Government’s cabinet reshuffle and SA’s subsequent ratings downgrade, paired with the economic implications that are to follow, have made those South Africans who might otherwise have stuck it out in Mzansi, skittish.
It’s no new thing that skilled South Africans are looking abroad for a better life, living standards and safety overall and Jacob Zuma’s policy changes have in the past spurred emigration surges.
That said, the ANC government’s latest cabinet reshuffle has, according to TimesLive, contributed to a 250% increase in South Africans looking to set up a plan B abroad.
Read: Gov to limit emigration by tracking those leaving SA for more than three months
Not long after the last cabinet reshuffle, South Africans had to come to terms with the reality of a credit ratings downgrade to junk status and the impact that will have on development in the coming years; so, many have looked abroad, with two options having become very popular – besides the obvious emigration routes –.
First off there’s the ‘golden visa’ option. Countries like Portugal have become very popular for wealthy South Africans and their families securing EU citizenship as a plan B for leaving South Africa.
How it works:
Golden Visa Portugal is a unique residency-by-investment solution. By making an investment in Portugal, you can obtain EU residency rights. This can lead to Portuguese nationality for you and your dependents.
Samantha Carter, and immigration and nationality specialist at Sable International, explain why the Golden Visa is such a popular option for South Africans right now.
“The GRPP, commonly referred to as the Golden Visa programme is a great way for South Africans to invest in offshore property and secure EU residency rights for themselves and their family. Not only does this programme allow you to hedge against the increasingly volatile Rand but it also allows you to one day become a citizen of the EU. Another great incentive is that you only need to complete 7 days stay per annum in Portugal to retain your EU residency. This means that you can continue to live is South Africa, while you work towards your Portuguese citizenship.”
Another option for South Africans with the means is citizenship by investment as a means of accessing the United Kingdom.
How it works:
The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is a bespoke UK citizenship by investment programme. This scheme offers you the chance to obtain UK residency through a £200,000 investment into a pre-qualified UK business. If you meet all of the immigration requirements after five years, you and your family can apply for indefinite leave to remain, followed by full British citizenship.
Gary Kockott, Managing Director of Sable International, explains: “We’ve seen a significant increase in South Africans looking to emigrate to Australia and the UK in recent months.“It’s obvious that the man on the street’s confidence in SA’s future is at an all-time low. This is unsurprising given our current levels of corruption, state capture, political uncertainty, the downgrade and a looming economic recession.”
While South Africa’s internal politics has always been dynamic and at times daunting; many people, have reached a point where job stability, economic stability, personal safety and sound government policies have become important for their own development.
Citizenship by investment programs offers a safe, secure way for individuals and their families to gain access to the European Union or the United Kingdom while still holding on to their South African citizenship.