WHAT ARE THE BEST OPTION FOR INDIANS IN 2023?
Affluent Indians are moving abroad in record numbers, using programs where they invest in exchange for citizenship or residency in another country. A report from Morgan Stanley indicates that in the 5 years from 2014 to 2018 more than 23,000 Indian millionaires took advantage of an alternative citizenship program. More recently, a report by the Global Wealth Migration Review (Link) found that nearly 5,000 millionaires, or two percent of all high-net-worth individuals in India, moved abroad in 2020 alone.
What are the top trending residency and citizenship-by-investment destinations in 2022 for Indians looking to invest and relocate abroad and why are they preferred?
PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM
Minimum investment: EUR 280,000 in real estate
The quality of life, a low cost of living and family safety are critical factors that place Portugal at the top of the list for many Indian nationals seeking global mobility. A Portuguese residency affords the investor and their family to live, work and study in Portugal as well as freedom to travel within the 26 Schengen countries, with no border controls. In addition, after five years of holding the residency permit, the entire family becomes eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship, allowing visa-free access to over 175 countries. To qualify for citizenship over this 5-year interim period, they need to stay only 7 days per year in Portugal, hence making Portugal one of the most relaxed residency requirements among all the European Union nations offering a residency-by-investment program leading to citizenship.
MALTA PERMANENT RESIDENCE PROGRAM
Minimum investment: EUR 110,000 (Combination of Donation & Real Estate Rental)
The Malta Permanent Residency Program (MPRP) grants permanent residency status within approximately 6 months of submitting a completed application. Malta is one of the most diversified economies in Europe, strong in industries such as IT, manufacturing and gaming. The program allows qualifying family members, spanning up to four generations, to join on one application. The applicant and their family members can then stay indefinitely in Malta and enjoy freedom of movement to the 26 Schengen countries, covering most of western and central Europe.
Thanks to the country’s history, English is spoken by most Maltese and is one of the two official languages. This makes it easier for Indian nationals to feel comfortable and to navigate their daily lives.
GRENADA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Minimum investment: USD 150,000 towards the NTF (National Transformation Fund)
Some of the most popular destinations for citizenship-by-investment (CBI) are in the Caribbean. Among those, Grenada is especially attractive. First, because it offers visa-free access to more than 140 countries, including the United Kingdom, the Schengen Area, Russia and China.
It is a beautiful island, with wonderful weather sheltered from the yearly hurricane season and a relaxed lifestyle. Grenada’s official language is English and being on the doorstep of the United States, its citizens have the opportunity to gain residency in the US, making Grenada one of the most sought after programs amongst Indian nationals. Only Grenada, amongst the Caribbean programs, can offer eligibility for the USA’s E-2 visa which allows applicants and their qualifying family members to settle in the United States by setting up a business or operating a franchise.
CANADA START-UP VISA PROGRAM
A 10% stake in an innovative start-up
This “start-up program” is a little different in that it allows the holder of a 10% stake in an innovative start-up to directly apply for Canadian Permanent Residency (PR), without going through the hurdles of a points-based system and with no age restrictions. Further, PR is not conditional on any other business contingencies.
“Canada is a very desirable destination with many major benefits for Indians acquiring permanent residency status,” explains Jean-Francois Harvey, Global Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group. “It is a safe country, well developed, multicultural and welcoming, with abundant natural resources, one of the world’s best infrastructures and, of course, English is one of the two official languages.” He further noted that the economy is expected to grow at close to 4 % this year (OECD forecast) with extensive employment and career opportunities. Social services and social security benefits are outstanding, healthcare standards excellent and free, and so is a high-quality education.
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