Many high net worth (HNW) individuals in the UK have turned to golden visas to protect their future, however Brexit was not the main reason to invest in alternative residency or citizenship, property investment firm Astons has found.
A study of people with at least £1m ($1.4m, €1.1m) in investible assets revealed that 79% were not influenced by the UK’s decision to leave the EU when looking at golden visas.
Instead, the main reason was improving their families’ quality of life (68%), while location ranked second with 16%, followed by cost of investing (14%) and to improve business opportunities (2%).
Greece (19%) was the most sought-after country in terms of its golden visa, due to its favourable climate and more affordable property market, but also because a HNW individual is able to secure residency with a minimum investment of £217,252 within two months.
Antigua, Bermuda and Spain also scored high on the firm’s list (14%), alongside Ireland (8%).
Other countries that also interest wealthy Brits are Italy, Jersey, Monaco, Portugal, Saint Lucia and Switzerland.
Arthur Sarkisian, Astons managing director, said: “The idea that many investors look to alternative residency or citizenship to further their own personal agendas, or to simply gain an additional passport for the lowest price possible, is quite a common misconception within the space.
“In fact, the reality is those looking to invest are doing so with the wider good of their family almost always at the forefront of the decision-making process, and the cost required is often second to the welfare of their loved ones.
“While Brexit will have certainly caused increased interest in investment programmes outside of the UK, it doesn’t seem to be the primary factor behind current investor sentiment and this demonstrates the family-first, business-second mentality to this investment route.
“Greek residency is proving particularly popular at present, as a strong combination of a family centred culture, great quality of life, a quick route to residency and overall affordability, all resonate strongly amongst UK investors.”