Rich, Older South African Men are Buying Plan B Passports in Europe in Record Numbers

In the first half of 2018 – after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Jacob Zuma as ANC president – it recorded a 229% year-on-year increase in applications from South Africans looking to buy their way into foreign citizenship or residency, Henley & Partners says.Henley & Partners is a global citizenship advisory firm, headquartered in London with more than 30 offices worldwide.

Some of those applications were from people who started looking into alternatives during 2017, pre Ramaphosa. But there was also a 143% year-on-year increase in enquiries about citizenship-by-investment in between January and August, Henley & Partners says.

But the majority of those people were not moving new money out of the country, nor leaving South Africa – not yet.

“Most of our clients were not looking to emigrate immediately, they are looking for an alternative, for an option, for if and when,” says Amanda Smit, head of Henley & Partners in east, central, and southern Africa.

Those clients are acquiring passports or residency rights mostly in Malta, Cyprus, Moldova, and Portugal. Unlike traditional immediate-emigration favourites such as Australia and the United States.



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