An education like no other: study without borders

The status and reputation of a tertiary education obtained from an institution within a developing country is often questioned. Despite a handful of reputable private higher education options across the African continent, including the University of Cape Town which is ranked the best university in Africa, High Net Worth Individuals commonly seek an international education for loved ones. 

Whilst it’s possible to earn an academic or sporting scholarship – a popular route for students with the United States at the top of their wish lists – it comes with a whole host of visa eligibility criteria and restrictions after graduation. As a result, the rise of investment visa programmes, such as the EB-5 Investment Programme for the USA or the Portuguese Golden Visa, are increasingly desirable for investors with college-aged dependents.

What are the benefits of studying overseas?

There are a number of reasons one might consider studying as an expat, but the most cited by South Africans is being a means to safeguard employability and broaden horizons to the shores of the first world.

Going out into the real world offers perhaps the most valuable education of all and studying abroad offers a fast-tracked experience to establish maturity. Over and above the actual ‘book learning’ and certification students earn, benefits of international study include the opportunity to:

  • Become part of a reputable alumni
  • Live within a different culture
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Experience international travel
  • Overcome obstacles of living away from home
  • Gain a broader world view and perspective
  • Forge an international network and community
  • Secure part-time employment to earn foreign currency (if permitted by visa type)

How do I study abroad?

12 Star Capital offers you the support and guidance to gain residency and citizenship in international territories through visa-by-investment programmes. Portugal, Mauritius and the United States each have popular schemes that welcome expats to live, work, travel and study after an initial investment.


Bem-vindo to Portugal, the 5th best place in the world for expats to live! According to InterNations, Portugal is top-ranked for immigration offering an amazing quality of life considering ease of settling, personal finance and cost of living. Added to that, the historic charm, natural beauty, stable economy and colourful Mediterranean culture – it’s easy to see why people love Portugal.

Moreover, whilst expat students may be none-the-wiser, Portugal could be considered the birthplace of tertiary education in Europe. The University of Coimbra is among the oldest universities in the world. Today it boasts UNESCO World Heritage status in recognition of its influential role in the development of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world, as well as its notable architecture, unique culture and traditions.

Other globally-rated top institutions in Portugal include the University of Lisbon, University of Porto and NOVA University Lisbon.

What is the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa is Portugal’s innovative immigration programme aimed at encouraging inward investment into this sun-soaked country on the Iberian Peninsula of Southwestern Europe.

Investors can achieve Portuguese residency in less than a year, citizenship after five years and enjoy the perks of being an EU-passport holder. After investing €500 000, you and your immediate families can travel visa-free to any Schengen country, and live, study, work and travel anywhere in Portugal.

Access to the Golden Visa programme is straight-forward and the eligibility criteria are:  

  • Proof of legally-earned investment funds
  • No criminal record
  • Travel to Portugal annually for at least a week until citizenship is granted


The United States is the promised land where many families seek out a higher standard of living by pursuing the great American Dream. This immigration destination offers financial security, excellent schooling and a family-focused lifestyle.

US-centric popular culture and mainstream media have made the top American universities sought-after by expats. From Rory’s obsession with attending Yale University in the Gilmore Girls to Legally Blonde’s iconic Harvard University scenes, these institutions are so intertwined with the all-American coming-of-age adventure.

Through 12 Star Capital, the EB-5 Investor Programme can make this stars and stripes varsity experience a reality for South Africans. Immigrate to the USA, become a citizen and enjoy access to a variety of prestigious educational institutions. With the opportunity to take advantage of scholarships and grants, a reputable education for your family could be closer than you think.

How does the EB-5 Investor Programme work?

The EB-5 Investor Programme helps you earn American citizenship within five years without finding a sponsor. This scheme assists you to acquire a non-restrictive Green Card and full US citizenship for themselves and immediate family to study, live, work and travel anywhere in the United States.

To qualify, the investor must:

  • Invest at least $800 000 in a Government-designated Targeted Employment Area
  • Create or preserve a minimum of 10 employment opportunities for Americans


If island living is your fantasy, Mauritius awaits. More than cocktails at sunset and sun-kissed tourism, this island nation off the coast of Madagascar is a strategic business centre situated at the crossroads between Asia, Africa and Australia. With its economic success firmly rooted in good governance and a pro-investment climate, Mauritius is Africa’s wealthiest country and home to around 4,400 high net worth individuals.

The star and key of the Indian Ocean is also only a four-hour flight from South Africa and its medium of education is English, making it a perfect fit for studious South Africans. Expats may choose to attend one of the country’s own universities, such as the University of Mauritius, or enrol in courses offered by international universities like Middlesex University and The University of Arizona which offer degrees at Mauritian satellite campuses.

How to gain Mauritian residency

Investors are guaranteed Mauritian residency through the purchase of residential property. By investing in Mauritian real estate, investors also gain secure ownership rights, pay a maximum 15% income and corporation tax, and are exempt from capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

There are very few hurdles for expats seeking alternate citizenship and residency in this tropical paradise. The Property Development Scheme, under which investors are eligible to earn citizenship, requires the purchase of a home and nothing else.

To be eligible for a Mauritian visa, investors need only:

  • Invest $375, 000 or more under the Property Development Scheme

Contact expert advisors at 12 Star Capital today and expand your education across borders.