Residency and citizenship-by-investment demands soar


Jean-François Harvey | Global Managing Partner | Harvey Law Group (HLG) Africa | mail me |

As more South Africans and their businesses continue to face the damaging effects of COVID-19 and the tremulous economic landscape, moving abroad is becoming a serious consideration not only for the rich but the middle class as well.

According to the United Nation’s data-set, the number of South African-born persons residing outside of South Africa increased from 330,000 in 1990 to 900,000 in 2017; an average of 21,000 South Africans per year.

Residency and citizenship-by-investment

Amid these uncertain times people investing in immigration programmes are no longer just the ultra-high-net-worth individuals; it has become a popular option for the middle-class South Africans as well.

The concept of residency and citizenship-by-investment is nothing new to South Africans. Many locals have immigrated to some favourite destinations such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, UK, and the USA.

There are over 23 countries globally that offer investment immigration programmes, in which a foreign investor invests into the country in exchange for its citizenship and passport. The spur of COVID-19 has increased the number of people looking to immigrate.

We have witnessed a rapid increase in demands for mobility and investment immigration programmes, not just in South Africa, but throughout our offices around the world, particularly with the second quarter of 2020.

The residency and citizenship-by-investment are sought-after strategies. A second residency or passport provides a safety net for an exit strategy, wealth preservation, as well as financial protection against economic slowdowns and political uncertainties in third world countries.

– Bastien Trelcat, Managing Partner, Harvey Law Group (HLG)

Security and freedom of movement

Immigration programmes are about security and freedom of movement, freedom of choice, and quality of life.

Depending on the investment immigration programme chosen, an investor, their spouse and children will receive additional benefits that come with investments such as fast-tracked residency or citizenship.

Beyond popular traditional immigration programmes often chosen by South Africans, there are alternative European investment immigration programmes such as Portugal, Greece, Montenegro, and Cyprus.

There is also the option of the Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programmes, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia, which start from R 1.7 million (USD 100,000).

The Caribbean passport investments are offered through a donation to the National Development Funds or real estate investment.

In conclusion

As more people seek new opportunities through investment immigration, it is vital they consult with a credible, well-experienced, and authorised partner that provides them with the correct information on investment immigration programmes, adhere to the requirements of both client and host country to ensure a seamless transition into their alternative residency or citizenship.



  1. very poor article – really just promoting HLG – no real value in this, just “contact us if you want to know more”
    To the editor BBrief – you can really do better than this. You will need to if you want to keep your readers

    • Hi Tony
      Thank you for your feedback. I agree that the article provided very little in the relation to more ‘how to?’ information, but it must be viewed in the light that the heading only highlights the fact that demand is rising. In addition, there are so many variables that affect a residency by investment application – such as amount, applicant’s profile such as age, health, etc that must be considered, that the topic lends itself to a ‘contact us if you want to know more’. We also believe that our content should only alert our readers to issues that may affect their decision-making – and that readers should contact the author directly for professional advice.(Please note we usually only accept content directly from professionals and don’t use journalists).
      I have noted your valid comment as we always try and improve the take-out from the articles we publish.


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