- There has been a sharp increase in the number of Americans enquiring about alternative residence and citizenship programmes
Eric Major, CEO of Henley & Partners, said there was a similar spike in interest among Americans looking for alternative citizenships and residences when George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004.
"We are seeing a comparable trend emerging now among wealthy Americans who wonder what the next four years will hold. There has been a significant increase in enquiries to the Henley & Partners website since the news broke," said Major.Recent unsettling world events such as the attempted Turkish coup, French terror attacks, Brexit and now the Trump presidency are having a significant impact on interest by wealthy individuals and families in alternative residence and citizenship, he pointed out.
"Such spikes happen when citizens become uncertain about the future of their country. They seek safer options for their families. As the possibility increased that Trump would win the election on Wednesday morning, the Canadian Immigration website crashed due to an overload of visitors," said Henley & Partners, which has been appointed by the government of Grenada to restructure and enhance its citizenship-by-investment programme.
Major said in contrast to 12 years ago though, there are now many more residence and citizenship-by-investment programmes available to choose from.
"More and more governments are embracing these programmes as means to stimulate economic development and growth, and there is a growing number of wealthy and talented individuals looking to diversify their citizenship portfolios to give themselves and their families greater opportunity, freedom and security.
"Governments are recognising the significant benefits of attracting global citizens who can make an exceptional contribution to their own economic development and advancement. Besides the substantial initial investment, these individuals bring proven business success, world-class skills and international experience, valuable networks and contacts that can benefit the country and its citizens enormously," said Major.
Malta's Individual Investor Programme was recently ranked as the top citizenship-by-investment programme in the Global Citizenship Program Index 2016. The index considers a broad range of factors such as immigration law, tax and quality of living, as well as transparency, risk and compliance issues.
"Americans now have the world to choose from when it comes to acquiring an alternative residence or citizenship. Both the relatively new Malta and Cyprus citizenship programmes give successful applicants the right to live and work in 32 European countries, including the 28 EU member states, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Luxembourg. The investment amount is reasonable given the privileges granted, and the application process is quite efficient. There are also numerous prestige residence programmes in Europe, including the UK, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria, and the Investment Migration Program in Canada remains popular among Americans," said Major.