9 Best countries where South Africans can buy citizenship or residency in 2019.

Get to take all the opportunities you deserve with a second residency abroad.

PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA PROGRAMME

While the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme is one of the most widely known EU investor visa options available to South Africans, it’s neither the most affordable nor the simplest to apply for.

Properties in the €350,000 price bracket can often be “problem properties” situated in urban renewal zones where the quality of living may not be as high as in areas where residential properties are priced around the €500,000 mark.

In addition, the Portuguese Golden Visa is essentially a long stay visa – in terms of obtaining actual permanent residency rights, a visa “host” country like Slovenia might actually make more sense, especially if price is a key consideration.

ITALY INVESTOR VISA PROGRAMME 2019

The Italy Investor Visa Programme was quietly introduced towards the end of 2018, and has not received significant publicity in 2019. With eligible investments starting from €250,000 excluding professional service fees, this is another Golden Visa type programme offering excellent value for money.

Italy is a sought after travel and retirement destination among third country investors worldwide, and is gaining in popularity among South African visa investors. The political climate in Europe is changing, and it is expected that all EU golden visa programmes will be subjected to higher levels of scrutiny – with higher investment requirements being imminent.

So if you’re serious about retiring in Southern Europe, now is the time to contact us and get your application process started.

GREECE INVESTOR VISA PROGRAMME 2019

The Greece Investor Visa Programme is both interesting and attractive for a number of reasons: Unlike in countries such as Portugal, for example, you can opt to buy both residential and commercial properties with a total minimum value of €250,000. In practice, this means that you could purchase an apartment to live in, as well as a rental property which generates income, rather than not being able to sweat your single asset if you were to live in it.

Coupled with a friendly taxation system, excellent living standards and a highly central location, and Greece could be the Plan B or retirement destination you’ve been looking for.

NB: It is important to note that you’ll be required to pay a property tax of 24% of the total value of your investment, as well as professional services fees of around €250,00. The total investment cost should therefore come in at circa €300,000.

CANADA IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAMME (QUEBEC IIP)

While the Canadian federal residency by investment programme, formally known as the Canada Federal Investment Programme was terminated in 2014, third country immigrant investors still have the option of obtaining Canadian residency by investment in 2019 via the Quebec Immigrant Investor Programme (QIIP Canada).

In order to be eligible to apply for the QIIP programme in 2019, an investor must be able to prove a legally obtained net worth of at least CAN$ 2,000,000 (around US$1.48m). In addition, the QIIP visa applicant is required to make a passive, 0% interest loan to the Canadian government for a period of at least 5 years. Alternatively, there is the option to make a minimum payment of CAD $ 320,000 in financing and brokerage fees in lieu of making said passive investment.

NB: The programme’s intake volumes are extremely limited, and wait-listing is very likely, so if you’re serious about emigrating to Canada, do not delay in submitting your application.

TURKEY CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT

Turkey is one of the latest market entrants to offer a direct citizenship by investment programme. Requiring an eligible property investment of only $250,000, the programme as already gaining significant traction among third country nationals seeking a Plan B beyond their native jurisdictions.

The primary applicant’s spouse and dependent family members are also eligible to apply for citizenship, and the application process takes around 6 months until your passports are issued.

The country’s vibrant culture and highly central location, combined with excellent and affordable air route connectivity makes Turkey an excellent options for South African retirees or families looking to establish a foothold on the cusp of Schengen Europe.

HUNGARY INVESTOR VISA PROGRAMME 2019

With a minimum investment requirement of only

€50,000 Hungary’s investor visa programme is one of the most affordable options for obtaining EU residency by investment. Having said that, investments of around €100,000+ are more typical.

Once an eligible investment has been made, the visa investor can apply for a 1-year temporary residency permit, which is renewable for another 2 years, after which a 5-year residency permit is issued. Thereafter, the investor can become eligible to apply for permanent residency and eventual citizenship.

While the Hungarian programme has not been well publicised after the termination of the controversial $300,000 Hungarian Residency Bonds Programme, it is nonetheless one of the easiest and most cost effective options for South Africans seeking to obtain EU residency without the need to buy property in the EU.

SLOVENIA INVESTOR VISA RESIDENCY

While Slovenia does not offer a direct citizenship by investment or golden passport programme, South African nationals can obtain EU residency by investment via Slovenia by means of making an eligible business investment of no less than €150,000. At this price point, the Slovenian investor visa is one of the most affordable programmes of its kind for obtaining EU residency.

Slovenian residency offers you the benefits of visa free travel across the EU – live, work, study and travel as you please across 26 EU member countries, and the primary investor’s application process can be completed in around 3 months.

BELGIUM INVESTOR VISA PROGRAMME 2019

Belgium is another relatively unknown, yet highly interesting EU investor visa destination. The programme typically requires an eligible business investment of between €350,000 and €500,000, however a key benefit of the programme is the fact that the capital investment can be staged over a number of years.

In addition, visa investors can become eligible to apply for citizenship after residency status has been maintained for a period of no less than 5 years. In terms of time to EU Citizenship, the Belgian investor programme is one of the fastest outside of opting for direct citizenship, as offered by Cyprus.

Combined with friendly company taxation, a highly central location in Western Europe, top-tier living standards and highly sophisticated business infrastructure, Belgium is a highly compelling option for SA business professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business footprint into Schengen Europe.

US EB5 INVESTOR VISA PROGRAMME 2019

The US EB5 Investor Visa Programme is your ticket to owning the American Dream. As of June 2019, the EB5 investment requirement threshold starts from $500,000, yet industry insiders across the board expect this to be hiked to as high as $1.3 million before the end of 2019. You have the option of making a direct business investment or investing in an indirect, Regional Center Project, the latter being a passive investment that does not require any active project management involvement by the investor.

The EB5 visa application process typically takes up to 18 months, but there are fast-tracked 9 month options available as well. Countries such as China, India and Vietnam suffer from application retrogression, with applicants from these countries facing waits of over a decade as demand for American investment residency visas outstripping the annual country caps.

NB: If US Immigration by investment is on your radar, act now, or risk losing out.

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READY TO MOVE? CALL US NOW.

Golden Visas South Africa works with candidates who are ready to pull the trigger on their offshore residency or citiznship applications. If you’re still researching, now is not the time to call or contact us – we expect our clients to arrive with their homework done and their house in order.

But when you’re ready, don’t hesitate – our consultants are seasoned experts, committed to quality outcomes, and are standing by to help you gain a foothold abroad.