Among these are that interest and investment in alternative residence and citizenship options amongst high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) has grown to an all-time high. There is also a growing class of remote workers who are no longer tied to working from a specific geographic location.

There are many good personal or business reasons for this shift in attitude. High-net-worth families have become more globalised, with many younger members choosing to be educated or to live and work abroad. Alternative residence and citizenship are seen as a hedge against restrictions on the free movement of persons and capital, and an effective way to achieve geographic and economic diversification.

In the wake of the global lockdown, it is not surprising that investors are focused on futureproofing themselves and their families. If these individuals have money to invest then it makes sense to do so in countries that will give them formal status in return, and there are a growing number of countries that are looking to encourage immigration by either by granting residency that can lead to citizenship – often known as ‘Golden Visas’ – or by granting citizenship itself in return for investment.

Residence by investment programmes provide an opportunity to legally acquire a new place of residence, quickly and simply and with minimum disruption to your life. The key drivers for investors are generally mobility, security, quality of life, healthcare and education, as well as tax, retirement and succession planning.

With the geopolitical outlook for 2022 so uncertain, the need for additional residence – and potentially citizenship – options is increasingly recognised as being an indispensable asset to maintain optionality and access rights.

There has also been a seismic shift in the way the world works, with remote and flexible working becoming the norm during the Covid pandemic. Once organisations learn how to effectively manage and motivate remote employees it is likely that this type of employment will increase. And many countries are now trying to attract these ‘digital nomads’ with programmes inviting them to settle abroad and work remotely.

Portugal has been the gold standard for ‘golden visas’ over the past decade: mild weather, a laid-back and affordable lifestyle and investor visas that allow access to the whole European Union — all for as little as €280,000. It also offers the highly popular Portugal Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) programme which, as many of you will know, provides qualifying applicants substantial tax benefits for a period of 10 years. It’s a menu that has attracted thousands of investors worldwide.

First established in 1999, Sovereign Consultoria’s office and highly experienced client-focused team provides a full suite of private client and corporate services to those who intend to or have already established residency in Portugal. We have been receiving a greater volume of enquiries, however, from existing and potential clients asking in which alternative countries they can establish residency and tax residency. Their reasoning is that because they do not, or no longer, qualify for NHR, they intend to travel and/or work remotely, or split their time between two or more countries.

In such instances it can be highly advantageous to establish residency and tax residency in a country that provides qualifying applicants a special tax status and numerous additional benefits which, depending upon the selected programme, may include:

• No income tax on foreign sourced income, unless it is remitted to the country in question

• Reduced tax rates applicable to locally generated income

• Reduced or no tax applicable to foreign sourced, dividends, pension or rental income, interest and/or capital gains

• Preferential local corporation tax rates

• No estate duty or inheritance tax

• The application of numerous double taxation treaties

Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Switzerland, can move directly to another EU country and – provided they qualify – take advantage of the tax efficient programmes available to non-domiciles. Should they wish to establish tax residency outside the EU, they must ensure they establish legal residency in that country prior to taking advantage of such programmes. This is also the case for all other nationalities that wish to establish residency in a second or third country.

As a global organisation with local offices and or professional partners in most regions, the Sovereign Group is best placed to advise and assist individuals and families who wish to formulate and implement a residence and tax residency strategy suitable for their personal requirements. Whilst we offer a broad range of residency, citizenship and tax residency programmes, those countries that provide preferential tax rates for non-domiciled individuals who establish tax residency include, but are not limited to, the following:

Comprehensive tax efficient solutions

Sovereign will work closely with applicants during each stage of the planning and implementation process. When combined and managed correctly, the following Sovereign Group services will enable families to develop and implement a comprehensive, flexible and tax efficient strategy:

• International residency and citizenship programmes

• Tax residency

• Trusts and foundations

• Estate and succession planning

• International retirement plans

• Wealth management

• Corporate structures and banking

• International life and medical insurances.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how you and your family could benefit through the creation and implementation of an international residency, tax residency and citizenship-based strategy, please contact