Countries UAE Residents Migrate To

  • Publish date: Sunday، 30 May 2021
Countries UAE Residents Migrate To

Many nationalities living in the UAE are migrating in search for a second citizenship. These nationalities Lebanese, Syrians and Indians.

Caribbean countries have been most popular and known destinations to migrate to for UAE and GCC residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Immigration industry experts say low costs have made the Caribbean countries attractive under citizenship by investment programs.

“For UAE and GCC residents seeking greater visa-free travel options, the most popular citizenship by investment programs are the Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Grenada with an E2 Investor Visa, and Vanuatu. Applicants can apply remotely and recent updates during Covid-19 have made these countries more attractive and affordable for families,” said David Regueiro, group COO of RIF Trust and Latitude.

Alternatively, UAE and GCC residents looking to relocate to Europe or expand their business to a country with strong healthcare systems and prime real estate investment opportunities are choosing Malta citizenship, as it offers a path to European citizenship for high-net-worth individuals and their families, he said.

Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest, said St Kitts & Nevis’ citizenship by investment program is the most sought-after in this region.

“Applicants already have references from friends or family members who hold the St Kitts & Nevis citizenship, and this gives them comfort to choose this program,” she said, adding that Grenada is one of the most sought-after programs and the only passport which offers visas to China for free.

Cotdemiey said Vanuatu, which is a fairly new fast-track citizenship program, is increasing in popularity as well.

She added that amongst European countries with residency programs, Portugal has been the most popular one. “The reason is simple. Portugal offers the most cost-effective program to eventually acquire citizenship of the European Union without ever residing in Portugal. Investors from UAE acquire Portuguese residence with a long-term view. After five years of holding the residency, they could apply for citizenship.”

David Regueiro said Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalization offers the highest visa-free access to new immigrants of about 186 countries and also allows them to live and work anywhere in the European Union as a European citizen.

Following European citizenship, the five Caribbean citizenship by investment programs offer the best visa-free access. St Kitts and Nevis offers the highest numbers of countries with 157, followed by Antigua and Barbuda with 151 countries, St Lucia with 146 countries, Grenada with 144 countries and, finally, Dominica with 143 countries.

Veronica Cotdemiey said the top nationalities that are looking for a second citizenship from this region are Lebanese, Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis, Indians, Iraqis, and Egyptians.

Regueiro said many expats living in the UAE and GCC with “weaker passports” are seeking to obtain a second citizenship by investment which provide greater visa-free travel flexibility when travelling for leisure or looking to expand their business outside the GCC.

She also concluded saying, “A range of nationalities are seeking a second passport including investors holding a passport from Syria, Lebanese, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Russia, and South Africa, to name a few.”

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