Rohit Bhardwaj is a Director Private Clients at Henley & Partners India.
A growing number of global citizens desiring improved security, stability, and quality of life for their families are looking into investment migration opportunities, and India is leading the way. Indians were the top nationality in terms of enquiries Henley & Partners received during 2023, with a 54% increase in enquiries from Indian investors last year compared to 2022.
Among the key reasons Indian families consider alternative residence and/or citizenship are enhanced global mobility and ease of access to excellent higher education institutions for their children. The top programs they enquired about were those offered by Australia, Austria, Canada, and Portugal.
According to the World Bank, India had one of the fastest growing economies in 2023 and its growth rate was second highest among G20 countries thanks to strong domestic demand, robust investment in public infrastructure, and a strengthening financial sector. This has propelled a continuing rise in disposable income leading to many Indian families realizing the importance of residence or citizenship planning as a resilience-boosting tool against the backdrop of a challenging global environment.
Looking at the investment migration trends in India, awareness about global residence and citizenship by investment opportunities has increased significantly. While most of the enquiries Henley & Partners receives from Indian domiciled families are geared towards residence by investment, there has been an uptick in enquiries from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) interested in citizenship by investment opportunities. Across the spectrum there has been a surge in enquiries specifically about immediate relocation or plan B options.
Traditionally, popular destinations for relocation among wealthy Indian families have included Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. However, in recent years there has been an increase in interest in residence programs in the European Union, and the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program, Greece Golden Visa Program, and Spain Residence by Investment Program in particular, as Indian investors are growing accustomed to the idea of having second homes and most of these jurisdictions have zero or minimal residence requirements.
In this era of uncertainty, having the right to reside in another country or having an alternative citizenship with access to a different lifestyle, better healthcare benefits, and attractive second home opportunities is becoming the ultimate asset and Indian investors are realizing the importance of domicile diversification.