This article discusses millionaire migration trends, what causes wealthy individuals to move from one place to another, and the places they are moving toward.
The definition of ‘wealthy’ varies. But generally, high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are hard-working millionaires, investors, and entrepreneurs, who have over $1 million in wealth.
These are the people who can afford to get out and move to a new country when there are major shifts, like a pandemic or a monetary crisis. The HNWIs are also the most vulnerable when there are changes to tax rates.
If you are a seven or eight-figure entrepreneur looking to get a Plan B, diversify your assets, or simply go where you’re treated best, set up a call with us today. We will create a holistic offshore strategy for you that helps you legally reduce your taxes and increase your peace of mind.
What is Wealth Migration?
Wealth migration is a tool that rich investors and entrepreneurs use to protect themselves so they can pursue financial and personal freedom.
During the pandemic, rich people who failed to get a second residence or citizenship remained stuck in their countries without access to a backdoor. And by doing so, they put themselves at risk of changing tax schemes that most governments imposed to pay off pandemic-related debts.
Historically, major country collapses(due to pandemics, war, etc.) have usually been preceded by an accelerated outflow of wealthy people, who are often the first to leave as they have the means to do so.
Nomad Capitalist Millionaire Migration Trends for 2023
Most millionaires globally, especially those coming from developing countries, look to more developed countries like the US, 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 Asia, Europe, and in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
These jurisdictions draw HNWIs because of a robust economy, competitive tax rates, and offshore opportunities. To add to their appeal, some developing countries have great natural diversity that wealthy people can escape to.
Here are Nomad Capitalist’s top countries that wealthy people immigrated to based on the largest net inflows percentage increase.
Exceptional leap as a millionaire country
The UAE has become a favorite for the world’s wealthy 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. The visa is valid for five to 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 high-end designer brands, luxurious properties, world-class shopping malls, and state-of-the-art recreational facilities. There are excellent international schools as well if you wish to migrate with your family.
Gaining traction as a millionaire hub
Greece is another favorite for migrating millionaires. The preferred EU country among wealthy migrants, Greece, has seen a steadily rising inflow of rich people.
Many high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals gain access to Greece 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 get you a real property investment and residence in Greece. 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.
Spike on rich migration
Third, on our list of preferred destinations for millionaire migration in Israel.
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. This 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 B-53 visas, respectively. This is great news for foreigners wishing to immigrate to Israel but does not qualify for Aliyah.
Millionaires move to Israel because of many business opportunities and high returns on investment. In addition, French and Russian millionaires have a preference for Israel.
A constant favorite for wealth migration
Portugal is one of our favorite destinations in the EU.
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 also has a brilliant Non-Habitual Residence program allowing most types of foreign income to be tax-exempt for ten years.
Portugal attracts millionaires from Brazil, China, and the United Arab Emirates.
Top destination for rich migration in Asia
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. It’s also one of the countries with the largest numbers of ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
The country continues to attract wealthy individuals from other Asian countries. These Asian millionaires migrate looking to invest, offshore, or start a business and make 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. Note, however, that it has gotten almost impossible to gain residence in Singapore.
Despite the tedious process, Singapore attracts the world’s wealth because its second citizenship is well worth it. The Singapore passport is one of the best in the world. Singapore has made it to our list for three consecutive years now 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.
Continues to attract affluent families
New Zealand is another major country attracting millionaires globally.
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 sectors of the government, including strong legal and judicial institutions and a resilient economy.
New Zealand is refocusing its immigration law to attract private wealth and further increase its millionaire population. More HNWIs can acquire citizenship through easing of resident visas which is a pathway to permanent residence and subsequent second citizenship.
Europe’s prime wealth center
For ultra-wealthy individuals, Switzerland remains a preferred country for the past decade or so. The country remains a global leader in terms of wealth management.
Besides attracting millionaire migrants, Switzerland is positioning itself as a go-to country for crypto millionaires. It has enacted pro-crypto policies in addition to its relatively low tax rates on intellectual property tax and lump sum taxes.
Dwindling appeal to 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 ‘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 a 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.
Wealthy people who go to the US come for financial, tech, and entertainment industries.
Countries Losing Millionaires in 2023
If there are countries around the world gaining millionaires, there are countries bound to be losing millionaires.
Russia and Ukraine are at the top of the list of countries with the highest net outflows. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war created an exodus of millionaires for both countries. Almost half of the affluent families in Ukraine have already left the country for safety reasons. Just this year (2023), more than 15,000 millionaires are expected to leave Russia to avoid sanctions and economic instability.
China also tops the list of countries losing millionaires. China is creating substantial new wealth than it is losing. But the recent outflows of over 10,000 rich Chinese is an early warning sign of impending greater wealth emigration. China’s deteriorating relationships with Australia, the UK, and the US is a major long-term diplomatic concern. Add to that the pandemic policies – the tight pandemic restrictions created a major long-term concern for economic, financial, and personal freedom.
Other countries losing millionaires include Brazil, Hong Kong, India, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
Importance of Having a Holistic Plan B
When making a Plan B, it is not enough to just focus on one area. You need to treat it holistically.
A holistic offshore strategy covers financial planning, lifestyle planning, corporate strategy, and immigration strategy all at once. Each part of the Plan complements the other to create your best life at a place where you’re treated best.
If that’s what you want, set up a call with us today, and let us help you start your offshore journey.