‘Indian rich top world in looking to leave country’. Covid may have set out international travel plans but it has not stopped high-value individuals (HNWIs) from buying new countries to establish – either long-term citizens or citizens.
By 2020, wealthy Indians are once again at the forefront of the question of whether to ‘stay-at-investment’ or ‘investment-in’ investment programs. The number of inquiries has increased since 2019, according to the agency’s operations agency. Since India does not allow dual citizenship, opting for ‘investment citizenship’ means donating an Indian passport.
A combination of Covid and political turmoil saw the US, in
Third, fourth and fifth place in terms of queries were taken by Pakistanis, South Africans and Nigerians, respectively. This information was provided to TOI by Henley & Partners, an international housing and national planning company.
According to the ‘Global Wealth Migration Review’, published by New World Wealth, an economic intelligence company, the Indians were the second largest group of millionaires to move overseas. About 7,000 wealthy Indians (comprising 2% of HNWIs) left the country in 2019. It seems that interest is not waning.
“We have seen a 62.6% increase in inquiries received from Indians in 2020 compared to 2019. The base for 2019 was more than 1,500,” Nirbhay Handa, director and head of the South Asian international team, Henley & Partners, told TOI.
Investment-related migration programs are not cheap, but for many, it is more than just having a luxury home in an exotic location. It could also mean distributing family goods to all authorities or gaining better access to the region – says the European Union.
According to Henley & Partners, the residential areas linked to investment and Indian citizens inquiring about 2020 were the Canadian Residency, the Portuguese Residency, the Austrian Residency and the Austrian Citizenship program, Malta nationality and Turkish citizenship. Historically, the US, Canada, UK and Australia have been favorites among Indians.
“Canada and Australia are major opponents, (but) the implementation of these programs is long and investment has increased over time, so Indian HNWIs understand the limitations,” said Handa.
The interests of wealthy people in India and the NRIs are different – the latter are more inclined to opt for ‘national investment’ programs. The former, who is interested in overseas business, tends to look at European options for ‘staying invested’. The Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Program, which requires a minimum investment of Euro 3,50,000 in real estate, is Europe’s most popular program. NRIs tend to prefer European national systems.
Handa said that apart from the additional benefits of better travel (Austrian passport, for example, provides visa-free travel to 187 locations), the national programs that were offered for Malta and Austria also offer the opportunity to stay anywhere in the EU.
International financial institutions such as Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore have a large number of professional NRIs. If they cannot obtain permanent residency or citizenship in these countries, they keep their options open.