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Since covid, the number of people around the world who want to get a second citizenship has increased dramatically. In an opinion poll last year by British estate agents Knight Frank, a quarter of ultra-rich people said they planned to apply for a second passport or citizenship.

Many people believe that getting a second passport requires investing in a second home, which entails a large upfront cost, which is usually sunk capital. But in reality, our research shows that there are several desirable destinations that do not require an international passport, only proof of regular offshore income.

If you have arranged your affairs so that you have a reliable income in US dollars, which is relatively easy to do (as we will explain later), you will, for one thing, be able to maintain your purchasing power even during high inflation. Second, you become more attractive to countries looking to attract hard currency to their economies, opening up many opportunities for you and your family to obtain residency abroad. Third, let’s not forget that if you can live in another country for part of the year, this may well change your tax residency status.

Countries that welcome residents with dollar income

The closest country to South Africa that has an income-based residency program is Mauritius. A retiree over the age of 50 can apply for a 10-year residence permit by making an initial deposit of $1,500 into a Mauritius bank account upon issuance of the permit, and then transferring at least $1,500 per month or $18,000 per year for a 10-year permit. Alternatively, you can invest in any business as long as it doesn’t employ you, you don’t run it, and you don’t get any salary or benefits from it. After three consecutive years, a residence permit holder can apply for a 20-year permanent residence permit.

Another country with a similar tropical climate, Antigua and Barbuda, where English is also widely spoken, has a permanent residency program for people who can demonstrate an annual income of at least $100,000 (of which a flat tax of $20,000 is paid). Applicants must have permanent residence in the country and spend at least 30 days a year there.

Belize in Central America has a coastline on the Caribbean Sea and English is its official language. It offers the Qualified Retiree Incentive Program, which grants visas to people age 45 and older who can demonstrate income from a foreign pension, annuity, or other eligible source of at least $2,000 per month (or $24,000 per year), be transferred to a local financial institution in Belize. According to www.smartasset.com, you could live pretty decently on around $1,200-$1,500 a month in Belize. You can also include dependents in this program. You must stay in the country for 30 consecutive days per year.

Another tropical country with an affordable retirement visa option where English is the common language is Malaysia. his”Malaysia is my second home” or the MM2H program welcomes people over 50 who can prove a monthly income of 10,000 Malaysian Ringgit (about 38,000 Rand). This income is tax free. Under this program, Malaysia provides a 10-year multiple-entry visa that is automatically renewed after the first ten years.

Malta and Portugal are also attractive destinations, where taxes are low, they speak English, they are members of the European Union, they are relatively safe and they offer a comfortable lifestyle. Malta offers the Digital Nomad program for contract employees, partners/shareholders or consultants with contracts with a foreign company earning €2,700 gross per month. Portugal has a similar program, the D7 visa, which requires proof of an income of €705 per month (in 2022) and having enough savings to support you if that income dries up. However, €705 won’t get you very far in Portugal, you’ll probably need at least €2,000 a month to live comfortably.

Tax benefits

If you are a South African taxpayer and spend more than 185 days a year outside the country, of which 60 days must be spent continuously outside South Africa, then the first million rand you earn from a foreign source is tax free. If you are not tax resident, you will be liable for tax on income earned in South Africa, but will not be liable for income earned from foreign sources. Local taxes will be paid in your country of residence, but some jurisdictions allow generous tax breaks and often reduce or do not tax your foreign earnings. Consult a tax advisor.

Providing a dollar income of at least $2,500 per month

OrbVest, US medical real estate specialists, pays an average yield of more than 7% in cash paid out quarterly for an investment in one of its specialty medical commercial properties and a total IRR of 10-12% over an average five-year investment term.

These investments are made offshore in the low tax environment of Seychelles. OrbVest also offers a more diversified product, OrbVest Diversified Holdings (ODH), which spreads your exposure across multiple medical office buildings with over 100 medical tenants in a portfolio that generates a very solid annualized return of 7% and projects an IRR of around 11% over five years . This means that if you accumulate around $400,000 offshore in the world’s default currency, US dollars, you will be eligible to live and obtain residency in a country like Mauritius while still enjoying some capital growth , as long as you live off the profits. .

Start your journey to becoming a global citizen by moving your R1 000 000 annual discretionary allowance offshore and storing your wealth in stable medical commercial property in the US.


OrbVest SA (Pty) Ltd is an authorized financial services provider. The content and information contained and distributed by OrbVest are for informational purposes only and should not be construed, under any circumstances, by implication or otherwise, as advice of any kind or nature, or as an offer to sell or an inducement to buy or sell or invest in any securities. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

The returns are taxable and will be taxed as foreign source dividends, ordinary income or capital gains depending on your tax residency. OrbVest is not a tax and/or legal advisor. Due to the complex tax reporting requirements associated with direct equity and private real estate investments, investors should consult their own financial or tax advisor or attorney before investing.

For members investing through www.orbvest.com investment details are set out in the prospectus, private placement memorandum or subscription agreement, which the proposed investor should read in full before investing and obtain independent advice.

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