Ground-Breaking New Study Quantifies ‘Opportunity Advantage’ of Premium Education Coupled with Citizenship Rights

For immediate release: Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Leading international wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners has published pioneering new research into how first-class education combined with expanded global access rights creates significant opportunity for the next generation, growing their global networks, maximizing their career prospects, earning potential, and economic mobility for greater success and prosperity across their lifetimes.

The Henley Opportunity Index, a proprietary new benchmarking tool showcased in the firm’s inaugural Henley Education Report, quantifies the impact and probability of success that a premium education coupled with additional residence rights and/or alternative citizenships acquired through investment migration can have on preserving and growing multi-generational wealth.  

The first-of-its-kind index evaluates and scores the world’s leading residence and citizenship by investment programs across six parameters including premium education and employment opportunities, earning potential, career advancement, economic mobility, and livability to provide a benchmark for investors, entrepreneurs, and wealthy families to compare and identify locations that offer the best ecosystems for future generations to advance their careers and maximize their income potential.

Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, says both education and investment migration are ‘inter-generational enablers’ and this is the first study of its kind that attempts to measure the comparative advantage of this potent combination. “Successfully balancing wealth generation and opportunity creation are key characteristics of ascendant economies and vibrant societies. Our index helps guide families on tailored investment migration strategies to clear pathways for their children and heirs to access the world’s best schooling, most lucrative job markets, and enhanced quality of life through the privileges and flexibility of alternative residence and citizenship by investment options that give them the right to study, live, work, and invest in countries of their choice.”

The cumulative value of global access and education

Using the comparative function in the Henley Opportunity Index demonstrates how an Indonesian family whose total opportunity score sits at just 25% in their home country could raise the probability of success for the next generation to 82% by accessing residence rights in the US through the US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Similarly, for an Indian family on 32%, relocating to Switzerland through the Swiss Residence Program would increase their advantage to 85%, and for Nigerians with an opportunity score of just 14%, an investment in the Singapore Global Investor Program, which provides residence rights in the city state, would uplift their life chances by a remarkable 65% to 79%. Other investment migration options through the UAE’s Golden Visa and New Zealand’s new Active Investor Plus Visa would give the next generation opportunity advantages of 63%, and 59%, respectively.

As Tess Wilkinson, Director of Henley & Partners Education, points out in the report, education alone cannot guarantee opportunities in the future job market. “Investing in your child’s education is universally acknowledged as one of the best ways to set them up for success later in life, with multiple studies showing that those with tertiary qualifications earn around 50% more than those with secondary education. However, economic research also shows over two-thirds of income variation between individuals globally is simply attributable to which country they live and work in. So, combining world-class academics with related residence or citizenship rights to access those lucrative job markets is key.”

According to exclusive research conducted for the Henley Education Report by Dr. José Caballero, Senior Economist at the IMD World Competitiveness Center in Switzerland, the cumulative effect of investment migration arises from the fact that the programs enable parents to migrate their children through permanent settlement. “In doing so, parents can provide greater education and professional opportunities without the hassle of having to acquire a student and/or postgraduate visa. Those opportunities include access to premium primary and secondary education, greater opportunities for professional development, to live in an environment with a high quality of life, greater earning potential, and easier mobility across borders. Such access and opportunities can facilitate the sustainability of family prosperity through greater probabilities of wealth creation and preservation by empowering the next generation with a more robust set of skills and capacities.” 

Quantifying educational investment migration

According to the Henley Opportunity Index, in the case of entrepreneurial Filipinos, the cumulative value of investment migration is clear for a family opting for the Canada Start-Up Visa Program. Compared to their child being educated and remaining in the Philippines, such an investment would provide them with far superior access to premium education (the Philippines scores 21/100 compared to Canada’s 71 — a 238% improvement), earning potential (33/100 for the Philippines versus 67 for Canada — a 103% increase), top-tier employment prospects (17/100 for the Philippines compared to 84 for Canada) and career advancement (the Philippines scores 16/100 versus 79 for Canada) both leap up by 394%, economic mobility (10/100 for the Philippines versus Canada’s 73 — a remarkable 630% enhancement), and high livability (the Philippines scores 38/100 versus 72 for Canada — an improvement of 89%). Overall, the Philippines’ total opportunity score is 23% while Canada scores 74%.

Similarly, for a South African family with Europe in their sights, investing in the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program will realize compounded inter-generational benefits, as after five years of legal residence they can apply for citizenship, enabling them to live, work, or study anywhere in the EU. There are also notable gains in top-tier employment prospects (25/100 for South Africa versus 47 for Portugal — an 88% leap), and high livability (South Africa scores 40/100 and Portugal 61 — a 53% improvement) but the biggest advantage would be the dramatic increase in economic mobility (South Africa scores just 17/100 compared to Portugal’s 74 — an astonishing 335% enhancement).

Future-proofing the next generation

The Henley Opportunity Index identifies 15 attractive investment migration pathways into countries that are prime locations for educators, entrepreneurs, and inheritors aiming to thrive in coming decades.

As Volek points out, an excellent example is “an affluent Filipino family opting for the Spain Residence by Investment Program, where the minimum investment requirement is EUR 500,000 in real estate. Given that citizens of the Philippines (along with those of 25 other countries and anyone of Sephardic Jewish descent) are eligible for citizenship after just two years of effective residence in Spain, and the extensive opportunities that arise due to their ability to live, work, and study across the EU as Spanish citizens, it is an investment well worth making in the here and now on a property asset, which in addition to residence rights in Spain also generates multiple other yields”.

Wilkinson agrees that education is just the beginning, “with second passports and multiple residence rights opening access to varied business cultures, funding ecosystems, and innovation hubs necessary for young entrepreneurs to thrive internationally. Multiple credentials with the expanded personal access rights they secure can unlock a world of opportunities.”


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