Henley & Partners

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Henley & Partners
Founded1997; 24 years ago (1997)
Key people

Henley & Partners is a global citizenship and residence advisory firm based in London. The company also advises governments on residence and citizenship-by-investment policy and works with them to develop and implement residence and citizenship programs.[1] It also consults on general immigration law and policy as well as visa policy and the negotiation of associated treaties. The company's Residence and Citizenship Practice Group advises individuals and their advisors such as law firms, banks, and family offices on alternative residence and citizenship. According to The Guardian, it "arguably invented the modern 'citizenship planning' industry".[2] Henley & Partners is led by Christian Kälin.

It is active in refugee related philanthropy and has been criticised for its core business model, which detractors believe to threaten the fight against cross-border corruption and crime.[3][4]


Originally founded in the 1970s, Henley & Partners was re-formed in 1997 through the combination of a private client immigration consultancy and a corporate and family services company. In the late 1990s and through the 2000s, the firm advised wealthy businesspeople and individuals move their businesses and families around the world, largely through the acquisition of residence and citizenship from Austria, Canada, Hong Kong, US, Switzerland, and St. Kitts and Nevis.[5][6][7] At the time, the concept of residence and citizenship planning was relatively new and not considered to be of much relevance. This situation changed in 2006, however, when Henley & Partners became involved in the restructuring of St. Kitts and Nevis's citizenship-by-investment program, incorporating donations to support the country's transition to tourism and services following the closure of the sugar industry in 2005.[8] The firm obtained exclusive rights to market St. Kitts & Nevis worldwide.[9][10] In 2006, 1% of St. Kitts and Nevis's GDP came from the country's citizenship-by-investment program. By 2014, this figure had grown to 25%, with nearly half of the capital inflows generated by the donations under the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation contribution option.[11]

Following the successful restructuring of the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship program, Henley & Partners began to advise the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Cyprus on how to develop their own investment migration programs.[8] Already in 2012 Reuters wrote that Henley & Partners is “at the center of the citizenship by investment movement”.[12] Henley & Partners, at that time, also advised Canada and the United Kingdom on how best to attract wealthy individuals through their investor visa programs.[citation needed] According to a report by the IMF, Citizenship-by-Investment programmes, besides tourism, were the main reason behind many Eastern Caribbean states positive GDP growth in 2019.[13]

Malta Individual Investor Programme[edit]

In 2013, Henley & Partners participated in a public tender and won the right to design and globally promote Malta's citizenship-by-investment program, the Malta Individual Investor Programme, which raised over $1 billion within 18 months of its launch.[14] Arton Capital, a competing firm, filed a judicial protest, appealing the decision to elect Henley & Partners for the role. The firm claimed that Henley & Partners provided consultation to the government on a similar program before.[15] Arton Capital eventually dropped its court case.[16]

The program provides citizenship to foreign individuals and their families who are believed to contribute to the country's economic development. The country later introduced more stringent conditions for acquiring citizenship, such as proof of residence in Malta for at least 12 months.[17]

The launch of the Malta Individual Investor Programme in 2014 drew criticism from opposition officials, who claimed the program could open a back door into Europe for criminals.[18] It was reported at the time that officials believed the screening process would be compromised because Malta had outsourced the vetting of citizenship applicants to a single company. Henley & Partners argued in response that screening encompassed multiple steps, including criminal and financial background checks using online databases, vetting by independent security contractors, and an analysis using risk-assessment software, with the Maltese government then doing its own checks through resources such as Interpol and American government agencies.[18]

Jhu Low, a businessman involved in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal and international fugitive, was believed to be a client of Henley & Partners. Media reported that Low obtained a Cypriot passport by investing €5 million in a transaction facilitated by Henley & Partners.[19][20][21] Henley & Partners denied these allegations, asserting that Low was never a client and was specifically rejected as such in 2015.[22] A newly acquired subsidiary assisted Low in his real estate investment and referred his citizenship application to another company.[23][24]

According to the group executive committee of Henley & Partners, their compliance states that the firm should not benefit in any way from an individual who has been rejected for any reason.

"Moreover, the situation in question occurred in the short window of time following the acquisition and integration of a independent third party real estate business cannot happen again due to the strict safeguards that have been in place for several years. Both the CEO responsible at the time and all senior employees and executives involved in the transaction are no longer with the firm" a firm statement read.[22]

Publications and research[edit]

Henley & Partners has published a variety of books and reports offering information on the investment migration industry. The Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook, updated regularly, covers a number of topics pertaining to the industry, including residence rules, citizenship law, dual citizenship, passports, visa-free travel, and tax and real estate planning.[25] The International Real Estate Handbook is a reference manual on the subject of international real estate[26][27] The Global Residence and Citizenship Programs (GRCP) report uses a scientific methodology to systematically analyse some of the world's major residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs.[28] The report details the outcomes of the Global Residence Program Index (GRPI) and the Global Citizenship Program Index (GCPI), which are updated annually.[29][30]

The Henley & Partners Passport Index (HPI) is the original global ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries they can access visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival.[31][32] The Index is produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest database of travel information. In June 2016, the firm launched its latest index in collaboration with Dimitry Kochenov.[33] The Kälin–Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index ranks the different nationalities of the world according to the quality of life they provide their citizens.[34] It explores both the internal factors (such as scale of the economy, human development, and peace and stability) and the external factors (such as visa-free travel and the ability to settle and work abroad) that make one nationality stronger than another.[35][36][37]


In 2015, Henley & Partners formed a multi-year partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).[38] As part of the partnership, the firm provides financial support[39] and raises awareness for the refugee cause.[40][41] The firm has also developed the annual Global Citizen Award, which consists of a USD 50,000 monetary prize.[42][43]


  • Barber, Hoyt (2007). Tax Havens Today: The Benefits and Pitfalls of Banking and Investing Offshore. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley: ISBN 9780470051238
  • Betten, Rijkele (1998). Income Tax Aspects of Emigration and Immigration of Individuals. Amsterdam: IBFD Publications. ISBN 9789076078229
  • Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia. The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen. Columbia Global Reports: ISBN 9780990976363
  • Steffen, Juerg (2018). Relocation to Switzerland, An Introduction for High Net Worth Individuals and Entrepreneurs (3rd ed.). Zürich, Switzerland: Ideos Publications Ltd.: ISBN 9783952385975
  • Steffen, Juerg (2018). Relocation to Austria, An Introduction for High Net Worth Individuals and Entrepreneurs (2nd ed.). Zürich: Ideos Publications Ltd. ISBN 9783952474266
  • Kälin, Christian (ed. 5): The Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook. New York/ London/ Zurich/ Hong Kong: Ideos Publications Ltd, 2016. ISBN 9783952385920
  • Kälin, Christian. Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook. Chichester: John Wiley, 2006. ISBN 9780470018019
  • Kälin, Christian and Taylor, Andrew (ed. 5): International Real Estate Handbook. New York/ London/ Zurich/ Hong Kong: Ideos Publications ISBN 9780992781835
  • Kochenov, Dimitry (2008). EU Enlargement and the Failure of Conditionality: Pre-accession Conditionality in the Fields of Democracy and the Rule of Law. Austin [etc.]: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. ISBN 9789041126962
  • Kochenov, Dimitry (ed. 1): Quality of Nationality Index. New York/ London/ Zurich/ Hong Kong: Ideos Publications ISBN 9780993586606
  • Ong, Aihwa (ed. 2): Flexible Citizenship, The Cultural Logics of Transnationality. Duke University Press Books. ISBN 9780822322696
  • Wallerstein, Immanuel (1074): The Modern World System I. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520267572


  1. ^ Kazeem, Yomi (26 August 2020). "Wealthy Nigerians are buying up passports for cash from Caribbean nations to beat visa rules". QZ.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Revealed: residency loophole in Malta's cash-for-passports scheme". the Guardian. 2021-04-22. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  3. ^ "Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market - News". Transparency.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  4. ^ Guarascio, Francesco (2019-01-23). "EU warns of crime risks from governments' sales of passports, visas". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  5. ^ Barber, Hoyt (2007). Tax havens today : the benefits and pitfalls of banking and investing offshore. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-05123-8.
  6. ^ Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (2015). The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen. Columbia Global Reports. pp. 70–93. ISBN 978-0-9909763-6-3.
  7. ^ Clenfield, Jason. "The Passport King". Bloomberg.com.
  8. ^ a b Clenfield, Jason; 12, Bloomberg-Mar; Am, 2015 1:00 (12 March 2015). "The Man Who Helps Countries Turn Investments Into Passports for the Rich". Skift.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Ltd, Allied Newspapers. "Attracting global citizens". Times of Malta.
  10. ^ Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (2015). The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen. Columbia Global Reports. pp. 77–80. ISBN 978-0-9909763-6-3.
  11. ^ Gold, Judith; El-Ashram, Ahmed; Xu, Xin. "Too Much of a Good Thing? Prudent Management of Inflows Under Economic Citizenship Programs" (PDF). International Monetary Fund.
  12. ^ Abrahamian, Atossa (12 February 2012). [graphics.thomsonreuters.com/12/02/Passport.pdf "Passport for a price"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF) (Special Report February 2012). Reuters. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Eastern Caribbean Currency Union".
  14. ^ Ltd, Allied Newspapers. "Malta passport programme 'best in the world' - €1 billion raised since launch - Henley". Times of Malta. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Government challenged in court over choice of concessionaire for citizenship sale". Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  16. ^ "Arton Capital drops court case against government over choice of concessionaire for citizenship sale". Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  17. ^ "Malta's IIP: analysis of the EU's perspective". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  18. ^ a b Bilefsky, Dan (2014-04-05). "Citizenship-for-Cash Program in Malta Stirs Security Concerns in European Union". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  19. ^ "Henley & Partners denies wanted fugitive Jho Low a client". The Malaysian Reserve. 2019-11-06. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  20. ^ hermesauto (2019-11-05). "Malaysian fugitive businessman Jho Low believed to be using multiple passports to criss-cross globe". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  21. ^ "Subscribe to The Australian | Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps". www.theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  22. ^ a b Wealth Briefing. "Golden Visa Firm Hits Back At Malaysia Financier Claims". WealthBriefing. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  23. ^ Report, OCCRP and Sarawak. "A Key Player in Malaysia's Biggest-Ever Corruption Scandal Found Sanctuary in Cyprus With Help From a Major London Firm". OCCRP. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  24. ^ "Malaysian fugitive tried to buy 'golden passport' to EU, report says". the Guardian. 2021-02-03. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  25. ^ Kälin, Christian H. (2016-01-27). Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. ISBN 978-0-9927818-5-9.
  26. ^ Kälin, Christian H.; Taylor, Andrew. International Real Estate Handbook (5 ed.). Ideos Publications. ISBN 978-0-9927818-3-5.
  27. ^ "The Rise of the Global Citizen". theaddressmagazine.com.
  28. ^ Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2015 (2 ed.). Ideos Publication. 2015-04-07. ISBN 978-0-9927818-1-1.
  29. ^ "The best countries to "buy" your way into dual citizenship". businesstech.co.za.
  30. ^ Administrator, System. "Countries with best, worst passports". Emirates 24|7.
  31. ^ "How Powerful is your Passport?". msn.com. 19 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Henley Index: 2 Asian passports now world's most powerful". cnn.com. 19 June 2018.
  33. ^ "A new ranking of every country's citizenship". The Economist. 19 June 2018.
  34. ^ Kochenov, Dimitry (2016-06-02). Quality of Nationality Index (1st ed.). Ideos Verlag AG. p. 204. ISBN 978-0993586606.
  35. ^ "A new ranking of every country's citizenship". The Economist.
  36. ^ "The 41 nationalities with the best quality of life".
  37. ^ Kochenov, Dimitry; Lindeboom, Justin. Empirical Assessment of the Quality of Nationalities: The Quality of Nationality Index (QNI). SSRN 3053624.
  38. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "UNHCR Global Appeal 2016-2017 - Private sector fundraising". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  39. ^ josephinegoube (2015-03-19). "Henley & Partners donates 1 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help the global refugee cause". Migreat Blog. Archived from the original on 2016-06-04. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  40. ^ "Henley & Partners teams up with UNHCR to help global refugee cause".
  41. ^ "Henley: passports for the global rich, charity for the global poor". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  42. ^ "WATCH: Could you be the next Global Citizen award winner?". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  43. ^ "Gift of Givers founder receives top global award". IOL. 19 June 2018.

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