SOUTH Africans looking to invest in a cross-border bolt hole with the added benefit of automatically qualifying for residency are becoming spoilt for choice. Five years ago the options would have been limited largely to Mauritius or Seychelles.More countries have since introduced schemes that offer foreign investors the opportunity to qualify for residency visas and eventually a second passport. These include the Mediterranean archipelago of Malta, Cyprus and the Caribbean islands of Saint Kitts, Nevis and Grenada. Portugal and Spain are also on local investors’ radars.The Portuguese government approved its first "golden visa" for non-European Union investors in April last year, while the Spanish government promulgated legislation relating to its automatic residency programme at the end of the year.Whereas Mauritius and Seychelles require property buyers to invest a $500,000 minimum, the entry level in most Caribbean islands is $1m. Malta has set its barrier at €350,000, while both ...

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