Wealthy South Africans ’snapping up’ Caribbean property for second passport benefits
Nadia Read Thaele, the founder and CEO of LIO Global, a leading specialist firm in second residency and citizenship by investment, says the demand for Caribbean property as a means to obtain a second passport has spiked.
She said South Africans are now actively looking for “Plan B” options and greater travel freedom.
"They are concerned not just about the economic outlook for the country but policies around expropriation and taxation of the wealthy," she said.
According to her, investing in a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme offers a way of securing a second residency or citizenship with added benefits of access to mainstream destinations such as the USA, UK and Eurozone.
"These programmes generally allow you to invest in property or pay a sum of money as a government contribution," she explained.
"Investment in the Caribbean has also been relatively unaffected by Covid-19. The Grenadian passport is the most popular and attractive to South Africans as it gives them access to work and live in the USA via the E-2 investment Visa Treaty.
"A major advantage of the Caribbean programmes is that South Africans do not need to leave home to secure citizenship and there are no language tests or requirement to reside in the countries for any period of time. The countries are also tax-friendly jurisdictions," she added.
Thaele explained the programme. She said the citizenship programmes start from R2.5-million or a property investment of just over R3.3-million for a family of four.
"The Caribbean programmes offer an easy route to citizenship in as little as three to six months, depending on the programme. The passports offer visa-free travel access to the UK and Euro Zone for up to 90 out of 180 days, and either China or Hong Kong depending on the country.
"People can choose to make a non-refundable government donation or invest in a government-approved real estate project, which is typically a five-star luxury resort property offering a USD rental yield. The added benefit of investing in property is that it gives you a second or holiday home and there are rental pools available," she said.
Thaele said the Caribbean countries strongly favour foreign investment and offer investors privacy, reduced tax liability and more.