Wealthy Americans Quit the Sinking Ship

Wealthy Americans Quit the Sinking Ship

Violent crime, political tensions, soaring prices and the sordid ugliness of collapsing cities are all factors in a major new trend sweeping America - the ultra-rich are quitting the sinking ship.

A rapidly growing number of wealthy U.S. citizens are investing in a “Golden Visa,” a programme in which purchasing a second home in a different country entitles buyers to a second passport.

Interest in investing in international property grew sixfold among U.S. clientele in 2019 to 2021, according to a new report titled “The Great American Exodus” by passporting firm Get Golden Visa, which predicts 2022 to be “its busiest year yet.” The report found the ultra-wealthy clamouring for second passports that range anywhere from €280,000 to €500,000.

Get Golden Visa managing partner Murat Coskun told Fortune magazine that he’s predicting a “golden visa frenzy” this year.

The requirements for a second passport vary from country to country. The increasingly popular hotspot of Portugal, for example, requires people looking for a second residency to invest in either properties, a specific type of fund, or a donation in exchange for a residence permit and, eventually, citizenship.

According to the Get Golden Visa report, social and political unrest are the top motivator for applicants, at 42%.

Just over a quarter of prospective applicants from the U.S. said in the report that inflation and higher tax rates were a major reason for their interest in Golden Visas. Coskun also points out that retirement is easier in other countries that have cheaper health insurance.

The rise of work from home is facilitating the trend, while a residency abroad helps the ultra-wealthy diversify their investments.

Coskun says global mobility will become more relevant. “The pandemic basically put this on steroids—it was bound to happen, but it just got accelerated,” he says. “Now everybody knows that remote work is possible.”