week we have been inundated with calls from very distressed fellow citizens, enquiring about options for permanently leaving South Africa. These conversations have been heart breaking and we understand the deep pain many people feel at the very thought of leaving their deeply loved homeland.
Despite their anguish, many people have opted to consider their choices and have contacted us to determine if Citizenship by Investment (CBI) offers them a viable option. The sheer volume of the enquiries has prompted me to answer some of the most common questions to help you assess whether CBI is something you wish to explore.
What is Citizenship by Investment?
Citizenship by Investment programmes are officially approved government programmes. They offer residency rights and a route to citizenship in exchange for incoming investment.
Which countries are available?
We offer sixteen of the world’s best programmes, including the USA, UK, various EU countries, Turkey, and tropical island nations.
Can I take my family?
Yes, of course. All programmes accommodate an immediate family of parents and children. The maximum qualifying age for children varies by programme between 18 and 30 years old. Grandparents also qualify in some instances.
What rights will I have?
Like everything, it varies by programme, from residency rights to full citizenship and a second passport. Most countries’ schemes have a clearly defined route to full citizenship.
Will I have to give up my South African citizenship?
No, you will have dual citizenship and remain a South African citizen.
How much do I need to invest?
The cost of CBI programmes varies significantly but you will need a minimum of US$250,000 to invest to qualify.
What kind of investments are they?
The type of qualifying investments for CBI programmes vary enormously. Real estate investments are the most popular in our experience. However, other people prefer to invest or start a business, other invest in government approved investments or development funds. Some countries offer residency in return for donations to support cultural heritage or the arts.
Does the investment provide a return?
Yes, if you have opted for investment rather than a donation. Some investments provide a guaranteed return and even offer buyback options for example these recent listings in Portugal.
How do I choose a suitable investment?
As experienced investment advisers, we can help with selection based upon your objectives which we would discuss in detail if you decide to proceed.
Can I take my money out of South Africa?
Yes, but you will have to meet all your obligations to the South African Revenue Service. Having a large South African expatriate client base, we are very experienced in the requirements for safely transferring assets out of the country and can help you access the best tax and professional advice.
What do you do?
We advise, assist with the paperwork and manage the entire process for you. As we only operate official schemes, there are significant administrative requirements. We will help you with all that and ensure everything works as it should.
What do I do next?
If, based on the information provided here, you want to proceed or at least explore the possibility of a CBI programme, then please book a call to discuss your individual needs and find out the options available to you.
We look forward to hearing from you. Take care and stay safe.