The Cheng family are multibillionaires who were very concerned about the situation in China. While the patriarch of the family opted to remain in China, his wife (who is also his business partner) and their two daughters, both in their mid-20s, decided to settle abroad. Mrs. Cheng acquired citizenship in Malta by purchasing a beautiful home in St. Julian’s. Her daughters, because they are both under 26, automatically and derivatively obtained passports. Mrs. Cheng and her younger daughter then established a gaming business in Malta, which has an entire economy built around the industry. Her older daughter acquired citizenship in Grenada and is in the process of establishing a business in the U.S., which she will operate with an E-2 visa-based bilateral investment treaty between the U.S. and Grenada.

Each of these three families (their identities obviously altered) are real people and typical of our clients. There are many more. They take advice from attorneys and accountants and are fully compliant with their international tax and reporting obligations. Similar to how investors diversify portfolios, these families diversify their global residence and nationalities in the face of risk. They take careful and legitimate steps to protect themselves and their families while gaining better travel and work access. And often, the countries which they choose to call home benefit from their new citizens.

The history of investment immigration has a growth trajectory and is innovative. There is a global competition among countries to attract capital and talent. HNWIs living in emerging markets acutely feel the strain of unmitigated risks and for this burgeoning cohort investment, immigration is a valuable benefit that provides safety and greater market access.

Reaz Jafri is head of the immigration practice of international law firm Withers and CEO of Withers Global Advisors (WGA).

First « 1 2 » Next