Coronavirus and Investor Migrant Preferences - How will Programs respond?


It is widely expected that the financial consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will be worse than the 2008 global financial crisis. The once relatively risk free passive investment migration programs could begin seeing elevated volatility and less return on the stable investments.


This is where we can help you. While the world remains uncertain about where the markets will go from here, we know that understanding and paying attention to the news, trends and responsiveness of one’s investments and migration plans is vital to limit the coronavirus-related risks. We understand that this is a concerning time for you due to the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic and we are here to assist in any way that we can.


Small Island Countries and the Effect on Residency and Citizenship Applications


For small island countries that rely on seasonal tourism and economic citizenship programs, like Cyprus utilising the Cypriot Citizenship Investment Program and luring thousands in with the warm climate and golden beaches, we expect the pandemic to have a particularly harsh economic impact. As travel bans remain in place, the industry is having to address the downturn, ranging from cruise and hotel cancellations, property sales decreasing and  a substantial decrease in citizenship applications. Larger nations that can offer permanent residency through investments will also be affected, albeit to a lesser extent, with the decision making process taking longer and the withdrawal of some fast-track options. 


However, the impact on small island countries is likely to result in increased flexibility in the coming months to ensure the attraction is still visible to those considering making an application. We may see this flexibility be applied to various different elements, such as widening the list of nationals who can apply, reducing fees, being more lenient on the documentation and requirements and processing applications as quick as possible. 


Freedom of movement issues: The possibility of reduced fees


The 21st century and the advent of visa-free travel has allowed citizenship investment programmes to thrive. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, several European Union states used this as a selling point in order to increase applications. With mobility scores have been used as a deciding factor for potential investors, particularly regarding the Chinese market. With freedom of movement paused across the globe, visa-free travel is presently an issue. 


Food security and Coronavirus: Future investment opportunities in this area


This pandemic has exposed the issue of global food security, that the role of food supply and  the ongoing supply of organic products from land and sea can greatly contribute, not only to the needs of a country’s own people but as a resilient export as well. Furthermore, instead of strengthening individual export production, a combined regional output would help make dents in international demand. 


Although residency and citizenship has historically been targeted towards real estate, this should no longer be your only focus. Instead, we expect several future investments to be targeted at agriculture and fishery, small-scale manufacturing, and health services, due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic being felt within these areas.


If you are a high net worth individual in such sectors already considering a residency application, then our experts are on hand to address and queries or concerns that you may have 


The overall benefits of having alternative citizenship and residency


It is no secret that holding another citizenship or being able to operate and reside in another country is a valuable asset. The benefits are endless, whether it is the property ownership benefits, the travelling freely, business opportunities, the tax residency, the legal protections or the social systems such as school and healthcare, there is something of interest to everyone. 


With the increase of globalisation, being able to move around the globe is becoming increasingly important for both businesses and individuals alike. Pair this with the unfortunate increase of wars and political instability, second citizenship and residency provides an indispensable safeguard to one’s personal, professional and financial interests. 


Next steps: How we can help you


We appreciate that everyone is feeling the effects of the coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly. With many international events being cancelled and all travel and relocation plans put on hold, many of life’s norms are becoming a challenge. However, we also understand that there is life behind the chaos and in order to limit the length and severity of the disruption, one will need to plan now to ensure that their delayed plans can come to fruition as soon as possible. 


As such, we recommend that if you are considering any form of immigration or citizenship application, whether now or in a years’ time, you begin this process now.  This is to ensure that you are in control and can plan for the continued effects of the pandemic. 


Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including UKTurkeyVanuatuEU & the Caribbean.


For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at or call +44 207 292 2977