More South Africans are applying for a secondary passport, as they look for a possible ‘plan B’ outside of the country.
Residence and citizenship planning firm, Henley & Partners, said that it received a 125% increase in the number of enquiries in the second half of 2018 – compared to the same period in 2017.
“For many clients, education is a key factor, with parents wanting to be able to provide their children with the best education in the world,” the group said.
“Others are not necessarily looking to emigrate but see a passport as a Plan B in case the political or economic future deteriorates.”
Henley & Partners said that many wealthy locals also want greater mobility, as the South African passport does not offer visa-free access to many countries.
“Citizenship in a safe country, whose passport provides visa-free access to many countries, is an ideal solution,” it said.
“South African HNWI recognise that dual citizenship or residency provides more benefits and privileges for them and their families including ease of travel, security for the future and expansion of business and banking etc.”
Who is leaving and where are they going?
Henley & Partners said that most of its clients are usually male (85%), even though they have seen growth in the number of female individuals also applying for these programs over the last few years.
These applicants are usually slightly older (45-64 years of age), and are based either in Gauteng (38%) or the Western Cape (37%).
They are typically self-employed or employed by a company (45), while around 10% are non-economically active.
Henley & Partners said that many of these applicants are applying for European residency programs – specifically Portugal and Greece – and for citizenship programs from the Caribbean.
In recent months South Africans have also shown particular interest in the real estate-based Portugal CBI program, Malta, Moldova, Greece, Australia, Grenada and Cyprus, it said.