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Indians go West, take up ‘residence by investment’

  • Published
    20th Feb, 2023

In 2022, over 2.25 lakh Indians renounced Indian citizenship, the highest ever since 2011, according to latest data by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Key-highlights of the data

High net worth individuals (HNIs)

  • HNIs are those who have wealth of over $1 million or ?8.2 crore.
  • According to the Henley Global Citizens Report, there were 3.47 lakh such people in India in December 2021. 
    • Of these, 1.49 lakh HNIs were found in just nine cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Gurgaon, and Ahmedabad.
  • According to the report, India ranked fourth in the world in terms of privately-held wealth, after the U.S., China, and Japan
  • The data reflects how Indians, especially high net worth individuals (HNIs) are moving westward with new passports, in search of better opportunities, healthcare, quality of life, and education, among several other factors. 
  • There has been a surge in requests for residence-through-investment programmes especially for the S. EB-5 visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Australian Global Talent Independent Visa, Malta Permanent Residency Programme, and Greece Residence by Investment Program. 

How can it impact the economy?

  • Hurdle in achieving $5 trillion economy: The constant flow of rich Indians moving to another country or taking up residency in another country can be a concern for India as it plans to reach the $5 trillion economy.
  • Exodus of money: This exodus of big money doesn't bode well for a developing nation like India
  • Impact on tax collection: India also loses on the tax collection front when the rich leave.

The favourite location

  • The US, UK and Canada are favourite destinations. EU countries, as well as traditional favorites Dubai and Singapore, are gaining popularity among Indians.

The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program, the Australian Global Talent Independent Visa, the US EB5, the Malta Permanent Residence Programme and the Greece Golden Visa Program are among the most sought-after investment programmes by Indians for residency, according to a report by residence and citizenship planning company Henley & Partners

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