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Residence and Citizenship by Investment

The World’s Most Attractive Investment Migration Programs in 2024

For immediate release: London, Tuesday 27 February 2024

European residence and citizenship by investment programs continue to dominate the top spots of global wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners’ annual rankings of the most sought-after investment migration programs in the world. Malta holds onto 1st place in the 2024 Global Citizenship Program Index as it has done for nine consecutive years, while the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program retains top spot on the Global Residence Program Index.

The two indexes — featured in the 2024 edition of the Investment Migration Programs report, one of Henley & Partners’ annual flagship publications — offer a systematic analysis and comprehensive benchmarking of the world’s most attractive residence and citizenship by investment programs, providing the gold standard in the sector. This year’s edition includes a total of 39 programs, representing the most relevant of over 100 programs worldwide. These have been appraised by a panel of independent experts including leading academic researchers, country risk specialists, economists, independent expert immigration and citizenship lawyers, and other specialists, who consider a broad range of pertinent factors. Interactive digital comparisons of the programs are also available, enabling global investors and wealthy families to select what matters most to them when weighing up their options.

Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, international immigration and citizenship law expert and Chairman of Henley & Partners, says Investment Migration Programs 2024 is essential for all those interested in keeping up to date with developments in the investment migration sector or considering residence or citizenship by investment as options for unlocking global access and opportunity. “The publication is important not only for private clients and their advisors and other wealth management professionals, but equally for government policy makers looking to manage investment migration programs to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and economic growth. In this era of heightened global volatility, nation states are using residence and citizenship by investment programs as an innovative financing tool to fund national or regional social and infrastructure projects as well as development initiatives that mitigate sustainability risks, to the benefit of their citizens and residents.”

Citizenship programs: Malta reigns supreme

The Global Citizenship Program Index ranks 13 programs, with the strategically located European nation of Malta scoring 77 out of 100 and taking top honors once again. Malta’s Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations allow for the granting of citizenship by a certificate of naturalization to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the country’s economic development. This is possible following a 36-month residence period (or 12 months by exception). Malta’s original citizenship program was designed by Henley & Partners in 2013–2014 and went on to become one of the most successful such programs in the world. Retaining 2nd place with a score of 74 is Austria’s premium citizenship by investment offering, which requires applicants to make a substantial contribution to the Austrian economy. Three Caribbean island nations tie in 3rd position, each scoring 70: the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program, the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program, and the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program all offer attractive real estate-linked investment routes and fund options. Antigua also offers alternative business investment options or investors can make a non-refundable contribution to the University of the West Indies.

Another two Caribbean nations make it into the Top 5 — the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program in 4th place with a score of 68, followed closely by the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program, which scores 67 and shares 5th place with the increasingly popular Türkiye Citizenship by Investment Program. Türkiye has multiple routes to citizenship, including a real estate option, and as a major transcontinental country, provides investors with easy access to Asian, European, and Middle Eastern markets.

Sharing the 6th spot on the index are the Egypt Citizenship by Investment Program and the Jordan Citizenship by Investment Program, each scoring 65. The lower ranks are occupied by the North Macedonia Citizenship by Investment Program in 7th place, scoring 64, Vanuatu 8th with 62, and Cambodia in 9th place with a score of 53.

Residence programs: Portugal in prime position

Europe also prevails in the 2024 Global Residence Program Index, with programs on the continent occupying the Top 5 positions. The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program ranks 1st overall out of 26 programs with a score of 75 out of 100. Each scoring 73, the Austria Private Residence Program shares 2nd place with the Mediterranean’s rising star — the Greece Golden Visa Program, followed closely by the Swiss Residence Program on 72 — an investment option developed by Henley & Partners, which combines private residence with the Swiss forfait tax provisions.

Italy’s Residence by Investment Program is joint 4th with the UK’s Innovator Founder Visa each scoring 71. The only Top 5 program not in Europe is the Canada Start-Up Visa Program, which scores 69 and shares the 5th spot with another European favorite that is attracting a great deal of attention, the Spain Residence by Investment Program.

Two prime wealth hubs are joint-6th with scores of 66 — the UAE and Luxembourg, with the Asian powerhouse Singapore in 7th place scoring 65. Next are Australia and Jersey, which share 8th position with scores of 64, and the Malta Permanent Residence Program and New Zealand’s Active Investor Plus Visa score 62, as does Panama’s golden visa, placing the latter three countries in joint 9th place. The USA’s score of 61 sees it rounding off the Top 10 list in 2024.

Three diverse territories share the 11th spot this year: Hong Kong, Monaco, and South Korea, all with scores of 60, while the Cyprus Permanent Residence Program ranks 12th scoring 59. Latvia’s Residence by Investment Program shares 13th place with Thailand’s Privilege Residence Program, each scoring 58, and Thailand’s neighbor, Malaysia, ranks 14th with a score of 50. The 15th place is shared by Africa’s two residence options, the Mauritius Residence by Investment Program and Namibia Residence by Investment, which each score 49.

Domicile diversification a top priority

Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says robust comparative analyses and benchmarking tools such as the Global Residence Program Index and the Global Citizenship Program Index are essential for investors as well as governments navigating the current landscape. “Acquiring alternative residence and/or citizenship by participating in reputable investment migration programs enables greater flexibility and participation in the world’s leading economies, as well as optionality, which is now an indispensable part of any family’s insurance policy for the 21st century. The more jurisdictions a family can access, the more diversified its assets, the lower its exposure to country-specific, regional, and global volatility, and the more sustainable it will be over the long term.”

Last year, US-Americans were the top nationality applying for alternative residence and citizenship options through Henley & Partners, and this trend has continued into the first quarter of 2024. This year is also projected to be a record breaker in terms of millionaire migration according to the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report, with 128,000 high-net-worth individuals forecast to move to a new country, compared to the 120,000 who did so last year, surpassing the pre-pandemic high of 110,000.

“Along with our Henley Ultimate Portfolio tool, which allows individuals to build portfolios of complementary residences and citizenships to unlock global jurisdictional access and opportunity, the two digital indexes are indispensable resources that assist wealthy investors to support them with data-driven information to future-proof their wealth and legacy for generations to come,” concludes Dr. Steffen.


Notes to Editors

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 45 offices worldwide.

The concept of residence and citizenship by investment 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 12 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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The World’s Most Attractive Investment Migration Programs in 2024

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