mobile menu mobile search

The cheapest countries for South Africans to buy citizenship and emigrate to in 2017

The cheapest countries for South Africans to buy citizenship and emigrate to in 2017

Turkey and Ireland recently announced plans to introduce a citizenship by investment plan over the course of 2017 – adding to a growing list of countries that South Africans can effectively “pay for citizenship”.

This follows a July 2016 report by the International Monetary Fund which indicated that a growing number of countries were encouraging wealthy individuals to make the move because of the significant financial inflows they bring to these countries’ economies.

In return, those buying citizenship buying offers greater global mobility (including visa free travel in many countries), tax planning, and family security.

BusinessTech looked at the countries currently offering citizenship by investment and which are the cheapest according to the current rand exchange rate.

Country Amount in local currency Amount in rands Link
St Lucia $100 000 R1 312 750 Link
Dominica $100 000 R1 312 750 Link
St Kitts and Nevis $200 000 R2 625 500 Link
Antigua and Barbuda $200 000 R2 625 500 Link
Grenada $234 000 R3 073 543 Link
Ireland €500,000* R7 001 844 N/A
Montenengro €500,000* R7 001 844 N/A
Bulgaria €511,292 R7 163 355 Link
Turkey $1 000 000* R13 133 700 N/A
Australia AU$1 500 000 R14 935 669 Link
Malta €1 150 000* R16 114 670 N/A
Cyprus €2 000 000 R28 010 106 Link

* Countries that plan to introduce citizenship by investment later in 2017.


While the above specifically pertains to countries that allow for “citizenship through investment”, there is a clear difference between having citizenship in a country and being a resident, notes James Bowling, CEO of immigration consultants Monarch&Co.

“By achieving permanent residency, the person is allowed to reside for as long as the validity of the residency within a country of which he or she is not a citizen,” said Bowling.

“A person with such status is known as a resident or permanent resident of that country. Resident permits are issued for migrants who meet certain criteria and its validity is time based.”

“By obtaining citizenship in another country, the investor becomes a citizen of that country which entitles them to carry that country’s passport.  “Depending on the countries involved, the investor will be able to keep their existing citizenship and passport and thus the new passport becomes their second passport.”

This is why these programmes are often referred to as second passport programmes,” he concluded.

Popular countries of residency and how much they cost

Country Amount in local currency Amount in rands
Greece €250 000 R3 504 844
New Zealand NZ$500 000 R4 554 634
Portugal €500 000 R7 001 844
Spain €500 000 R7 001 844
United States $1 350 000 R17 735 760
Singapore S$2 500 000 R23 249 109
United Kingdom £2 000 000 R32 152 105
France €10 000 000 R140 193 793

Read: Visa-free travel to the EU for South Africans still on the cards

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
TAGS: Headline
Join the Conversation
  • Brandon van Reenen

    Thanks, I needed this, because SA.

  • keithbe

    Going to have to whip out the +R4 million from under my matress…

    • rambo919

      beeeeeg mattress

      • Jacobus Pienaars

        Unless it’s in pounds…

  • James Dean

    Most of those countries have a snackbar problem. No thanks!

  • Alex

    It’s sad that this article exists.

    • Welcome to the New South Africa 🙂

  • nilperora

    Better yet would be if South Africa had a Citizenship by Investment plan. Some of us want to go the other way.

    • Ryan Van Niekerk

      we do and the amount is R 12 000 000.00 it is called the Financially Independent route and its a Permanent Residency application. Otherwise our business investment visa is usually a R 5000 000.00 requirement.

      • Ab Irato

        Except for Africans from up north. They just walk across the border, protest at Marabastad Home Affairs offices and they get papers…

  • Francois DeWet

    Looks like the Rand means nothing!!

  • Cheesy 3.0

    Why do I need to pay R140mil to move to France when I can just call myself Achmed and float across the Mediterranean to Europe and get in for free?

    • Jacobus Pienaars

      Cause Ahmed will not get a passport

      • Cheesy 3.0

        ok ‘Joe’ then?

    • Louis Botes

      Achmed the terrorist will do…

      • Selwyn

        and can sing

    • wheels11

      Well Cheesy, if you didn’t spend so much time indoors eating lasagna all the time, and acquired some soccer skills, the French would happily give you citizenship! Just look at their national football team and track & field athletes.

  • Time to look for some change between the couch cushions…

  • Oran Gutan

    ANC inadvertently scr*wed Rand so badly that now it’s almost impossible for anyone, except for the very rich, to leave this Zupta mafia ruled place.

    It the Rand held, I don’t think any whitey would have stayed, and the slide to Stone Age would have been much quicker.

    • wrongturn

      Would be nice to have an ancestral visa “get out of jail free card”

    • Fanandala

      If the rand held it would be an indication that things a going right here, and a lot less people would have the desire to leave.

  • Richard Webster


  • Marco

    If you come to Portugal you can get a 10 year exemption from tax.

  • justincredible

    NZ is $1.5m increasing to $3m on 1st May, I am pretty sure Australia is more than stated here too.

    • Jakkie

      I think you are right, $5 Mill in Aus and it buys you residency, not citizenship.

  • System Saviour

    HAHAHA, 1 million US$ to live in Turkey ….

    • wrongturn

      Agreed, how much? 1 MILLION DOLLARS.

  • Tau’ri

    Why would I ever want to emigrate to Turkey?

    • Wollie Verstege

      To see if things can really get any worse than what they are under the ANC?

      • Wari Murphy

        In that case just visit. Take the ‘Dodge the car bomb’ tour. Or go as a foreign correspondent and tour the prison system. If you’re really masochistic, pretend to be a German or Dutch citizen…

    • Neels

      To put your women in burkas?

      • Tau’ri

        If men had to have to wear the burka, that law would’ve been abolished at the speed of light.

    • Fanandala

      I also thought a Million for Turkey is rather presumptuous. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain at least give you an EU passport.

  • NitzMan

    R18M to live the American dream. If I join the ANC now, I should be able to move to the US by the end of this year.

    • wheels11

      Why move when the gravy is so yummy in the train? One taste and you’ll want more.

    • LuSypher

      amerikaan nightmare, more likely

  • Marc Eden

    At the end of this year i am immigrating to Costa Rica. Amazing place. Going to be investing $ 65.000. Very good country for business, unemployment only 5%, Thank god no ANC to steal my money.

    • brz

      Sounds interesting.

      • Marc Eden

        I would suggest doing some research.

        • Wari Murphy

          And learn Spanish?

    • Nicky

      Hey Marc, Costa Rica intrigues me – would you have any particular websites that you would recommend? Do you end up with Citizenship?

  • Mervink

    What happen to being passionate about our country? Loving South Africa? I think that’s were the problem is, politicians and South Africans really not giving a dam about this beautiful nation, I think its something to fight for instead of giving people exit strategies

    • wrongturn

      Well, not to sound negative, but as long as non tax payers keep on voting in a morally corrupt government, things won’t get better. And it won’t matter how hard we fight.

    • OptimisticPessimist

      Because I belong to a group who were born in SA, as my dad and grandfather was, yet we are not considered South African? Why be passionate? About what? In SA I am a minority brah, I was told that I do not have a place or right to be there (because what I have I stole from the true South Africans). My group gets told to leave auditoriums, that we are not allowed to speak, we are told that we may not have any pride in ourselves or our language, history, culture. We must be quiet, we are just Boers. Being Afrikaner means being a thief. What must I be passionate about for SA? The Boks? PS this article is BS – you do not have to buy citizenship. There are many countries where you can take your Mzungu butt and get permanent residency after a couple of years just by doing your bit and contributing to the economy and being a peaceful, law abiding, non-entitled citizen.

  • Mahomed Ebrahim Gaddafi Seedat

    Oops.Sorry I just happened to step in. Another gathering of cheap white Islamophobes. Please don’t stop. Not on my account at least. Watch out for the red ants. Phobic fkucs.

  • Mahomed Ebrahim Gaddafi Seedat

    Cheap White Racist Islamophobes

    • Kaylin Minx

      islam is a scourge on this planet.

  • Nofearorfavor

    Wouldn’t out of choice want to live in any of the countries above. Don’t think that the drivel we have in SA, is any less than what they have in other countries and our climatic conditions are far more stable too.. bad drought now and then, but even provision for that will improve. Crises we go through?— if one goes beyond the fake zio news to the real news– clear then things are not coming up roses in most other countries either.

    • Well, in most other countries I can walk at night anywhere I want without my 9mm 🙂

  • Wikus Schalkwyk

    Who has a million spare these days anyway? Oh wait, it’s in my other pants…

  • Darytyg 123123

    I wonder if the article is thinking of wealthy businessman when they say emigrate, cause I am not sure if it would cost 1000 000 rand to go to Costa Rica for instance. Also 10 million Euros for France what are we buying a mansion there or something?

Join our newest FREE BusinessTech newsletter today!