Residency by Investment

Feb 21, 2022 11:28:01 PM

Economic convergence has been a catalyst for diminishing border lines. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 developing countries have been taking resolute steps to augment their Visa-free travel regime. The European Union’s Schengen Area initiative is a great example of uniting EU markets by facilitating free mobility in Schengen countries.

Global mobility fosters economic development

Migration is a global phenomenon that has been one of the key factors in shaping economies and society for ages. Migration is a key contributor to economic prosperity, though migrants constitute 3% of the global population but yield 9% of the global GDP.

With changes in the global landscape, countries and regions are constantly working to attract new skills, business investments, innovative ideas, real-estate investments by relaxing their visa regulations and abolishing their passports for allowing visa-free travel. Visa-free travel encourages tourism trade, inter-country trade, and inter-country employment of skills. Globally, tourism accounts for 6.5% of the global business but for some countries tourism contributes for more than 20% of the business. Foreign-direct investment (FDI) i.e., investments in businesses, real estate. Lastly, the inflow of foreign skilled workers.

Propagation of residence and citizenships by investment

Pandemic has forcefully transformed the global landscape; countries are competing hard to bring in investments through their investment migration programs. These programs indubitably have attracted high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) to invest in getting a second passport or residency as an attractive long-term investment. As per a global survey conducted by CS Global Partners, 89% of people want to possess second citizenship. What is more striking is that 80% of people were willing to donate 5% of their annual income to acquire a second passport.

With global citizens facing challenges of freedom of movement, political instability, steep taxes, or unavailability of good health services, education for children and social security in their countries. They explore investments - to get permanent residency in a country that has the reliable digital infrastructure, good quality of life, good education for children, and social security. This however also fosters a want of special investment migration consultancy to help HNIs and businesses to make informed business and personal investments.

Returns on Investment (RoI)

The pandemic has increased the need for capital across countries in the world for the revitalisation of economies. This has invigorated the scramble to attract FDI, new talent and skills into the countries, resulting in new and alluring investment migrations programs.

There is an increased need for advice and assistance by individuals for help to invest in either getting a residency or a second passport.

Few options which are gaining popularity are creating jobs by investing in an existing or a new business, real estate investment, investment in funds

Migration through investment in a business has been in practice for many years, US, UK and Australia were some of the popular destinations. The USA was one of the most preferred destinations and it witnessed a 400% increase for EB-5 visas in the pre-pandemic years. There are two main categories under which countries invite business investors:

Investing in a new business – This is an option for investors ready to go global with their business ideas and help economies create jobs. The Investments vary by country. Few top economies for the acquisition of Residency through business investments are – USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand….

Starting an innovative business – Many countries have introduced start up or innovator visa programs to attract new and innovative entrepreneurial talent. Some of the popular Startup or innovator visa programs are Canada Start-up Visa and UK Innovator Visa Program.

Many of the developed and developing economies offer residence or citizenship in return for real estate investment in their country. Investors can acquire real estate with promising returns in the future, freedom to reside, move around in the country and to top it, visa free travel to many countries. Some of the top residencies through real-estate investments are -Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Malta, Caribbean Residencies – Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda to name a few.

Options to invest in Funds have matured over the last few years and become an attractive vehicle to acquire residency, especially in European countries. This trend has been seen more prevalent with investors who do not want to stay. Apart from the most popular Singapore Global Investor Program, there are several funds to invest in many European countries including Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Italy.

Act timely to acquire and benefit some revered residencies

Owing to political dynamics, social pressures and most importantly high demand for such investments or rush to acquire residencies. Various programs expeditiously meet their quota, leaving many prospective investors foundered.

Investors should look out for IMC (Investment Migration Council) certified Investment Migration Consultants for advice and help to migrate.

Views are personal. The Author is Varun Singh, an IMC Certified Investment Migration Consultant and Managing Director of XIPHIAS Immigration

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