Chris Watters, an emigration lawyer in Johannesburg told SA weekly paper Mail & Guardian the increase in inquiries has jumped since the end of last year (2014),
Trends indicate that the UK, US, Malta and Cyprus are the most popular options for wealthy South Africans wanting to obtain citizenship of another country.
Those who are not lucky enough to obtain foreign citizenship through their ancestral roots, have to “buy” it through investment programmes. Countries such as Malta sell residence permits or citizenship in exchange for financial investment in the country.
The United Kingdom, the United States, Malta and Cyprus have citizenship or residence-permit programmes, which is lengthy complicated and extremely costly.
A second emigration firm quoted by the newspaper confirmed a recent spike in applications stating that applicants have risen with 50 per cent in the past year, which translates to almost ten a day.
Reasons differ from wanting to have a “safety net” passport or because it will provide their children with opportunities to work and study more easily.
Most clients are in the top 5 per cent income group. An emigrant needs to invest up to £2-million (about R39-million) to buy a permanent UK residency permit. They can only apply for citizenship after 5 years on a residency permit.
In Cyprus you need to invest R34-million to be granted citizenship – but this happens straight away… just have to find that R34-million 😉