The number of South Africans selling their primary residences to immigrate to another country has started to rise and reached 7.4% by the fourth quarter of 2017, the survey from FNB shows.
According to the survey, the peak of emigration-related home selling in South Africa was recorded in 2008. Then about 20% of people decided to escape the recession by selling in order to emigrate.
The rate started its gradual growing from 2% in 2014 and, as a result, reached its current position of 7.4%.
The FNB property strategists believe that the trend of selling to immigrate started because of an unstable situation in the country, plus this so-called ‘junk status’ made people worry about their future in South Africa.
While part of South Africans decided to ‘sell to immigrate’, other middle and higher income households decided to stay in the country, but in order to protect their assets and families, started to look for a Plan B.
Financial emigration and purchase of residency/citizenship by investing in the country’s economy is a reasonable Plan B for South Africans who wish to be ready for any unexpected situation in the future.
There are over 10 countries that have official citizenship by investment programs, and over 30 with residency programs. The most popular residency programs are offered by Malta and Cyprus. By investing at least €300,000 one is able to obtain a residency card within 2-3 months. In case you are more interested in citizenship, such Caribbean countries as Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis offer the most appealing terms in 2018.
The Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program
It has recently introduced some changes that would benefit both the country and the investor. In April 2018, the Saint Kitts and Nevis CBI will launch a new fund, and will start accepting applicants who invested $150,000 in this fund. This investment can’t be returned as the funds will be used to improve the country’s education, medicine, infrastructure and other areas.
In case the investor wishes to include in the application up to 3 people, for example, a spouse and 2 kids, the minimum investment will be $195,000, plus additional fees. There is also an option to invest at least $400,000 in a real estate object. This investment can be returned in 5 years. The investor can resell the real estate object without losing the citizenship. More details about the program can be found in this article – New terms of Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program: the price for passport goes down.
The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program
It also has appealing terms. Its minimum investment amount is $100,00 for both a single applicant and a family up to 4 people, making it one of the most affordable options for an investor with a family. Antigua also offers real estate investment option. The minimum investment in this case will be $400,000, the same as for Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The process to obtain both Saint Kitts and Antigua citizenships takes about up to 5 months. Passport of these 2 Caribbean countries has almost the same power: Antiguan passport allows visa-free travel to 128 countries, while Saint Kittitian passport to 129 countries. The list of visa-free countries include the UK, all countries of the Schengen Zone, South Korea, Singapore, among others.
There are 3 more Caribbean countries with the CBI program: Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica. Their conditions to obtain a second citizenship are slightly different, however, each country has something special to offer to potential future citizens. It’s better to consult with an immigration expect before making a decision. What is appealing to one investor, can be an obstacle to another. Each CBI program is unique and only a professional knows all the details to select the best option for you and your family.