Obtaining a new residency by investment in a foreign country is a fantastic way to hedge against political or economic turmoil. It provides investors with a second home in case they need one while simultaneously allowing them to diversify their asset base.
Many residency by investment options, such as the Portuguese and Greek Golden visas, or Malta’s Permanent Residence Program (MPRP), do not require their holders or their families to reside in the country to maintain their status if they maintain their investment, making them the ultimate contingency plan.
However, residency by investment goes beyond just planning for the worst, as it also provides future generations with a platform upon which they can build their success and fulfil their potential. Whether it be in terms of greater education, better living standards, or an abundance of opportunities, residency by investment opens doors for investors to invest in what matters most – their children.
One of the most important aspects any person looking into obtaining a residency through investment must consider is how the future will look like for their children, who need a good education and a fertile marketplace where they can learn their trade and gain invaluable experience. Considering the job market of any given country before investing in getting its residency is vital. This piece will highlight job markets throughout one of the world’s most desirable residency by investment destinations – Europe.
The EU Job Market
One of the most influential economic powerhouses in the world, the EU consists of 27 member states working in tandem, assembling an open market full of opportunities for both entrepreneurs and employees alike.
Obtaining a residence permit in any EU country is a key to the rest, as holders of a Portuguese residence permit, for example, can simply move to another EU country to work through obtaining an EU Blue Card.
What also makes the EU such a great destination is the abundance of residency by investment options within its borders, as Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Malta all have simple, intriguing immigration programs geared towards investors. They can act as either a launching pad or eventual destination for ambitious businesspeople or fresh graduates excited to hone their trade-in one of the greatest markets the world has to offer.
However, each country within the EU offers slightly differing advantages for certain professionals, depending on their area of expertise and ambitions.
Home to the widely popular Portuguese Golden Visa, the EU nation offers a simple route to residence as well as a bustling job market.
Portugal focuses highly on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) industries, which is reflected in the courses of some of the top universities in the country.
However, Portugal's job market remains diverse, as some of the nation's main industries include tech, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing of construction chemicals, and food processing, making it a great destination for families whose children are multi-talented but have not yet decided on which route they want to tread.
Another important factor to consider when looking at Portugal is its amazing handling of the job market as a whole, as unemployment rates have continued to drop at an average of 7.5% between the years of 2014-2020, with 2020 boasting an unemployment rate of just 7.2% throughout the country.
Portugal is also a wonderful destination for fresh graduates to write their sagas, as in addition to the multitude of opportunities it offers, living costs in the nation are lower than most of its EU counterparts. Living in Lisbon would cost about 38% less to maintain the same standard of living in Paris, for example. Inflation rates have also maintained an average of just 0.57% during the same period.
Although not home to a residency by investment program, Germany remains a popular choice for job seekers due to the massive opportunities in the German market.
Germany boasts the 4th highest GDP in the world and ranks first within the EU. The country's economy continues to grow, and along with it, so do high-profile jobs for professionals. Unemployment rates in Germany sit at a minuscule 4.5%.
While Germany does have a thriving services sector and one of the world's leading healthcare infrastructures, it is mostly known for its manufacturing sector.
Four majors dominate the German industry scene; automotive, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering. Students with a knack for mathematics and ambitions to become engineers should consider Germany as an eventual destination along their road to prosperity.
The Hellenic nation is one of the most naturally stunning of the continent, meaning that tourism constantly ranks among its major industries.
However, it offers much more than just opportunities for those in the tourism sector, as the country is responsible for high-profile philosophers such as Socrates and Plato; it boasts an abundance of high-ranking universities throughout its borders, providing students with the education they need to excel in their careers.
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Healthcare, agriculture, raw material processing, and mining make up some of the leading industries in the nation, making it a perfect destination for students considering medicine, agrifoods, or engineering as their major.
Greece is also home to one of the world's most popular residency by investment programs, the Greek Golden Visa, meaning that investors who purchase a property for €250,000 in Greece can provide their children with the platform they need to pursue their careers at the highest level, while simultaneously providing them with housing.
The small island nation of Malta is well known among refined travellers, but what may interest most is that it also has a residency by investment program (the MPRP), which allows investors and their family members to obtain permanent residence in the EU nation.
While small in size and population, Malta's economy is imperious, with a GDP per capita higher than global giants such as Spain, New Zealand, Malaysia, and many others, Malta claims one of the world's most impressive economies.
Malta's economy is diverse, with some of its main drivers being tourism, aviation services, financial services, shipbuilding, and pharmaceuticals. However, what is most interesting is the recent focus on tech, which has poised Malta to become the EU's version of Silicon Valley.
Malta also provides magnificent healthcare, ranking 25th on WHO's official review, above nations such as Qatar, the UAE, Italy, and many others, meaning those looking into medical professions should consider Malta as an option.
Malta claims an unemployment rate of just 4.09%, while living costs in the country are favourable, as the cost of living in the Capital of Valletta, for example, is about 28% lower than those in Madrid.
Another country with a Golden Visa, albeit a lesser-known one, Italy is home to the third-highest GDP in the EU. The country's economy is highly diverse, with tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, shipping, food processing, and arts & culture are all major sectors within the Italian nation's economy.
While the country does have a slightly higher unemployment rate of 9.2%, it provides an abundance of opportunities for highly skilled professionals looking to put their stamp on one of the world's most dynamic markets.
However, what makes Italy a very interesting destination is its very slim gender wage gap of just 4.7%. Compare this to the EU average of 14.1%, or the US average of 16%, and it is clear that Italy provides a much more balanced job market for female employees.
Honourable Mention: The UK
While not an EU country, the UK makes a list since it has the second-highest GDP in Europe (after Germany) and because it has its own residency by investment program.
The UK provides students with unparalleled education, ranking second globally, as perennial learning institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, Essex, and many others embellish the nation's shores. This education framework translates to a highly skilled workforce that continues to grow the nation's economy.
The UK's economy is extremely diverse and complex, as 99.2% of businesses in the nation are small to medium enterprises (SMEs). This makes the UK a great destination for those who would like to start out their own business early in life or branch out a family business into the UK.
The nation also boasts an amazing healthcare infrastructure run by the NHS, with hospitals the second largest industry in terms of employment in the country, making it a great destination for those looking to specialize in medical majors.
Construction companies, universities, and management consulting firms are also among the top ten employers in the UK, meaning those looking to pursue a career in engineering, academia, or business have plenty of opportunities to choose from.
However, a renewed focus on tech and innovation is quickly making the UK a hot destination for aspiring tech professionals, as the UK skill gap currently lists AI engineers, machine learning specialists, and data analysts as some of their major skill shortages.
Plenty Of Options
The good news is, there are plenty of options in Europe and all around the world for investors looking to provide their children with the environment, education, and mobility they need to pursue their dreams. To know more about which destination is the best for you are your family, contact us today to book a free, comprehensive consultation with one of our experts.
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