月度归档: 2021年3月

Québec Extends Suspension of Immigrant Investor Program to 2023

Québec’s Ministry of Immigration today dashed hopes that the province’s popular Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) might reopen next month, as originally planned. Instead, Minister Nadine Girault today announced in a statement that the program would not reopen until April 1st 2023.

Today’s extension of the program moratorium is the third such in 16 months. Originally suspended in November 2019 – reportedly to “allow time for the program to be reviewed” – the government prolonged the suspension a second time in May last year, citing “low retention rates in Québec” as a chief cause of concern.

The two-year suspension announced today would allow the ministry to “finalize the current revision work, in order to implement a renewed program that better corresponds to the government’s objectives in terms of integration and francization of immigrants,” said the statement, according to Canada Immigration News.

Preceding the suspension in November 2019 was an accumulated backlog of some 18,800 unprocessed cases. The Ministry today assured that already-submitted applications would not be affected by the suspension.

Mandeville and Associates, a seasoned provider of QIIP-related legal advice, pointed out that the ministerial order covering the suspension had also left the door open for a modification of the policy at any time between now and April 2023, which the firm said gave it “hope that the Québec government may come with a revamped program” before that date.

Sam Bayat, founder of Bayat Legal Services, another global investment migration advisory that can trace its roots back to the Québécois program, commented on Linkedin that the “QIIP is dead in the water and, as we close avenues for business applicants, our Western allies are attracting them with open arms.”

More Policy Updates

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The “QIIP is dead in the water,” lamented Sam Bayat on learning that Quebec will extend its program moratorium for a third time in 16 months.

Malta’s new Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) is officially open for applications, following the publication of the relevant law on Friday.

Applicants to the Cyprus Permanent Residency program now have more investment options than ever, writes Eleni Drakou.

 

The post Québec Extends Suspension of Immigrant Investor Program to 2023 appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Malta’s New Permanent Residence Program Open as of Yesterday

Malta’s new Permanent Residence Program (MPRP), which replaces the erstwhile Malta Residency Visa Program (MRVP), officially opened for applications yesterday following the publication of the relevant law last Friday.

The regulations now in effect have not changed materially from those IMI could exclusively reveal in January, the details of which you can read more about in our original article on the topic:

Going forward, the EUR 250,000 bond-investment requirement has been done away with in its entirety, while the real-estate investment minimums have increased to EUR 300,000 in the South of Malta and on Gozo and EUR 350,000 in the rest of the country, investments that must, in either case, be maintained for at least five years. No changes were made to minimum rental prices.

The government will make up for the removal of the bond investment by raising the amount required for the non-recoverable government contributions; for those who lease properties, the minimum contribution will amount to EUR 58,000, while those who choose to buy will need to contribute EUR 28,000.

Whether they are buying or leasing, all applicants will need to pay an administrative fee of EUR 40,000 of which a quarter is payable prior to approval-in-principle.

All applicants will also be subject to a mandatory EUR 2,000 contribution to a “local, registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO registered with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, or as otherwise approved by the Agency.”

Applicants must further control assets valued at no less than EUR 500,000, at least EUR 150,000 of which must be held in the form of securities.

You can read the legal notice that provides the basis for the program here.

Luke Frendo of Frendo Advisory, a law firm that, among other services, offers assistance with the program, said “we welcome the launch of the MPRP and the changes made to the Programme. The replacement of the requirement to invest in Government bonds with a higher contribution is certainly a positive development. As the world hopefully starts to reopen, I’m sure we will see the demand for the MPRP grow.”

More Policy Updates

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Malta’s new Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) is officially open for applications, following the publication of the relevant law on Friday.

Applicants to the Cyprus Permanent Residency program now have more investment options than ever, writes Eleni Drakou.

Aiming to prevent foreign developers from “recycling”, Turkish authorities say a single property may henceforth only be used once to qualify for citizenship.

 

The post Malta’s New Permanent Residence Program Open as of Yesterday appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

“This is More Than a Spike. This is a Wave”: Investment Migration People in The News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • Andrew Lo of Anlex
  • Evelyn Ackah
  • Jean-François Harvey of Harvey Law Group
  • Clifford Ng
  • Eli McGeever of Soho App
  • Alisha Ma of Halcyon Counsel
  • Antoni Murt Prats of EY Private Client Services
  • Paddy Blewer of Henley & Partners
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons

Reuters: Canada calling? Hong Kong residents shift billions abroad after clampdown

Canadian visa applications from Hong Kong, excluding visitors’ visas, rose 10% to 8,121 in 2020, indicating further capital flows from the city are likely. Britain and Australia are expected to be other favored destinations for Hong Kong residents.

Andrew Lo, chief executive of immigration consultancy Anlex in Hong Kong, is looking to expand into wealth management services in Canada, which he believes will be “a booming market for new immigrants, especially from Hong Kong.”

Lo said he helped around 36 families emigrate to Canada in the past 12 months, each bringing C$1.5 million on average.

[…]

Political developments have prompted people to consider what will happen if things decline, and to look at Canada as an option, said Canadian immigration attorney Evelyn Ackah. “Right now, it’s just an option. I don’t see a mass exodus. It’s people looking around, saying ‘can I be somewhere else if I need to?’”

[…]

Jean-Francois Harvey, a Canadian lawyer based in Hong Kong who specializes in immigration for high-net-worth individuals, has seen a five-fold increase in clients seeking to move to Canada since mid-2020. His clients have transferred at least C$1 million and, more commonly, between C$5 million and C$10 million in the last 12 months.

“There’s been an incredible increase in demand especially for Canada in Hong Kong, so much that in the middle of COVID-19, I had to double the team and the size of the office in Hong Kong,” said Harvey, worldwide managing partner for Harvey Law Group.

“This is more than a spike. This is a wave.”

Hong Kong-based attorney Clifford Ng, who himself immigrated to Canada in 1975 and returned to Hong Kong in 1995, said he has seen a four-fold increase in inquiries about the tax implications of moving to Canada.

[…]

In the first 10 weeks of 2021, Hong Kong hosted nearly a third more exhibitions of new-build properties by Canadian developers than in the same period in 2019, according to data from Eli McGeever, vice president of international property at Soho App.

Exhibitions in 2020 were affected by Hong Kong’s first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Alisha Ma, founder of immigration consultancy Halcyon Counsel, said Hong Kong families are looking at properties in Toronto and Vancouver, but waiting until they obtain permanent residency to avoid foreign buyers’ taxes.


Forbes: How Buying This Property Qualifies You For A Visa To Live In Spain

Antoni Murt Prats is a partner at multinational law firm EY’s Private Client Services department in Barcelona. He explains that the Spanish Golden Visa program has become popular due to the many benefits it offers.

“Once you have your Golden Visa, you and your family members will enjoy the right to live in Spain, as well as freedom of movement within the European Union’s Schengen area, for a maximum period of three months per half-year,” says Murt, adding that another major advantage of the Spanish Golden Visa is that it comes with no time-in-country minimum requirement.


The Telegraph: The Super-Rich Are Moving to “Backup” Countries During COVID (in Ways You’ve Never Imagined)

A leader in the world of matchmaking private investors with willing sovereign states, London-based Henley & Partners, has just published the results of in-depth data analysis, showing that the way different countries have managed the Covid crisis is having a big impact on who wants to become a citizen where.

Historically these programmes have appealed to very rich people from post-colonial countries yet to develop the diplomatic trade relations that provide visa-free travel. Immigration policy in the UK and France mean it’s a lot easier for a Nigerian businessman to take his family to Disneyland Paris on, say, a St Lucian passport than a Nigerian one. But now the rest of the world is catching on to such benefits, particularly the UK and the US.

“Our clients want to know they’ve got somewhere to go that’s safe,” says Paddy Blewer of Henley & Partners. “They’re asking ‘Who’s got great healthcare?’, and ‘How can I live there?’ People actively want to know what the primary health care is like and even how many intensive care beds they have.”


Mansion Global: London Is Emerging as the Destination of Choice for Affluent Hong Kongers

“The view is that while many global destinations provide strong appeal, the U.K. property market provides a safe haven with a track record of stability and growth,” said Arthur Sarkisian, a managing director at the investment immigration firm Astons.

[…]

Paddy Blewer, a spokesman from the immigration firm Henley & Partners, said taking the BN(O) route is “the equivalent of packing up and never going back.” China has called it a violation of international law and an interference in its internal affairs. So while it may be the path of choice for pro-democracy activists, most high-net-worth individuals are not selling their Hong Kong-based businesses and leaving permanently.


Financial Times: Passports — more golden than ever

Having said that, one of the better-known advisers in the field, UK-based Henley & Partners, said this week it had “seen a 32 per cent increase in the daily average number of enquiries (about CBI) compared to the first six months of 2020 . . . the most astonishing being a 192 per cent leap in enquiries from US citizens in 2020. Enquiries from Canadians are up 34 per cent and there have been 29 per cent and 26 per cent more enquiries from UK and French nationals, respectively. After a flat 2019 for our contracted revenues, we had 25 per cent growth in 2020 and 40 per cent growth rate so far in 2021.”

[…]

“We estimate the total global market is between $25bn and $30bn. Of that, $20bn goes to the US through EB-5,” says Henley’s Paddy Blewer. 

The post “This is More Than a Spike. This is a Wave”: Investment Migration People in The News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Everything You Need to Know About North Macedonia’s New Citizenship Program

IMI reached out to some of the major stakeholders of the new North Macedonian citizenship by investment program to clarify questions regarding the program’s structure, pricing, and requirements, as well as about the selection of agents, the North Macedonian government’s decision process, and more.

Responding to our questions were Cyrus Arman of Asara Group, the Master Agent, Jean-François Harvey of Harvey Law Group, the Master Compliance Agent for Asia, and Sam Bayat of Bayat Legal Services, one of the program’s appointed agents for the MENA region.

You can skip directly to a question by clicking it in the list below:

Considering the wide variety of unofficial investment migration “programs” circulating in the market, how can investors be confident that this is a bona fide, government-sanctioned CIP?

Cyrus Arman: Let me begin by pointing out that, since 2016, North Macedonia (then Macedonia) has had a citizenship by investment program that’s fully sanctioned and approved by the government. This is a matter of public record and, indeed, provided for in the country’s nationality laws. For the last four years, investors have been able to obtain citizenship through a EUR 400,000 business investment, the contribution of which to the North Macedonian economy they needed to demonstrate to the government, who would then approve citizenship on a discretionary basis.

What’s new this time is, first of all, that we have introduced two investment contribution funds that are not only fully vetted and pre-approved as qualifying investments by the government but also fully controlled by the government. This provides investors with additional levels of predictability; it removes any questions as to the eligibility of the investment vehicle and gives a precise timeline for qualification.

The program is under the direct (and close) supervision of the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Can we expect an official announcement on the matter from the government?

Cyrus Arman: When the program was first approved in 2016, the government made a number of announcements, though mostly in the local media and not in English. The program was subject to extensive political debate at the time. For the moment, we understand that the government will not be proactively promoting the program in the way you might expect to see in a Caribbean CIP country, leaving such promotion instead to private firms. You can, however, expect an official government page for the program in English within the coming weeks.

Was there a public tender for this program?

Cyrus Arman: The government decided quite early on not to engage third-parties to design or implement the program, opting instead to craft the program on its own. It did, however, consult extensively with both private organizations and the governments of other countries during the planning stages. I am not at liberty to say exactly with which organizations and countries they consulted, but I can say that they were the types of entities that have experience in this field.

Who can become agents of the program? Is it open to anyone?

Cyrus Arman: Prospective agents for the investment contribution fund route can visit that route’s official website to learn more about qualifying as agents. Although the program is open to letting more agents qualify, it will not be as open as many other programs, partly because of the high degree of selectivity the government is committed to, both for its agents and applicants.

Will there be a CIU or other type of dedicated processing unit within the government?

Cyrus Arman: As mentioned previously, the program operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and, within that Ministry, the Citizenship Division. An English-language website for this division is forthcoming. It is this office that will be in charge of processing applications that come in through the investment contribution fund route. This team already has several years of experience vetting applications for citizenship by investment through the business investment option and operate with the highest standards of due diligence.

This division is also responsible for collecting and collating program statistics, which it has signaled it will be open to sharing publicly upon request.

Harvey Law Group is listed on your website as not only an agent for the program but also the “master compliance agent” for Asia. What does that title imply?

Cyrus Arman: Harvey Law Group, in addition to being a normal agent for the program, is authorized to appoint sub-agents for the program. The government judged that, due to the size of the Asian market and the sheer number of small-scale immigration agents and firms on that continent, it would be more practical to have a single, experienced firm with an extensive office presence in the region be responsible for assuring the quality of applications arising from that part of the world. Rather than having hundreds of smaller firms engaging with Skopje directly, they will engage with HLG, who will be responsible for the quality of applications submitted by sub-agents. In other words, as far as program authorities are concerned, it is better for them to have a single point of contact and source for Asia-based applications, all of which will be funneled through that firm.

HLG will have to conduct their own due diligence on its sub-agents, providing an additional layer of vetting prior to the vetting that takes place at the government-level in North Macedonia.

Jean-François Harvey: Because the government prescribes the minimum and maximum fees agents may charge applicants at the retail level (from EUR 30,000 to EUR 50,000, depending on family size), part of our mandate is to not only recruit agents in Asia or provide our own clients for the program but also to ensure everyone respects the government-mandated pricing structure. Unlike in many other CIPs, the agent is not paid any commission from the government as a percentage of what their client invested. The beauty of this structure is that the agent’s margin is built into the prescribed retail fees, which makes everything clear.

Can we expect the introduction of further investment options, beyond business investment and fund contributions, such as real estate, for example?

Cyrus Arman: On the official website, we will begin listing available and eligible business investment options (at the EUR 400,000 level), to make it easier for applicants to pick suitable investments. The government is keen for these investments to take the form of legitimate, long-term, tax-paying, job-creating businesses.

The government has taken a very cautious approach in its design of the program. They are categorically opposed to introducing a real estate option, food-and-beverage-based businesses like restaurants and bars, as well as financial instruments susceptible to manipulation. The government wants to make sure the funds reach strategic economic sectors, and doesn’t consider the abovementioned sectors strategic. North Macedonia’s real estate market is not in need of CBI-funds, and the government also questions that sector’s ability to drive long-term employment growth.

When will the program open to applications and what does the process look like?

Cyrus Arman: The first batch of applications have already been submitted, so the program is already very much open. We like to think of this as a two-tiered program; First, there is a pre-approval stage in which the applicant needs to provide things like his/her CV so that the government can determine whether he/she fits the profile of the type of person they’d like to attract. This process takes between one and two months, at the end of which a pre-approval is issued. At this point, the client is invited to invest in the fund, following which additional due diligence period of 2-3 months takes place before a citizenship is granted.

Though applicants must visit North Macedonia at least once as part of the application process, there is no physical presence requirement for obtaining citizenship through this route. The government hopes, however, that the program will become popular among enterprising individuals looking for a business-friendly, low-tax jurisdiction to use as their European business base, which should also, in some cases, drive actual relocations to the country.

Sam Bayat, head of Bayat Legal Services, an appointed agent for the program in the MENA region, offers additional details on pricing and family structure.

What is the cost structure for investments and applications?

Sam Bayat: The contribution is EUR 200,000 but there is an additional application fee of EUR 20,000 for the main applicant, EUR 20,000 for the spouse, and EUR 10,000 for each eligible child, who may not be older than 18 years of age. Parents and unmarried siblings are not considered eligible dependents.

While the applicant and the minor dependents receive their citizenhips once processing is complete (within 2-5 month period), he explains, the spouse will only obtain it after more than a year has passed. Children born to the main applicant at a future date, however, would be eligible for citizenship right away, even if they are born outside of North Macedonia.

According to the legal memoranda prepared on the program seen by IMI, citizens naturalized through this program will have all the same rights as natural-born citizens, with the notable exception of the right to vote in the country’s elections. The same limitation applies to the future progeny of the main applicant, even when they are born in the country. The same memoranda reveal that North Macedonia will not accept applications from same-sex couples.

Which documents are required for application?

Documents required for filing applications include:

  • A due diligence report by a reputable third-party international firm;
  • An application form;
  • Passports;
  • Birth certificates;
  • Marriage certificates;
  • Police certificates;
  • A sworn oath to be a loyal citizen of North Macedonia;
  • A detailed CV for the main applicant;
  • Passport photos;
  • Powers of attorney;
  • Bank statements or references to demonstrate a certain financial standing;
  • Signed prospectus and share redemption documents with the government-approved fund;
  • Transfer-receipt of the EUR 200,000 investment contribution;
What will the funds invest in?

The authorized funds will principally invest in:

  • Startup companies
  • Innovation and technology development
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Environmental and recycling projects

More Policy Updates

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Applicants to the Cyprus Permanent Residency program now have more investment options than ever, writes Eleni Drakou.

Aiming to prevent foreign developers from “recycling”, Turkish authorities say a single property may henceforth only be used once to qualify for citizenship.

“Consultants in India who are not licensed and who give legal advice regarding foreign immigration laws, are in violation of the Advocates Act of India.”

 

The post Everything You Need to Know About North Macedonia’s New Citizenship Program appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Pace of Industry Change is Speeding Up: 10 on the Weekend – Stephane Tajick

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 Stephane Tajick of Stephane Tajick Consulting.


How do you spend your weekends?

You’ll be disappointed. We have had a curfew since December here in Quebec. Restaurants and bars are closed for sit-downs. With the addition of our cold winter, there is very little to do, to the point that every day looks exactly the same from the point of view of my home. I usually don’t work much during the weekend, but I certainly can say I’ve not done anything of note lately other than work. Thank god for football on TV or else it would be very dull. 

What are your top three business goals this year?

I’m launching 3-4 big projects this year. I can’t talk about all of them as they are in the pipeline, but I’m happy to say that I have joined an exciting new project with Rogelio Caceres and RCG Global to take by storm the US market. Rogelio is building an incredible team and I’m bullish that we will be able to make the US market a strong segment of the RCBI industry. 

What’s your biggest business concern right now?

Time management to deliver on all those big projects will be key, as will cost optimization. The global environment is very volatile right now with travel restrictions and difficulties in processing applications. RCBI programs are opening, being amended, or closing at a faster pace than we are accustomed to. The Cyprus CIP closing and the uncertainty surrounding the EB-5 and QIIP risk reducing the supply of good programs. Others, such as Australia and New Zealand are experiencing backlogs and longer processing time. It’s never ideal to see programs taking too much time to approve applicants, especially with the risk of policy changes. I fear a drop in the quality of programs due to those consequences.   

Which book is on your night-stand right now?

There are no books on my nightstand. I do read every night but on my phone. I guess it makes me a typical millennial. I usually read about football, history, politics, the economy, or the industry-favorite: IMI. 

How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?

Around 10 years ago. One of my close friends, who worked with immigrant investors, asked me to advise some of them looking to start a businesses in Montreal. I got sucked in by the potential economic impact the Immigrant Investor program could have in Quebec. Six months later, I was pitching a “post-landing economic integration” program to the Quebec government to optimize the economic impact of the program. 

What was your proudest moment as a service provider?

Very hard to say. Perhaps I should be more proud of myself. I’m still young-ish, so I hope there are many more challenges ahead. The closest to “being proud” would be to see some of my policy suggestions for the QIIP and QIEP adopted into regulation after so many efforts.

Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?

The US market has been the most surprising. A sleeping giant, perhaps, but unexpected nevertheless. A difficult market to enter, very different from other traditional markets. 

If you could go 10 years back in time, what business decision would you change?

Looking back, I would say spend less time lobbying the Quebec government for policy changes in regard to the QIIP. Positive advancements were set-back by changes of government. Other than that, I tried to learn as much as possible about investment migration and the mechanisms behind them such as the economic environment creating their need. I’ve been over pretty much all the citizenship and immigration laws in the world but I always feel I still don’t know enough. There is always so much more to know and brilliant people to learn from. 

What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?

There are so many people to choose from. Many in the industry deserve admiration. Many of the “Montreal Crew” have made a name for themselves and are incredible human beings and businesspeople. It would be ungracious to put only one on a pedestal. But since I have to, I would need to give a shout-out to Marc Audet of Auray Capital, being the first one I built a good relationship with when I started down this path ten years ago. An awesome guy from whom I learned a lot seeing him work and build such a reliable enterprise. 

If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?

I never think that far ahead. I feel that’s daydreaming. I concentrate on the road map and the few months ahead. All I can say is I hope for the world to go towards a path of greater stability and security. 

More From 10 on The Weekend

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“A typical millennial”, Stephane Tajick says there is no book on his nightstand, only his phone, and that the falling supply of good RCBI programs keeps him up.

Hakan Kodal says program legislation “should be shielded from political meddling and infighting within parliaments, which is only wasteful.”

Bashar Daoud: “I call them ‘pop-up’ companies because they appear for such a short period of time and then completely disappear.”

 

The post Pace of Industry Change is Speeding Up: 10 on the Weekend – Stephane Tajick appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

The Three Types of Investment Migration Company and How to Measure Their Size

 

Recently, as part of my negotiations with government officials in a country considering a new citizenship by investment program, I was asked about how big our firm is compared to other companies. I honestly did not know how to answer the question, as I did not know how to compare my company to other companies. There are so many dimensions on which companies could be compared, from income to the number of clients to – what many like talking about – the number of employees.

Unfortunately, most of this information is not public so it is hard to know the truth about most companies. Furthermore, it is tricky to compare one company to another because, in the investment migration industry, many companies perform many different tasks. As such, most comparisons would be like comparing apples and oranges.

In order to answer the government officials, I had to explain first what kinds of different companies exist in the RCBI-world.

Marketing companies

It seems to me that a vast majority of companies in this industry are marketing companies, and this includes many of the biggest brands in investment migration. These companies serve the great purpose of searching the world for investor clients; most countries certainly cherish the value these companies bring to IM programs.

These are the firms that find the clients and, generally, collect documents on their behalf before passing those documents to local agents that are authorized to represent clients vis-à-vis government authorities. A large proportion of these types of companies were formed over just the last few years and have grown tremendously in pretty much all the dimensions I mention above.

They are some of the best-known companies in the industry now and command great respect among both clients and government officials for their ability to generate huge numbers of clients. Building their brands, some of these companies have become leaders in what could be called in this industry as ‘fame’. They do not officially work with governments, as they have to submit files to those local agents on the ground. Yet, they generally enjoy the lion’s share of the clients’ fees as well as the fees paid by governments.

As these companies are all based in source countries, they have an advantage over the smaller local agents in that they are simply physically closer to the client, they can speak the client’s language, and generally provide a service that makes the client feel more secure than working with the actual government licensed agent located thousands of miles away. These marketing companies don’t have offices or operations in the countries where the citizenship is awarded, and they generally don’t need that as they are simply represented by local agents. In any case, these companies – by numerous metrics – may be considered the leaders and “top” companies in the industry.

Local agents

Other types of companies are the local agents. These are generally smaller companies based in a single CBI country and working only with that particular country’s CIP. Usually, these companies receive files from the bigger overseas marketing companies and submit files to governments, and generally liaise between governments and marketing companies or directly with some clients.

As these firms generally have little access to direct clients, they have, over the years, succumbed to the competition and the greater power of the marketing agents. While their relations with governments are good as they need to liaise on behalf of clients on a daily basis, they generally do not enjoy any of the economic fruits arising from direct government advisory.

The vast competition from the many local agents both in their own country as well as other countries has generally led to downward pressure on legal fees driving many of these agents out of business. These agents are critical to the industry because they are country-specific experts who serve the important purpose of representing clients and protecting their interests. However, local agents are generally small. Whether they are one-or-two-man-bands, they have over the years – honestly – been sidelined to a great extent by the major international marketing companies. As such, by most metrics, they generally remain small companies.

Hybrid firms

The third type of company is the hybrid of international marketing agents and local agents, a class of IM firm present in countless jurisdictions. These companies are registered locally in multiple CBI jurisdictions where they work as local agents. They also maintain offices in one or more source countries where they generate clients to be processed by their own offices in various jurisdictions. Only a few companies have made the huge effort and investment needed to open offices in multiple locations around the world. These companies are able to provide the full specter of services in that they are both close to the clients in source countries and able to represent the clients themselves in the CBI countries. Most of these companies are quite well known and are often considered leaders according to pretty much all the dimensions mentioned at the outset of this article.

Getting back to the government officials who posed the question about how big our firm was compared to other industry companies: I tried to make a long story short but, as with most things in this industry, the answer ended up being long, complicated, and worthy of a whole article in IMI. 

More Opinion

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When Nuri Katz was asked how big his company is compared to others int he business, he didn’t know how to answer. So instead, he wrote an article for IMI in which he offers a more nuanced response.

Angie Rupert writes about how vaccinations, an immigration-friendly government, and a forecast post-pandemic consumption boom could spur a new wave of immigrant entrepreneurs.

By discounting only for large families, CIPs are missing out on investment from the world’s fastest-growing household-type, writes Justin Donovan.

 

The post The Three Types of Investment Migration Company and How to Measure Their Size appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Reform for Cyprus’ Permanent Residency Program: New Investment Options

 

The government of Cyprus this week published amendments to the country’s Permanent Residence Permit (CPRP), which is granted to non-EU nationals investing in the Republic of Cyprus. This is the first time the government has amended the program since February 2016, and the third revision overall.

The amended CPRP continues to apply to the main applicant, the spouse, the applicant’s unmarried and financially dependent children up to the age of 25 (provided they are engaged in bachelor’s or master’s degree studies), as well as to the applicant’s parents and parents-in-law.

No change to minimum amounts, but new investment options introduced

While the minimum investment amount of EUR 300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) remains unchanged, further investment options are now provided to applicants.

Besides the option to invest in new residential properties, investors now have the option to invest in commercial properties, including offices, shops, and hotels. The properties of this category could be either new or resale. Moreover, the applicant may choose to invest in the share capital of a Cyprus company having a physical presence and activities in Cyprus and employing at least five persons.

Lastly, applicants may choose to invest in compartments of Cypriots UCITS (AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF). The investment funds should have emanated from abroad, and the investment should be maintained or replaced by another investment of the same or greater value, in order to maintain the permit.

The applicant should prove a secure annual income (including salaries from employment, pensions, dividends, fixed deposits, rentals) of at least EUR 30,000, increased by EUR 5,000 for every dependent person (spouse and children) and by EUR 8.000 for every dependent parent or parent-in-law.

This income should derive from abroad in cases where the applicant invests in new residential units, while the income can be generated from sources within Cyprus in all other cases. Both the income of the applicant and the spouse can be taken into consideration.

The applicant and the spouse should provide a clean criminal record from the country of residence or from Cyprus in case they are residents of the Republic. The applicants should not be considered as a threat in any way to the public order or public security in Cyprus.

Pledging a deposit no longer required

It is no longer required to have a pledged deposit in a Cyprus bank account. Moreover, the applicants should confirm that they do not intend to undertake any sort of employment in Cyprus, besides holding the position of Director in the company in which they have chosen to invest as per the current policy.

Applicants, furthermore, can be shareholders in a company registered in Cyprus and receive the dividends of such company, or hold the position of Director in such company without receiving a salary.

In cases where the applicant has chosen to invest in any other category besides the category of new residential properties, the applicant should provide relevant documentation as to the place of residence in Cyprus (e.g. sales agreement, rental agreement, or title deed).

The investment should be concluded before the submission of the application. The relevant documentation as to the settlement of the funds must be provided upon the submission of the application. In the case of investment in residential properties, the applicant needs to show that the
minimum amount of EUR 200,000 (plus VAT if applicable) is paid to the developer, while in all other investment options the total minimum amount of EUR 300,000 (plus VAT if applicable) needs to be settled prior to the submission of the Residence Permit application.

The Cyprus Residence Permit (Fast Track) has always been a popular program. Over the years, it has been improved so as to include three generations of the family. Yesterday, we welcomed another remarkable improvement: Applicants now have more options in terms of their investment, enabling non-EU investors to explore more business opportunities and combine these with their immigration options.

More Policy Updates

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Applicants to the Cyprus Permanent Residency program now have more investment options than ever, writes Eleni Drakou.

Aiming to prevent foreign developers from “recycling”, Turkish authorities say a single property may henceforth only be used once to qualify for citizenship.

“Consultants in India who are not licensed and who give legal advice regarding foreign immigration laws, are in violation of the Advocates Act of India.”

 

The post Reform for Cyprus’ Permanent Residency Program: New Investment Options appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Podcast: Pandemic’s Lessons for IM Programs and the Impact of a North Macedonian CIP

For investment migration, 2020 was a year of both setbacks and of considerable advances. While the pandemic brought record global awareness of the usefulness of alternative citizenships and residencies, it also made putting investment migration plans into practice far more difficult.

Some programs have seen record application volume while others have seen it collapse. Service providers speak of a sharp rise in demand, but also difficulty in catering to it.

In this second episode of our new podcast, the Mobility Standard, we discuss how different investment migration programs performed in 2020, and ask which lessons may be gleaned from those observations.

We’ll try to explain the divergence in performance during the pandemic between Greece and Portugal, and why the Caribbean was able to carry on with business as usual. We want to know whether there is something besides the pandemic that explains the sharp decline in EB-5 applications over the last year, and also try to map out the regional center program’s future beyond its June 30th expiry date.

Ahmad wants Stephane Tajick, our guest in this episode and the designated Canadian, to explain why Canada, an ostensibly immigrant-loving country, keeps making it harder to immigrate.

We want to know if 2020’s reportedly sharp rise in inquiries will translate into actual applications in 2021, and also try to understand which markets will be the biggest sources of investors in the next few years.

Finally, we have to talk a little bit about the biggest news story this week; the heralded opening of a North Macedonian CIP, and what effect that will have on the competitive balance of European CIPs.

Timestamps:

  • 02:16: What explains the sharp divergence in performance between the Greek and Portuguese golden visas in 2020?
  • 07:36: Why were applications and approvals for the Caribbean CIPs relatively unaffected by the pandemic?
  • 11:31: What, except the pandemic, explains the sharp downturn in applications and approvals for the US EB-5 program in 2020?
  • 13:00: Moment of Truth for the EB-5 program. What happens after June 30th?
  • 19:46: Why does “immigrant-loving” country Canada keep making it harder for people to immigrate?
  • 24:43: Many firms have reported tremendous increases in the number of inquiries about investment migration programs in 2020 but, so far, this hasn’t translated into a corresponding increase in applications. What’s behind this schism?
  • 32:03: Which are the next big source markets for investment migration?
  • 36:52: A small crisis in the Vietnamese investment migration market
  • 39:06: Which programs will absorb the strong demand that existed for the now-closed Cyprus CIP?
  • 44:57: How will the increasingly likely prospect of a North Macedonian CIP affect the competitive position of other CIPs in Europe and the Caribbean?

The post Podcast: Pandemic’s Lessons for IM Programs and the Impact of a North Macedonian CIP appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

The Same Property Cannot Be Used Twice to Qualify for Turkish Citizenship, New Guidelines Clarify

Aiming to prevent self-serving developers from “recycling”, Turkish authorities say a single property may henceforth only be used once to qualify for citizenship.

On Monday this week, Turkey amended its Guideline Regarding the Regulation on the Application of the Turkish Citizenship Law, bringing changes to the rules for property transactions between foreigners, particularly as it pertains to the acquisition of citizenship under the country’s CIP.

Section G of the new Guideline, headlined “Transactions Between Foreigners”, introduced a slew of new conditions for both the property and the purchaser in cases involving citizenship applications.

Properties subject to sales or preliminary sales agreements, according to LP Legal, an Istanbul-based law firm:

  • Must not be registered in the land registry on behalf of foreign real persons, including the foreign person’s spouse or children.
  • Should not be among the properties transferred to a Turkish citizen/company after 12.01.2017 by the foreign real person who wishes to acquire citizenship, or its spouse and children, or by a foreign real person of the same nationality. 

However, if the property registered in the name of a foreign real person is transferred to a Turkish citizen/company after 12.01.2017, a foreign real person of a different nationality is able to acquire citizenship with said property. 

The property to be acquired by a foreign real person that is subject to the sale or preliminary sales agreement should not be registered:

  • On behalf of the company where the foreign real person himself/herself, his/her spouse and children is a partner or manager. 
  • On behalf of the company subject to Article 36 of the Land Registry Law (with foreign/international capital) where same nationality real person is a partner. 

After a property has been used to acquire citizenship through a title deed transfer or a preliminary sales contract, the same property or any share of the property cannot be used to acquire another citizenship. 

LP Legal offers a practical example to illustrate the effect of the new rules:

M, a foreigner, has concluded a preliminary sales contract for the full shares of a property in Istanbul for US$252.000 and has undertaken not to sell or release the property for three years. This has been annotated in the Land Registry and M has received a conformity certificate. Upon the conclusion of the three-year annotation period, and even if the owner of the property changes, the same property cannot be used by someone else to acquire Turkish citizenship. 

Another example, to illustrate what would happen in the case of acquisition of a partial share in a property:

A, a foreigner, has purchased a half share of a property for US$255,000 and has annotated not to sell the property for 3 years, and has received a conformity certificate in order to acquire Turkish citizenship. Even after the three-year annotation period, the same share cannot be used to acquire citizenship by a different foreigner through title deed transfer or preliminary sales contract, even if the owner of the share changes. 

Should the foreigner who acquired Turkish citizenship through a property investment sell that same property back to either the company or Turkish individual from whom they originally purchased it (unless in cases of court-mandated property transfers), the “certificate of conformity that forms the basis for the acquisition of citizenship of the foreign person and his/her family will be re-evaluated,” writes LP Legal.

A similar re-evaluation would take place if “the foreigner who acquired Turkish citizenship revokes the annotation of the preliminary sales contract from land registry record of the property and sells it to a third person.”

Read LP Legal’s full opinion on the amendments here.

“Kick-back systems and projects designed to be recycled”

“In a nutshell,” writes Ahmet Şener, Managing Partner of Turkey-based Smart Citizenship, a provider of Turkish CIP services, “the government is making a flurry of changes to limit what qualifies and what doesn’t and is bringing into play some limitations aimed at preventing nationals of the same country from building a ‘Ferris wheel’ of CBI eligible investments.”

Şener speculates that the changes may have been a Tax Office initiative.

“I think they’ve caught wind of kick-back systems and projects designed to be recycled among same-country nationals to provide an endless supply of CBI-eligible projects while limiting the funds that actually reach Turkey. The former issue is huge and important and has already resulted in revenue-losses for the Turkish economy.”

Though sympathetic to the motives behind the amendments, Şener says he would have preferred “to use this as an opportunity to strengthen the ecosystem rather than making illiberal changes that will result in reduced program desirability.”

More Policy Updates

Post Grid lazy load

Aiming to prevent foreign developers from “recycling”, Turkish authorities say a single property may henceforth only be used once to qualify for citizenship.

“Consultants in India who are not licensed and who give legal advice regarding foreign immigration laws, are in violation of the Advocates Act of India.”

The government indicated the program’s economic benefits so far did not justify jeopardizing EU accession talks.

 

The post The Same Property Cannot Be Used Twice to Qualify for Turkish Citizenship, New Guidelines Clarify appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Shard Capital Investor Visa Appoints Chief Investment Officer


Shard Capital, a leading wealth manager, is pleased to announce the expansion of its dedicated UK Tier 1 (Investor) Visa team with the appointment of Jacky Ng to the newly created role of Chief Investment Officer for its existing investment committee.

Jacky has over 15 years of experience in portfolio management across all asset classes, having worked for SG Hambros Bank since 2005. His most recent position was as a multi-asset class senior portfolio manager, managing over £350 million AUM at Kleinwort Hambros, SG’s private banking and wealth management division.

Jacky was responsible for creating the investor visa strategies within Kleinwort Hambros and co-managed the Bank’s Moorea UK equity fund. He was the chairman of the Alternative Selection Committee and managed the Absolute Return strategy prior to that.

Jacky was named as one of Citywire’s top 30 under 30 in Wealth Management in 2013. He holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics from the London School of Economics and is a CFA Charterholder.

Jacky will be responsible for overseeing all investment activities for investor visa clients within Shard Capital. Since 2017, Shard Capital’s Investor Visa team has helped over a hundred high net worth individuals move to the UK through the Tier 1 (Investor) visa process and boasts over 40 years of collective experience in the sector.

Farzin Yazdi, Head of Investor Visa at Shard Capital, said: 

Farzin Yazdi

“I am delighted to welcome Jacky to our growing specialist team which further enhances our investment proposition since the March 2019 immigration rule changes. It is an exciting time as we continue to deliver tailor-made solutions to meet our client’s individual needs. Following the release of the UK’s 2020 migration statistics, which showed a significant drop in volumes of Tier 1 (Investor) visas issued as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, we expect a significant bounce back in the number visa issuances as 2021 progresses. Our already vastly experienced team is only further strengthened by Jacky’s appointment, and we are well-placed to guide individuals through the multiple unique investment aspects of the investor visa process.”

Jacky Ng said: 

“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to join Farzin and the Shard Capital team. Their reputation within the industry is stellar. We’re at a crossroads in the UK in terms of volumes of investors visas we expect to be issued in the coming 12 months, with the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions in the UK expected to precipitate a significantly higher number of visa applications in the second half of the year. It is vital that applicants source an experienced, competent, and trustworthy adviser to guide them through this process. Shard Capital maintains the highest standards of client service and satisfaction in this regard and I’m thrilled to join the team.” 

For further information, please visit www.shardcapital.com or contact: 

SEC Newgate  ShardCapital@secnewgate.co.uk
Sally Walton
Joe Cockerline
+44 (0) 7961 463 864 
+44 (0) 7792 968 506 

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