Passports of South Africa
  • Rich people in various countries seem to be reconsidering where they actually want to live after the coronavirus, says consultancy Henley & Partners.
  • Judging by enquiries about investment migration, that is.
  • South Africa is among those countries.
  • But Americans are suddenly way more keen to leave their country than South Africans.
  • For more stories go to

Between the beginning and the middle of 2020, the number of wealthy South Africans considering leaving the country shot up by nearly half, judging by the enquiries it received on "investment migration", say consultants Henley & Partners.

That is roughly in line with what the company recorded in other countries, including Pakistani and Bangladesh, and not too far from the growth in interest it recorded among Indian nationals.

But what might have been surprising before the arrival of the coronavirus – and the starkly different ways governments dealt with it – was the "huge spike in enquiries from Americans".

Looking at the numbers over the year up to the end of August, enquiries from citizens of the United States of America who are thinking about buying their way into another country rose by just under 167%, says Henley & Partners.

That comes after it recorded a dip in such enquiries, a decrease of 5.1%, by US nationals between the end of 2019 and early 2020.

The American growth numbers are roughly similar to those recorded in Nigeria between the first and second quarters of this year.

Countries to which rich migrants may opt to go include New Zealand, Singapore, Austria, and Montenegro.

Lockdowns have seen more wealthy people consider how – and where – they want to live, says the company.

"Many are taking stock and ensuring they are better prepared for the next pandemic or major global disruption," said Henley & Partners CEO Juerg Steffen in a statement.

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