As the world becomes more open, a growing number of South African entrepreneurs are looking at overseas visa options. We conducted a random survey to see which nations South African entrepreneurs are considering establishing a second home in.
What is causing South Africans to migrate?
What is causing South Africans to migrate? According to a the survey a lot of respondents cited policy inconsistencies, crime, confiscatory taxation, and the prospect of future land expropriation without compensation.
South African entrepreneurs are interested in the following three countries:
1. Golden Visa for Portugal
For a long time, Portugal’s Golden Visa program has been one of the most popular European residence by investment programs amongst South African business people wanting to set a European base. Competitive pricing, less red tape, and a good standard of living are all major selling points for Portugal.
A major part of Portugal’s Golden Visa program is the entrepreneur route, which is one of the most overlooked aspects of investing in Portugal by South African Entrepreneurs.
This entrepreneur route permits one to obtain a Portuguese residence visa that is renewed twice every five years. Following that, one can apply for Portuguese citizenship, making Portugal one of the quickest methods to get European citizenship through investment in Europe.
Portugal’s business tax rate is currently set at 21% and has not been raised in several years. Meanwhile, the personal income tax rate is an eye-watering 48%, but if one manage their finances correctly, they can avoid paying it by becoming a non-habitual resident.
And, while labor in this southern European country isn’t precisely the cheapest when compared to some Eastern European countries like Moldova or Ukraine, it may still be the best option for some individuals and businesses.
Another advantage of the Portuguese entrepreneur visa is that you do not have to live in the nation or relocate your entire business to gain residency.
It is sufficient to have a portion of your business operations in Portugal. In addition, you will only need to spend 7 days a year in Portugal to keep your residency status.
Portugal provides all of the benefits of being an EU member nation, as well as being one of the quickest ways to receive a Tier A passport. When applying for a business visa, expect to jump through hoops and pay far more in fees than in other non-EU nations.
2. Ireland Golden Visa
This business visa is intended for those of you who currently own a business and most likely meet the definition of an advanced entrepreneur with a larger corporation.
Because of its appealing 12.5 percent corporation tax, Ireland is home to nearly every significant firm you can think of: Microsoft, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Dell, Boston Scientific, Kellogg’s, HP, and hundreds more.
So, if you want a low-tax jurisdiction for your existing business this is it.
If your company does not require a large wage, you may start up shop in Ireland with at least €1 million, pay very little corporation tax, live in a great jurisdiction, have access to all of Europe, qualify for residency, and be on track to receive an Irish passport in five years.
Your entrepreneur visa application will be evaluated based on your personal profile, the commercial feasibility of your proposed enterprise, the number of jobs that will be created, and the overall impact on the Irish economy. As a result, it is worthwhile to prioritize those areas in your business plan.
What about the country as a whole? Ireland is a wonderful location to live, and its passport is one of the best and most respected in the world, allowing visa-free travel to over 185 countries, including the United States and Canada (the most difficult ones to gain access to).
If you want to get an Irish passport but don’t have a huge firm to help you, Ireland has a relatively open policy of awarding citizenship to those whose family tree contains Irish ancestors.
As an alternative to establishing a business in Ireland, you could obtain Irish citizenship through ancestry. If you can prove you have an Irish parent or grandmother, the ancestry option is also significantly cheaper and faster.
Add to that the country’s business-friendly policies and some of Europe’s lowest taxes, a simple residency and citizenship plan, and one of the world’s highest levels of economic freedom, and Ireland is a place that any entrepreneur should consider when considering taking themselves and their business offshore.
3. Tier 1 Visa in the United Kingdom
In many aspects, the United Kingdom is unrivaled by any other country. Its cultural and historical riches, as well as the quality of life and freedom it provides to its citizens and residents, are unrivaled. South Africa being a former colony of Britain, the United Kingdom is an easy choice.
It’s no surprise, then, that it’s one of the world’s top three residency by investment countries for South Africans. In fact, it competes with Portugal for the most popular European Golden Visa.
So, what does the United Kingdom have to offer South African business owners?
As it turns out, quite a bit. There are two options for obtaining temporary and then permanent residency in the UK, both of which come under the Tier 1 visa.
To begin, you can go the innovator route, which entails having a lot of business experience. You must be interested in establishing and maintaining a lawful business in the United Kingdom, and you must have at least £50,000 to invest.
The Start-up method, on the other hand, is suitable for those who have a creative idea for a new business and want to develop and bring it to completion in the United Kingdom.
When you apply, you will need to demonstrate that you can speak English and support yourself (and your family, if applicable). It is very similar to the innovator route in that you will need to demonstrate that you can support yourself (and your family, if applicable). The only difference is that there is no set amount of money that you must put in your start-up.
The start-up selection process is quite tough, and you must have a foolproof business launch and development plan.
The government is also interested in whether your project has the potential to become the next Facebook or Netflix. Essentially, the advantage to the British economy must be significant in order for them to grant you temporary residence.
No, the start-up visa will not lead to permanent residence, nor will it provide a pathway to British citizenship. Once your company is up and running and doing well, you will need to apply for another visa, such as the one for innovators, to extend your stay in the nation.