Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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Millionaire Migration Trend: Best Places Wealthy People Live in

As major country collapses due to the effects of the covid pandemic, the world’s wealthy are looking at Plan B to protect their other assets and ensure global mobility.

The definition of ‘wealthy’ varies. But generally, HNWIs are hard-working millionaires–investors and entrepreneurs like you who have over US$1 million in wealth are considered high net worth individuals (HNWIs).

These are the citizens who can afford to get out and move to a new country when there are significant shifts, like a pandemic. But, unfortunately, the HNWIs are also the most vulnerable when there are changes to tax rates.

Wealth migration was put in the spotlight when the global pandemic hit.

What is wealth migration?

Wealth migration is a tool that the world’s wealthiest people: investors, and entrepreneurs like you use to protect themselves so they can pursue financial and personal freedom.

During covid, wealthy people who failed to get a second residence and second citizenship remained stuck in their countries without access to a backdoor. And what is worse, they are at risk of changing tax schemes that most governments are imposing to pay off pandemic-related debts, with no liberal tax deductions.

What do you think Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Steve Ballmer, Larry Page, or the wealthiest person on the planet Elon Musk, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index, shared during the pandemic?

Hint: it’s not their money habits. 

Although applaudable, Buffet dedicating billions to Melinda Gates Foundation by Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates did not grant him more freedom during the pandemic.

The big difference that mattered during the pandemic was whether they had a Plan B passport or not.

Nomad Capitalist Millionaire Migration Trends for 2022

Nomad Capitalist Millionaire Migration Trends for 2022

2022 signals a new era for millionaire migration.

Most millionaires globally, especially those from developing countries, look to more developed countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK to settle. Historically, these countries offer better wealth growth opportunities and personal security with low crime rates.

But in recent years, the shift in millionaire migration shows a new world wealth hub crown.

HNWI migrants now have renewed interest in residence by investment programs in Europe and some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

These jurisdictions draw HNWIs because of a robust economy, competitive tax rates, and offshore opportunities. In addition, some developing countries have great natural diversity that adds to their appeal for where wealthy people can escape to.

Here are Nomad Capitalist’s top ten countries that wealthy people immigrated to based on the most significant net inflows percentage increase.

1. The UAE: exceptional leap as a millionaire country

UAE gets the new world wealth hub crown for 2022 with the largest net inflows percentage of HNWIs.

The UAE tops the list of countries where most wealthy people migrate. UAE enjoys a projected four percent increase in its influx of high-net-worth individuals by the end of this year. And we forecast that it will continue to attract more wealthy individuals to its shores for the next two years.

UAE has become a favorite for investors to relocate because of its competitive tax rates. This makes it ideal for wealthy investors and entrepreneurs like you to diversify portfolios.

The Emirates is great if you are looking to offshore a portion of your business, expand your business, or if you want to start an entirely new business. In addition, the country has several residency by investment programs depending on how you want to expand your financial portfolio.

Another reason for the millionaire migration to the UAE is its golden visa program launched in 2019. The visa is valid for ten years and has been a magnet for foreign investors and talents. It also attracts the most wealthy people from Russia, India, Africa, and other Middle East countries looking for second citizenship.

As a well-developed nation, the lifestyle in UAE is very posh. The country is brimming with its high-end designer brands, luxurious properties, world-class shopping malls, and state-of-the-art recreational facilities. In addition, there are excellent international schools as well if you wish to migrate with your family.

2. Greece: gaining traction as a millionaire hub

Greece attracts ultra-wealthy individuals and families to migrate to their shores because of competitive tax rates and laidback lifestyles.

Greece is another favorite for migrating millionaires. The preferred EU country among wealthy migrants, Greece, has seen steadily rising numbers with a projected three percent increase in the inflow of rich people this year.

Many high- and ultra-high net worth individuals gain access via the Golden Visa program. The Greek Golden Visa program was introduced in 2013 and offered the lowest investment requirement for Europe. A minimum investment of €250,000 can already get you a real property investment and residence in Europe valid for five years. Furthermore, Greek residency by investment validity is renewable as long as you hold the required minimum investment. Moreover, the Greek Golden Visa program can be your path to a second citizenship.

One of Europe’s great success stories regarding investment visas, Greece continues to gain popularity among millionaire Chinese and Israeli citizens.

3. Israel: a spike in rich migration

The Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Jerusalem, and Netanya are a hit among French and Russian millionaires.

Third, on our list of preferred destinations for millionaire migration in Israel. This tiny Jewish country is estimated to see a two percent increase in the influx of millionaires by the end of 2022.

Israel does not have a citizen by investment program. It does, however, offer a B/5 investment visa for US citizens.

Introduced in May 2019, the B/5 investment visa is a reciprocity agreement between the two countries. The B/5 visa will allow US citizens to have Israeli legal residency if they make a substantial investment that will contribute to the economy and employ Israelis. Furthermore, the agreement has provisions for the investor to bring their spouse and minor children to live in Israel under the B/52 and B53 visas, respectively. This is great news for foreigners wishing to immigrate to Israel but does not qualify for Aliyah.

Many millionaires in the world move to Israel because of many business opportunities and high returns on investment. In addition, French and Russian millionaires have a preference for Israel.

4. Portugal: a constant favorite for wealth migration

Portugal is one of our Team’s favorite destinations in the EU. And we project a two percent increase in the net inflow of rich people by 2022.

Portugal is one of the best places to live if you’re rich. And it has effectively attracted foreign investment to its shores through its golden visa program.

Portugal’s Golden Visa is a residence by investment scheme for non-EU, non-swiss citizens who wish to invest in Portugal. For a minimum investment of €350,000, you’ll get a 5-year residency permit and access to the whole Schengen region. Moreover, Portugal’s golden visa scheme can be your gateway to citizenship, provided you meet eligibility requirements.

Portugal attracts millionaires from Brazil, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

5. Australia: the consistent performer as a millionaire country

Australia has been a constant favorite for the past decade for millionaire immigrants.

Australia has been a long-standing favorite for wealth migration. So is it the best place to live if you’re rich? Well, not exactly what we’ll recommend, but that’s up to you. Every person has their own set of lifestyle choices and preferences. That’s why we think it is essential to ensure that you get a bespoke, holistic investment and citizenship strategy that fits perfectly for your goals.

Australis is projected to see a one percent increase of high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals coming to its shores. Australia has been a constant favorite because of its status as a well-developed country, diversity, and high quality of life.

Australia offers many visa programs, including residence by investment, which can be your gateway toward Australian citizenship.

6. Singapore: top destination for rich migration in Asia

Singapore is gaining traction as the top wealth management center in the region.

Singapore is a small island nation-state in Southeast Asia that’s a favorite destination among expats, investors, and entrepreneurs because of its attractive business opportunities. As a result, it’s projected that Singapore will welcome a one percent increase in HNWI inflow to its shores by the end of 2022.

The country continues to attract ultra-high net worth individuals from other Asian countries. These Asian millionaires migrate looking to invest, offshore, or start a business, making the most of the country’s secure banking and gold storage.

Currently, Singapore does not offer any citizenship by investment. But your path to citizenship can start by acquiring a permanent residence.

Despite the tedious process, Singapore attracts the world’s wealth because its second citizenship is well worth it. The Singapore passport is 9th on our Nomad Passport Index 2022. Singapore has made it to our list for three consecutive years because of its high global mobility for visa-free travel. Furthermore, it also ranks high for international taxation laws, global perception, dual citizenship, and personal freedom.

7. New Zealand: continues to attract affluent families

New Zealand's accommodating immigration policies are to attract private wealth and international talent.

New Zealand is another major country attracting millionaires globally. According to our estimates, New Zealand will have a one percent increase in net inflows of the world’s millionaires by the end of the year.

New Zealand is a favorite destination among millionaire migrants because of several factors. For one, conducting business in the country is one of the easiest in the world. As such, this island nation has built a reputation in the past few years as being a haven for ultra-high net worth individuals with no foreseeable primary long-term concern.

Moreover, affluent individuals flock to New Zealand because of its stable democratic political system, which translates to multiple government sectors, including strong legal and judicial institutions and a resilient economy. It has become a fa

New Zealand is refocusing its immigration law to attract private wealth and increase its millionaire population. More HNWIs can acquire citizenship by easing resident visas, a pathway to permanent residence and subsequent second citizenship.

8. Switzerland: Europe’s prime wealth center

Switzerland is a favorite among crypto millionaires.

For the ultra-wealthy individuals, Switzerland has remained a preferred country for the past decade or so for many affluent individuals worldwide. As a result, the country remains a global leader in wealth management.

Besides attracting millionaire migrants, Switzerland is positioning itself as a go-to country for crypto millionaires. It has enacted pr0-crypto policies in addition to its relatively low tax rates on intellectual property and lump-sum taxes.

Our Team forecasts that Switzerland will retain the same net inflow of HNWIs pegged at 2,200.

9. USA: dwindling appeal for most rich people

During the past decade, the appeal to migrate to the US is fading fast, with UAE expected to overtake it in the foreseeable future.

The dwindling appeal of investment migration to the US is not surprising. The proposed higher taxes on the ‘evil dollar millionaires’ and increased crime rates are a turn-off for most wealthy migrants.

Travel restrictions imposed by some countries during the pandemic on US citizens made some affluent individuals more interested in the advantage of having second citizenship as a backup plan or renouncing their American citizenship altogether.

During the previous years, the US experienced significant emigration of its citizen. Americans have been moving to other countries for general wealth growth. Still, pursuing the American dream is real for some millionaires, especially Chinese millionaires. This year’s 1,500 inflow of high net worth individuals will compensate for the loss from wealth emigration.

Wealthy people who go to the US come for financial, tech, and entertainment industries.

10. Canada: not as attractive anymore for affluent individuals

Canada's major cities: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver, are favorite destinations for some wealthy immigrants.

Like the US, Canada has also lost its charm among wealthy migrants. But it has enough projected net inflow of 1,000 high-net-worth individuals to compensate for losing millionaires on its territory.

The loss in the appeal is mostly due to changes in government policies concerning tax and migration policies.

Canada already nixed its immigrant investor program where investors can loan the Canadian government money in exchange for permanent residence citing “little economic benefit.” Add to that; there is a proposal for citizenship-based taxation, Bill C-24 that makes second-class citizens out of migrants, and other new ways to tax the wealthy to pay off the government’s pandemic-related debt.

Some millionaires from UK and China still find Canada appealing.

Countries losing millionaires in 2022

the ongoing Russia-Ukraine created a mass exodus of millionaires.

And if countries are gaining millionaires worldwide, there are countries bound to be losing millionaires.

Russia and Ukraine are at the top of the countries with the highest net outflows. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war created an exodus of millionaires for both countries. Forty-two percent or almost half of the affluent families in Ukraine have already left the country for safety reasons. At the same time, 15 percent of Russian millionaires are leaving to avoid sanctions and economic instability.

China also tops the list of countries losing millionaires. Before, China is creating substantial new wealth than it is losing. But the recent outflows of 10,000 wealthy Chinese (-1 %) is an early warning sign of impending greater wealth emigration. In addition, China’s deteriorating relationships with Australia, the UK, and the US over Huawei are major long-term diplomatic concerns. Add to that the covid policies that are hurting the Chinese economy. The tight covid restrictions created a domino effect for economic, financial, and personal freedom.

Other countries losing millionaires include Brazil, Hong Kong, India, the UK, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

The role of a holistic strategy

The role of a holistic strategy, Nomad Capitalist Team

If you’ve been reading our blogs or watching our videos, you’d often hear us talk about creating a holistic strategy.

It is not enough to just focus on one area when making a Plan B. Instead, it should be like an expensive timepiece where all cogs are masterfully crafted to create a watch that not only functions to tell time but also creates a status symbol.

Talk to our Team so we can craft a holistic strategy that will fit perfectly like cogs to your lifestyle and investment goals so you can go where you’re treated best.

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