Skip to main content

Plan B: Exploring Alternate Destinations for South Africans Looking to Move Abroad

By December 27, 2023FinGlobal

Plan B: Exploring Alternate Destinations for South Africans Looking to Move Abroad

December 27, 2023


As the cost of living continues to rise in many traditional expat destinations, like the United Kingdom and Australia, South Africans are starting to look further afield when considering where to move. This has led to a surge in interest in countries that offer a lower cost of living, along with favourable tax laws and a high quality of life. Let’s explore different choices for South Africans who are planning to relocate overseas.

The Appeal of Alternative Destinations for South Africans

Portugal- The European Gem

Portugal has quickly emerged as one of the top choices for South Africans looking to move abroad. With its warm climate, stunning coastline, and affordable cost of living, it’s not hard to see why. In addition, Portugal offers attractive tax incentives for foreign residents, including the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program. This allows individuals to receive significant tax breaks on income earned outside of Portugal for a period of 10 years. Portugal presents a compelling opportunity for South Africans seeking a fresh start, boasting a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other Western European nations.

Malta – A Mediterranean Paradise

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has been gaining popularity among South Africans as a destination for relocation. This tiny archipelago boasts a pleasant climate, English as one of its official languages, and a stable political and economic environment. Malta’s Individual Investor Program (IIP) has attracted a growing number of foreign nationals by offering citizenship in exchange for investment in the country’s economy.

To participate in this program, interested individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate a minimum capital of €500,000 (equivalent to a little over R10 million), with at least €150,000 (R3 million) in financial assets.
  • Acquire property valued at €350,000 (R7 million) or lease property with an annual value of €12,000 (R242,000).

These requirements are in addition to other substantial contributions to the government, a donation to a non-government organisation, and a non-refundable administrative fee. The overall cost can be approximately €1 million (around R20 million).

The nation’s attractive tax regime has made Malta an alluring option for South Africans looking to escape political uncertainty and enjoy a Mediterranean paradise.

The Caribbean- A Tropical Oasis

Caribbean countries have gained popularity as appealing options for individuals seeking alternative destinations to relocate, especially for those desiring dual citizenship without the strict investment criteria of certain European nations. The Caribbean is not just known for its stunning beaches and tropical landscapes; it also offers unique advantages including the opportunity to acquire a powerful European-access passport. Some key benefits include:

  • Citizenship can be obtained at a significantly lower investment threshold compared to Europe.
  • All Caribbean countries offer robust passports, providing dual citizenship and access to European countries and more.

The application process for dual citizenship takes approximately nine months, without the need to reside in the country or learn a new language.

When Relocating is Not an Option – Exploring Offshore Investments

When contemplating emigration or a ‘Plan B’, why not consider the possibility of offshore investments? It is crucial to evaluate your motivations behind this choice. Although diversification and risk reduction can be advantageous, the situation is not as simple as liquidating all investments in South Africa. It is essential to refrain from making hasty decisions influenced by fear or greed in volatile markets.

Conclusion: The world offers diverse opportunities for South Africans looking to relocate or invest abroad. However, moving or investing offshore requires thorough research, financial planning, and understanding personal circumstances. It’s a significant decision that should be made with expert advice.

FinGlobal: tax emigration specialists for South Africans abroad

Making a seamless transition from one country to another shouldn’t be stressful or complicated. Choosing FinGlobal as your cross-border financial services provider will ensure that you are on the right track. From tax emigration to forex, retirement annuity withdrawal, tax compliance and more, we’re ready to assist you every step of the way.

To enquire about our convenient, safe and hassle-free cross-border financial services, leave your contact details below and we’ll be in touch to discuss your requirements.

Leave a Reply