Dr. Christian H. Kälin

Investment Migration Pioneer, Legal Scholar, Author and Editor, Serial Entrepreneur, Inventor, Humanitarian, Global Citizen


Dr. Christian H. Kälin, TEP, IMCM, is a lawyer, legal scholar and one of the world’s foremost experts in investor immigration and citizenship-by-investment – a field he pioneered – as well as a successful entrepreneur, investor, author, editor, inventor, and global philanthropist.

After growing up near Zurich in a quintessentially Swiss family, he graduated from the local business school and completed his training at a private bank, before going to live and study in France, the USA, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Switzerland and the UK. He studied interdisciplinary science before going on to study law and now holds master’s and PhD degrees in law from the University of Zurich. Dr. Kälin has consulted some of the world’s wealthiest families, and today advises governments as well as international organizations and is a sought-after speaker. He is regularly quoted and interviewed by major media worldwide. He lives and works internationally, and for many years has led the most important professional services firm focused on investment migration, Henley & Partners. Besides his work at Henley & Partners, Dr. Kälin has been involved as a founder, co-founder, or investor in several other businesses ranging from real estate to insurance, investment management, social media, organic food, and publishing.

Since his early twenties, Dr. Kälin has been a prolific writer. He is the author, co-author, or editor of many publications, including standard works such as the Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook, the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook, Anti-Money-Laundering: International Law and Practice, or the quarterly, Global Citizenship Review, of which he is the founder and Editor-in-Chief. Dr. Kälin is also a member of various professional bodies and associations. Among others, he is part of the Governing Board of the Investment Migration Council in Geneva and one of its founding members, and is a long-standing member of STEP and the ITPA.

Considered as the architect of the modern citizenship-by-investment industry, it has been stated that “Kälin is to citizenship by investment what Henry Ford was to the automobile – he may not have invented it, but he did standardize, popularize, and globalize it.” Dr. Kälin has been named by Bloomberg as the “Passport King” and is also internationally referred to as “Mr. Citizenship” due to his pioneering and visionary role in laying the foundations and leading the modern investment migration industry as well as being one of the academic thought leaders in the field of citizenship. Introducing the concept of ius doni into the contemporary legal and political theorizing of citizenship and providing the first comprehensive analysis of the subject, his seminal study and doctoral dissertation, Ius Doni: The Acquisition of Citizenship-by-Investment, analyzes the historical, legal and political concepts of citizenship and introduced a new term for the practice of granting citizenship on the basis of contributions to the state. He is also the co-creator of the annual Kälin – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, the first academic study and index of its kind to objectively evaluate and rank the quality of nationalities worldwide. By 2004, Dr. Kälin had already designed an original ranking of the world’s countries according to the number of destinations to which they allowed visa-free travel, the Henley Passport Index. This has become the most widely used such index and is the only one based on original IATA data.

Dr. Kälin has also long been involved in a number of philanthropic and humanitarian projects, and social impact investing. Among other initiatives, he created the Global Citizen Awards and serves as the Chairman of the Awards Committee; organized special scholarships and support programs for underprivileged children; and is also the founder and chairman of the Andan Foundation, a Switzerland-based public interest foundation, which focuses in particular on supporting displaced people and has established important partnerships, including with the UNHCR and UNICEF. His Foundation also initiated the USD 100,000 annual Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Prize in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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