Many of those in the US and UK have also become disillusioned by the rise of nationalist sentiment, with Brexit driving some Europeans out of the country and forcing others to formalise their status for the first time. “Brexit has affected everyone, including billionaires and European royalty,” says Tracy Evlogidis, partner and head of immigration in London. “People who have been here for years are suddenly finding that if they want to open a bank account, register with a doctor or put their child into school they have to show their right to be in the UK. It’s an alien concept and can be quite emotional.”
Yet Tracy and her team also see people moving for happy reasons. “It’s always a defining moment when someone gets married and we see a lot of people coming to marry a UK spouse,” she says. I had a nice message from two academics saying how grateful they were that we’d fast-tracked their application, because otherwise they would have been separated during the pandemic.”_
On the flipside, a relocation can also precipitate the end of a relationship. Following an illness, a British entrepreneur decided to sell his business and start a new life in Rome. He wanted to learn more about art and history, and stood to benefit from the Italian tax regime, which is now very favourable to foreigners. His wife, however, did not wish to move. “A relocation can represent a turning point for one member of a couple but not the other. If they are unable to reach a compromise then it is difficult to overcome that, but there is always a way to move forward” says Giulia Cipollini, a private client partner in Milan. “We have to be very adaptable to meet our clients’ needs even as their circumstances change.”
Another UK client who fell in love with a tiny Venetian island was forced to choose between his new home and his collection of classic cars. “It is not allowed to drive on the island so we had to arrange somewhere else in Italy for him to keep his cars,” says Giulia. However, he quickly adapted to his situation and is now acquiring a classic motor boat. Those who are adventurous enough to relocate tend to discover new passions wherever they go.