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Countries where South Africans can ‘buy’ citizenship

There are 11 countries across the world where wealthy South Africans can ‘buy citizenship.’

According to Henley and Partners, a growing number of nations offer citizenship by investment programs as they are attractive investment options.

The emigration firm added that wealthy individuals need a plan B for themselves and their families due to an unsettled and ever-changing world.

Henley and Partners said that investment in different citizenship options offers both short-term value and long-term yield. In addition, the more diversified someone’s assets are, the less exposed they are to regional and global volatility.

Many countries also offer residency via investment (golden visas).

Africa also has its own residency by investment programs in Namibia and Mauritius for those with USD 300,000 (R5.5 million) and USD 375,000 (R6.8 million), respectively.

However, according to Global Residence Index, golden visas and citizenship by investment are not the same.

Citizenship by investment programs gives full citizenship to the applications, providing the same benefits as a natural-born citizen of that country will receive.

Whereas golden visas only offer residency in another country and are only offered for a certain period.

Although many golden visa countries allow investors to become citizens via a separate application process, this article only looks at countries where South Africans can become citizens through investment.


Malta, Europe 

  • Minimum capital: EUR 738,000 (R14,750,000)
  • Processing time: 14-38 months
  • Main benefit: Strategic location with good air links.

Austria, Europe 

  • Minimum capital: Substantial contribution to the Austrian economy
  • Processing time: 24-36 months
  • Main benefit: The ability to become an EU citizen with one of the strongest passports in the world.

Montenegro, Europe 

  • Minimum capital: EUR 450,000 (R9,000,000)
  • Processing time: Eight to ten months:
  • Free movement into Europe’s Schengen Area, Russia, and Türkiye.

North Macedonia, Europe 

  • Investment: EUR 200,000 (R4 million)
  • Processing time: Two to five months
  • Main benefit: Free movement to Europe’s Schengen zone, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Türkiye.

Türkiye, Europe 

  • Investment: USD 400,000 (R7,300,000)
  • Processing time: 120 days
  • Main benefit: Free movement to Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.

Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean 

  • Investment: USD 100,000 (R1,800,000)
  • Processing time: Three to four months
  • Main benefit: Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 150 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia and Europe’s Schengen area.

Dominica, Caribbean 

  • Investment: USD 100,000 (R1,800,000)
  • Processing time: Three months
  • Main benefit: Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 145 countries.

Grenada, Caribbean 

  • Investment: USD 150,000 (R2,700,000)
  • Processing time: Three to four months
  • Main benefit: Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 140 destinations, including China, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area

St. Kitts and Nevis, Caribbean 

  • Investment: USD 125,000 (R2,700,000)
  • Processing time: Three to six months
  • Main benefit: Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 145 destinations, including Singapore, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area.

St Lucia, Caribbean 

  • Investment: USD 100,000 (R1,800,000)
  • Processing time: Three to four months
  • Main benefit: Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 140 destinations, including Hong Kong, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area.

Jordan, Middle East

  • Investment: USD 750,000 (R13,700,000)
  • Processing time: Three  months
  • Main benefit: The right to work, live and study in Jordan.

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