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Affordable Countries for South Africa’s Wealthy to Buy Citizenship from R4 million 

As South Africa grapples with escalating power cuts, crumbling public services, political instability, and the recent implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, a concerning trend has emerged – a mass exodus of millionaires fleeing the country. The 2024 African Wealth Report, jointly published by Henley & Partners and New World Wealth, reveals a staggering loss of 400 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2023 alone, compounding the steady stream of wealthy individuals leaving South African shores over the past decade.

By the end of 2023, South Africa’s millionaire population had dwindled to a mere 37,400, a significant plunge from the 48,700 recorded in 2013. The report attributes this wealth depletion to two primary factors: asset value erosion and emigration. Moreover, concerns over the quality of healthcare following the NHI’s implementation have added fuel to the fire, prompting many medical professionals to contemplate departing the country – a potential catalyst for further wealth drain.

In the face of such uncertainty, citizenship and residency-by-investment programs have emerged as increasingly attractive options for affluent South Africans seeking to diversify their portfolios, gain enhanced mobility, and secure access to more stable economic environments.

While the investment thresholds and program requirements vary across countries, factors such as family size, permanent relocation preferences, residency obligations, and application processing times play a pivotal role in determining the optimal destination.

Antigua and Barbuda

Minimum InvestmentFamily InclusionTimelineRelocation Required
$100,000 (R1.8 million*)Spouse, children under 31, parents and grandparents 55+, unmarried siblings3-4 monthsNo, but 5 days in 5 years

*The minimum investment threshold will increase to $200,000 (R3.6 million) by June 30, 2024.

Antigua and Barbuda’s residency program offers a similar investment threshold to St. Lucia, with the added benefit of including parents, grandparents, and unmarried siblings in the application. While there is no strict relocation requirement, applicants must spend a minimum of five days in the country within the first five years of obtaining residency.


Minimum InvestmentFamily InclusionTimelineRelocation Required
$100,000 (R1.8 million*)Spouse, unmarried children under 31, parents and grandparents 65+3 monthsNo

*The minimum investment threshold will increase to $200,000 (R3.6 million) by June 30, 2024.

Dominica’s residency program boasts a relatively short processing timeline of three months, making it an attractive option for those seeking a swift transition. Like its Caribbean counterparts, Dominica offers the flexibility of including parents and grandparents aged 65 and above in the application.

North Macedonia

Minimum InvestmentFamily InclusionTimelineRelocation Required
€200,000 (~$220,000 or R4 million)Individuals aged 18+, children under 18 can apply by descent2-5 monthsNo

For those seeking a European residency option, North Macedonia presents an affordable investment threshold of €200,000 (approximately R4 million). While the program is primarily geared towards individual applicants aged 18 and above, it allows for children under 18 to subsequently apply for citizenship by descent once their parent(s) have obtained residency.

St. Lucia

Minimum InvestmentFamily InclusionTimelineRelocation Required
$100,000 (R1.8 million)Spouse, children under 31, siblings under 18, parents aged 55+3-4 monthsNo

The Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia offers a relatively affordable residency option, with no relocation requirement for the main applicant. This program allows for the inclusion of a broad range of family members, making it an attractive choice for those seeking to relocate with their extended families.


Minimum InvestmentFamily InclusionTimelineRelocation Required
$400,000 in real estate or $500,000 in a bank account (R7.3-9.1 million)Spouse, children under 18, disabled children3-5 monthsYes, main applicant

Türkiye’s residency program, although more costly than some of the other options, offers the flexibility of investing in either real estate or a bank account. The program allows for the inclusion of spouses, children under 18, and disabled children of any age, making it a viable choice for families with specific care needs.

While the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis provides citizenship through investment, the minimum investment requirement of $400,000 (R4.6-6.4 million) makes it a less affordable option compared to the aforementioned destinations.

As South Africa navigates its multifaceted challenges, these alternative citizenship and residency programs offer a potential lifeline for wealthy individuals seeking greener pastures and a more secure future for themselves and their families.