Families scramble for Citizenship of the world’s safest countries
As travel restrictions between countries start to relax & the pandemic exposes inadequacies of the healthcare systems of some countries, individuals & families are rushing to become citizens of the safest countries in the world.
Switzerland is the world’s safest country, according to a new ranking by ‘Deep Knowledge Analytics, a research company. Already there has been a run on residency in the country. According to the Swiss Statistics office, 11,091 people applied for residency in June, up from 8798 in May.
New Zealand, South Korea, Germany & Japan make up the top 5 safest countries in the world, says Deep Knowledge Analytics, which monitored things like quarantine efficiency, healthcare readiness & government efficiency in compiling the ranking. These countries are also seeing a surge in interest for citizenship & residency. Immigration New Zealand’s website has had a flood of enquiries. On average, somebody in the USA clicked on the website every 30 seconds in the last month & interest in migrating to the country is up by 160% according to officials.
Knight Frank, a real estate consultancy, says that 34% of clients surveyed are looking to relocate to a different country. Of those 2% said they were looking at New Zealand. Another 2% mentioned Portugal. Portugal, which offers residency in return for an investment, saw a record number of applicants for its ‘Golden Visa’ in May.
While many acquire a second citizenship for visa-free travel or to diversify their investments, an increasing number are looking at residency as well. It gives people the “option to relocate at short notice if they need to”.
But the biggest factor that will determine which country’s passport is the most sought after will be price. For example, Switzerland only offers Residency (not citizenship) & applicants are subject to tax liabilities starting at CHF 150,000 to over CHF 1 million per year for new residents. On the other hand, investment visas for New Zealand start at NZ$ 3 million. Portugal is cheaper (starting at € 350,000). However, one of the most popular destinations this year is the Caribbean, where 5 island nations offer citizenship for a very reasonable price.
Once a preserve of the jet-set, the pandemic has fuelled the global citizenship market making it both available & desirable to more people. Another factor now at play, post-pandemic, is the concept of remote working with fewer people coming into consultant offices & instead choosing to communicate via remote video conferencing.
Source : forbes.com