Covid-19 has sparked an increase in the number of Africans seeking a second passport

Demand for investment into property-linked second passport residency programmes has spiked despite the travel restrictions brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic, says Nadia Read Thaele, managing director of residency planning firm LIO Global.

Thaele said that there are two reasons for this increase.

“Firstly, the unexpected Covid-19 onset and then the consequent global economic slump. While it was expected that global growth would slow in 2020, no-one expected it to be so sudden and off the back of a global health emergency. It has caught many investors off guard,” she said.

“Secondly, for South Africa’s wealthy, the effect was compounded by Moody’s final downgrade on the 27th of March, just as the devastation on the local economy began to sink in and the length of the national lockdown became a reality.”

During the lockdown, there has been a significant increase in the number of South Africans seeking to gain a second passport. Stock unpredictability and the oil crisis, which has seen the oil value fall drastically, means that people in South Africa as well as all around the world, are anxious and desperately seeking to diversify their citizenship and realign their investment portfolios.

Residency and citizenship planning has become more important than ever as family’s look at diversifying their citizenship, she said.

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