JOHANNESBURG -South Africa's turbulent prospects are driving record numbers of citizens to apply for second European Union passports by way of investment, with Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Portugal experiencing a jump in applicants, immigration firm Xpatweb said on Monday.
Since 2018, there has been an increase of 364 percent in interest from South Africans for a second passport, as what many refer to as “Plan B” gains popularity, Xpatweb director Marisa Jacobs said.
"With the pending tax changes in South Africa due to be enforced from 1st March 2020, the EU second passport scheme is an attractive and enticing proposal for South Africans," she said.
Under current tax law, applicable up to 28 February 2020, South African tax residents working abroad are entitled to a tax exemption from income earned abroad, provided that they’re physically outside of South Africa for 183 days in aggregate during any 12-month period.
From next March, only the first R1million earned from foreign service income will be exempt from tax in South Africa, provided that more than 183 days are spent outside the country in any 12-month period.
""With a European passport, the prospect of living in any country forming part of the European Union is highly attractive. South Africans are looking to their future and that of their children, the idea of having the opportunity to study and work in any country across the EU remains appetising," Xpatweb's Jacobs said.