South Africa, with its strategic location and emerging market status, offers diverse investment opportunities, particularly in real estate and renewable energy sectors. Cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg provide vibrant property markets and luxury living at relatively lower costs compared to global standards. International investors must be mindful of economic fluctuations and socio-political complexities. However, the country’s stunning landscapes, rich cultural mosaic, and favorable climate add to its appeal. South Africa’s residency by investment program can be a pathway to citizenship for those seeking a second residence in this dynamic nation.

South Africa Golden Visa

South Africa does not currently offer a golden visa or citizenship by investment programme similar to those offered by some other countries. Such golden visa programmes often allow individuals to obtain citizenship or residency rights through substantial investment, typically in real estate, national development funds, or local businesses.

South African Investment Visas

While South Africa does not offer a citizenship by investment programme, it does offer a residency by investment programme in the form of the Business Visa and Financially Independent Permit.

Business Visa

This visa is suited for individuals who wish to invest in an existing business or establish a new business in South Africa. Applicants are required to invest a prescribed financial capital contribution.

Financially Independent Permit

This visa is suited for high net-worth individuals who can demonstrate financial self-sufficiency to retire or live in South Africa without needing employment. Applicants must demonstrate a net worth of at least ZAR 12 million. In addition, applicants must pay a fee of ZAR 120,000 to the Department of Home Affairs upon approval of the visa.

South Africa Passport Strength and Ranking

If South Africa were to offer a Citizenship by Investment programme, one of the concerns for applicants would be its passport. The South African passport offers visa-free access to around 112 countries worldwide. It is a fairly weak passport. In terms of access for business people, it offers visa-free access to just 20.2% of the world’s wealth (as measured by GDP) and 29.6% of the global travel popularity. It ranks 102nd overall in La Vida’s comprehensive Global Passport Ranking. The weakness of the South African passport is a factor in the pursuit by South African citizens of a second citizenship in countries with a strong passport such as Malta in Europe or St Kitts in the Caribbean.


Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programmes

See below a selection of countries offering residency and citizenship investment programmes.