The survey revealed 66% of respondents have been motivated to research a second citizenship in the past 12 months due to the current political and economic instability of the country.
Of those wanting to relocate, 60% cited their family’s future as a motivating factor, while half said that a second passport provided a ‘plan B’ – added security pending South Africa’s future.
For respondents in the survey, more than a quarter said they would like to move to the UK as their favoured destination.
This was followed by: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Angola, Ireland, Netherlands, France and Seychelles. Surprisingly, the US did not feature in the top 10.
Twenty-two percent of South African respondents said they would be willing to invest 25% of their annual salary for a second citizenship.
CEO for CS Global Partners, Micha Emmett, said the response to the survey is consistent with growing trends in the economic citizenship industry. “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.
“The results are consistent with the conversations we typically have with clients and stakeholders. 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.”
Emmett said that countries like the Commonwealth of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada, are becoming an increasingly enticing option for second citizenship, as people look to diversify their wealth and solidify their ‘plan B’.
If fairly likely that you would relocate overseas, why?
While the survey was based on only 500 local citizens, its findings echo the sentiments of other emigration experts including Nigel Barnes, managing partner at citizenship planning consultancy, Henley & Partners, who have highlighted a massive rise in inquiries about emigration from South Africans in 2017.
Economic and political uncertainty under the current regime, along with unemployment at its highest point in more than a decade, is fueling an exit by the country’s educated middle class.
“I think that concerns over the future growth and development of South Africa, and uncertainty about the sustainability of sectors, such as education, is finally driving South Africans to assess their alternatives in earnest.
“In short, they are now acting on their concerns, rather than just voicing them among family and friends,” Barnes said.
And this exodus has not gone unnoticed by the government. In July, the Department of Home Affairs gazetted a White Paper for public comment which would compel South Africans who plan to be out of the country for longer than three months to register with the government.
This marks the first time Home Affairs has included emigration control in official policy, something it directly attributes to the high number of skilled workers and taxes leaving the country.