As a South African, planning your future to benefit your family, in the long run, has never been more important – and a Golden Visa might just be the incentive to cement your future security. 12 Star Capital unpack the prospects.
With rising inflation in South Africa as well as global economic instability, a real estate grounded fund is beneficial as a means of safeguarding finances. Besides the benefits of owning a property in another country, the opportunity of a Golden Visa is also an attractive incentive for South Africans seeking future security for their families. So, for South Africans opting for citizenship through property investment, is there currently a destination that is attracting a lot more attention than others?
“Investing in offshore property is an excellent way for South Africans to get access to emigration and residency in a foreign country. Statistically, Portugal rates as one of the most popular Golden Visa and investment destinations for South Africans due to the enticing family-friendly lifestyle and climate. This – together with other strong fundamentals – is how Portugal’s property market has lured a significant percentage of High Net Worth Individuals, particularly from South Africa. A key attraction for investors is Portugal’s stable economy and healthy property market,” explains Stuart Ferguson, Director of 12 Star Capital and CEO and Founder of American Dream.
Why Portugal gets an A+ as an emigration destination
The quality of education in Portugal is also a strong drawcard for South Africans choosing this European country as their top emigration destination. Public education is free except for extras such as meals and teaching materials, and 80% of scholars in Portugal attend public schools due to their excellent level of education. There are also private schools – including many international schools – if families prefer that option. Both public and private schools in Portugal offer a holistic education environment which includes physical and recreational activities. Furthermore, Portugal boasts many prestigious universities which are highly rated on the international rankings of higher education.
Investors can gain citizenship within five to six years once their Golden Visa has been approved, and once citizenship in Portugal has been obtained – besides travel within Schengen countries – they are able to live and work anywhere within the EU. Other benefits to South Africans for offshore property investment in Portugal are long-term capital appreciation prospects and currency hedge. The same would apply in large to other investors from emerging markets such as Brazil and Turkey, for example.
Why the long-term returns in Portugal add up
While most investments provide potential for long-term returns, offshore investments give the opportunity to outperform inflation in most cases and grow capital in a stronger currency. Offshore investments provide access to global markets, allowing investors’ money to work harder within a diversified portfolio. Structuring of investments can achieve sustainability, minimisation of the tax burden, and ultimately ensure generational planning and the ability to leave a legacy.
“The structure would be determined by your objectives, but the use of joint accounts or trust structures might be useful tools for those looking to provide estate planning benefits. The importance of dealing with established and reputable entities within this space cannot be stressed enough. We have in recent times formalised a relationship with South African based 12 Star Capital who have a wealth of experience and contacts when it comes to offshore property investment and boast an impressive success rate of processing emigration and Golden Visa applications in countries like Portugal, Grenada, Mauritius and even the United States,” says Sheldon Halerow, Executive Partner at CALEO.
Going through the right channels is key
EQTY Capital, based in Portugal, also have a collaborative relationship with the likes of 12 Star Capital and according to Garth Martin of EQTY Capital, this relationship allows investors to facilitate their offshore investment with confidence that the money being invested is secured in opportunities that have been scrutinised and assessed by experts in the field.
“With all the businesses we work with – locally and abroad – we do extensive research to identify only the best of the best with Portugal partners for collaboration. Golden Visa investors have ‘risk mitigation’ at the forefront of their thoughts, so it is paramount we ensure, for example, that investments presented comply with this and are not over-extended to one asset type or real estate developer,” adds Ferguson.
Quality of life with safety, security and access to world-class public health and other services is paramount. However, when offering the final word of advice for people looking to identify offshore property investments – Ferguson says: “If a Golden Visa was not attached to this particular investment, would you still be interested in it? Fundamentally, is it a good investment? People looking to obtain citizenship in other countries through offshore property investment shouldn’t lose sight that due diligence should be done on the investment side as well as the visa application aspect.”
About 12 Star Capital
Boasting 10 years’ experience in Citizenship by Investment Programmes, 12 Star Capital have a distinct understanding of the application process and have affiliated with experts in the field of immigration to ensure success is achieved. With a strong South African presence and office in Johannesburg, American Dream and 12 Star Capital are easily accessible for South African investors, and they understand the various hurdles that might be encountered. Our objective is to ensure you experience a streamlined process through the investment programme and acquire an alternative residency. Additionally, 12 Star Capital is a member of Investment Migration Council and IIUSA and a lifetime member of AIIA.