Pam Golding Properties CEO Andrew Golding. Picture: SUPPLIED
Pam Golding Properties CEO Andrew Golding. Picture: SUPPLIED

Estate agent Pam Golding Properties (PGP) has partnered with global investment-migration Henley & Partners to provide buyers seeking international property assets with a view about acquiring dual residence or citizenship.

Pam Golding said this was being offered as an end-to-end service.

"For savvy South Africans who wish to diversify their investment portfolios by gaining a foothold on the global property ladder, this strategic alliance comes at a time when increasing numbers of affluent locals, including families, are looking to hedge their bets overseas," Pam Golding said.

Nigel Barnes, managing partner of the South African branch of Henley & Partners, said his company was experiencing a rising demand for international residency and citizenship options "from clients wanting to firm up their future planning objectives, be that simply from a lifestyle point of view or as a rand hedge in times of economic uncertainty".

This was attributed to various factors, from aspirational lifestyle changes and career opportunities along with credit ratings downgrades and the potential effects of junk status on the economy.

Pam Golding’s international division head, Chris Immelman, said many clients wanted to own properties in two countries and be able to visit each easily, without actually emigrating from SA.

"These people are not necessarily emigrating. They are merely making the world’s markets work for them, repositioning their assets, and their homes, for a while," he said.

For a relatively affordable five-year, mainly property investment of between €520,000 and €570,000, successful applicants of the Malta Residence and Visa Programme acquired long-term unrestricted access to the entire European Schengen area, and the "right to reside in the 40th most competitive economy in the world, all within just three months of applying," said Immelman.

"For those who can resist the lure of the Mediterranean island’s 340 days-a-year sunshine average, there’s no reason to abandon local shores as Maltese residence requires no physical presence in the country whatsoever," he said.

PGP CEO Andrew Golding said the company’s alliance with Henley & Partners meant that, for an offshore category of buyer, PGP "were uniquely equipped to provide an all-encompassing professional service".

Its legally compliant citizenship-by-investment programmes, include ones for Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Grenada.

Immelman said Henley & Partners was the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, upon whose expertise thousands of wealthy individuals and families had relied for over 20 years.

Another programme which is trying to attract South African interest is the EB-5 programme, which is run by LCR Capital Partners, which enables people to reside in the US.

LCR Capital Partners said it believed SA had many strong candidates for the programme.

"While the new Trump administration’s recent executive orders suspending travel from certain countries has dominated headlines for months, it is not to be confused with legal immigration. This is especially related to golden visas, technically referred to as EB-5 investment visas," LCR co-founder Rogelio Caceres said.

Administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, EB-5 enables investors the opportunity to acquire US permanent residency, via a green card for themselves and their immediate families.

A sum of $500,000 must be invested for five years towards new businesses that in turn creates a minimum of 10 US-based jobs for every investor.

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