European Residence and Citizenship Pathways Prevail in Henley & Partners’ 7th Investment Migration Pathways Report

The article was written by Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners

March saw the launch of the seventh edition of the annual Investment Migration Programs ­­report published by leading international citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners. The report offers a systematic analysis and comprehensive benchmarking of the world’s most important residence and citizenship by investment programs, providing the industry’s gold standard.

The 2022 edition was further expanded in alignment with the burgeoning investment migration industry and includes a comprehensive analysis and comparison of 40 programs — the highest number to date. Along with thirteen expert commentaries by leading scholars and industry figures on relevant topics, the publication comprises two indexes: the Global Residence Program Index and the Global Citizenship Program Index. A panel of distinguished independent experts including leading academic researchers, economists, expert immigration and citizenship lawyers, country risk and industry specialists, appraises the programs each year, considering a wide range of pertinent factors.

Europe dominates the top spots in the latest rankings, with Malta securing 1st place in the Global Citizenship Program Index for the seventh consecutive year, while Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program tops the Global Residence Program Index again.

Citizenship programs: Malta retains top spot

The top three places in the Global Citizenship Program Index are occupied by European programs. As mentioned, Malta holds 1st place, with its Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations (S.L. 188.05) seeing the country score 77 out of 100. The regulations allow for the granting of citizenship following a 36-month residency period or by exception a 12-month residency period. Austria’s citizenship by investment option is 2nd with a score of 74, while the highly sought-after Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program ranks 3rd scoring 72.

Also in Europe, one of two newcomers to the Global Citizenship Program Index — the North Macedonia Citizenship by Investment Program — shares joint-4th spot with two well established Caribbean offerings, St. Kitts and Nevis’s Citizenship by Investment Program and St. Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program, each scoring 70. The remaining Caribbean citizenship programs occupy the 5th and 6th positions, with Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program joint-5th with Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program, both scoring 69, and Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Program in 6th place scoring 68.

The extremely popular Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program takes 7th place with a score of 67, closely followed by the Jordan Citizenship by Investment Program in 8th position with 66.

Residence programs: Portugal in prime position

European programs also prevail in the Global Residence Program Index, occupying the first seven places. A firm favorite, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program ranks 1st with a score of 75. Austria’s Private Residence Program and Italy’s Residence by Investment Program are joint-2nd with 74, while the Swiss Residence Program — a service package developed by Henley & Partners combining private residence with the Swiss forfait tax provisions — ranks 3rd with 73.

In 4th place with a score of 72 is Greece’s Golden Visa Program, and the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme ranks 5th with 65. Jersey’s Residence by Investment offering and the Singapore Global Investor Program share 6th place, each scoring 64. The Australia Residence by Investment Program ranks 7th with a score of 63, while New Zealand’s Investor Resident Visa Program is joint-8th with Spain’s Residence by Investment Program, each scoring 62.

Canada, Ireland, and Cyprus share 9th place with scores of 61, and the 10th position is also jointly held by two programs, which score 60 — the recently revived US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, and UAE’s long-term residence options in Dubai.

Further down in the index, the 11th place is taken by Monaco with a score of 59, while the Thailand Elite Residence Program shares 12th place with Hong Kong and new entrant South Korea, all scoring 58. The second newcomer to the Global Residence Program Index, the Panama Residence by Investment Program, enters in 13th place with a score of 57, while the Mauritius Residence by Investment Program is just behind in 14th position with 56. Malaysia’s My Second Home Program shares 15th place with Bulgaria, each scoring 50.

Unprecedented interest in residence and citizenship planning

Henley & Partners has seen significant growth in both the demand and supply of investment migration over the past few years, with notable upswings of interest from North America, the EU, the UK, and Australia. While many prefer to page through a book, the new digital indexes are an excellent addition that will enable data-driven decision-making. Both editions are complemented by fascinating analyses of engaging topics such as wealth distribution in the Covid-19 era, global investment migration trends such as domicile diversification, sovereign equity, the pro-growth benefits of economic migration, and country competitiveness, and prevailing issues such as due diligence and compliance.

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