Affluent Hong Kong Nationals Rush on Investment Residency and Citizenship Programmes
As Hong Kong’s political unrest goes on, an increasing number of Hong Kong’s HNWIs are looking for alternative passports. They are seeking stability and leveraging investment migration options as a future-proof solution.
Protests started this June followed by a proposed law on extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. Although the proposal was rejected, demonstrations have been shaking the city ever since, with no sign of ebbing. To mitigate the risks, many Hongkongers have resorted to Citizenship by Investment programmes (CIP).
The programmes have thrived in Europe and the Caribbean among other destinations. Their costs may vary greatly from $100,000 in Antigua & Barbuda to around €2 million in Cyprus. Investments may take different forms - real estate, bonds, non-refundable donations, etc. In any case, the coveted result is the same: a new passport that unlocks enhanced travel mobility and security for its holder.
Hong Kong-based migration consultants have witnessed a two- to four-fold boost in sales since June 2019. As the unrest becomes more violent, many individuals and their families are looking for safer hubs. Experts say Hongkongers are mostly attracted by EU offerings, including those of Ireland, Malta and Portugal. The latter, for instance, has become a magnet for investment immigrants due to its reasonable real estate prices and tolerant taxation.
With almost ~180,000 millionaires as of 2018, Hong Kong remains a huge market for immigration consultancies. Hong Kong ranks #15 on the list of the most HNWI-packed countries, according to Credit Suisse.
Protests aside, experts believe many Hong Kong applicants follow the global trend aiming to yield greater opportunities for themselves and their children. As with most investment migrants, their priorities are visa-free travel, access to high-quality education, finance and high living standards.
Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the EU & the Caribbean.
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