Europe dominates the top spots in the latest Henley & Partners rankings of the most sought-after investment migration programs in the world, with Malta securing 1st place in the Global Citizenship Program Index for the seventh consecutive year, while the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program tops the Global Residence Program Index again.
The two indexes — published as part of the 2022 edition of the annual Investment Migration Programs report — offer a systematic analysis and comprehensive benchmarking of the world’s most important residence and citizenship by investment programs, providing the gold standard in this field. This year’s edition of the annual report was further expanded and now includes comprehensive analysis and comparison of 40 programs — the highest number to date. The programs are appraised by a panel of distinguished independent experts including leading academic researchers, economists, expert immigration and citizenship lawyers, country risk and industry specialists, who consider a broad range of factors pertaining to each program.
This year also marks the inaugural digital editions of the indexes, which feature interactive tools that enable investors and wealthy families to select the factors that matter most to them and their families.
Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, an international immigration and citizenship law expert and Chairman of Henley & Partners, says Investment Migration Programs 2022 is the ultimate tool for all those interested in keeping up to date with global immigration for investors or considering alternative residence or citizenship as an option for accessing new opportunities and mitigating risk. “The publication is important for private clients and their advisors and other industry professionals, but also for government policy makers looking to manage investment migration programs to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and economic growth.”
Citizenship programs: Malta retains its global leader status
The top three places in the Global Citizenship Program Index are occupied by European programs. Malta holds the 1st place, with its Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations (S.L. 188.05) seeing the country score 77 out of 100. The regulations allow for the granting of citizenship following a 36-month residency period or by exception a 12-month residency period. In 2nd place is Austria’s citizenship by investment option, with a score of 74, while the highly sought-after Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program ranks 3rd with a score of 72.
One of two newcomers — the North Macedonia Citizenship by Investment Program — shares joint-4th spot with the Caribbean’s St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program and the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program, each scoring 70. There is not much between the remaining Caribbean citizenship programs, which take up the next two places. The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program is joint-5th with the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program, both scoring 69, and the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program is in 6th place with a score of 68.
The Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program is gaining in popularity and comes in 7th place with a score of 67, and the Jordan Citizenship by Investment Program takes 8th spot with a score of 66. The final three places in the ranking are occupied by Egypt — the other new entrant — with a score of 65, Vanuatu with a score of 64, and Cambodia with a score of 53.
Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, speaking from his base in Dubai, says the Covid-19 pandemic continues to accelerate the steady growth in investment migration options over the past two decades. “Astute investors now recognize that by extending their wealth planning and legacy management strategies to include residence and citizenship by investment, they can open up new global business opportunities, spread their risks across different jurisdictions, and catalyze the possible transition to new lives for themselves and their families in countries of their choice.”
Residence programs: Portugal has pride of place
Europe also prevails in the top 10 rankings of the Global Residence Program Index, with European programs occupying the first seven places. With a score of 75 out of 100, the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program ranks 1st overall out of the 26 programs considered. The Austria Private Residence Program and the Italy Residence by Investment Program share 2nd place with a score of 74, while the Swiss Residence Program — a service package developed by Henley & Partners combining private residence with the Swiss forfait tax provisions — Ranks 3rd with a score of 73.
The Greece Golden Visa Program is placed 4th with a score of 72, and the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme ranks 5th with a score of 65. Jersey’s Residence by Investment offering and the Singapore Global Investor Program share 6th place, each scoring 64. The Australia Residence by Investment Program ranks 7th with a score of 63, while the New Zealand Investor Resident Visa Program is joint-8th with the Spain Residence by Investment Program, each scoring 62.
The Cyprus Permanent Residence Program shares 9th place with Canada and Ireland, each scoring 61. The 10th position is also shared by three programs, which all score 60 — the Latvia Residence by Investment Program, the US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, and Dubai’s long-term residence options in the UAE.
Further down in the index, the 11th place is occupied by Monaco with a score of 59, while the Thailand Elite Residence Program shares 12th place with Hong Kong and new entrant South Korea, all scoring 58. The other newcomer to the Global Residence Program Index, the Panama Residence by Investment Program, enters in 13th place with a score of 57, while Africa’s only program in the index, the Mauritius Residence by Investment Program, is close behind in 14th position with a score of 56. The Malaysia My Second Home Program shares the 15th place with Bulgaria, with both countries scoring 50.
Unprecedented interest in residence and citizenship planning
Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says the need for robust comparative analyses and benchmarking tools such as the Global Residence Program Index and the Global Citizenship Program Index is more critical than ever. “There has been significant growth on both the demand and supply side of investment migration over the past 12 months. We received 80% more enquiries in 2021 off the back of an already record-breaking year in 2020, with dramatic upswings of interest from North America, the EU, the UK, and Australia. The new digital indexes are an excellent addition that will enable data-driven decisions to be made and are complemented by expert analysis of pertinent topics. These include essays on wealth distribution in the Covid-19 era, global investment migration trends such as domicile diversification, sovereign equity, the pro-growth benefits of economic migration, and country competitiveness, as well as prevailing issues such as due diligence and compliance, risk management, and program transparency.”
About Henley & Partners
Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals and their advisors rely on our expertise and experience in this area. The firm’s highly qualified professionals work together as one team in over 35 offices worldwide.
The concept of residence and citizenship planning was created by Henley & Partners in the 1990s. As globalization has expanded, residence and citizenship have become topics of significant interest among the increasing number of internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors whom we proudly serve every day.
The firm also runs a leading government advisory practice that has raised more than USD 10 billion in foreign direct investment. Trusted by governments, the firm has been involved in strategic consulting and in the design, set-up, and operation of the world’s most successful residence and citizenship programs.
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