Record numbers of wealthy US clients ask about foreign residence, citizenship: migration


Angle down icon An icon in the shape of an angle pointing down. Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program is particularly popular among Americans, Henley & Partners said. Lisbon is pictured. Alexander Spatari/Getty Images An investment-migration consultancy says record numbers of Americans have asked it about getting citizenship abroad.Portugal’s “golden visa” is the most popular option among Henley & Partners’ US clients, it said.Such programs offer the “ultimate insurance policy” against economic and political turmoil, it added.

An investment-migration consultancy says it has had record numbers of inquiries from wealthy Americans looking for ways to get residence rights abroad or additional citizenships.

Mehdi Kadiri, the head of North America at Henley & Partners, said in the company’s 2024 USA Wealth Report that in 2023 it saw more Americans inquire about residence and citizenship by investment than in any other year, beating the record set in 2022.

Many countries across the world offer programs whereby people can gain residence or citizenship simply by investing a certain amount of money in the country.

Henley & Partners also said it received more applicants for residence and citizenship by investment programs by US citizens than it did from any other nationality.

Dominic Volek, the company’s head of private clients, said that alternative citizenship and residence rights were the “ultimate insurance policy” against economic and political uncertainties.

The most popular route for Henley & Partners’ US clients is the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program, a residence-by-investment program for non-European Union nationals, known as a golden visa. It allows investors to live and work in Portugal and have visa-free travel within the EU-wide Schengen Area if they transfer at least 500,000 euros, or about $542,000, to qualifying investment funds.

Programs offered by Malta, Spain, Greece, and Italy are also high on American citizens’ lists, Henley & Partners said.

The programs allow wealthy Americans to live in the US as their primary residence but relocate “at any point,” it said in the report.

Henley & Partners said that reasons Americans were seeking migration through investment included mitigating political risk, getting a safety net amid international conflicts, creating business opportunities abroad, and reducing taxes.

“With political divisions and societal tensions at an all-time high, American investors, entrepreneurs, and wealthy families are increasingly hedging their bets and pursuing backup citizenship or residence abroad, signaling declining faith in the domestic outlook,” Kadiri said in the report.

“We anticipate similar strong demand in 2024,” Kadiri added, “as more high-net-worth individuals across the political spectrum seek to hedge uncertainty.”



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