Wealth is growing fast in India. India is a big market for golden visa schemes with a large of rich indian millionaires looking to immigrate, in search of new opportunities.  India saw the third highest outflow of wealthy individuals last year. Nearly 5,000 millionaires  (2%) of the total number of HNWIs in India, according to Global Wealth Migration Review report.

But, why Indians should buy Golden visas not passports?

Golden visa schemes very popular in India than the citizenship by investment schemes.  This is because Indians can easily apply for golden visa schemes that offer just residency buying property, without any restrictions.

The Number one reason why Indians cannot apply for passports or citizenship schemes abroad, is India restricts dual citizenship.  Indian citizens automatically lose citizenship of india, by taking up foreign citizenship. Indians cannot carry multiple passports while traveling in and out of India, which is a violation of passports act.

The only way indians can buy foreign passports is by renouncing indian citizenship. It is a different story for NRI (non-resident indians) who hold passports from US, Australia and Canada. They can freely apply for citizenship by investment (CBI) schemes without any restrictions.

Another reason, citizenship schemes unpopular among indians, is many dont want to surrender indian citizenship as they frequently want to visit India for business and family.  Nonetheless we ask indian citizens naturalizing abroad, seek legal advice!

India easing restrictions on dual citizenship could open up a big market for CBI industry. There was a bill introduced recently, but it is more likely legalizing dual citizenship wont happen anytime soon, may take years!

Popular Destinations for Indians

These countries are the most popular immigration destinations for Indians. These countries also offer golden visas for Indians

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Switzerland
  6. Germany
  7. United Arab Emirates

The US EB-5 Green card scheme remained one of the most popular among rich Indian families, who pursued ‘American dream’  for business and education. The European golden visa schemes is slowly picking up in terms of popularity with Indians.

What Attracts Indians?

But why these countries, attract large number of Indians

  • English speaking
  • Lifestyle with best quality of living standards
  • Safety and security of their investments.
  • Easy to integrate culturally
  • Family and friends already living there
  • Education for children (these countries have the best universities in the world)
  • Business connections.
  • Availability of Indian food and cuisine abroad.

Real Estate Abroad

According to a Knight Frank study, one out four Indians  living in mainland prefer to spend more than $1 million for a property overseas wanting a second home abroad. Most of them are businessman, traders and industrialists.

These are the top 5 countries where large number of Indians buying properties abroad

  1. Australia
  2. Cyprus
  3. Malaysia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. UAE

Note: Cyprus has citizenship by investment scheme, while Australia, UK, UAE offer golden visas for Indias

Indians free to invest in property Abroad

The Indian government has also eased rules for indians investing abroad.

Under the Liberalised remittance scheme (LRS), all resident (Indian) individuals, including minors, are allowed to remit USD 2,50,000 per financial year. Thus, a family of four could remit up to USD 1,000,000 per year. There are also tax implications.

So, What are the golden visa schemes available for Indians around the world?

CountryGolden visaInvestmentProcessing Citizenship After
PortugalEU Residence permit EUR 350,000 (real estate)3 to 5 months6 years
MaltaEU Permanent Residence permitEUR 250,000 (Government bonds/ real estate)  for Malta Residence Visa3 monthsNo
United KingdomUK Residence permitGBP 2 million (investor tier1)Less than 2 months5 years
United StatesEB-5 Green cardUSD 900,000 (from Nov 21, 2019)12 to 24 months5 years
Canada QuebecPermanent residenceCAD 1,200,000 (bonds/funds)4  months3 years
CyprusEU Residence permitEUR 300,000 (real estate)2 months
GreeceEU residence permitEUR 250,000 (real estate)3 months7 years
SpainEU residence permitEUR 500,000 (real estate)3 months10 years
IrelandResidence permitEUR 500,000 (donation) or EUR 1 million (bonds)2-3 months5 years
Cayman IslandsPermanent residenceUSD 1 million (business or real estate)3 months
ItalyEU residence permitEUR 500,000 (startup) or EUR 1 million (capital transfer, bonds, shares)3 months10 years
LatviaEU residence permitEUR 100,000 (business) or EUR 250,000 (real estate/bonds)3 months9 years
BulgariaResidence permitEUR 300,000 (real estate)3 months5 years
AustraliaInvestor visaA$ 1,500,0002 months
New ZealandInvestor streamN$ 3,000,0001 month