IM People in The News

Golden Visas Account for Just 3% of Property Deals in Portugal: IM People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • Jürg Steffen and Dominic Volek of Henley & Partners
  • Andrew Amoils of New World Wealth
  • Bernardo Mendia
  • Alexandra Victoria-Bonte of One Stop Properties
  • Paulo Silva of Savills Portugal
  • Luis Santos of Alpac Capital

SCMP – Where are millionaires moving to in 2022? 

The world’s wealthy are on the move. New research suggests that the number of millionaires (measured in US dollars) relocating to new countries is a trend only somewhat hampered by the pandemic, and predicts that 2023 will be a record year.

The “Henley Global Citizens Report”, jointly produced by international residence and citizenship by investment advisory firm Henley & Partners, and wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, shows Russia and Ukraine are experiencing the greatest exodus of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). Less predictably, destinations that traditionally attracted wealthy investors – notably the UK and US – are losing their lustre.

Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says HNWI migration was a rising trend over the past decade until it dipped in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. He added that the 2022 forecast “reflects an extremely volatile environment worldwide”.


The relevance, said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, is that HNWI migration figures are an excellent barometer for the health of an economy. “Affluent individuals are extremely mobile and their movements can provide an early warning signal into future country trends,” he said.

“Countries that draw wealthy individuals and families to migrate to their shores tend to be robust, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates, and attractive business opportunities.”


Dominic Volek, group head of private clients at Henley & Partners, said the UAE is expected to see the highest net influx of HNWIs globally in 2022, with 4,000 arrivals forecast – a dramatic increase of 208 per cent on 2019’s net inflow of 1,300.

Bloomberg – China’s Ultra-Rich Are Losing Their Favorite Escape Route to Europe

It’s not for lack of demand. Quite the contrary: more wealthy Chinese are attempting to leave — or at least prepare a backup plan — as the country’s Covid-Zero policy has dented economic growth. Investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners estimates 10,000 high-net-worth residents are seeking to pull $48 billion from China this year. In the past, some have used the golden visa program as an escape route.

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“A lot of Chinese investors made investments after the golden visa program and started working with the country,” said Bernardo Mendia, secretary general of the Portugal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Portuguese real estate was a “dead market” before China’s government policy encouraged companies to seek investments abroad in the 2010s, he said. “Lately, the political direction has changed.”


“Golden visas are important for how much they’ve helped the economy,” said Alexandra Victoria-Bonte, co-founder of Lisbon-based One Stop Properties, and associate of a private equity fund that invests in Portuguese real estate. “A lot of people think of it as a golden ticket, but it’s not. It’s much more than that — a secure investment that’s going to give a high yield.”


New restrictions and visa delays mean immigration firms are shifting focus to markets like Greece and Malta, said Y Ping Chow, head of the Chinese League in Portugal, a Lisbon-based group that promotes the Chinese community. Golden visas now account for as little as 3% of property deals in Portugal, according to Paulo Silva, head of real estate consultancy Savills in Portugal.


Luis Santos, a managing partner at Alpac Capital who has studied China’s investment in Portugal, said few initially questioned China’s investment push, which was understood to be part of “a fire sale launched by a desperate government in a bankrupt country.” But it has drawn more attention as the US increasingly views China as a competitor.

Business Times – Hundreds of ultra-rich Chinese eyeing move to Singapore, generating US$2.4b inflows: consultant

“During the 2013 to 2019 period, the main drivers included the desire for better education options, a higher standard of living in a safer environment, a more temperate climate or less polluted environment, opportunities for business diversification, and financial issues such as wealth preservation and legacy protection,” said Juerg Steffen, chief executive of Henley & Partners.

“Since the outbreak of the Covid‑19 pandemic, and the latest socio-economic upheavals and geopolitical struggles across the world, the importance of having options across multiple jurisdictions in terms of where you can relocate and live is gaining traction, and for those that can afford it, residence and citizenship by investment is the simplest, fastest and most effective way to achieve it.”