Discover why the Caribbean is perfect for wealthy South Africans looking to invest in second citizenship
More wealthy South African businessmen and women seek to secure the future for themselves and their families, and second citizenship has become an increasingly popular route to achieving this.
Traditional emigration paths for South Africans have been Australia, the UK, and New Zealand through ancestral visas, residency or naturalisation. However, these routes to emigration are long, and there is no guarantee that it will be successful.
Thanks to a boom in investment migration programmes, wealthy South Africans interested in emigrating overseas have more options today. More and more South Africans are discovering citizenship by investment. Just over a dozen countries in the world currently offer citizenship by investment and the highest concentration of these programmes exist in the Caribbean, a region considered the cradle of citizenship by investment.
The majority of Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes do not have minimum stay requirements, meaning that citizenship can be granted without having to visit the country, and processing times range from a couple of weeks to a few months. The Caribbean is a diverse region with massive economic potential and growth opportunities.
“South African passports can only get you so far. This compounded with struggling economies across the continent, means that South Africans need to diversify. You need a Plan B. Citizenship by investment programmes allow you to travel more easily, do business more easily and provide additional stability to your family and future generations,” says Micha Emmett, the CEO of CS Global Partners, a London-headquartered legal government advisory and marketing firm.
What is Citizenship by Investment?
Citizenship by investment programmes offers the opportunity to legally acquire a new nationality in return for an investment in the host country’s economy. Such programmes confer citizenship status without causing any major disruptions to an investor’s life, provided they pass all the due diligence checks first, make a qualifying investment and provide all the correct documentation.
St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda offer highly ranked citizenship by investment programmes, affording second citizenship for the entire family through a quick and efficient process.
Why is the Caribbean Perfect for South Africans?
Residency is not required when investing in Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes. However, individuals are welcome to make their new home on their chosen island. English is spoken throughout the Caribbean and most South Africans enjoy the natural splendours of living on a tropical island.
Freedom of Movement
The South African passport allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival to just fewer than 100 countries. The country is also under various travel bans across the globe due to the regional variant of coronavirus.
Professional and personal freedom, as well as global access, is synonymous with most Caribbean passports. Dominicans and St Kitts and Nevis citizens can enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to around 140 and 156 countries, respectively.
South Africans are used to sunny skies, pristine beaches, fresh air, and long days spent enjoying the outdoors. It is not much different in the Caribbean. Much of the Caribbean is the ocean, and the region includes about 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea. There are also mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, tropical forests, and valleys.
Standard of Living
According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospect Report, the pandemic caused an estimated 6.1 per cent fall in per capita income across Sub-Saharan African in 2020. It is expected to lead to a further 0.2 per cent decline in 2021. The resultant reduction is expected to set average living standards back by a decade or more in South Africa.
The Caribbean is blessed with great economic potential and growth opportunities. Citizenship by investment programmes drives foreign investment, which helps create jobs and improves employment standards with new projects.
Healthcare and Response to the Pandemic
The majority of islands in the Caribbean have had an exemplary response to the pandemic. Closing borders early and ensuring their citizens are supported during their various lockdowns kept infection low. To date, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica have had no deaths, and both have managed to tame the spread of COVID-19.
Funds raised through citizenship by investment programmes are also used to upgrade, build, and maintain hospitals and healthcare centres.
South Africans have learned to live with high crime levels and are on constant alert when out in public. Living in houses or security estates with high walls and electrified fences has become a norm.
Most Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment have tight-knit communities and a very low crime rate.
Political unrest, corruption and crumbling state-owned enterprises continue to be a pain point for millions of South Africans and act as a legitimate concern for investors.
Individuals interested in citizenship by investment look toward stable governments with a strong economic outlook. In order to run successful citizenship by investment programmes, Caribbean countries must have due diligence procedures in place to ensure the longevity of the programmes.
The cost of investing in a second citizenship, which starts from US$100,000 (R1.4 million), may be expensive, but it is so for a reason. Individuals obtain citizenship and a passport in a short amount of time without needing to go through interviews or even move to the country. Applicants make their investment in US Dollars, a stable currency, and in the long run, Caribbean citizenship by investment will pay for itself by increasing your global footprint, broadening your horizons with worldwide business opportunities while securing the future of your family.