So far this year 119 high-net-worth individuals, some of whom are regarded as ‘ultra-wealthy’, have inquired about obtaining 21E status which would give them residency rights and a special tax status.
It represents a 32% rise on the 90 inquiries over the same period last year.
The lure of Jersey’s 21E, formerly 1(1)k scheme, hit the international headlines last year when it was revealed that Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich had been granted residency here.
However, it is not believed that the Russian billionaire, who also applied successfully for Israeli citizenship, has moved to the Island.
Applicants qualifying for 21E status are granted housing qualifications and tax breaks as long as they pay a minimum amount of £145,000 to the Treasury each year. Individuals pay 20% on their first £725,000 of worldwide income and 1% on anything over that amount.
Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham said that he felt the spike in inquiries was, in part, due to uncertainty in the UK and EU caused by factors such as Brexit.
‘The number of inquires for the same period last year was 90, and there have been 119 inquires this year,’ he said.
‘So far this year 13 approvals have been made. I think that the increased interest is down to Jersey’s reputation for being a particularly safe and stable place to live.
‘And it’s probably safe to say that the current uncertainty in the UK and EU is a factor in why people are looking to relocate.
‘But don’t forget that Jersey’s reputation has grown thanks to Locate Jersey and the Island’s prominence has been raised by the work they are doing.’
The minister confirmed that most of the interest had come from the UK with individuals from EU countries also showing interest.
But he was keen to add that his team was looking for community-minded individuals to move to the Island and were not just interested in the size of applicants’ bank balances.
‘It’s not about quantity of high-net-worth individuals, it’s about quality for us. And it’s important to note that it’s not hundreds of applications, it is still a relatively small number of people,’ he said.
‘We want people who are going to come to Jersey and form part of the community and contribute to it and not just in an economic sense. We don’t want people who just see the Island as a pit-stop.’
He added: ‘It would be inappropriate to comment on any individual cases but there has been interest from families who would be viewed globally as ultra-high-net-worth.
‘But it’s not just about that, we are looking for people who want to settle here and make it their home.’