If you had the money to buy citizenship to a COVID-19-free country, would you do it? Since the beginning of the year, citizenship applications from the super rich through Henley & Partners have increased by 42%.
In just three months, Henley & Partners, one of the world’s biggest citizenship brokers, has registered a rise in 42% in applications for new citizenships and the number of enquiries into getting new citizenships has risen by 25%. The firm specialises in applications and guidance to acquire citizenship by investment and has seen more high-net worth individuals interested in these schemes since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
What do they attribute this increasing interest in citizenship by investment schemes to? An Italian multi-millionaire said to Robb Report that the quality of healthcare and the decisions to close borders was a factor. “We want to know there is a safe place, with good medical services, that the whole family can go to at short notice if we need to”, he said.
The COVID-19 crisis, and particularly the way governments have reacted to the outbreak seems to have prompted individuals who have the means to consider having safety nets. It seems, from the data gathered from Henley & Partners that countries with high quality healthcare were in high demand but also, those where the necessary actions were taken swiftly enough. For example, the United Kingdom, which is usually very attractive to investors and high-net individuals has not been sought after despite also having a relatively good healthcare system. Indeed, it seems the lack of quick decision making from the authorities is a deterrent.
So, where are most people seeking citizenship or permanent residency? According to Henley & Partners, Australia, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and Montenegro are high up on the list. All these countries offer either citizenship or permanent residency to high-net individuals who are willing to invest or donate to particular funds in the relevant countries.. For example, one can acquire Maltese citizenship by investing $1 million to $2 million and Austrian citizenship for around $ 8 million.