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South African's Rush for Portugal's Golden Visa

South African's Rush for Portugal's Golden Visa

While it is no secret South African's have been immigrating to Portugal, new statistics show Portugal is more popular with these expats than expected with more applications from South Africa than nearly any other country in the world!

In recent reports, its estimated that at least 900,000 people born in South Africa were living abroad in 2017. At current rates, this could easily be over one million people by the time of the next national census (2021).


Political uncertainty, a volatile currency and economically-negative policy positions have led many South Africans to place assets offshore and establish alternative residency plans in other countries, including Portugal.


"With the current Rand strength, now is a good time to move money offshore, and if you’re a serious offshore investor or you’re looking for a plan B, now is a good time to move your assets,” says Andrew Rissik, MD of forex and international projects at Sable International.


We’re seeing a steady growth in interest in Portugal. “South Africans like the fact that you don't have to relocate,” says Rissik. “Family reunification under Portuguese law, means that the main investor can bring his or her spouse and dependent children onto a Golden Visa on the same terms, which gives them residence in Portugal and visa free travel in Schengen states.”


Not many South Africans consider themselves potentially eligible for Portuguese citizenship, but that’s slowly changing. While South Africa does allow dual citizenship, the Portuguese community in South Africa is very big, and more and more people are applying for their Portuguese Passports through descent. In its latest mid-year population, Stats SA estimates showed that, even though South Africa is set to record net immigration of around one million people between 2016 and 2021, this comes at the loss of about 115,000 white South Africans.


In addition, EU nationals with family members who are not EU citizens, it may be possible to have these family members accompany the resident, as long as they have the required visa and valid passport documentation. 


Although international moves require adaptation, and South African’s may reminisce about wide open spaces, the quality of life and security felt in Portugal proves worth taking the leap, especially with the lovely statistic of being 95% less likely -  to be murdered.