The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has dismissed claims in multiple articles that 3,500 high-net-worth individuals are anticipated to obtain Singapore citizenship in 2023.

These reports referred to the interview conducted by the Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao, which cited wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth’s head of research, Andrew Amoils, as their source.

According to Amoils, each of them has an average investable wealth of at least six million US dollars although it remains uncertain how much wealth these new citizens will bring.

However, the MHA refuted these claims on Tuesday (25 Apr), stating that the cited figures originated from a private research firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The ministry expressed uncertainty regarding the methodology used to arrive at these numbers and emphasized that Singapore citizenship applications for the remainder of 2023 are still pending.

Describing the report as “highly misleading” and lacking a credible foundation, the MHA clarified that a high net worth does not automatically guarantee Singaporean citizenship.

The ministry highlighted that numerous factors contribute to the citizenship decision-making process, such as potential benefits to Singapore, business ventures established within the country, and the employment of Singaporean citizens.

Furthermore, the MHA will assess an applicant’s capacity for social integration and commitment to establishing roots within Singapore.

Most high net-worth individuals coming from China

Amoils stated in the Lianhe Zaobao interview that “Between 3,000 to 3,500 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are expected to become Singapore citizens in 2023, with most of them being wealthy individuals from China.

He added that, besides mainland China and Hong Kong, new citizens are also probably coming from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines.

Henley & Partners also published the “2022 Global Citizenship Report,” revealing that last year, Singapore added 2,800 HNWIs, reaching a total of 241,000, and ranked fifth among the top 20 cities with the most millionaires in the world.

Out of the top 20 richest cities ranking, the United States dominated with five spots, including New York on top of the list with 340,000 millionaires.

“High-net-worth-individual migration figures are an excellent barometer for the health of an economy. Affluent individuals are extremely mobile, and their movements can provide an early warning signal into future country trends. ”

Amoils added that the top 10 destinations for net inflows of HNWIs in 2022 are projected to be the UAE, Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the USA, Portugal, Greece, Canada, and New Zealand.

“Notably, Singapore is emerging as Asia’s top wealth management centre, which should assist in attracting many more affluent individuals to relocate there in future.”

According to the report, the UAE is expected to attract the largest net inflow of high-net-worth individuals in 2022. Approximately 4,000 millionaires are expected to move to the country this year.

Three cities in Greater China made it to the top ten rankings, including Hong Kong (ranked seventh), Beijing (ranked eighth), and Shanghai (ranked ninth). Seoul, South Korea, ranked 16th, is another wealthy city in Asia.

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