In 2016, the world’s ultra-high net worth (UHNW) population grew by 3.5% to 226,450 individuals. Their combined wealth also increased in 2016, expanding by 1.5% to $27trn. New York remains the world’s largest UHNW city but two other global financial hubs, Hong Kong and Tokyo, maintained their top-three city status. If North America recorded the strongest growth in 2016, Asia was the only other region to register a significant increase in UHNW wealth, which rose by 3.5%. Asia’s market share of the global wealthy population has been increasing steadily and accounted for over 26% in 2016, up from just above 18% a decade earlier. The number of wealthy individuals is also expected to expand rapidly in other high-growth Asian countries. The ten markets that make up the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) for instance form the 6th largest economy in the world and is projected to become the 4th largest by 2025. Last year approximately 82,000 millionaires emigrated from their home countries. This is a 28% increase from 2015’s 64,000 wealthy migrants. A growing trend amongst these wealthy Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Myanmese individuals is the desire to obtain a residency in developed countries or a second citizenship. There are a good number of reasons why wealthy people apply to these programs including personal security and mobility. In Asia and Cambodia in particular, the primary reason behind obtaining a second passport has been the limited travel-ability of Asians Cambodians. Cambodian nationals have limited visa-free access: 48 countries without visa, Thais nationals visa-free to 71 countries. Another significant driver for these citizenship programs is the need for HNWIs to ensure financial safety by protecting their assets but also to diversify their investments. The world of capitalism has created more incentives for both individuals and businesses in Southeast Asians to migrate to various countries around the world. More than 15 countries from all over the world are equipped with programs to welcome Cambodians for immigration and to offer privileges of a permanent residency or citizenship. Several countries that are popular among Asian investors, such as Canada, Australia, USA, UK propose permanent residency. The Commonwealth of Dominica or and the Republic of Vanuatu offer for instance investors and family member lifetime citizenship. Besides travel visa-free, the government incentivizes other benefits in lower or free tuition fees, social security and affordable medical system, and even state allowances for investors as well as their family members. Here are top countries for Asians
Thailand offers 5 to 20 years residency program starting from THB 500,000 to THB 2,000,000 with VIP services in terms of clearing customs and immigration formalities and banking services. Foreigners will be given privileges to reside in the Kingdom for 20 years visa through a membership of only THB 2,000,000 (USD 66,666).
One can obtain a green card by investing USD 500,000 into a business that creates at least 10 jobs for the US Economy. Commonwealth of Dominica, 4 other Caribbean Nations, and the Republic of Vanuatu” The Commonwealth of Dominica and Saint-Lucia offer a government-donation of a minimum of $100,000 or a real-estate investment options with internationally acclaimed hotels such as Siam Kempinski Dominica. Those island countries provide an access to citizenship and being able to travel to 125 countries without needing a visa (UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, China, Dubai etc.). Recently, the Republic of Vanuatu created the Development Support Program giving investor the possibility to become citizen of this beautiful Pacific island by making a donation to the Government of USD 220,000.
Cyprus and Europe
Cyprus offer great flexibility given that it is within the European Union and therefore provide their citizens with the same EU rights provided to all EU nationals including legal protection and settlement rights throughout all 28 EU countries and Switzerland. Cyprus offer access to 159 countries for an investment of EUR 2 million in real estate. Other popular programs include Portugal where one need to purchase EUR 500,000 property to obtain a 5 years’ residency right, then permanent residency and ultimately citizenship after six years. UK is still very popular among Cambodian nationals and path to permanent residency starts at GBP 200,000. France offers a 4 year’s resident card renewable if the applicant invests EUR 300,000 in a project that creates job for the French economy. Such investment is a bridge to obtain a 10-Year resident card, Permanent Residence and French Citizenship for the investor and his family.
Australia secured the top destination for the second year in a row: 12,000 high net worth individuals moved to Australia in 2016. The program leading to permanent residency starts at AUD 1.5 mil. up to AUD 5 mil.
The 5 Programs mentioned above are just some of the countries designed to support immigration and facilitation of people and enterprises.
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