Investment migration people in the news this week include:
- David Lesperance of Lesperance Associates
- Nuri Katz of Apex Capital
- Micha Emmett of CS Global Partners
- Juerg Steffen of Henley & Partners
- Nigel Green of DeVere
- Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments
- Chris Immelman of Pam Golding International
- Alex Muscat of the Maltese government
The ultrawealthy have had enough in 2020 — of America.
Americans are set to potentially break records for expatriation, or renouncing citizenship, this year, not to mention how many wealthy Americans are obtaining second passports. David Lesperance, an international tax and immigration advisor and lawyer, thinks the numbers could be higher than reported.
As Lesperance put it, being in the US right now is like being in a “wildfire zone” — and procuring another citizenship is akin to “fire prevention.”
“With the expatriation numbers, that’s people actually getting in the car, using their fire escape plan, and leaving,” he told Business Insider. “For every one of those, we’ve got probably 10 people who are just getting the fire insurance and the fire escape plan. And they may never have that day.”
Apex Capital, a firm that specializes in citizenship by investment (CIP) programs, said it has seen interest increase more than 600% since the election, compared to 2019.
Founder Nuri Katz said interest has historically piqued during elections. In 2016, he said, it started “getting a lot of calls about wanting to get out.” He said many of those potential clients in 2016 didn’t follow through, but 2020 has changed all of that.
With a growing number of Western countries including the US, UK and the European Union tightening their immigration and visa policies, citizens of African countries are finding it harder to travel abroad.
Given the odds, global residence and citizenship advisory firms like Henley & Partners and CS Global Partners are seeing a surge of wealthy Africans interested in acquiring citizenship of a second country in exchange for a sizable financial contribution to the passport host country’s economy in a process termed “citizenship by investment.”
“The Caribbean offers a luxurious lifestyle combined with accessibility which appeals to many Kenyan entrepreneurs, business owners, and those wanting a better life for their family,” says CS Global Partners chief executive Micha Emmett in a press statement. “What perhaps used to be seen as an unconventional avenue to obtain a second passport is now highly sought after.” Emmett added.
International Adviser: Number of HNWs seeking second passport ‘skyrockets’
According to financial advisory firm DeVere, demand for its residency and citizen service “skyrocketed”, with an increase of 50% year-on-year, while citizenship advisory company Henley & Partners reported a similar trend with a 25% increase in enquiries about citizenship-by-investment schemes by mid-November 2020.
“The volume has also now reached a critical mass where it is reasonable to suggest that investment migration is now a standard consideration for international HNWIs who are looking to hedge volatility, create short-term value as well as long-term yield through enhanced global mobility,” said Juerg Steffen, chief executive at Henley & Partners.
Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments pens an opinion piece for Arabian Business in which he posits that Dubai, the end of which seems to always be “imminent”, will continue to defy pessimistic predictions thanks to strong fundamentals.
All of us are looking for stability, security, and quality of life. Can anywhere else in the world compete with Dubai on all these levels at the moment? I suspect not. Dubai is poised not just to bounce back, but to leap forward.
Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International, said: “Portugal is among the top three in the 2020 Global Peace Index, and with English widely spoken, great weather, an affordable cost of living and healthcare, excellent education facilities and no wealth or inheritance tax or tax on overseas pensions, is increasingly popular among South Africans seeking residency by investment or easy access to EU countries. With interest and uptake ongoing through the Covid-19 lockdown, most of our investors are looking to acquire a Golden Visa in order to afford them and their immediate families visa-free access to EU countries in all 26 countries in the Schengen zone to study, work or live – with some seeking to relocate or retire permanently to Portugal.
Times of Malta: Defending what is ours by right
Malta’s “Citizenship Czar”, Alex Muscat, outlines the economic, moral, and legal reasons his office has taken a hardline stance against the European Commission’s attempts to lean on Cyprus and Malta over their citizenship by investment programs.
We will defend our well-thought programme not just for the sake of our economic gains but for the sake of our citizens. Because individuals who opt to invest here and deserve to pass through our sieve are individuals who invest in Malta and in all the Maltese, with all our potential, attributes, aspirations and dreams.
We will protect this symbiotic scenario with all our might.