UK 'successful' in attracting wealthy migrants since 2000

Monday, 13 July 2015

The UK has been far more successful at attracting high-net-worth migrants than any other country in the past 14 years, according to a report from the consultancy New World Wealth.

There was a net inflow of 125,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) into the UK in the 2000-2014 period, the report found. The country's main attraction is, of course, London, with its language advantage, international nature, ease of travel to EU countries, lack of restrictions on moving money and buying property, and high-quality education system.

The US was in second place, but far behind the UK with a net HNWI immigration of 52,000. Singapore was third with 46,000, followed by Australia, Hong Kong, the UAE, Canada and Turkey.

The main sources of wealthy emigrés are China and India, where the HNWI populations have soared in recent years. China saw an outflow of 91,000 in 2000-2014, followed by India with 61,000 and France with 42,000. A significant amount of HNWI migration also came from Italy, Russia, Indonesia, South Africa and Egypt.

Singapore was a popular destination for Chinese and Indonesian nationals, while French and Italian HNWIs tended to move to the UK, Switzerland and Luxemburg.

The figures were compiled from a survey conducted by LIO Global, comparing the domicile of a sample of 60,000 global HNWIs in 2000 with the same sample in 2014 (HNWIs being defined as individuals with net assets above USD1 million, excluding their primary residences). It found a large rise in second citizenship applications, with the number of people changing domicile or immigrating having increased dramatically since the turn of the century.

'The majority of investors are typically looking towards the EU', commented LIO's Nadia Read. 'Cyprus and Malta, in particular, are very popular as they offer direct citizenship without long waiting or residence periods. Portugal's Golden Residence Visa, as well as the Hungarian Residence Bond program, have also seen significant interest, as they offer investors residence in exchange for a smaller investment than Malta or Cyprus.

The Caribbean has also recently seen strong demand as countries such as Antigua and Barbuda or Grenada offer direct citizenship in under six months, added Read.


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