1 in 4 Investment Migration Firms Say North America Is Their Fastest-Growing Market

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The following is an excerpt from IMI Research Unit’s latest report – Investment Migration After COVID:

Perhaps the most remarkable observed difference in reported largest source markets between 2019 and 2021 is that although more than 8 out of 10 responding firms participated in both surveys, the relative weight of the different source markets has changed substantially: 

While the Middle East was, by some distance, the most important source market in both surveys, and China’s representation has remained largely unchanged, North America has gone from a negligible market (0% of respondents indicated it was their largest source-market in 2019) to the third-most important market (11% said it was their biggest source of clients in April 2021) in little more than 18 months.



More than a quarter of respondents indicated North Americans were now their fastest-growing client segment.



Driving elevated levels of interest in investment migration among Americans (and possibly a handful of Canadians as well) are four chief factors:

  • The prospect of substantially greater tax burdens under the new administration, the only complete escape from which is to obtain an alternative citizenship and to renounce of the American one, which record numbers of US citizens are now attempting;
  • US passport-holders have found themselves unable to travel during the pandemic. This has demonstrated the advantages of alternative citizenships and residence permits (particularly in Europe and the Caribbean). Mainstream press coverage of investment migration in 2020 was at least an order of magnitude greater than in any previous year, elevating American awareness of IM solutions to levels that might otherwise have taken a decade to reach.
  • The already-rising social and political polarization of American society has prompted large swaths of US nationals to devise contingency plans that include investment migration elements.

  • The precipitous rise in the number of white-collar jobs that may be performed remotely has enabled wealthy professionals and entrepreneurs to leave the high-tax, high living-cost jurisdictions where their jobs are domiciled (New York, San Francisco, etc.). This trend has worked primarily in favor of lower-cost domestic alternatives (Austin, Miami, Puerto Rico) but also of those farther afield, to RCBI-countries in Europe and the Caribbean.

Awakening appetites for investment migration among Americans - and “Western” HNWI more generally - represents a generational sea-change for the industry, for one simple reason:

Three out of every four millionaires worldwide live in the “West”



While prior to 2020, the great preponderance of IM-business came from the one-quarter of HNWis that lives in the “emerging world”, the market is now expanding to encompass also those HNWI who already had high levels of mobility. 

In the Investment Migration After COVID report, you can see the complete results of the 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey, get an overview of which programs have been the relative winners and losers of the pandemic year, and learn how dozens of the leading executives in the investment migration market believe the market has, and will, change as a consequence of COVID.

The report attempts to identify the most consequential transformations that have taken place in the investment migration market over the last year, to prognosticate as to which marks 2020 will leave on the market in the long run, and to outline how industry professionals can prosper in the new investment migration market.

Investment Migration After COVID - Trends and Outlook 2021

Investment Migration After COVID tells the story of what we expected to happen after the pandemic, compares that to what happened, and highlights what dozens of leading investment migration executives anticipate will change in the years ahead.

  • Findings of the April 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey©
    • How pandemic-related government restrictions have affected the service deliverability;
    • How the pandemic has affected demand;
    • Which source markets are growing the fastest;
    • How client's preferences have changed as a consequence of the pandemic,
    • In which regions IM companies are planning to open new offices;
    • Which programs have risen and fallen the most in popularity over the last year;
    • Which programs were the best-sellers in the last year, and which are expected to be the best-sellers in the next year; and
    • Which application processing units were the most efficient in 2020.
    • How companies have adapted to new work habits necessitated by the pandemic, such as working remotely, reducing travel and in-person event attendance, and the degree to which such changes are likely to persist in the long term.
  • A review of the April 2020 COVID Market Impact Survey©
    • How IM executives expected the pandemic to impact demand compared to what actually happened;
    • How demand has changed between April 2020 and April 2021; and
    • What IM executives expected to happen with border restrictions compared to what actually happened.
  • An interview with Nestor Alfred of the Saint Lucia CIU
    • How did the Unit change its policies to go from being a laggard to being the most efficient CIU, according to IM executives?
  • The mega-trends driving the transformation of the IM market after COVID
    • The West wakes up to investment migration;
    • Crypto-millionaires: The new new rich;
    • The race to digitize and remote-enable program processing;
    • Beyond visa-free travel;
  • How major investment migration programs performed in 2020
    • The winners and losers of the pandemic.
  • The biggest differences between the IM market before and after COVID, according to industry leaders
    • Stefan Kraus, COO of Henley & Partners;
    • Jean-François Harvey, Global Managing Director of Harvey Law Group;
    • Eric G. Major, CEO of Latitude;
    • Mohammed Asaria, Founder of Range Developments;
    • Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners;
    • Nicholas Stevens, Managing Director of NTL Trust;
    • David Lesperance, Managing Partner of Lesperance & Associates;
    • Paul Williams, CEO of La Vida Europe; and
    • Sam Bayat, Founder of Bayat Legal Services.


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Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine - online or offline - for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain. 

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