月度归档: 2021年1月

UAE Announces Merit-Based Naturalization, Also for Investors, But It’s No CIP

In the latest example of the UAE bucking Gulf-state convention in its pragmatic quest for growth and development through dynamic policy innovation, the country’s Vice President and Prime Minister (as well as the ruler of Dubai), HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum announced yesterday that legal amendments had been passed to allow for the granting of Emirati citizenship to “investors, specialized talents, and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors, and their families.

Historically, countries in the region have been notoriously reluctant to allow foreigners to obtain permanent residency, to say nothing of citizenship, as well as to permit them to own companies and properties outright. Recent years have seen a flurry of changes in this respect, notably in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, the latter of which already operates a popular golden visa program and recently began permitting foreigners to wholly own companies in the country.

What’s known so far
An official statement, published in WAM, a state news agency, offered further details on the requirements for naturalization under the revised law.

  • Investors:
    • Must own a property in the UAE (minimum values not explicitly stated);
  • Doctors and “specialists”:
    • Must be specialized in a “unique scientific discipline or any other scientific principles that are highly required in the UAE”;
    • Must have made “acknowledged scientific contributions, studies, and research of scientific value”;
    • Must have practical experience of not fewer than 10 years;
    • Must be a member of a reputable organization in field of specialization.
  • Scientists:
    • Must be active researchers in a university or research center in the private sector;
    • Must have practical experience of no fewer than 10 years;
    • Must have made contributions to the scientific field “such as winning a prestigious scientific award, or securing substantial funding for their research during the past ten years”;
    • Must obtain a recommendation letter from a recognized scientific institution in the UAE.
  • Inventors:
    • Must obtain one or more patents that are approved by the Ministry of Economy “or any other reputable international body”;
    • Must obtain a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Economy.
  • “Creatives”:
    • “Such as intellectuals and artists, should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and winners of one or more international awards”;
    • Must have a recommendation letter from “related government entities”.

The statement further specified that those naturalized would not be required to give up their original nationality, that family members of the main applicant would also be granted citizenship, that the swearing of an Oath of Allegiance would be mandatory, and that the citizenship could be rescinded should the applicant breach the conditions for its acquisition in the future.

Discretionary naturalization
At first glance, the new policy will not amount to a citizenship by investment program in the strict sense of the word. For that, the stipulations (at least as is so far publicly known) are not sufficiently detailed or formulaic; note that the only explicit requirement for the naturalization of investors is that they own property of an unspecified value. Inevitably, what constitutes “a unique scientific field”, an “acknowledged scientific contribution”, or “substantial funding” will have to be determined subjectively. The official statements, furthermore, make it clear that naturalization will take place on a discretionary basis:

“Acquiring the Emirati citizenship will be done through nominations from Rulers and Crown Princes Courts, Executive Councils, and the Cabinet based on federal entities nominations.”

What the UAE appears to be planning is more appropriately compared to discretionary or merit-based naturalization, a common feature of the nationality acts of many countries worldwide that reserves for the executive or legislative branches of a state the right to grant citizenship to any individual by fiat should it be deemed in the national interest, waiving otherwise applicable naturalization requirement. In the UAE’s case, of course, there are no conventional naturalization requirements to waive because there was no conventional path to naturalization, to begin with.

Discretionary naturalization clauses typically define very broadly what category of persons the state may naturalize by exception. Though the UAE has published cursory requirements, its policy remains far less-defined than, for example, Malta’s MEIN policy, which that country’s authorities insist on not referring to as a “program” (a stance widely considered an attempt to pre-empt the European Commission’s protestations against citizenship by investment programs).

More information on precise requirements (and amounts, in the case of investors), application procedures, and approving organs is needed not only to evaluate the viability of the UAE’s new program but also to know whether we should think of it as a program at all.

More Policy Updates

The UAE will begin granting citizenship to investors and specialists. As constituted so far, however, the policy does not amount to a CIP.

The new rules mean a single applicant, choosing to rent on Gozo, could obtain a residence permit in Malta for a non-refundable EUR 150,000.

The new regulations would, at once, both make the MRVP more economical for the applicant and more profitable for the government of Malta.

 

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You Asked: American, Malaysian, and South Korean Investor Migrant Trends

Following the publication of Which Nationalities Have The Greatest Propensity for RCBI Program Participation? earlier this week, a number of readers reached out requesting additional data on investor migrant trends for some of the nationalities mentioned.

A reader who works in CBI property development in the Caribbean asks:

I read your latest article and it is interesting to see that Malaysia and South Korea are so high on the list of countries from which people have a propensity to migrate. I checked your new data center but there is no info on [applicants from] Malaysia or South Korea. Do you have any info or stats to share on these countries? It would be worthwhile trying to figure out where they are migrating to so we can determine if they are markets worth targeting.

Worthwhile indeed.

Another reader, focusing on outbound investment migration from the United States, poses a similar question:

Awesome work on the new IMI Data Center. I have a question on the American market […] How do US main applicants break down by program?

Answers
Let me begin by clarifying that the investor migrant statistics upon which the “GDP-adjusted investment migration propensity” is based are limited and, though representative, capture only a minority of the true number of investment migration applications globally in a given year.

This is because only a minority of programs publish rich data. Though we continue to scour the internet for up-to-date statistics, file Freedom of Information requests to compel governments to hand over data, source unpublished-yet-official statistics on certain programs thanks to our global web of hundreds of informants, and manually translate Latvian PDFs, even IMI does not come close to having complete data sets. As a minor consolation, at least we come closer than anyone else.

Programs for which we have adequate data on applicant nationalities:

  • Antigua & Barbuda CIP
  • Australia BIIP (including SIV)
  • Saint Lucia CIP
  • US EB-5
  • US E2
  • Greece Golden Visa
  • UK Tier 1 (investors, entrepreneur, startup, innovator)
  • Vanuatu DSP
  • Latvia Golden Visa

Programs for which we have limited or incomplete data on applicant nationalities (typically programs where only the top five or ten applicant nationalities are reported):

  • Irish Investor Immigration Program
  • Malaysia MM2H
  • New Zealand Investor Visa
  • Portugal Golden Visa
  • Spain Golden Visa
  • Thai Elite Visa
  • Turkey CIP

Programs where we have hardly any nationality data whatsoever:

  • Cayman Islands residency by investment
  • Cyprus CIP
  • Dominica CIP
  • Grenada CIP
  • Malta IIP
  • Malta RVP
  • Panama residency by investment
  • Quebec IIP
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis CIP

Due to such limitations, when we calculated investment migration propensity, we made sure to compare apples-to-apples, which is to say that we compared the investor migrant trends of different nationalities by considering only those programs for which we had sufficient data on all the nationalities under analysis.

So far, in the IMI Data Center’s Country Market section, we have published investor migrant trends for the period 2015-2019 for the following 11 markets:

Today, we will oblige the readers who raised the above questions by publishing investor migrant trend data on Americans, Malaysians, and South Koreans. In a slight departure from convention, we will not do an apples-to-apples comparison; rather, we will report all the data we have for each of the three nationalities, irrespective of whether such data exists for all of them. Where nationality data from a particular program exists for at least one of the nationalities but not the others, we have included a “missing data” marker.

Note that for the US programs (EB-5 and E2), main applicant and dependent statistics are not reported separately. We have therefore assumed an average family size of 3 to arrive at an estimate of the number of main applicants.

Americans

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Antigua & Barbuda CIP 13 13 6 13 11
Saint Lucia CIP 0 0 4 17 9
Portugal Golden Visa Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data 65
Greece Golden Visa 8 5 6 16 12
United States EB-5* N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
United States E2* N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
UK Tier 1 – Investor 11 8 18 21 26
UK Tier 1 – Entrepreneur 73 61 99 72 45
Vanuatu DSP 0 0 1 4 10
Malaysia M2H Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data
Australia BIIP 24 32 56 40 79
Latvia Golden Visa 1 0 0 1 0
Paraguay investor visa 0 1 2 1 1

Malaysians

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Antigua & Barbuda CIP 0 0 0 0 1
Saint Lucia CIP 1 1 0
Portugal Golden Visa Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data
Greece Golden Visa 0 0 0 0 2
United States EB-5* 16 4 3 19 5
United States E2* 2 3 2 2 2
UK Tier 1 – Investor 4 3 6 2 1
UK Tier 1 – Entrepreneur 14 22 19 15 13
Vanuatu DSP 1 4 5
Malaysia M2H N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Australia BIIP 244 442 468 344 211
Latvia Golden Visa 0 0 0 0 0
Paraguay investor visa 0 0 0 0 0

South Koreans

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Antigua & Barbuda CIP 2 1 1 1 0
Saint Lucia CIP 0 4 9
Portugal Golden Visa Missing Data Missing Data Missing Data Missing Data Missing Data
Greece Golden Visa 0 1 0 1 1
United States EB-5* 30 87 65 177 232
United States E2* 712 673 709 787 851
UK Tier 1 – Investor 21 29 27 13 5
UK Tier 1 – Entrepreneur 33 29 27 23 12
Vanuatu DSP 0 5 21
Malaysia M2H 120 184 693 449 Missing data
Australia BIIP Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data Missing data
Latvia Golden Visa 0 0 0 0 0
Paraguay investor visa 0 0 0 0 0

The real numbers are much greater
Keep in mind, when reading the above statistics, that they represent only a fraction of the actual number of investor migrants from the US, Malaysia, and South Korea in the last five years. These are just the ones we know about, thanks to those governments that publish the data.

Many of the most popular programs – such as the CIPs of Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Malta, Cyprus, Grenada, Turkey, the golden visas of Spain, Thailand, New Zealand, and so on – are not represented in the above statistics, but collectively account for tens of thousands of applications annually. We know this because although they don’t publish detailed nationality data, many of them publish aggregate application and approval figures.

This means that the true volumes of investor migrants of any given nationality may, in some cases, be an order of magnitude greater than what’s observable.

More Intel & Data

IMI readers ask: What are the investor migrant trends among Americans, Malaysians, and South Koreans in the last five years?

While Hongkongers are more likely than any other nationality to participate in RCBI programs, the Vietnamese are unrivaled when differences in wealth are taken into account.

The world’s largest collection of investment migration statistics, radically expanded and improved. Welcome to the new IMI Data Center.

 

The post You Asked: American, Malaysian, and South Korean Investor Migrant Trends appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Brexit Represents “Greatest Loss of Rights in Memory”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Luiz Felipe Maia of Maia International Properties
  • Oliver Banks and Kate Everett-Allen of Knight Frank
  • Andres Gutierrez of CSB Group
  • Alejandra Vanoli of VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty
  • Niko Laković of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty.
  • James O’Brien of International Realty Group Ltd.
  • Richard Barrett of Bartra
  • Dimitry Kochenov of University of Groningen

SCMP: Controversial change to Portugal’s golden visa scheme to weigh heavily on Lisbon and Porto’s property market

“It’s inevitable that the programme will become less attractive as Lisbon and Porto are major cities,” said Luiz Felipe Maia, managing director at Maia International Properties, which has offices in Lisbon and Hong Kong.

If applicants need to invest the same amount for a property in rural areas and not in cities, it might be deemed as an unattractive investment, Maia said. Besides getting a residency, investors also look for good properties whose capital value is likely to rise to recover their investment, he added.

[…]

“There is a pent-up demand particularly from international purchasers and those wishing to relocate to Portugal who haven’t been able to in the past 12 months given travel restrictions,” said Oliver Banks, senior negotiator for international residential development at Knight Frank.


Mansion Global: With New Limits on ‘Golden Visas’ in Portugal, Buyers May Look to Other Markets

“Clients are diversifying,” said Andres Gutierrez, an investment immigration consultant with CSB Group in Malta. “In a pandemic, clients have realized that [citizenship by investment regulations] give an edge against geopolitical risk and volatility. They want investment stability, they want options for their children.”

[…]

“Portugal’s appeal and why it’s done so well is partly lifestyle and culture that’s particularly appealing, and values in Lisbon were pretty competitive compared to other European markets,” said Kate Everett-Allen, the head of international residential research at Knight Frank. “In terms of other markets, it’s quite striking how many there are.”

[…]

“Outside of Lisbon and Porto, we’re talking about small cities with not very good [transportation] connections,” said Alejandra Vanoli of VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty in Spain. “In Spain, you have excellent connections flying to Madrid, or on the coast, Levante, Seville or Andalucia.”

[…]

“Life costs are much cheaper here than in the European Union, and you’re getting a lifetime citizenship,” said Niko Laković of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s a very beautiful lifestyle and we’re a maximum two-hour flight from major European cities. And you’re getting an actual passport three months after starting the process.”

[…]

“There’s no restriction at all to foreign ownership of land here, whereas there is some in European nations,” said James O’Brien of International Realty Group Ltd., an affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International in the Cayman Islands. “And obviously there’s no direct taxation at all, whether that’s property taxes, personal income, inheritance. It’s very difficult to find any jurisdiction that ticks all the boxes that the Cayman Islands does.”


Irish Times: 1,088 Chinese citizens pay up to €1m each for residency in the State

Under the IIP, non-EU citizens and their families get the right to live in the Republic in return for investing €1 million in companies operating in specified industries, or donating six-figure sums to charity.

The department did not name any organisation that benefitted from the scheme. However, property business Bartra, controlled by developer Richard Barrett, recently confirmed that it has raised cash for social housing and nursing homes through the IIP, aiding 200 Chinese citizens to gain residency rights.


Le Monde: « Après le Brexit, le statut de citoyen britannique en Europe est équivalent à celui du touriste chinois »

Alberto Alemanno and Dimitry Kochenov pen an op-ed for France’s leading newspaper, in which they liken the status of British citizens in the EU after Brexit as on par with that of Chinese tourists.

Le 31 décembre 2020, 67 millions de ressortissants britanniques ont perdu le droit de s’installer et de travailler au sein de l’UE et dans d’autres pays. De la même façon, les citoyens de l’UE ont perdu ces droits sur les territoires du Royaume-Uni. C’est la plus grande perte de droits dont on se souvienne.

En effet, cela faisait plus de quarante ans que les citoyens britanniques en voyage d’affaires ou touristique ou encore établis en Europe continentale bénéficiaient du statut de ressortissants européens dans leurs pays d’accueil. Il en allait de même pour les citoyens de l’UE qui s’étaient installés au Royaume-Uni au fil des ans. Il s’agit de l’essence même de la citoyenneté européenne : le droit de ne pas être discriminé et partant traité comme un ressortissant national dans chaque Etat membre de l’Union, quelle que soit sa nationalité.

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Once a week, we’ll send you a curated newsletter with the week’s top stories.

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The Vanuatu Citizenship Interviews Part 2: Tackling Illegal Discounts and The 2-Program Paradox

In this second installment of a three-part series on citizenship by investment in Vanuatu, Chairman Warsal of the country’s Citizenship Commission answers some of the most pressing questions the industry has regarding his country’s two citizenship programs:

  • Why are there two citizenship programs selling the same thing at the same price?
  • What is the latest on Jimmy Ng’s VCP?
  • What is the Commission doing to address ongoing problems with illegal discounting?

On a number of occasions in the last year, Vanuatu officials have floated the idea of expanding the number of avenues by which investors can obtain citizenship, notably a real-estate option. Specific plans, however, have yet to materialize, a delay the Chairman chalks up to the legal and economic complexities involved in bringing online further options.

“When the new government came in, they wanted to diversify the program but […] it’s got to work in with the law, with the economics, it’s got to work in with everything that’s already here. The advice they got from the Attorney General’s office has made the government more cautious,” he explains, pointing out that this is why the introduction of new program elements – such as the long-awaited real estate option – is taking time.

Managing mischief
Since the beginning of his tenure in April, 2020, the Chairman has taken a markedly more proactive stance on agent conduct, most recently very publicly cracking down on what he termed “distasteful” marketing practices. One category of misconduct that he has made it a particular priority to prevent is illegal discounting, which he recognizes has become a problem. Lamenting that he had observed many examples of brazenly illegal discounting, Vanuatu DSP agent James Harris said such behavior posed risks not only to program agents but also to the investors who apply through them, as these might see their citizenships rescinded later.

“If I’m an applicant, and I find out that my friend or my neighbor was able to manipulate or get some under-the-table kind of pricing,” asked Harris, “then how am I going to feel? I’m going to feel very aggrieved about it. It undermines the credibility of the whole program.”

Chairman Warsal categorically insisted that any such behavior would be “dealt with accordingly”, presuming the Commission is presented with evidence of the wrongdoing.

“The Commission has sent out a notice to all the agents, advising them that these are the prices set by law and that everyone has to play by the rules. And certainly, if the Commission has evidence of any such [price manipulation] conduct, the Commission will take action because it’s against the law. It has to be stopped.”

Kieron Sharp, CEO of UK-based FACT, a due diligence and risk management company, echoed the Chairman’s view that preventing price manipulation was an indispensable element of preserving the program’s integrity. But keeping tabs on the behavior of agents and applicants, he emphasized, was not something that should end once approvals had been granted.

“It would be wise to look at applicants after they’ve been granted citizenship, for a period of time, to have their backgrounds reviewed, say, on a six-monthly basis, to see whether something that might have been in the background, or wasn’t picked up previously, comes to light,” said Sharp.

For several years now, observers have been asking why Vanuatu has two separate citizenship by investment programs, a state of affairs made all the more perplexing by the removal of differences in pricing and geographical delineations between the two programs last year.

Warsal has previously hinted the VCP’s days might be numbered and, in the video, he explains how the dual-program conundrum arose in the first place. He further admitted that the reason the impasse remains unresolved has to do with certain binding agreements entered into by his predecessors.

“Let me put it this way; because of the contract signed by the previous government, the VCP is still here.”

Watch the full video below:

More Stories About Vanuatu

Citizenship Commission Chairman Warsal explains why Vanuatu has two CIPs and what he’s doing to counter brazen examples of illegal discounts.

In the first video in a three-part series, we talk about yellow passports, honorary citizenship, and the new chairman’s plans for international engagement.

Chairman Warsal is cracking down on inappropriate marketing, starting with a Dubai-firm, but says many others are guilty of the same, and worse.

 

Our readers are the best-informed professionals in the investment migration industry.
Once a week, we’ll send you a curated newsletter with the week’s top stories.

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Which Nationalities Have The Greatest Propensity for RCBI Program Participation?

While Hongkongers are more likely than any other nationality to participate in investment migration programs, the Vietnamese are the most RCBI-inclined population when differences in wealth are taken into account.

Here’s how we measure the investment migration propensity of the biggest RCBI markets:

Absolute vs. GDP-adjusted investment migration propensity
Past performance, says an old aphorism, is the best predictor of future results. For each market considered in the 2020 Investment Migration Market Eligibility Index© (IMMEI), therefore, we have counted the number of known RCBI-applications recorded in each year for the period 2015-19 (main applicants only). This figure is then expressed as a per-million-population number, which we call “absolute investment migration propensity”.

For example, a country with a population of 10 million that was the source of 1,000 RCBI cases in the last five years would have an absolute investment migration propensity of exactly 100 (1,000/10). This number tells us a great deal about how inclined a market’s population is to participate in investment migration programs. 

To know more precisely how predisposed a population is to participating in RCBI programs relative to populations of other markets, however, we need to modulate the absolute investment migration propensity by adjusting for differences in purchasing power. We’ll illustrate why this adjustment is necessary with another hypothetical example:

Country A and Country B both have a population of 10 million and both have been the source of precisely 1,000 RCBI-cases in the last five years. But the GDP per capita of Country A is double that of Country B. Though in absolute terms, these two markets’ RCBI propensity is equal, the population of Country B has demonstrated significantly higher interest in RCBI because, even though they have only half the purchasing power of Country A, they are the source of the same number of applications.

To get a clearer picture of the relative demand for RCBI products, we therefore adjust for differences in GDP per capita to obtain what we call the “GDP-adjusted investment migration propensity”. With the same population, the same number of RCBI cases, but half the GDP per capita, Country B’s GDP-adjusted RCBI propensity is double that of Country A.

To arrive at a GDP-adjusted propensity number, therefore, we simply divide the absolute propensity by the nominal GDP per capita and then multiply by 1,000.

Vietnam and Hong Kong
Here’s a real-world example of how we arrive at the GDP-adjusted investment propensity for two countries, Hong Kong and Vietnam, which make for a highly illustrative example.

At 190.1 investor migrants per million population in the last five years, Hong Kong has the highest absolute investment migration propensity of any country surveyed. Vietnam, meanwhile, was the source of 27.4 investor migrants per million population.

On the face of it, Hongkongers are seven times more interested in investment migration than the Vietnamese. But that simplistic arithmetic belies a veritable Vietnamese obsession with investment migration because of the large disparity in incomes between the two countries. While Vietnam’s (nominal) GDP per capita in 2019 was US$2,715, that of Hong Kong was US$48,713, or roughly 18 times greater. Pound for pound, therefore, the Vietnamese are far more given to investment migration than Hongkongers.

To see precisely by how much, we’ll adjust for differences in GDP per capita between the two:

Hong Kong GDP-adjusted propensity = (absolute propensity/GDP per capita)*1,000 = (190.1/48,713)*1,000 = 3.9

Vietnam GDP-adjusted propensity = (absolute propensity/GDP per capita)*1,000 = (27.4/2,715)*1000 = 10.1

Seen in this light, we can conclude that the Vietnamese are actually 156% more inclined than Hongkongers to participate in an RCBI program.

Why is GDP-adjusted investment migration propensity an important metric?
What GDP-adjusted investment migration propensity gives us an indication of is how many investor migrants per million a country would have if more of its citizens could afford it. And this number can help RCBI executives the world over predict where demand will come from tomorrow.

It’s an imperfect and inaccurate measure, of course, because as GDP per capita rises in a country, the factors motivating emigration may also recede in lockstep with improved economic conditions. Then again, they may not; Hong Kong has one of the world’s highest GDPs per capita and they are still very likely to emigrate, although for different reasons than the Vietnamese.

But, ceteris paribus, or all other factors remaining constant, should Vietnam reach Hong Kong’s GDP per capita at some point in the future, its absolute number of investor migrants per million would likely be a great deal higher than that of Hong Kong.

If you like data-driven articles like this one, you’ll love the IMI Data Center, the world’s largest collection of investment migration statistics.

More Intel & Data

While Hongkongers are more likely than any other nationality to participate in RCBI programs, the Vietnamese are unrivaled when differences in wealth are taken into account.

The world’s largest collection of investment migration statistics, radically expanded and improved. Welcome to the new IMI Data Center.

Though costs associated with renegotiations drove a deficit internally in the CIU, Saint Lucia’s CIP has so far raised near US$50m in contributions.

 

The post Which Nationalities Have The Greatest Propensity for RCBI Program Participation? appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Why Lourinhã Offers Family-Oriented Golden Visa Applicants the Best Investment Option

 

According to IMI, the pandemic has slightly affected total Portuguese Golden Visa investments in 2020, although the statistics from 2016-2019 proved that Portugal has been a top destination for families seeking a safe haven.

Why has Portugal consistently attracted Golden Visa investors every year? According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Global Peace Index 2020 ranked Portugal the third-safest country worldwide and the safest friendliest country in the European Union. In 2019, the Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism Percentile Rank in Portugal was reported at 90.95%.

In the past four years, alternative investment options have seen tremendous growth. Last year, more than one in four applicants chose the EUR 350,000 investment in rehabilitation projects. Cumulatively since the program’s beginning, the share of applicants investing in renovation-property now stands at 8%.

Despite the recent increase in popularity of some of the other investment options, the fact is since 2012, 86% of people who invested in the Portuguese Golden Visa have chosen the EUR 500,000 real estate option. Today, savvy investors are searching for the best investment value and return on their money in the competitive Golden Visa program market. Now, there is an excellent investment opportunity to seriously consider the conventional 500,000 EUR investment option in the beautiful coastal town of Lourinhã. 

The 8 Waves Silver Coast project in Lourinhã is extremely attractive with a competitive pricing strategy allowing investors to purchase any two residential condominiums or storefront units for a minimum of EUR 500,000. With the lower cost of living in smaller towns, real estate prices are much more affordable compared to Lisbon. In 2020, the typical purchase price of a city center apartment (120 square meters) in Lisbon was EUR 300,000, or about EUR 2,500 per square meter. The average monthly rent was EUR 1,578 and rental yields were estimated at 5.45%.

In Lourinhã’s Silver Coast area, on the other hand, a three-bedroom detached villa (224 sq.m.) with an outdoor pool (854 sq.m. lot) was selling for only EUR 265,000, which is EUR 1,183 per square meter. Monthly rent was EUR 914 and rental yields were estimated at 4.35%. Property prices on the Silver Coast are typically as much as 30% lower than in the Algarve, widely considered the most desirable destination in Europe for expatriates and locals.

Lourinhã is among the northernmost municipalities surrounding the Greater Lisbon area. It offers the enjoyment of the Atlantic ocean, fascinating prehistoric fossils, and picturesque countryside landscapes. This desirable coastal town prides itself on being the site of incredible dinosaur findings from the late Jurassic period, earning it a nickname as the Portuguese Capital of Dinosaurs. Dino Parque is the largest open-air museum and theme park in Portugal and a great day out for families but also for anyone interested in learning about this part of Portugal.

Dino Parque

In the summer of 2019, Dino Parque received half a million visitors, an estimated 120,000 of whom were students of all ages from schools throughout Portugal. Since 2019, the pedagogical value of Dino Parque was recognized as regular school study tours for students to take advantage of the paleontological experience and learning true insight into countless incredible creatures from over 400 million years ago.

The 8 Waves Silver Coast project is extremely attractive to larger families of both spouses. Since one Golden Visa application may include the main investor’s spouse or legal partner, children under 18 years of age, dependent children under 26 years of age who are single or enrolled as full-time students, parents of either spouse over 66 years old or 55 years old and dependent, and siblings under 18 years old from either spouse or partner if legally responsible, a single property might prove too limited to allow all family members to live comfortably together! Therefore, the conventional EUR 500,000 investment option through the 8 Waves Silver Coast project allows investors to purchase any two residential condominiums for all the family members to live comfortably together in the same or adjacent building.

Based on the number of Golden Visas issued, the number of dependents in the 2015-2020 period is nearly double that of main applicants. In a Lourinhã property, you will appreciate the lower cost of living, slower quality lifestyle, and the valuable historical-cultural heritage will give you a unique perspective on Portugal.

Founded in 1984 by the Ethnography and Archeology groups of Lourinhã, the Lourinhã Museum is located directly in the center of the village. There is an interpretation area dedicated to natural history in the study of paleontology, geology, archeology, anthropology, and a different area with the largest ethnographic heritage of the Western Region which is a valuable heritage of national and regional culture.

Lourinhã is well known for its Silver Coastline with an area of nearly 150 square kilometers and a population of approximately 26,000. For families and surfers, Lourinhã boasts twelve kilometers of Silver Coastline with many beautiful beaches, such as Areia Branca, Areal, and Caniçal, all of which are ideal for peaceful and romantic seaside walks.

Areia Branca beach

In other words, many properties enjoy stunning sea views, which is the reason Lourinhã is one of the most desirable locations for expatriates and locals to capitalize on very affordable real estate. Moreover, Lourinhã’s Silver Coastline is where expatriates and locals can take in the natural beauty of the Western European coast. However, Lourinhã is also quite a rural municipality, so you can expect spacious country homes with attractive green landscapes.

The 8 Waves Silver Coast project is a new construction featuring 93 residential condominiums, which include 43 premium and 50 standard units, and 9 commercial storefronts including parking. Our local architect team and strategic partners received a great deal of support from the mayor and the head of urban planning at the Municipality of Lourinhã to approve a list of added value such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym facilities, rooftop barbecue stations with large bench seating and tables, and a rooftop glass structure for indoor events.

The 8 Waves Silver Coast project

Moreover, the architect team received approval to reduce the commercial storefront space, which brought about the redesigning of 43 premium units available with second-floor space and extra-large terraces. Above all, the greatest support received from the mayor and head of urban planning was the approval of a wider road including a roundabout for more convenient access to the 8 Waves Silver Coast project.

On the Residence page of our website, Golden Visa investors may select any two units from the residence portfolio of premium, standard, or storefronts totaling the minimum 500,000 EUR investment. To further take advantage of the affordable pricing strategy, we are offering a special 16% discount until March 2021 for the first eight Golden Visa investors who qualify.

With the choice of any two units, Golden Visa investors may have more options for generating income. For instance, the main investor and dependents can live in a three-or-four bedroom unit and rent out a one-or-two bedroom unit. For small business owners, the main investor and dependents can live in a three-or-four bedroom condo and open a business in a storefront for all residents to benefit from. 

Due to the unique shape of the two buildings, there are too many floor plans to display on the website. Therefore, please complete the Invest in Golden Visa form on the website to inquire about the various floor plans. The strategic partners in this project possess decades of professional experience in the industry. Our team has a reliable track record and has delivered a large number of successful projects since the inception of the Golden Visa program. 

According to the world’s largest investment migration consultancy, Henley & Partners, China and Kenya experienced a growth of 116% in inquiries for citizenship by investment in the past year. Based on the chart of main applicants by month and provenance, the category of “others” increased substantially from May 2020 suggesting also the USA and Brazil. According to IMI, the top five Golden Visa applicant nationalities in 2020 were the Chinese (296), Brazilians (126), Americans (75), South Africans (74), and Turks (72). In other words, the 8 Waves Silver Coast project is available to help meet this monthly demand of investors in the desirable coastal town of Lourinhã offering excellent investment and family value with a competitive pricing strategy in an affordable real estate market.

Lourinhã is also known for its prestigious brandy production, as the only region in Portugal demarcated for brandy, and one of only three regions in Europe. Connoisseurs will be pleased to know that the quality of Lourinhã DOC is considered second only to France’s Cognac and Armagnac.

In addition to a rich historical heritage, the inviting beaches extend all along the Silver Coast where the sun shines hot and bright throughout the year, encouraging the practice of adventurous water sports such as surfing, jet skiing, underwater photography, and underwater fishing. Nature offers tourists and residents peaceful and relaxing vacations. In Lourinhã, you can establish a direct contact with nature and enjoy various leisure activities with your family such as mini golf, go carting, tennis, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, or simply read books and rest. 

Lourinhã is a relaxed part of Portugal that does not take long to fall in love with. The 8 Waves Silver Coast project awaits you to capitalize on the special offer while still available!

Interested in contributing a sponsored feature? Email us on cn@imidaily.com and see all our promotional options here.

The post Why Lourinhã Offers Family-Oriented Golden Visa Applicants the Best Investment Option appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

LAUNCH: The New IMI Data Center

Today, we’re proud to present the new IMI Data Center, a much bigger, more comprehensive, and more easily navigable homepage for the world’s largest collection of statistics on residency and citizenship by investment.

One of IMI’s most important functions in the investment migration market is to provide timely and reliable data. Indeed, many of our readers cite our data provision as the part of our work that they most appreciate because the data we provide is very difficult and time-consuming to find elsewhere. By relaunching and enriching the Data Center, we are taking investment migration data provision up a notch.

Constantly growing, the redesigned Data Center already contains more than 300 graphs and charts presenting data on

  • Investment migration programs
  • Investment migration companies
  • Investor migrant trends and key figures
  • Individual country markets
  • Global market statistics

What’s new?

Individual country market data

Want to know how many Nigerian investor migrants participated in the UK Tier 1 investor visa program in 2017, which South African city has the highest concentration of HNWI, or which international investment migration firms have offices in Manila? Consult the corresponding country’s Market page.


Comprehensive program data

Until now, we have displayed some key graphs on each investment migration program on their respective program pages. Now, we are sharing all the data IMI itself has on every program in the data center, providing far richer data sets on each program than was previously available.


Dozens of never-before published datasets

During the ordinary course of our work, IMI collates data that sometimes doesn’t make its way into our articles, either because they are not directly related to particular news items or because we don’t wish to overwhelm the reader with statistics. In the new Data Center, however, we are publishing all of our previously unpublished statistical graphs.


Live search

Looking for a particular statistic such as, for example, the average number of dependents among Greek golden visa applicants? Start typing keywords in the search bar and results will appear in real-time. To narrow down the search results, keep adding keywords.


The new IMI Data Center is freely accessible to all IMI Club and IMI Club PRO members. If you aren’t already a member, you can sign up in less than a minute here.

We will keep adding statistics to the Data Center every week. If you have requests or suggestions for data to add, let the editor know on cn@imidaily.com.

More Intel & Data

The world’s largest collection of investment migration statistics, radically expanded and improved. Welcome to the new IMI Data Center.

Though costs associated with renegotiations drove a deficit internally in the CIU, Saint Lucia’s CIP has so far raised near US$50m in contributions.

Laboring under a pandemic, Greek bureaucrats might have been excused were it not for the starkly contrasting performance of Portuguese peers.

 

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Renegotiation of Marketing Agent Agreement Took Toll on Saint Lucia CIU Finances in FY2019-20

2019-20 was the fiscal year in which Saint Lucia renegotiated its Marketing Agent Agreements to remove geographic exclusivity. That effort, writes Ryan Devaux, Chairman of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Board, though both costly and time-consuming, would ultimately stand the program in better stead going forward.

The year, wrote the Chairman in his annual report, had been one denoted by “challenge, hard work, and, ultimately, success for CIP Saint Lucia. […] we were successful in renegotiating both of our Marketing Agent Agreements. This took a significant amount of time and effort and, as an end result, we successfully repositioned our marketing efforts to be open and inclusive to all, including the two firms with whom we have worked historically. Geographic exclusivities were removed and we restructured our commission framework to be equally applicable to all […]”

The reshuffle, however, came at a cost to CIU finances and program performance, the Chairman pointed out.

“During that period of negotiation, the marketing agents’ efforts towards marketing the program and driving applications were suspended, which impacted on achieving the budgeted 360 applications.”

In the process of arriving at an amended marketing agreement, explained Devaux, the CIU had incurred extra-budgetary settlement and commission payments to the marketing agents as well as legal fees associated with the negotiation, which had contributed to a deficit for the CIU in 2019-20.

Though application numbers increased in 2019-20 (from 152 to 193), approval volume fell from 210 to 143. NEF contributions from approved applications amounted to EC$36m during the period, down from EC$62m last year. The Saint Lucia CIP has raised some EC$131 million (nearly US$50m) in National Economic Fund contributions since 2015.

20% of those contribution amounts, however, are retained by the CIU to pay for items like marketing, promotion, and commissions to agents, which means the net revenue for the government’s National Economic Fund amounted to EC$29m in 2019-20.

The Saint Lucia CIU segments its expenses into Program Costs (those directly relating to processing, such as due diligence expenditure and commissions to agents) and Operating Expenses (expenses related to the running of a CIU, such as payroll, office supplies, rent, and so on). Though Program Expenses were down significantly (which, as Chairman Ryan Devaux explained, is directly related to lower program revenues) and Operating Expenses were materially unchanged from the preceding year, the fall in investment and contribution revenue saw the CIU record an annual deficit of EC$ 662,964, down from a surplus of some EC$2.7m last year.

Though finances at the CIU may have suffered short-term negative impacts, now that renegotiations have been completed and applications are reaching record-levels for the 2020-21 fiscal year, subsequent financial statements are likely to paint a more positive picture of CIU finances.

The National Economic Fund, irrespective of the performance of the CIU’s internal finances, continues to grow in size.

More Intel & Data

Though costs associated with renegotiations drove a deficit internally in the CIU, Saint Lucia’s CIP has so far raised near US$50m in contributions.

Laboring under a pandemic, Greek bureaucrats might have been excused were it not for the starkly contrasting performance of Portuguese peers.

“For some, it is dissatisfaction with Trump; for others, it’s apprehensions about Biden,” says Lisbon-based lawyer Patricia Valadas Coriel.

 

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Once a week, we’ll send you a curated newsletter with the week’s top stories.

Want updates every day?
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The post Renegotiation of Marketing Agent Agreement Took Toll on Saint Lucia CIU Finances in FY2019-20 appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Industry Consolidation Just “A Matter of Time”: 10 on the Weekend – Pablo Ostrick

Ten On The Weekend is a semi-weekly feature in IMI, the concept of which is simple: Each time, we ask the same ten questions of a different industry figure, letting readers get to know the interviewee on a more personal and informal level than they might in an ordinary business setting.

Our guest this weekend is Pablo Ostrick of Holborn Assets.


How do you spend the weekends?
Being based in Dubai, our work-week starts on Sunday and finishes on Thursday. However most of our other 11 offices around the world work on Fridays, so my weekend tends to just be a 1-day event on a Saturday! 

Currently, with the good weather and low Covid-19 related restrictions in Dubai, I am lucky to be able to play Padel Tennis, a growing sport that is very big in Spain (where I grew up).

I also enjoy a good game of chess, so anybody who fancies a game: my tag is “ostrick2000” on chess.com. 

What are your top three business goals this year?
1. Establish Holborn Assets/Holborn Pass as a leading international Citizenship/Residency by Investment provider with our consultants across our existing offices around the world: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Marbella, and Manchester.

2. We are looking for the right business partners around the world who want to join an established brand that remunerates our collaborators handsomely. 

3. Establish a presence in West Africa (Nigeria) and South America (Mexico and Brasil)

What’s your biggest business concern right now?
The changes to the laws regarding European Citizenship/Residency programs. We saw the closure of the Cyprus Citizenship Program last year and now changes in Malta and also in Portugal where the Golden Visa rules are changing, making the investment case less attractive for the investors. 

Considering the global pandemic, the soaring unemployment rates in most EU countries, and their public deficits it really baffles me how governments can choose to either stop programs that work or modify them to their own detriment!

Which book is on your nightstand right now?
Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

There isn’t an intellectual in today’s world that I respect more than Jordan Peterson. His understanding of us humans, based on his clinical psychology experience, his in-depth knowledge of philosophy, and his involvement in current affairs, all from an empirical evidence point of view, makes him a shining light in today’s world. I tend to agree with his scientifically-based opinions on pretty much everything. Anyone searching to understand themselves or the world around them a little better, I would encourage them to read his books, listen to his podcasts, or watch his debates on Youtube.

How and why did you first get involved in the investment migration industry?
I was an Independent Financial Advisor for five years and I got to interact with different providers that offered their citizenship solutions to my clients. However, it was Jeffrey Henseler who inspired me to get into the business based on his integrity and success.

What was your proudest moment as a service provider?
Being able to change people’s future possibilities and their entire family’s future possibilities is really a fantastic skill-set to have, which makes me very proud. Going through the tough hurdles that each residency or citizenship case entails to reach that final moment of handing over those cards or those passports is really something that makes me incredibly happy and proud.

Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?
Selling via Zoom! Something that previously in this industry would have been unthinkable, we are now able to speak with clients and close deals in countries where we have never even visited! 

If you could go back 10 years in time, what business decision would you change?
I would have gotten into the Investment Migration business back then, rather than into Wealth Management.

What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?
I would probably say David Regueiro, from RIF Trust. Not because he is Spanish, like me, but mainly because he is a great businessman and all-around a great guy! 

If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?
Like with any industry, it is a matter of time before big players own the larger share of the market, and small players either disappear or consolidate. I believe that we, at Holborn Assets, are in pole position to be a market leader thanks to our existing international offices across emerging markets. We remunerate our partners generously and we are open for business partnerships and agency representation. I believe that with our business model, in five years’ time we should be leading the front.

More From 10 on The Weekend

Pablo Ostrick says Jeffrey Henseler inspired him to join the IM industry, and most admires David Regueiro (but not because he is Spanish).

Argentinean native Andrés Gutierrez says that while his friends in LatAm are hoping to relocate to the US, Americans are hoping to get out.

Steven Pepa, who admires Mohammed Asaria, believes matching investor migrants with private equity funds can make the latter more humane.

 

Our readers are the best-informed professionals in the investment migration industry.
Once a week, we’ll send you a curated newsletter with the week’s top stories.

Want updates every day?
Be the first in your company to know about breaking investment migration news; Get the most important stories delivered.

The post Industry Consolidation Just “A Matter of Time”: 10 on the Weekend – Pablo Ostrick appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Why Did Greece’s Golden Visa Performance Fall So Far Behind Portugal’s in 2020? Two Experts Answer

Last week, IMI reported that European golden visa rivals, Greece and Portugal, had shown starkly different performances in pandemic-year 2020: While Portugal’s approval numbers ended the year just 5% below their 2019-level, those of Greece were down by almost 90%.

Prior to the pandemic, the Greek golden visa had been on a seemingly unsuppressible upward path that saw it approve nearly three times as many applications in 2019 as its Iberian peer.

To understand why the same program fell so distressingly short of Portugal’s in 2020, we asked two prominent Greek golden visa advisors – Alexander Varnavas of Varnavas Law Firm and Panos Rozakis of Prime Synergy Greek Residency – for their diagnosis of what went wrong, what’s been done to mitigate the problems, as well as when and whether such measures will prove effective.

Panos Rozakis
Alexander Varnavas

What were the most important policy changes for the Greek program in 2020, and how are they expected to aid in the program’s recovery?

Varnavas: We have seen many improvements. First of all, we have started to work with the new financial options. We are pleased to be the first law firm that submitted an application based on a EUR 400,000 term-deposit bank account.

Moreover, the Government has enabled remote submission of the application, which means that the investor does not need to enter the country to submit his application. Still, he can do that with the support of a lawyer holding a Power of Attorney.

Simultaneously, a special department has been established at the Ministry of Immigration Policy to accept golden visa applications during the lockdown. Last, but not least, the Ministry of Immigration has started to accept minors as the main investors, which gives even more options to many families. The golden visa investments are usually child-focused, giving the parents peace of mind, knowing that their kids will always have a second residence.

Rozakis: Three major changes happened in 2020 to facilitate the investment immigration market:

  1. Remote purchase of a property;
  2. remote application through proxy;
  3. and the introduction of three distinct offerings for tax residency:
    1. The fixed tax of EUR 100,000 for High-Net-worth Individuals who transfer their tax residency to Greece;
    2. 7% flat tax rate for pensioners who move to Greece;
    3. and 50% tax discount to professionals who become fiscal residents in Greece.

The new administration is very aggressive in utilizing reforms that will attract investors (missing from previous years). We are looking forward to the post-pandemic days to see how the changes will perform.

Why, even with these changes, were the 2020 figures so disappointing and why has Portugal been able to navigate the pandemic with less of a loss to its golden visa program than Greece?

Varnavas: The number of approvals has nothing to do with the program; only with the Covid-19 travel restrictions. Most of the applicants in Greece are from China, Turkey, and EMEA countries, and people from those countries could not travel to Greece to give their biometrics and conclude the process due to the long quarantine periods both in Greece and their home countries.

Moreover, the number of approvals during 2020 is connected to the concluded applications submitted before the pandemic, including biometrics collection. Before the global lockdown, back in March 2020, Greece had few pending concluded applications, which justifies the big difference in numbers. Of course, now, there are a lot of pending applications but with no collected biometric data. Once the applicants travel to Greece, the golden visas shall be printed.

Rozakis: During previous years, 2015-2019, a lot of foreign companies appeared in Greece, mainly real estate agents, trying to be active in the golden visa market. The main target was to lure potential investors from their home country. We saw more than 50 companies from China operating in Greece. The pandemic practically annihilated these companies, and this created a gap in the market.

One more reason for the poor results is the serious underperformance of the public services that support the golden visa. But the main reason for the poor performance is the inability of the investor to travel to Greece.

I believe the name of the game during COVID-19 is access (to the country). The demand for Golden visa was there. We measured on average 30% more requests in 2020 than in 2019 for the Greek golden visa.

Obviously, Portugal offered more options to foreigners, for potential investors to visit the country, view the offered real estate, and be able to submit their golden visa applications.

Greece, on the other hand, kept a very strict profile against travelers. Very few nationalities could enter Greece during the peak of the crisis (spring 2020). The same measures are still active, and the countries list is renewed very often, based on national pandemic statistics.

We have to admit that the measures paid off. Greece and Finland are currently the only non-red European countries. And comparing Greece to Portugal, the numbers in Greece are considerably lower: Greece has 14,000 cases per million, while Portugal has 55,000.

The Greek economy suffered in total; tourism, the number 1 industry in Greece, was down 88% for 2020.

Will this state of affairs improve soon, or will the Greek Golden Visa downturn continue until the pandemic is fully defeated? What is your prognosis for the program in 2021?

Varnavas: The Greek Government has made a strategic decision to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, this policy had good results, and from now on, we can see that it is possible to re-open the economy. For example, this week all shops have re-opened and work with no restrictions at all, and very soon the ski resorts will open their gates to tourists again.

The vaccination program will also support these efforts, so I am confident that from this spring, people will start to visit Greece and submit their biometrics, and so the Ministry will start again to issue golden visas.

As for a prognosis, I can’t make one for the first half of 2021. This first half could see us reach the end of the pandemic, but it is still an uncertain period in terms of economics. However, and based on the vaccination drive’s smooth progress, I believe that the second half will be as if nothing had ever happened.

Rozakis: As long as the borders are closed, the golden visa figures will remain low. It seems we will not see a material upturn before the summer of 2021. The rate of vaccination in the countries where the investors come from will be the deciding factor.

More Stories About Greece

Despite a flurry of program-enhancing policy changes, the Greek golden visa’s performance in 2020 was lackluster compared to Portugal’s. Why?

Laboring under a pandemic, Greek bureaucrats might have been excused were it not for the starkly contrasting performance of Portuguese peers.

While approvals for Portugal’s golden visa are already back on track for a statistically normal year, those of Greece have halted.

 

Our readers are the best-informed professionals in the investment migration industry.
Once a week, we’ll send you a curated newsletter with the week’s top stories.

Want updates every day?
Be the first in your company to know about breaking investment migration news; Get the most important stories delivered.

The post Why Did Greece’s Golden Visa Performance Fall So Far Behind Portugal’s in 2020? Two Experts Answer appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.