The old concept of investor visas has been given a boost in recent months and years, thanks to a number of factors. Generally, these can be attributed to the global economic crisis and subsequent attempts at recovery.
The concept is nothing new, but has enjoyed a newfound popularity, with such visas now more readily available than ever before; and with high demand.
But what are investor visas?
Essentially, an investor visa allows a person who invests in a country or region access to that area as a form of citizenship. In some cases, these are sought by investors looking to experience added freedom, whilst in others, governments of countries actively seek to give them out. In many cases, a combination of the two results in such a boom as is currently evident.
A government may look to offer an overseas investor visa because it provides an opportunity for an ailing economy to recoup some tax returns, as well as possibly instigating commercial interest from leading developers or brands.
For applicants, there are a number of reasons why an investor visa might become desired. These include:
- The opportunity to expand an investment portfolio into another country.
- The chance to protect themselves from social, economic or political instability in their native country.
- Improved tax conditions.
- To provide improved lifestyle experiences.
- To bring better prospects for family, such as educational or employment opportunities.
For those supplying such visas, a quick glance at the figures involved makes it instantly recognisable as to the potential power of granting citizenship to overseas investors. For properties for sale in USA, the EB-5 immigrant investor visa programme resulted in $3.39 billion being contributed to US GDP during 2012. This meant that over 42,000 jobs were supported during this period.
The results are similar in Canada, where an estimate $2 billion is invested in the economy by immigrant visa holders. And it’s a similar story in places with smaller economies, such as the islands of St Kitts and Nevis, where a $400,000 foreign investment is accepted in return for a visa three months later.
As the economy continues to recover, and countries seek inventive ways to encourage investors to boost their coffers, so too does the interest of the investors to expand into new regions. These two interests, when brought together, lead to such a rise in the number of immigrant and investor visas as has been in evidence in recent months.