Mideast Fuels Demand For Citizenship By Investment Programs

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 01 May, 2014

Nearly 60 percent of applicants for second citizenship or second residence programs come from the Middle East, but Asia is the new frontier with ultra wealthy Chinese and Indian nationals and non-residents likely to spur demand for these programs in the next five years.

These are some of the key findings of a joint special report released by Wealth-X, a firm which provides information on ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals, and financial advisory firm Arton Capital. The report was unveiled at a Dubai forum on global citizenships.

Global citizenship programs offer individuals and their families residency and citizenship options in a host country, with economic investment in a pre-defined list of assets within the country as a precondition.

The report, titled A Shrinking World: Global Citizenship for UHNW Individuals, also shows that the average net worth of a second citizenship applicant is well above the global average for UHNW individuals. Second citizenship applicants have an average net worth of USD205m, compared to the global UHNW average of USD135m.

The report also revealed that applicants have better liquidity, more than USD66m per person, nearly double the global average of USD35m. This means that these individuals can easily meet all the requirements for citizenship or immigrant investor programs with their liquid investments.

The report shows that Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt provide the highest number of UHNW second citizenship applicants, with nearly 40 percent of all applicants worldwide coming from these three countries. The United States and Russia are the fifth and sixth on the list of countries with the most applicants. Meanwhile, Europe is the most popular region in terms of UHNW second citizenship applications, accounting for nearly half of the total number of applications.

The savings gained through participation in these schemes can be immense. For example, a UHNW individual moving from the US to Dubai can save nearly USD1m on capital gains tax alone, the report says.

The report highlights advantages a second citizenship offers to both the individual and their family as well as the country they are applying to. These including: stability and security, tax efficiency, ease of travel, a higher standard of living, better quality of life, increased options for their children's education, and more widespread investment opportunities.

Tags: Individuals | Pakistan | Russia | Wealth | Citizenship | Tax | Investment | India | Accounting | Education | Egypt | United States | Dubai | Lebanon | Expats | Europe | Middle East |


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