Who wants to be a citizen of just one country when you can be a citizen of the world? The increasingly trendy investor immigration scene is becoming a way of life for the savvy African investor.
Second citizenship for Africans
A survey conducted last year by CS Global Partners--an international legal consultancy specialising in residence and citizenship solutions --has found that 2/3 of South African nationals are researching second citizenship. This is due to the turbulent political and economic environment in the region. The research found that 87% of respondents who do not currently have dual citizenship and 96% of participants in the survey would like a second citizenship.
Furthermore, 45% said that they would invest at least 5% of their annual salary to gain a second citizenship, while 70% declared that they would be willing to relocate if they had a second passport. Of those wanting to relocate, 60% cited their family's future as a motivating factor, while 50% said that a second passport provided a' "plan B" that added security pending South Africa's future. CEO of CS Global Partners, Micha-Rose Emmett, commented that "in an increasingly unstable world of political and economic turmoil, people are looking for alternate citizenship as a backup plan, in case the situation changes in their home country." She added that "the results are consistent with the conversations we typically have with clients and stakeholders across the globe. People want to know that their families--and all that they have worked hard to achieve--will be safe and secure not just today, but well into the future."
Second citizenship can be obtained in a variety of ways, with some paths more commonly travelled than others. Traditional options include birth within a nation's recognised territory, descent, marriage, or long-term residence. Increasingly, however, individuals and families from around the world are looking at a more time-efficient path to guarantee their physical security, financial stability or a more global lifestyle. These desires can be achieved through citizenship by investment (CBI).
What is citizenship by investment?
Also known as "economic citizenship", CBI is, to some extent, an exclusive means of acquiring second citizenship of a country you may have had no connection with beforehand. It is a legal process, entrenched in legislation, whereby an applicant is awarded citizenship in return for a significant investment into a nation's economy.