India is a significant source of demand for investment immigration programs across the world. From the US EB-5 visa and Portugal’s golden visa to Malta’s citizenship program, India topped the list of countries with the highest investment immigration inquiries in 2020.
The pandemic and all its disruptions notwithstanding, wealthy Indians showed keen interest to invest and qualify for fast-track permanent residence in the EU as well as North America.
Since Indians cannot hold dual citizenship, the bulk of HNI demand for investment immigration is restricted to permanent residence and golden visa programs.
Conventional reasons for HNIs to explore investment immigration include moving out of war-affected regions, escaping political turmoil or economic stagnation, as well as better educational and career prospects for children.
A country’s track record in handling the pandemic seems to have become an additional factor that investors are considering. With coronavirus currently raging in India, it seems likely that interest in investment immigration programs will increase further.
The US was second only to India in terms of investment immigration inquiries through 2020. Pakistan, South Africa, and Nigeria were the other three countries in this list.
India Has Faced Steady Wealth Drain For Many Years
India is an emerging economy where an ambitious entrepreneur with business acumen and political support can make it to the big leagues. However, the country has been witnessing a steady outflow of wealth.
India lost 7,000 HNIs in 2019, which comprises around two percent of its total HNI population. This trend is likely to have carried forward into 2020 as well with the industry witnessing a 62 percent jump in inquiries in 2019.
With more than 15,000 enquiries received in 2019, 2020 may well have seen an exodus of 12,000 HNIs. The pandemic may have compelled even wealthy Indians to defer their travel plans but they are likely to move out once the situation normalizes.
Why Indians Love Golden Visas
Portugal, Greece, Spain, and even Malta offer permanent residence to luxury property investors. This means buying a luxurious vacation home in an exotic location in the EU is enough to help wealthy Indians qualify.
Countries like Greece offer excellent investment opportunities for Indians seeking to diversify their investment portfolio and add foreign real estate to the mix.
Other reasons include the desire to spread personal assets through multiple jurisdictions as well as getting unrestricted access to developed markets like the EU. A permanent resident of the EU enjoys visa-free access to all Schengen countries.
Indian HNI demand does not always come from India. Wealthy professionals working in international finance centres like Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore contribute to total Indian demand for investment immigration.
Indian professionals in the US face waiting periods running into many decades under EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 visas. Demand from such professionals contributed significantly to the surge in Indian demand for the EB-5 visa.
Developed countries like Canada, the US, and Australia have traditionally been the preferred destinations for wealthy Indians seeking a better life abroad. However, Indians have begun exploring alternate options because these destinations are either too expensive or involve extremely long processing times.
In Canada, a good option for business-minded Indians is the Start-Up Visa.
The Start-Up Visa program grants Canadian permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs.
Under the Canada Start-Up Visa program, three types of private-sector investors are considered: angel investors, venture capital funds, and business incubators. A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business.
Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000. A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business.
Candidates can also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totalling $75,000. A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program. It is up to the immigrant investor to develop a viable business plan that will meet the due diligence requirements of these government-approved designated entities.
That’s usually done with the help of business consultants in Canada’s start-up ecosystem with oversight from experienced corporate business immigration lawyers who can ensure a start-up’s business concept meets all industry-required terms and conditions.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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