Top-tier Investment Migration Programs
Henley & Partners has published an annual rating of programs that provide an opportunity to obtain a residence permit and acquire citizenship by investment. Prior to this, a panel of independent experts have appraised more than twenty residence-by-investment programs and more than ten citizenship-by-investment programs.
Independent experts and representatives of Baker & McKenzie, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Knight Frank, PwC, and Fragomen LLP were involved in the comprehensive analysis and preparation of the publication. In addition, a number of investors and government officials from various countries were interviewed as well. The experts assigned individual scores (0–10) to each factor. Then all the scores were summed up.
To assign a certain place to a country the experts evaluated 10 factors which included the quality of life, reputation of the country, the current tax system, the processing time of the application and the quality level of information processing, visa-free entry to other countries, investment requirements, compliance, general expenses, requirements for obtaining citizenship and the time frame for obtaining it.
In 2021, the program of New Zealand was on the list of the best programs. As in the previous year, the first two spots are take up by Austria and Portugal. Italy is also among the top three countries. Canada, Switzerland, and Austria scored the highest in terms of quality of life. The UAE (Dubai) has the best score in terms of the taxation criterion. The most appealing conditions in terms of the cost of participation in the program are in Malta, Thailand, Portugal, and Latvia.
The following factors were taken into account when analysing the Citizenship-by-investment programs: the quality of life, reputation of the country, visa-free entry, the period application processing and the quality level of information processing, transparency of the procedure, investment requirements, compliance, the requirement to live in the country, the feasibility of moving to other states, the requirement to visit the country.
Malta has been the global leader of citizenship programs for 6 years on end (with a new procedure for granting citizenship by naturalization). According to the requirements of the process, investors have the right to obtain citizenship after 3 years of residence status (or after one year by exception) and when making large investments in the state economy.
Malta is followed by the program of Austria. The third place was assigned to the program of Montenegro. Moreover, there are many Caribbean CBI programs among the best options. Potential investors are lured by the relatively low cost of participation in the programs, free movement between the countries of the Schengen Area and visa-free visits to the UK, China and other countries.