An Insight into Current Business Immigration Landscape

July 30, 2018

A combination of sound business and additional personal benefits, business immigration is becoming an increasingly popular options among entrepreneurs looking to expand their investment portfolio internationally.

In an attempt to draw foreign capital willing to commit to a long term business relationship, numerous countries around the world have created investment citizenship and investment residency programs designed to offer a wide array of benefits in exchange for a significant investment, including tax relief, free travel, quality of life, and all the aspects of enjoying a residential status or a citizenship of a country.

The landscape of investment immigration is constantly changing and evolving, and it is important to stay in tune with the latest developments across the globe. The following lines present the key aspects of business immigration in 2018.

Steady rise

A relatively recent concept, investment immigration was first introduced in the 1980’s by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, and it quickly gained momentum, as other countries recognized its potential. And while it wasn’t immune to various geo-political instabilities, business immigration has seen a steady and continuous increase over the course of the past few decades.

Today, business immigration is not showing signs of slowing down, despite major global political developments such as the current US administration tightening its immigration policies and the uncertainty of how and when will Brexit be implemented. While these developments have forced prospective investors to take a more cautious approach to dealing with these destination, it hasn’t discouraged them from business immigration altogether – they are simply looking elsewhere. And with global events dedicated to business immigration hitting a record number in 2018, there are no signs that the trend will slow down.

Expanding program offer

While business immigration is a rich man’s game and it will remain that way in the case of most countries, the recent developments have seen a visible trend in the diversification of programs on offer. In the earlier days most programs required a straight up investment, whether into real estate, government issued bonds, science and culture funds, etc., many programs nowadays offer a variety of options, such as creating jobs in your new country of choice, investing annually over an extended period instead of a fixed one-time investment, or shifting focus from direct investments into business mentoring and angel investments, as well as a number of other creative models.

Golden visas

Golden visa programs often change requirements for investor-applicants, depending on the current strategic objectives of countries offering said programs. Recent years have shown a steady shift towards long-term commitment and the care for the overall business ecosystem, especially in the developing countries. Overall, the entry prices have gone up, with the average investment required currently sitting at about $1 million.

There are stark differences from country to country, though. For instance, Malta residency has an entry fee of EUR 290.000, making it highly affordable for an EU member with a high standard of life. Therefore, if you are looking to invest in a second passport, it is essential that you carefully review all relevant investment residency and citizenship plans to learn about the investment amounts, types and processing periods for each counties offering golden visas.

Economic growth

What started out as a creative initiative from a tiny underdeveloped country, investment immigration has steadily become recognized as a significant economic driver, both for global superpowers and developing countries. Today, most of the countries in the world, including global superpowers such as US, UK and China, implement some form of investment immigration programs in order to attract healthy foreign capital that not only brings the immediate benefit of an investment, but a sustained positive effect on local economies in which the investors operate.

With global mobility taking up greater and greater significance in the modern business landscape, business immigration has emerged as a convenient model for entrepreneurial spirits to seek out new opportunities in new markets, while also enjoying the personal benefits provided by residency or citizenship of a foreign country.

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