In an article published by Investment Migration Insider (IMI), the top 13 world’s most popular residence by investment programs have been highlighted, based on official statistics. Rankings have been defined based on ‘main applicants’, however also noted are visas granted for dependents.
At #13 is Latvia, a not so common option for those looking for a visa by investment, however has been deemed to be an ‘affordable option’ to immigrate to the EU and is being favoured by Russians. In 2017, there were 379 investor visas issued including dependents, however only 119 were issued to main applicants.
Currently one of the most expensive Investor Visa programs is Australia. Since end of 2012, AUD$10 billion has been raised, predominantly from Chinese investors who make up nine out of ten applicants. Figures have however since dropped in the last 12 months due to tougher requirements specifically around source of wealth. For year ending May 2018, there were 180 main applicant visas granted.
One country that has had much attention around Citizenship by Investment program is Malta which has had over 1,000 applications since the program launched. 560 of which have been received in the first half of 2018. Inclusive of dependents, there has been 700 visas approved in the last 12 months.
Also in the spotlight over the last few months has been the UK’s Tier 1 (Investor) Visa program which had an increase of 17% YOY in the first half of 2018; a surprising result according to Head of Investor Visa at Shard Capital, Farzin Yazdi, given the introduction of new sanctions and the unknown of Brexit negotiations. For the 12-month period including Q2 of 2018 there were 998 visas granted, inclusive of dependents.
In top place for almost four decades is the US EB-5 program. Currently capped at 10,000 individual visas, in 2017 there were 7,567 visas granted, inclusive of dependents. However, this could soon be overtaken (by comparison) a tiny Greece if reforms are not enacted soon to allow for more applicants.
Commenting on the global statistics, Farzin Yazdi said “There are some surprising results in this list, however we know the low barriers to entry has been driving much of this. We welcome the introduction of stricter due diligence and compliance globally, as ultimately we believe investment should be made for the benefit of a local economy and community.”