Top 10 countries with best residence-by-investment schemes

The UAE ranked 15th in an index rating countries’ residency-in-return-for-investment programmes

As global economic growth slackens, a number of countries are offering citizenship or residency permits in return for investment in their markets.

According to the latest Global Residency Programme Index by Henley & Partners, Portugal topped the list with the best residency by investment scheme in the world.

Henley said the programme saw high demand from MENA investors and specifically from the UAE.

Countries were ranked based on indicators such as reputation, quality of life, tax, visa free access, processing time and quality of processing, compliance, investment requirements, total costs, time to citizenship and citizenship requirements.

The UAE was ranked 15th in the overall index, sharing first place with Malta and Monaco in the tax burden ranking.

Henley & Partners found MENA investors were the second biggest group seeking alternative citizenship, despite most Gulf countries not offering citizenship in return for investment.

About 30 to 40 per cent of applicants in Malta’s citizenship-by-investment programme, which was the top rated, were from the MENA region, the index showed.


1. Portugal
Score: 82

2. Austria
Score: 79

3. Belgium
Score: 78

4. Malta
Score: 76

5. Australia
Score: 67

6. United States
Score: 66

7. Canada
Score: 65

8. Switzerland
Score: 64

9. United Kingdom
Score: 61

10. Jersey
Score: 60