Dubai: Based on responses from over 25,000 people, Ace Luxury Immigration released their 2023 edition of the Annual Global Immigration Trends on Wednesday, revealing the top immigration trends seen this year. From Citizenship By Investment (CBI) schemes for a second passport, to moving for investment and work, the report reveals the top countries that people were choosing to move to.
The survey shows that India led the migration trend for the year, followed by Mexico, Russia, China, Syria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ukraine.
The US remains the most popular choice for those who wanted a new passport, for economic, education, business, or travel reasons. However, tech layoffs and immigration barriers have affected many foreign employees, a similar trends report from Envoy Global said.
51 per cent of US employers surveyed for the Envoy report said immigration processes to bring in foreign workers has become very difficult, mainly because of the limited number of H1-B visas available. However, the demand for new foreign talent is still high, with employers ready to pay high fees for the registration of H1-B visas.
Canada is at second place on the Global Migration Report, and is ranking high for business migration mainly due to their Start-up Visa Program – which offers a fast track to permanent residency for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. In addition to that, many US companies are relocating their foreign talent to Canada and other countries to circumvent the difficulty in immigration processes.
The United Kingdom holds the third spot in preferred countries for migration, despite higher living costs this year. Like Canada, the UK is also attracting many businesspeople in sectors such as finance, healthcare, education, and technology.
Rich people are increasingly choosing European countries (Switzerland, Portugal, Greece) along with the US, Canada, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. The report said, “The UAE, particularly Dubai, stands out as a global business hub, offering a strategic location, world-class infrastructure, a tax-free environment, and facilitative long-term residency visas and citizenship programs”. A report by Henley and Partners in June said that the UAE would attract 4,500 new millionaires in 2023, after having the highest movement of HNWIs worldwide in 2022.
Looking ahead to 2024, countries are also choosing to tighten immigration policies to curb numbers. For instance, Australia announced in December that they would bring record-high levels of migration under control – under 250,000 a year. Instead, the government said, the 10-year focus will shift to retaining and attracting highly skilled immigrants.
Measures include tough English-language requirements for international students, and strict overview of second-time student visas. BBC quoted official data and said there are around 650,000 foreign students in Australia – many of them on their second visa. Australia has also lifted the minimum wage for sponsored foreign skilled workers to $70,000 from July.
UK also announced a similar wage-increase measure to control migration levels and the housing crisis – saying foreign workers would need to earn at least £38,700 to qualify for a UK skilled worker visa and bring dependants. The increase is more than double the earlier applicable level (£18,600), and will be applied in stages starting at £29,000, the government later announced.