Malta and Portugal have top migration and citizenship programmes, new research suggests

by Ray Clancy on November 10, 2017

There are lots of programmes around the world aimed at attracting expats to invest and gain residency of a particular country with Malta and Cyprus coming out top on a new analysis.

Malta is ranked number one in the global residence and citizenship report 2017/2018 from Henley & Partners which is regarded as the industry standard for benchmarking and measuring the attractiveness of investment migration programmes.

Malta

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The report evaluates the programmes using a panel of independent experts which includes immigration and citizenship lawyers, economists, country risk experts, academic researchers, and other specialists and they take into account a broad range of factors.

Malta has come out top for the third year in row with its Individual Investor Program (MIIP), scoring 81 out of 100. In second place is Cyprus with a score of 72, followed by Austria, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada makes up the top five.

The eight citizenship programmes included in the report were evaluated according to reputation, quality of life, visa free access, compliance, financial requirements, residence requirements and ease and flexibility of relocating.

In the residence by investment section, Portugal’s golden visa scheme came out top for a third year in a row, followed by Austria and Belgium. These schemes are very popular due to including property as part of the investment.

According to Christian Kälin, an international immigration and citizenship law expert and group chairman of Henley & Partners, there is a growing interest in residence and citizenship planning.

Separate research from the firm that evaluates nationality in terms of legal status for developing talents and business has found that Germany comes out as the best in the world.

Germany scored 82.7% out of a possible 100% on the index while the global mean was 39.32%, with Afghanistan sitting at the bottom of the index with a score of just 14.6%.

France and Denmark shared second place on the index with a score of 82.4%, followed by Iceland with 81.3%. The UK also made it into the top of the index, coming 12th with a score of 79.2%. The US, meanwhile, ranked only 29th with a score of 68.8%, mainly due to its relatively low Settlement Freedom compared to nationalities of the European Union.

According to Dimitry Kochenov, a leading constitutional law professor with a long standing interest in European and comparative citizenship law, said that the key premise of the index is that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities, as opposed to, simply, states.

‘Everyone has a nationality of one or more states. States differ to a great degree, for example Russia is huge, Malta is small, Luxembourg is rich; Mongolia is less so. Just as with the states, the nationalities themselves differ too,’ he explained.

‘Importantly, there is no direct correlation between the power of the state and the quality of its nationality. Nationality plays a significant part in determining our opportunities and aspirations,’ he added.

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