The well-known Pinsent Masons law firm published results of a conducted study indicating that the number of so-called investment visas issued to foreigners in Great Britain has increased from 235 in 2010-2011 to 419 in 2011-2012, that is by as much as 78 percent. In 2012, a record was set by the citizens of Russia: they are leaders in terms of visas granted making 24 percent of the total number of successful applicants (for comparison, the Chinese are behind by 1 percent).
Today, many countries offer citizenship in exchange for investments. For instance, until recently Germany had a law in force guaranteeing German citizenship granting for the purchase of commercial real estate or an operating enterprise with a minimum value of EUR 250 thousand as well as providing employment for five persons. At that, the law did not prohibit acquisition of operating enterprises on credit. As of August 1, 2012 the strict requirements to investment amounts were abolished. Two years ago, the corresponding amendments to the immigration law were made also in Latvia. The effect is obvious: from July 2011 to July 2012 the foreign investors have paid for real estate in the country 2.3 times more than during the previous period, says Martin Hormuth, the PHL owner.