Important factors to consider in residence planning
Portugal and Malta Come Out on Top as World’s Best Investment Migration Programs, according to Henley & Partners Report
Residence and citizenship planning has established itself as an important industry over the last few years, providing a rapidly growing number of wealthy individuals the privileges of visa-free travel as well as better security, quality of life and education in exchange for a significant and meaningful economic contribution.
As the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, Henley & Partners has launched its Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2016 report, which ranks the 19 most relevant residence-by-investment programs as well as the top eight citizenship-by-investment programs available throughout the world today. The fact that a need has arisen to rank these programs testifies to the changing realities of the understanding of citizenship and residence that the world is currently going through.
Commentator Professor Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, of Princeton University in the US and the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, says, “The key attraction of this report is that it is designed with the investor, rather than the states, in mind; while states usually benefit from great resources in their program design, individual investors are in need of clear and reliable advice. Henley & Partners has thus made the right choice: this is precisely the most needed and also the most justified starting point to adopt in approaching the evaluation and ranking of residence and citizenship-by-investment programs.”
The Report details the outcomes of the Global Residence Program Index (GRPI) and the Global Citizenship Program Index (GCPI). These two Indexes gauge and reflect the relative worth of residence and citizenship programs around the world through a benchmarking process. They analyze a broad range of factors such as immigration law, tax and quality of living, as well as transparency, risk and compliance issues, from multiple sources to produce an overall global view and ranking of the different investment migration programs.
Out of the 19 residence programs reviewed, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program has again emerged as the world’s best residence-by-investment program, with a score of 80 out of 100. It is followed by Belgium (78) and Austria (77) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Portugal offers a high quality of life and education, rich culture, mild climate and a high level of security. It has an excellent real estate offering, whether for lifestyle or investment, with a large geographic, environment and price-point diversity, and individuals may combine the mandatory qualifying stay with longer visits to Portugal, as either a second or holiday home, or as a permanent, safe place to reside or retire.
The tax burden on residents of Portugal is one of the lowest in the GRPI, both on corporate and personal levels. A Portuguese residence permit offers visa-free access to the Schengen area. Portugal also has extremely strict procedures and all individuals are carefully screened before their applications are approved.
For the second year in a row, Malta’s Individual Investor Programme is the top ranking citizenship-by-investment program in the world, with a score of 73 out of 100. The Mediterranean island nation is followed by Cyprus (71), and Antigua and Barbuda (62) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Malta boasts an excellent reputation with a splendid climate, very friendly people, and a low crime rate, offering a great quality of life. A Maltese citizen has the right of settlement in all 28 EU countries and enjoys visa-free travel to 168 countries worldwide including the EU, the US and Canada. For improved visa-free travel, permanent relocation, and financial security, Malta is the way to go.
The Malta Individual Investor Programme is a modern citizenship-by-investment program designed, implemented and globally promoted by Henley & Partners for the Government of Malta under a Public Services Concession. Moreover, it is considered the world’s most advanced and most exclusive citizenship-by-investment program, being capped at 1800 applicants. Compliance and due diligence standards are considered to be the world’s strictest, aiming to ensure that only the most respectable of applicants are admitted.