The Malta Individual Investor Program is the world’s top citizenship-by-investment program and the Austria Private Residence Program is the world’s top residence-by-investment program, according to the Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2018–2019 report, released today by global residence and citizenship advisory firm Henley & Partners.
The annual report, now in its 4th edition, provides a systematic analysis and comprehensive benchmarking of the world’s most important investment migration programs and has become the industry gold standard for this type of evaluation.
The programs were evaluated by a distinguished panel of independent experts — including immigration and citizenship lawyers, economists, sovereign risk experts, and academic researchers — who took into account a broad range of factors pertaining to each program. The result is a global bird’s-eye view of the investment migration industry and a ranking of all the major programs on offer in both the residence and the citizenship sector.
Dr. Christian H. Kälin, an international immigration and citizenship law expert and Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says, “The Global Residence and Citizenship Programs publication is an invaluable tool for all those interested in alternative residence or citizenship as well as for the professionals who advise them, including private client advisors, private bankers, and lawyers. It also provides governments operating investment migration programs with a detailed picture of the broader industry landscape as well as where they fit within it.”
Citizenship-by-investment programs: Malta remains the global leader
For the fourth consecutive year, the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) is the top-ranking citizenship-by-investment program in the world, with a score of 79 out of 100. Malta is followed in the citizenship ranking by Cyprus in 2nd place (with a score of 72) and Austria in 3rd place (with a score of 70). Antigua and Barbuda is ranked 4th, with a score of 64.
European newcomers Moldova and Montenegro performed strongly, in 5th and 6th place respectively, mostly on account of their competitive pricing structure, minimal physical-visit requirements, strong transparency, and streamlined processing. St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada slid slightly down the ranking as a result of these new entries but maintained strong scores of 61 (St. Kitts and Nevis) and 59 (Grenada). St. Lucia scored 57 and holds 9th place overall. Dominica holds 10th place.
Middle Eastern newcomers Jordan and Turkey join the citizenship index at the bottom of the ranking, below Dominica, which has historically occupied the bottom place. Jordan, in 11th place, has a score of 51 out of 100, while Turkey, in 12th place, has a score of 44.
Residence-by-investment programs: Austria claims the top spot
Boasting a score of 79 out of 100, the Austria Private Residence Program has emerged as the world’s best residence-by-investment program, knocking Portugal off the top spot for the first time since the Global Residence and Citizenship Programs publication was launched in 2015. Now in 2nd place, Portugal has a score of 77, while newcomer Italy has claimed 3rd place, scoring 72.
The Thailand Elite Residence Program comes in at 4th place, with a score of 68, and the UK Tier 1 Investor Immigration Program holds 5th place, with a score of 67. The US’s EB-5 residence program only holds 8th position on the ranking. In bottom place, Bulgaria’s residence program scored 42 points out of a possible 100. 21 residence programs in total were surveyed.
A growing interest in residence and citizenship planning
According to Dr. Kälin, the need for a reference and benchmarking tool such as the Global Residence and Citizenship Programs report is more pressing than ever, as the investment migration industry continues to grow at a rapid pace.
“Demand for such programs is at an all-time high,” explains Dr. Kälin, “and new programs are being launched each year. In this high-growth climate, Henley & Partners is committed to providing authoritative, on-the-ground insights to those working in the field of investment migration as well as to the broader public. It is in precisely this spirit that we hold our annual Global Residence and Citizenship Conference, which is all about mapping the major trends and developments shaping our industry and our world.”
The annual event, now in its 12th year, will take place in Dubai this year, from 4 to 6 November. Over 400 delegates from more than 40 different countries are expected to attend, including presidents, prime ministers, senior government officials, leading academics, industry professionals, and top-tier financial and business media. Dr. Kälin says the conference offers delegates the opportunity to engage with the leading minds and ideas driving the current historic shift towards greater mobility and global citizenship.
Key speakers at the conference include Sophia, the world’s first-ever citizen-robot; the Prime Minister of Malta, the Hon. Dr. Joseph Muscat; President Milo Ðukanovic of Montenegro; H.E. Chiril Gaburici, Minister of Economy and Infrastructure for the Republic of Moldova; Nasif Kayed, Founder and CEO of The Arab Culturalist, and Taavi Kotka, former CIO of the Government of Estonia. Panel topics range from the relevance of blockchain and artificial intelligence for global citizenship, to the latest developments in due diligence and compliance, to the implications of the current trade wars on democracy, to the factors that make small states successful.
In a special panel entitled ‘Nature, Nurture, and Nationality’, Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov will discuss the 2018 edition of the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, explaining how the quality of a nationality affects the movement of talent and business.