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Investment Migration: A Diversification Strategy with Additional Residence Benefits

Olga Ayo

Olga Ayo

Olga Ayo is Director Key Intermediaries at Henley & Partners USA

The USA is not alone in going to the polls in 2024. America is joined by, among others Portugal, Russia, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the UK. With more than half of the world’s population due to vote this year, economic uncertainty and market volatility haunt every region. In times such as these, the long-accepted practice of diversifying investments across asset classes to minimize risk while maximizing potential only increases in importance. Political rhetoric and policy swings disrupt financial markets, leading investors to look for reliable strategies to secure their wealth and navigate safely through turbulence. Investment migration programs are a useful tool in this regard, as they yield multiple benefits beyond diversification.

Asset diversification plus residence benefits

Investment migration programs are go-to solutions for increasing numbers of US investors seeking diversification from their domestic investments — a shield protecting them from the dangers of a single economy and a single currency, no matter how successful or powerful. These programs, which award residence or citizenship in exchange for foreign investment, form a strategic element in portfolio diversification, helping investors manage risk but also providing them with complementary benefits. They arm individuals with a powerful hedge by yielding them alternative domiciles or additional citizenships, enabling them to act in the world as citizens of more than one country.

Pile of coins on technology financial graph background with building superimposed

Investment migration programs extend the very idea of investing beyond the known commodities and bring depth and breadth to an investor’s risk management, from a geopolitical perspective. Through participating in these programs, US investors acquire exposure to global markets while securing significant rights and entitlements in a range of jurisdictions.

Migration through real estate investment

Real estate-linked investment migration programs are a compelling solution for investors seeking diversification away from a single market or currency that also yield additional residences or citizenship benefits in addition to the property asset. 

The Greece Golden Visa Program and the Spain Residence by Investment Program both offer real estate investment options that give successful individuals the ability to diversify their portfolios by purchasing property for minimum investments of EUR 250,000 and EUR 500,000, respectively. In addition to the advantages associated with acquiring residence rights in a European country for themselves and their families, investors can sublet their properties and in time stand to benefit from the boom in the growth of the housing markets in those countries.

In other regions, the UAE and Panama also have property options and strong real estate markets that have led investors to choose these important financial centers for residence based on property investment. 

Beyond real estate

Real estate investment as a portfolio diversification strategy suits some but not all, which has led several countries to offer investment migration program options that rely on investments other than property. In Italy, for example, the innovative Investor Visa Program provides residence through investment in Italian stocks. With EUR 500,000, an individual can obtain not only the enriching experience of living and working in a culturally and economically attractive and thriving nation but also exposure to its worthwhile stock market .

Some countries provide a residence program option requiring an investment in local securities or other local financial instruments. For example, Spain requires investment funds, bank deposits, or listed company shares in Spanish financial institutions with a minimum value of  EUR 1 million. By following this strategy, investors may explore the host country’s own financial system and benefit from its economic growth.

Portugal’s golden visa program stands out for its openness and adaptability. By investing a minimum of EUR 500,000 in private equity or as venture capital, successful applicants acquire a residence permit, gaining a chance to explore the rich investment environment in the country and enter the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as earning a good income. 

Asset diversification through investment in stocks, venture capital funds, shareholding, or other investment instruments, is a way for investors to lower their risk and optimize their returns. In contrast to real estate-driven programs, which may be exposed to market fluctuations triggered by regulatory changes in real estate policies, these mechanisms offer investors more flexibility and freedom in their strategies. Furthermore, these options supply the investor with tangible market opportunities and an ability to tap into new markets, which could improve investors’ overall returns.

Ultimately, investment migration allows investors to craft a portfolio of options, both in investment and in residence. Since many countries offering investment migration programs allow individuals to hold multiple nationalities concurrently, investors are liberated to pursue local investments — whether through real estate or another mechanism — in more than one destination. This offers true asset diversification and powerful risk mitigation. As the global financial and political landscape shifts in unpredictable ways, investments that unfold as part of an international migration strategy are becoming increasingly popular among professional investors, readying them for change and the future.

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Henley & Partners assists international clients in obtaining residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.


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