With South Africa predicted to continue to be the main wealth hub in Africa in the 2019 Knight Frank Wealth Report, citizens are looking at destinations like Greece, Spain and the UK to spend their holidays.
Despite the nation’s enthusiasm to travel, the South African passport allows visa-free access to just 100 countries around the world, which doesn’t include the world’s largest economies such as the UK, the USA, the Europe Schengen Area and Canada.
Visa requirements for South Africans
Should South African citizens wish to travel to any of the remaining 126 destinations, they would need to first apply for a visa to enter within their territory. In 2017 alone, South African citizens were within the top 15 countries which filed for the most short-stay visa applications at the Schengen embassies/consulates in their country, with 206,786 visa applications filed throughout 2017.
To obtain such a visa, South Africans must provide evidence of legal residence in South Africa, a covering letter, their flight itinerary, proof of accommodation, means of subsistence, Europe travel health insurance amongst other requirements.
The rule, however, does not apply to internationals living in South Africa and South African passport-holders that hold dual citizenship, as a second passport offers citizens the option to continue residing in South Africa, whilst enjoying travel freedom as well as countless opportunities dual citizenship has to offer.
As a result, South African citizens are looking at alternate methods to attain greater mobility that allows them to travel at short notice, without having to go through the lengthy visa application process.
Acquiring travel freedom
There has in fact been a high demand for residency and citizenship by investment programmes by South Africans, offering such individuals a direct route to second citizenship, according to Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, Senior Partner (Global Residency & Citizenship) at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.
“South African citizens are recognising that dual citizenship or residency provides various opportunities for a secure future for the family as well as the business. Travel restrictions may bring about adverse effects on the stability and growth of businesses, which are highly dependent on the economic and political situation in South Africa. This may also impact families with regard to access to education and health care systems around the world.”
Dr Chetcuti went on to state that citizenship by investment programmes are steadily increasing around the world, through which investors are able to choose from a wide selection of investment choices, varying from property, to government contributions or donations.
Whilst the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programmes in Sant Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Grenada and Dominica have proven stable and relatively less expensive when compared to other programmes, various European Programmes have seen quite a high demand, most particularly the Malta Citizenship by Investment and Cyprus Citizenship by Investment programmes.
The Portugal and the Greece Golden Visa Programme are also dominating the Residency by Investment market.
Meet the team in South Africa
Through its years of experience within the industry providing clients with the necessary guidance on how to choose the most suitable Citizenship or Residency by Investment Programme, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates has advised many investors on their eligibility for the various programmes, whilst maintaining confidentiality through strict professional secrecy and lawyer-client privilege.
The firm will be in South Africa until the 6th of May 2019, where they will be holding one-on-one confidential meetings.
If you would like to book your one-on-one meeting with the industry experts, click this link: https://eu.chetcuticauchi.com/investment-opportunities-event-in-south-africa/.
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