Planning on leaving SA on a second residency and citizenship? Know your facts before you go
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Obtaining a second residency and citizenship programmes isn't as easy as counting one, two, three.
With the great demand for second residency and citizenship programmes at an all-time high, founder and chief executive of LIO Global, Nadia Read Thaele, advised that people do their research before they make their final decision.
In an interview with IOL Travel, she said that a potential investor needs to ask themselves what they want to achieve.
"Are they looking to physically immigrate? Or are they looking for an alternate option or ‘plan B’? They also need to ask, is it a second citizenship or residency that they are looking for as these are very different and come with different pros and cons," she said.
Thaele said most families sought a second passport and citizenship for security and travel access.
She said residency included more admin and required regular renewals, while citizenship was permanent.
"Typically, the due diligence is strict. The government would require typical FICA documents, as well as police clearance, birth certificates, marriage certificates, proof of source of funds and bank statements, among others.
“However, this varies from country to country. It is important for them to establish that the funds have been obtained legitimately and that the applicant and their family have a clean track record.
"Cost varies dramatically depending on the country and program that the client is looking at. All of the programs have different costs," she advised.
Thaele said South Africans need to separate their property investment needs from their residency/citizenship needs.
"They don’t necessarily overlap," she said. "Most of these countries are looking for foreign investment in order to generate capital inflow into the country, so if you’re purely looking at a real estate investment, you may consider an alternate destination."
South Africans, she said, need to consider a few factors.
"This isn’t as simple as just buying a citizenship. There are multiple factors to keep in mind, such as tax and foreign exchange. You need to apply for citizenship retention with South African Home Affairs or you could lose your South African citizenship," she added.