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“The Sector is Benefitting From the Instability”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • David Regueiro of RIF Trust
  • Tony Ebraheem of 111 Immigration
  • Preeya Malik of Step Global
  • Imran Farooq of AAA Associates Immigration
  • Sadir Al Kherdaji, of Al Kherdaji International Legal Consultants
  • Tiago Camara of PTGoldenVisa
  • Kristin Surak
  • Maryam Djafarpour of Savory & Partners
  • Christian Kälin, Jürg Steffen, and Stuart Wakeling of Henley & Partners
  • Armand Arton of Arton Capital
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
  • Jason Porter of Blevins Franks
  • John Hanafin of Huriya Private
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons

Gulf News: Why are the wealthy investing in residence and citizenship planning amid pandemic?

“The pandemic has meant that even more wealthy people have felt hemmed in by borders and are likely to hedge the risk in the future by ensuring they can move smoothly across them and spend time in desirable locales,” says professor Kristin Surak from the London School of Economics in her recent research on the uptake of residence by investment programmes in the European Union.

[…]

Maryam Djafarpour, International Business Development Manager, Savory and Partners, echoes the same, as she says, “Over the past decade, we have learned that you can never be too prudent to forecast the future. Investment migration is a constantly evolving industry. However, the lockdowns and grounding of flights have made everyone yearn for mobility. This emphasises how we take mobility and freedom for granted. Such disruptions of a global magnitude have created instability within regions leading to an increased demand in the sector.”

A recent study published by residence and citizenship advisory firm Henley & Partners also points to an accelerated growth of investment migration amid Covid-19, which has now become a standard consideration for international HNWIs who are looking to hedge volatility, create short-term value as well as long-term yield through enhanced global mobility.

The firm has recorded a 25 per cent increase in the number of HNWIs enquiring about citizenship by investment (CBI) as opposed to residence by investment (RBI) programmes since the outbreak of the virus, indicating that wealthy international investors are considering a more permanent change. “Investment migration has matured from being a luxury lifestyle product to become a sophisticated investment choice, and the Covid-19 fallout has put a spotlight on the many benefits of strategic residence and citizenship planning,” says Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO, Henley & Partners, in a press statement.

[…]

“The sector is currently benefiting from all the instability we are living worldwide at the moment — pandemic, conflicts and wars, travel bans, unemployment and bankruptcy, among others,” says Tiago Camara, Partner, PTGoldenVisa, which specialises in investment migration in Portugal.

[…]

“Demand for Caribbean citizenship has been incredibly high as the pandemic has shown us yet another reason why it is so important to diversify one’s citizenship and not be reliant on a single country,” says David Regueiro, COO, RIF Trust.

[…]

In real estate investments, more than 75 per cent of the total cost of the programme are invested in one of the approved projects in the country and the initially invested amount must be maintained for a minimum period, usually for five years before the investor can sell it, explains Tony Ebraheem, Founder and Lawyer, 111 Immigration. “Obtaining second citizenship through investments in real estate in Turkey is one of the most popular options. Demand for real estate investments for a passport is strong in Portugal, Grenada, and Dominica as well,” he adds.

[…]

“The current investment amount for the EB-5 programme is $500,000 within certain geographical areas in the US,” says Preeya Malik, Managing Director, Step Global.

[…]

“The pandemic has taught us many lessons. One of them is the importance of having an alternative citizenship or a strong second passport, preferably of a country, which allows worldwide freedom of travel in times when circumstances are not in one’s favour, such as Covid-19-related travel restrictions imposed by some countries,” says Imran Farooq, CEO, AAA Associate Immigration Services.

[…]

“Migrant entrepreneurs often face a range of legal challenges, from establishing and maintaining their businesses, meeting the start-up visa requirements and complying with the host country laws, to dealing with capital transfer restrictions as regulated by the investor’s own country as well as the host state,” explains Dr Sadir Al Kherdaji, Managing Director, Al Kherdaji International Legal Consultants.


As is the custom when the firm releases updates to its passport index, Henley & Partners featured in a wide range of well-known publications this week. Some of the more notable mentions:

Arton Capital’s Passport Index also received a number of mentions this week, particularly in the MENA region:


Arabian Business: Ras Al Khaimah to offer long-term residency visas as part of new investment push

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced a high-impact investment programme that aims to position the emirate as one of the most preferred tourism destinations in affordable luxury.

Endorsed by the government of Ras Al Khaimah, the new initiative, SelectRAK, is rolled out in partnership with Arton Capital, a government advisory company that focuses on promoting public-private partnerships that energise economies around the world.

[…]

“There is immense potential in Ras Al Khaimah, and we look forward to contributing over two centuries of collective team experience to this exciting initiative. SelectRAK will showcase the benefits of investing in the Emirate on the global stage,” said Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital.


International Adviser: Can golden visas help UK expats rescue EU retirement dreams?

Jason Porter, director at Blevins Franks, said that golden visas can offer an alternative to the restrictions, but there is, indeed, a catch, “as the freedom only exists between the UK and the EU member state you are applying to”.

[…]

Both Stuart Wakeling, head of London office at Henley & Partners, and John Hanafin, chief executive of Huriya Private, said there has been an increasing number of applications for golden visas from UK nationals.

Hanafin said: “Since the British became non-Europeans in January this year, EU golden visa programmes have officially allowed British citizens to start applying. In fact, the biggest uplift in both Portugal and Greek programmes have been British and Americans.”

Wakeling added: “Henley & Partners has seen a nearly 60% increase in enquiries relating to investment migration programme options from UK nationals since 2019.”

[…]

Arthur Sarkisian, managing director of Astons, said golden visas have been proving very popular as the application process is quite quick and “straightforward”.

“Many British expats now face tougher restrictions with regard to the time spent living within the EU. This will most certainly require a period of adjustment although the route of citizenship or residency via investment could provide a far easier path to life outside of the UK.


The Street: Cryptocurrency Price Check: Binance Hit With U.K. Ban

David Lesperance, managing partner of Lesperance & Associates, said that businesspeople who fall out of government favor in China “do not have a history of longevity for their freedom.”

“One half of the coin is escaping the wrath of Chinese authorities,” he said, “the other is finding a safe haven for your family and your business. “

Lesperance said Bitcoin miners need a back-up plan to protect themselves and their families from a personal backlash from the Chinese government.

They also need the ability to set up operations in a location which has low price energy; rule of law to protect their business; and  a supply of trained local staff to operate their facilities. 

“The crypto-exchange clients also need a personal Backup Plan for themselves and their families,” Lesperance said. “However, their business needs are different. They need to establish their exchange in a location which will allow them to operate and thrive in a legal environment which will allow them to meet the incoming regulation of the US, UK, EU and others.”

The post “The Sector is Benefitting From the Instability”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Grassley-Leahy Bill Would Make EB-5 “An Unusable Program” – Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Angelique Brunner of EB5 Capital
  • Dominic Volek of Henley & Partners
  • Nicholas Keong of Knight Frank Singapore
  • Mark Harris and Tammy Fahmi of Sotheby’s International Realty
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
  • Jean-Francois Harvey and Polly Ho of Harvey Law Group
  • Georg Chmiel of Juwai IQI
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons

WSJ: Cash-for-Visa Program Looks to Be in Jeopardy

Other developers say the program has been essentially unusable since a federal rule in 2019 raised the minimum investment amount to $900,000 and took away the ability of states to gerrymander designated high-unemployment areas to make favored real-estate projects eligible. They want to reverse some of the changes and raise the annual limit on the number of new EB-5 visas.

“The Grassley-Leahy bill would unfortunately create an unusable program,” said Angelique Brunner, CEO of the Bethesda, Md.-based commercial real-estate investment firm EB5 Capital. “It would be as detrimental as the current form of the regulations, if not worse.” She said she had been unable to raise EB-5 capital and hasn’t started a new project since the 2019 rule went into effect.


Singapore Tatler: Why New Zealand Is Becoming A Hot Property Investment Destination

New Zealand and Australia have been appealing to European investors given their much smaller population and tighter border control, says Dominic Volek, group head of private clients of Henley & Partners.

“Where someone chooses to migrate to can depend on a number of factors, and our recent research, which ranks countries that host residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs, found that those with the capacity to provide access to health security ranked high,” he says. New Zealand, along with Australia, were ranked highest in terms of health management and risk readiness.

“New Zealand’s handling of the pandemic, its rapid economic recovery, low-interest rate environment, limited supply of quality stock and sustained lack of travel, coupled with an increase in number of Kiwis living abroad returning home, has underpinned demand for residential property,” says Nicholas Keong, head of residential international project marketing at Knight Frank Singapore.

So much so that, that its government had to initiate stricter real estate laws against overseas investors to avoid an asset bubble. This includes recent add-on policies of cutting off tax incentives for overseas investors and unlocking more land to increase housing supply. “It is virtually impossible now for investors from the UK, US or China, among others, to buy residential property in New Zealand,” says Mark Harris, co-founder and managing director of New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty.

[…]

“At the moment, there is a flow of return capital from New Zealanders living overseas, as well as selective interest from HNW (high-nett-worth) individuals attracted to New Zealand’s amazing beauty and lifestyle,” says Tammy Fahmi, vice president of global operations and international servicing at Sotheby’s International Realty.


The Street: Cryptocurrency Price Check: Musk Tweet Sparks Price Rise

David Lesperance, managing partner of Lesperance & Associates, said that with “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies exploding in value and the public’s awareness, it was not surprising that the [Internal Revenue Service] launched Operation Hidden Treasure,” the agency’s effort to root out tax evasion among cryptocurrency users.

“Those with undisclosed crypto holdings then separated into two camps,” Lesperance said. 

“The first camp was those who recognized that they needed to get their fiscal house in order BEFORE the IRS (or other tax authorities) came knocking.”

The second camp, he added “clung to the mistaken mythology that crypto was the perfect tax haven and they had nothing to worry about.”

“That delusion blew away like the morning mist when the US government disclosed that they had tracked and seized the crypto involved in a recent ransomware attack,” he said.


Apple Daily: Migration clients at Hong Kong law firm triple in two years as young families ship out

Hongkongers’ desire to move abroad had been rising since 2019, Harvey Law Group partner Jean-François Harvey said.

The group had observed three recent waves of migration, which were noticeable after citywide mass protests in 2019, amid the pandemic and following the enactment of national security laws in 2020, Harvey said.

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program, the United Kingdom’s British National (Overseas) visa route and the Australia Significant Investor Visa 188C were the most popular among the Hong Kong clients, he said.

Their new customers tended to be families in which the parents were in their 40s and the children were under 10, he said.

Canada launched a lifeboat program for Hongkongers early this month that allowed them to apply for a three-year open work permit. Last week, the country added two permanent residency pathways for Hongkongers who were fresh graduates in Canada or had Canadian work experience.

Polly Ho, a registered foreign lawyer under the Harvey group, said Hongkongers could use the open work permit to look for jobs within three years and capitalize on the new routes to obtain permanent residency more quickly.


Business Insider: The disappearance of international students has helped slash inner-city rents and asking prices. Some investors are betting big on a resurgence.

With the country’s international border still largely shut, the lack of international students on campuses is taking a bite out of segments of the property market typically in hot demand.

While prices have shot higher across the country and its capital cities, the lack of demand for inner-city apartments has cut asking prices in Sydney’s inner west by 9.8%, and in Melbourne’s CBD by 8.1%, according to new data from Asian real estate platform Juwai IQI.

“It is disastrous for investors who purchased at the high prices of the last couple of years,” executive chairman Georg Chmiel said, noting Juwai was advising clients to hold on for now, knowing there “would be more pain before gain”.

“These assets have depressed values now, so it’s a poor time to sell. They are likely to gain value again relatively quickly as the student population rebuilds after travel restarts. This is a good market for investors who are brave enough to buy while prices are down.”


Property Reporter: Which London boroughs are driving property sales during the pandemic?

Arthur Sarkisian, Managing Director of Astons, commented: “Despite a slower rate of house price growth when compared to the rest of the UK, it’s fair to say that the London property market has held its own with billions of pounds worth of property changing hands despite the pandemic.

“Of course, it will come as little surprise that prime central London continues to account for some of the highest sums of property sold, but there is certainly a Covid influence that is presenting a slightly different landscape to what we might expect.

“London’s outer boroughs have become very popular and I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Croydon would rank as one of the most valuable areas of the London market. At the same time, demand and sold prices across the City of London have all but dried up and Newham is no longer riding the wave that came as a result of Olympic regeneration in the borough.”

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Mediterranean Retirement Now “Preserve of Above-Average Wealthy” – Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Jason Porter of Blevins Franks
  • Tammy Fahmi of Sotheby’s International Realty
  • Dominic Volek and Christian Kälin of Henley & Partners
  • Preeya Malik of Step Global
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • Arton Capital
  • Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp

International Adviser: Mediterranean retirement only for the ‘above-average wealthy’

“All of this means that this is the preserve of the above-average wealthy,” said Jason Porter, director of expat specialist financial advisers Blevins Franks and head of the company’s European Emigration Advisory Service.

“Get the residency application wrong and, in most cases, it is void and the application fee is lost. Not only will they have to start the process again from scratch, but they will have to come up with more cash for a new application.”

One route that was already popular but is becoming even more so was the one of golden visas. They require investing a substantial sum in property or in other parts of the local economy to gain either residency rights or citizenship in that country.

Porter added: “They certainly would not want to try to obtain a golden visa on their own, as they average €5,000-€6,000 each, and an application that has to be resubmitted would cost €500 every time. One of the EU golden visa applications, if not done properly, could cost €40,000 in lost fees.”


Singapore Tatler: Property Trends: Why Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand Rank High on Buyers’ Lists

Sotheby’s International Realty’s 2021 Luxury Outlook report pinned Auckland as a destination for super-prime real estate along with Singapore. The North-Island city houses one-third of New Zealand’s population “and growth is occurring at a rate of almost 1,900 per month, due in equal measure to urban migration and natural increase”, says Tammy Fahmi, vice president, global operations and international servicing of the real estate brand.

[…]

“We do see sustained interest for real estate in the countries in Asia-Pacific that host residence-by-investment programs”, says Dominic Volek, group head of private clients of Henley & Partners. The global citizenship and residence advisory firm has helped establish a few high-nett-worth (HNW) entrepreneurs and families across Asia acquire permanent residence in Singapore through Singapore’s Global Investor Program. The country has been one of the most sought-after by family-owned businesses worldwide wanting to expand their regional footprint in Asia.


Arabian Business: UAE seeing a ‘rush’ of applicants for US EB-5 visa programme ahead of court ruling

“Although we are uncertain yet as to what the judgment will in fact be, we have seen a big rush in the number of fresh applications and also demand from those providing documentation and waiting, to move forward, in the recent weeks in anticipation of a lowering of the minimum investment,” Preeya Malik, managing director of the Dubai-based Step Global, a firm specialising in the US and Canadian immigration, told Arabian Business.

“Many people who hadn’t applied before November 2019 when the price increased are now coming back in anticipation of the price drop, hoping to apply as they feel they have missed the boat back in 2019,” Malik said.

Malik said Indian applicants from the region are the largest pool among the applicants for the EB-5 visa programme.


Finews: Christian Kaelin: «Alternative Citizenship More Essential Than Ever»

Henley & Partners’ Chairman pens an op-ed for Finews in which he describes how recently-awakened appetites for investment migration among the HNWI from developed economies are changing the market:

The most eye-opening evidence of the benefit of multiple citizenship or residence options was Europe’s complete breakdown of its own borderless Schengen Area during the first lockdown and, most recently, Australia’s decision to ban its own citizens wishing to return from India.

The steadily growing appeal of investment migration over the past two decades has been pushed into overdrive since the outbreak of the pandemic. While the surge in interest shown by citizens of emerging economies and politically precarious states is somewhat predictable, the big game-changer has been the exponential spike in interest from nationals of highly developed countries — and in particular Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S., and also several EU member states.


City AM: Wealthy Chinese and Hong Kong nationals flock to the UK via investor visa

Research by real estate firm Astons has found that wealthy Chinese and Hong Kong nationals are the most likely to head to the country via the UK Tier One Investor visa during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, over 34,000 Hong Kong citizens so far this year have applied for the UK’s bespoke BNO visa scheme that was launched in 2020 following Beijing’s democracy crackdown.

“The offer of the British National Overseas (BNO) visa has spurred a large migration of Hong Kong nationals to British shores,” managing director Arthur Sarkisian said.

“However, this interest hasn’t been confined to the BNO visa alone and Hong Kong’s wealthy have continued to show strong interest in the UK Tier One Investor visa throughout the pandemic as an alternative path when relocating.”


Gulf News: How the UAE passport became one of the world’s most respected documents

In December 2018, the UAE was ranked as the most powerful passport in the world by the Passport Index of Arton Capital. The ranking is based based on the following criteria: visa-free travel, international tax laws, happiness and development, dual citizenship and personal freedom. 


Seven Days: Law Firm That Advised Quiros on EB-5 Projects to Pay $32.5 Million Settlement

The law firm accused of helping the former owner of Jay Peak resort defraud investors has agreed to pay $32.5 million to the court-appointed receiver untangling the mess left behind by the massive scandal.

Michael Goldberg, the receiver, filed the settlement agreement with the firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp Friday in U.S. District Court in Southern Florida. The firm provided legal advice to Ariel Quiros, the Miami businessman accused of bilking investors in development projects in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

Goldberg argued that the firm “breached [its] fiduciary duties and aided and abetted the fraud orchestrated by Quiros” and therefore was responsible for the fraud going on as long as it did.

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Crypto-Investors Must Get Over “Fantasy That They Are Not Going to Pay Taxes”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Alexander Shatalov of Savills Russia
  • Nirbhay Handa of Henley & Partners
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • Chris Moorcroft of Harbottle & Lewis
  • James Hartshorn of Bartra Wealth Advisors
  • Kristin Surak of LSE
  • John Hanafin of Huriya Private
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates

The Peak: Why residencies are the new investment tools of the wealthy

Forget NFTs, wines and whiskies. Today, more and more high-net-worth families and investors are tapping on residency programmes like those offered by Henley & Partners to protect and grow their wealth. Managing director of Henley & Partners Nirbhay Handa tells us more.


SCMP: Russia’s property market likely to be a new target for mainland Chinese as Moscow eyes its own ‘golden visa’ programme

Russia is looking to join other countries that have rolled out fast-track residency schemes that have boosted foreign investment, a lot of it from mainland Chinese looking for business and property opportunities.

“Golden visa programmes in many countries are made to increase the flow of foreign investment and are working quite successfully,” said Alexander Shatalov, chief executive officer, Savills Russia. “I am sure that such initiatives have good potential for the Russian market as well.”

[…]

“The potential Russian golden visa is likely to be of great interest to investors from mainland China, with both nations already sharing a very good relationship,” said Arthur Sarkisian, managing director at immigration and real estate consultancy Astons.


International Investment: New Zealand battles for world’s wealthiest in post Covid plan

Chris Moorcroft, of law firm Harbottle & Lewis said in a briefing note that the speech outlining plans to actively seek to court wealthy investor through reforms to its immigration rules, was “light on detail but setting out a clear direction of travel”.

“They are not alone. In the UK, the non-dom regime and investor regime look to be more secure than for many years. The Italian and Portuguese regimes are now firmly bedded in and attracting the wealthy in greater numbers. ‘Golden visa’ schemes exist across the globe and continue to thrive.”


福布斯:爱尔兰幸福的秘诀,环境与文化之外更有教育力量助推

Forbes China interviews James Hartshorn, CEO and co-founder of Bartra Wealth Advisors:

Speaking of choosing to enter the Chinese market in 2011, James said that the scale of the Chinese market has attracted him. “Remember that I came to China when the Irish economy was in recession after the global financial crisis.” James recalled, “Even 10 years ago, China’s vitality was obvious. When I first came here, I discovered that China is one of the most interesting places in the world and is also the country with the fastest economic growth and the largest market. There are too many potential development opportunities hidden here.”

In James’ view, China and Ireland have some similarities. For example, the family is the core of society in both China and Ireland. Another example is the importance of education. “Irish society is education-oriented and famous for its excellent education. Irish education is recognized globally, and all universities rank in the top 5% of the world. For several generations, it is called the ‘land of saints and scholars’.”


LSE Business Review: Are golden visas a golden opportunity for economic development?

Golden visa programmes are likely to become more attractive for countries searching for a shot of foreign investment to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. But do they work? Kristin Surak writes that golden visas typically bring in no more than 0.3 per cent of GDP in revenues and aren’t large enough to make a difference in real estate markets, except for Greece. Citizens from other EU countries represent a much larger proportion of foreign investors and are more likely to destabilise real estate markets than the wealthy, often racially distinct “others” from outside Europe who sign up for golden visa programmes.


International Investment: Why UK citizens should choose Portugal over Spain

Although Spain has always been the more readily chosen destination, Portugal’s Golden Visa program makes it a more straightforward option for British retirees than its Spanish counterpart, according to John Hanafin, founder and CEO of Dubai-based family office Huriya Private.

Hanafin said although there are over 60,000 UK citizens are in Portugal, Spain has always been the more readily chosen destination for living and retiring. Yet Portugal’s Golden Visa program makes it a more straightforward option than its Spanish counterpart.

Now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it is necessary to apply for a visa, which only adds to the bureaucracy of mobility.

“Those who are thinking about retiring to Spain or who plan to move there but do not intend to work there, can either choose a Golden Visa or the Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV),” said Hanafin.


Bitcoin.com: South African Crypto Holders Urged to Approach Tax Body Before It Descends on Them

An international tax expert, David Lesperance, says South Africa’s revenue collector is closing in on cryptocurrencies, and holders of these assets need to take the initiative and approach South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) before it descends on them. Lesperance argues that by making the first move, cryptocurrency investors will be able to avoid the punitive penalties that SARS often imposes on tax dodgers.

In the meantime, Lesperance, in remarks that were made during a call with Bitcoin.com News, urged crypto holders to get over “the fantasy that they are not going pay taxes.”

Also, in his message aimed especially at early crypto adopters, the tax expert explains how features of the public ledger work in the favor of revenue collectors like SARS. He said:

“Cryptocurrency based transactions are a revenue collector’s dream because everything is on the public ledger whose data cannot be changed.”


The Express: Property: House prices across London commuter belt have rocketed – Kent most popular

Managing Director of Astons, Arthur Sarkisian, commented: “There’s no doubt that the allure of the commuter belt has spurred many London homeowners to up sticks and head for the hills. However, rather than a commutable home at an affordable distance, the driving factors have been more green space and a larger property.

“This heightened market activity has clearly had an impact on property prices, with commuter belt property values increasing at a far higher rate than London as a whole.

“However, the assumption that the London market has come off the boil is far from the reality. 

“Of course, Covid and the ability to work from home has had some impact but despite this uncertainty, the capital has still registered strong price growth since the start of last year and the average London house price has just tipped £500,000 for the first time.

The post Crypto-Investors Must Get Over “Fantasy That They Are Not Going to Pay Taxes”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

UK Court of Appeal Overturns Tier 1 IV Ruling: Investment-Loan Structure Was Legal

In a ruling of some consequence, the UK Court of Appeal has overturned an Upper Tribunal decision from last year, which concluded that lending funds to Tier 1 applicants on the condition that they invest in a particular company was a violation of the investor visa rules.

In the case of R (Wang & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, two Chinese investors took the Home Office to court in late 2019 after the latter rejected the two applicants’ requests for Indefinite Leave to Remain. The Home Office maintained the two had not met a requirement that states the invested funds must be within the applicant’s control.

In 2015, against an advance payment of GBP 200,000, the two applicants had each borrowed GBP 1 million (then the minimum required investment amount) from UK-based Maxwell Asset Management, a subsidiary of Cyprus-registered Maxwell Holding. A condition for the granting of the loan was that the investors subsequently invest that same million pounds in Jersey-registered Eclectic Capital, which – according to Free Movement – they did.

The owners of Maxwell Holding and Eclectic Capital, respectively, are husband and wife. The Court of Appeal said this link between the two firms had enabled them to “circulate funds, which they originally controlled through Maxwell and which they received back through Eclectic… without investment in what might naturally be regarded as a UK trading company… but rather for the purposes of investments outside the UK”.

But the relationship between the two companies was not in contention; the reason the Upper Tribunal sided with the Home Office in its January 2020 decision was that it determined the word “control”, in this context, should be interpreted as the investor having the ability to “manage and/or direct the use of the money, asset, or investment,” in real life, including an element of “choice and use”.

The investors retorted that that they had the legal right to channel the funds obtained through the Maxwell-loan into any company they saw fit, and that the Home Office could not reasonably expect investors to have complete and unfettered control of the funds at all times. In any case, they argued, they had effective and ultimate control.

The Court of Appeal yesterday took the same position, not because it condones the structure – indeed, Lord Justice Popplewell said he could “readily understand why [the Home Office] regarded the Maxwell/Eclectic Scheme as objectionable” – but because it did not violate the control-rule.

Blame, Lord Justice Popplewell indicated, lay not with the applicants, who had merely taken advantage of a legal avenue open to them, but with the inadequate manner in which the rules had been drafted.

“Such a scheme does not fulfill the purpose expressed in Rule 245E of the applicants making a substantial financial investment in the UK as high net worth individuals. This result is, however, a product of the drafting of the Rules […] Investor migrants cannot be criticized if they take advantage of a scheme which is permitted by the terms of the Rules as drafted simply on the grounds that the [Home Office]’s intended objective was that it should not be permitted.”

No more appeals

The ruling, for which permissions to appeal were refused, will have implications for all the investors who in the past relied on the Maxwell/Eclectic route to Tier 1 visas but received refusals for the same reason. Prior to the Home Offices refusal of Ms. Wang, the structure had raised an estimated GBP 100 million from investors. Wang’s lawyer, Leon Chua of Jackson & Lyon, said “the interpretation of ‘control’ is important to ensure all Tier 1 (Investor) migrants satisfy the Immigration Rules for their further leave or indefinite leave to remain applications”.

Jia Guo, Associate Director of London-based Astons, said the decision “marked a decisive milestone for the immigration system of the UK and, in particular, the Tier 1 Investor category”, that she believed prospective investor migrants would welcome it, and that it would ultimately enhance investor confidence about the UK.

The judgement, she pointed out, would receive a great deal of attention in China, as more than a hundred individuals and families – chiefly from China – were affected, “due to wrongful decisions made by the authorities.”

Most of them, she explained, had been referred by “leading immigration agencies in China”. Her firm, she added, would now begin the work of assisting other affected individuals and “aim to achieve a fairer outcome throughout a series of discussions with the Home Office.”

Farzin Yazdi, Head of Investor Visa at Shard Capital, hinted the case should serve as a reminder of the need to retain competent counsel when dealing with an intricate set of rules.

“This case highlights the importance of keeping investments simple and working with an experienced specialist with a successful track record in managing UK Tier 1 (Investor) Visa portfolios. The system is highly complex – those seeking to apply should consider this complexity and retain the appropriate advisors before beginning their application.”

But, Yazdi pointed out, the episode contained lessons for government officials too:

“In the long run, this case may serve as a wakeup call for the government, ultimately bringing about measures to simplify and streamline applications. The UK Investor Visa already brings significant benefits to the UK economy and stands to be part of the catalyst to kick-start the economy as we transition to a post-COVID environment. To further this aim, it is vital that the drafting of the rules leaves little to no scope for interpretation and are as clear as possible to not just meet the letter but also the spirit of the law.”

More Policy Updates

Post Grid lazy load

Vanuatu’s Parliament this Monday approved, in a 27 to 17 decision – legislation that will enable a CBI real estate option (REO).

Hany Mostafa Moawad has undertaken an extensive Q&A session with Egypt’s newly established citizenship by investment unit.

Russia is changing its mind on minimum investments and plans to open what would be the world’s most generationally inclusive golden visa.

 

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“The Ultimate Insurance Policy”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Georg Chmiel of Juwai IQI
  • Veronica Cotdemiey of Citizenship Invest
  • Arton Capital
  • Nadia Read Thaele of LIO Global
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • Andreas Pittadjis

Irish Times: Brexit could push Chinese ‘cash for visa’ investors to Ireland

The IIP is most popular with Chinese citizens. By the end of 2019, 1,088 Chinese citizens had put up to €1 million each into social housing, nursing homes, healthcare and other projects, according to official figures.

“Under our best case, Ireland would see more than 90 additional applicants,” Juwai IQI executive chairman Georg Chmiel said. The organisation calculates that as translating into an extra €65 million in investment and charitable donations this year over 2020.

“Chinese investors who want an English-speaking gateway to the EU can no longer obtain that in the UK,” Mr Chmiel said.

He adds that, should their children get Irish citizenship – although the IIP scheme only guarantees residency rights – they could also go on to live and work in the UK.


Arab News: Jump in demand for second passports among KSA expats

RIYADH: Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia are more interested than ever in obtaining second passports, according to new data from Dubai-headquartered immigration firm Citizenship Invest (CI).

In an interview with Arab News, CEO Veronica Cotdemiey said that in the second half of 2020, interest among expats in the Kingdom in obtaining a second passport through various investment schemes increased 46 percent.

CI said Libyan expats in Saudi Arabia were the biggest group looking for a second citizenship, followed by Syrians, Indians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Yemenis and Egyptians.

According to Cotdemiey, the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic gave many people the opportunity to reflect on “essential issues” and provided those with the financial means a way of moving themselves and their families to more secure countries, potentially with better healthcare systems.

“People have realized that they strongly need a plan B, regardless of whether or not they have solid jobs or businesses, as this goes beyond financial security,” she said. “The power of having a strong passport in times of crisis is the ultimate insurance policy.”

[…]

The desire to obtain a second passport is not a new phenomenon in the Middle East. In 2019, Arabian Business Magazine reported that nearly one-third of respondents to a global online survey by Arton Capital, a Canadian firm that specializes in global residency and citizenship investor programs, said that they had acquired citizenship of a country other than their country of origin, or planned to do so.


Business Tech: South Africa is set to lose a visa route to the US in June – what you should know

One of the attractive options for South Africans to get into the USA – the USA EB-5 Visa Programme – is set to expire on 30 June.

While there is growing support to reauthorize the programme, there are no guarantees at this stage, said Nadia Read Thaele, director of LIO Global, a specialist firm in Residence and Citizenship by investment programs.

Thaele said that the required investment was raised considerably last year, and it is possible that the US may look to tighten up despite the more immigration-friendly Biden administration.

She added that the route is particularly popular for wealthy South Africans and that demand for the EB-5 programme has more than doubled over the last three years.

“The programme was established to attract capital from foreign individuals who meet specific investment and job creation requirements. It requires an investment of $900,000 (R14.4 million) and there are essentially two options for South African investors, she said.


Property Reporter: The prime London areas offering house hunters the most outside space

Newly released research by international real estate experts, Astons, has revealed which prime London postcodes present high-end homebuyers with the most open space as we approach a summer (hopefully) unhindered by lockdown restrictions.

Astons analysed each prime postcode based on its open space offering which includes everything from parks to commons, playing fields, golf courses and other open spaces important to the lives of London’s residents. The research shows that the W1K postcode of Mayfair and St James’s is the greenest pocket of the prime central London market. An estimated 36.5% of the postcode area presents open outdoor spaces for high-end homebuyers, by far the most of all prime central London postcodes.

Arthur Sarkisian, Managing Director of Astons, commented: “We know that the arrival of Covid and the lockdowns that followed resulted in homebuyers placing far greater importance on size and open space when it comes to a property purchase and this has been no different across London’s very top-end market. Of course, the provision of open space within the wider neighbourhood is also of great importance, as it allows residents the option to escape their home for relaxation, sports or other recreational activities.”


Cyprus Mail: Lawyer tells probe inquiry he was only ‘playing along’ with Al Jazeera reporters

Lawyer Andreas Pittadjis on Friday called on Al Jazeera to release the unedited videos of their undercover documentary that exposed the island’s citizenship by investment scheme, and reiterated that he was only playing along with the reporters to fish for more details.

Pittadjis was called before the panel investigating Cyprus’ controversial citizenship by investment programme, which was eventually drawn to a close last year.

The Famagusta lawyer strongly denied that he had engaged in any illegal activity and said that he reported his suspicions to Mokas (Unit for Combating Money Laundering) at the time.

The post “The Ultimate Insurance Policy”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

Hong Kong Golden Visa Rush “Increasingly Rapidly”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Patricia Casaburi of Global Citizen Solutions
  • João G. Gil Figueira of GFDL Advogados
  • Dominic Volek of Henley & Partners
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • Pedro Cortés of Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés – Lawyers.
  • Jeffrey Ling of Bartra Wealth Advisors
  • Tina Cheng of Midland Immigration Consultancy
  • Ana Vukovic of Collier’s

New York Times: House Hunting in Portugal: A Light-Filled Retreat Near the Atlantic Coast

In the downtown area, homes in the priciest areas — specifically the neighborhoods of Baixa and Chiado — sell for an average of 6,575 euros a square meter ($727 a square foot), said Patricia Casaburi, the CEO of Global Citizen Solutions, an investment migration consulting firm. “Prices are rising fast. Rent prices in this area are also very high, making it an ideal location for investment,” she said.

She also pointed to two “up-and-coming” districts, Marvila and Beato, onetime industrial areas that now have “a number of creative spaces and industries, as well as microbreweries, and can be a good choice when it comes to investing in property in Lisbon.”

[…]

Property ownership by foreigners is not restricted in Portugal, said João G. Gil Figueira, a partner with the Lisbon-based law firm GFDL Advogados.

“Legal fees, notary and registration fees for a typical residential property transaction are in the 1 to 2 percent range,” he said. Buyers also pay a stamp duty of 0.8 percent of the purchase price and a property transfer tax, which varies depending on whether the property is a first or second home.


Henley & Partners’ Passport Index featured in a wide range of mainstream outlets this week, including:


The Week: Landmark living: how much do properties cost near famous icons?

“The global property market is wonderfully diverse and allows many investors to build a wide portfolio based on their personal criteria and requirements,” said Astons managing director Arthur Sarkisian. “Of course, investing in the global go-to destinations of Paris, New York and London will come at a considerably higher cost, but even these premier locations will offer a range of investment opportunities at varying price points.” 


BBC: Covid accelerates India’s millionaire exodus

“I think they [clients] are realising they don’t want to wait for the second or third wave of the pandemic. They want to have their papers now that they are sitting at home. We refer to this as the insurance policy or Plan B,” Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private at Henley & Partners told the BBC on a video call from Dubai.


The Portugal News: Golden visas: Asian demand increases with law change

“We have felt in the last few months and also felt last year, until the beginning of the pandemic, a greater demand from investors”, said one of the partners of the firm Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés – Lawyers.

“This is part of the strategy of having an office in Macau that gives us access to the Chinese market, Hong Kong and the market here in South Asia, and we feel that these markets have a greater appetite to invest in Portugal”, while the office in Portuguese territory has received most of the requests, underlined Pedro Cortés.


SCMP: Some Hongkongers are arbitraging between city’s record home prices and cheaper listings overseas as they head for the exit

Ireland and Portugal, among the most popular destinations for Hong Kong emigrants looking to qualify for residency in the European Union, offer particularly attractive bargains, according to investment advisers. Ireland is popular among parents, professionals and emigrants seeking to fast track their residency, with its offer of a good living environment and low-risk investments, according to consultancy Bartra Wealth Advisors.

“We see strong demand for emigration and it’s likely to continue,” said Bartra’s regional director Jeffrey Ling in Hong Kong. “People in Hong Kong who [are] eager to move abroad with an immediate need or with less than a year’s time frame have strong buying intention towards overseas residential properties.”

[…]

“We foresee the immigration policy will have more restrictions in European countries, that’s why the number of Hongkongers using immigration investment programmes through buying property is increasing rapidly” before the gateway closes, said Tina Cheng, associate director of Midland Immigration Consultancy.


Greek Reporter: Greek Real Estate Market Set to Rebound in Post-pandemic Greece

Ana Vukovic, the Managing Director for Collier’s Greece and Serbia, who also covers the markets of Cyprus, FYROM and Montenegro, has successfully led a number of large-scale mixed-use properties and portfolio projects from concept stage to completion.

The stability in the Greek real estate market became evident after a significant increase in investment volumes over the past years, with prices gradually reaching pre-crisis levels and a rise in construction activity in all sectors by the end of 2020. Demand in all real estate sectors resulted in a significant compression of yields for prime investment products, Vukovic tells Greek Reporter.

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EB-5’s “Chances of Timely Renewal Are Slim”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • André Miranda of Pinto Ribeiro
  • Luis Lima of APEMIP
  • John Hu of John Hu Migration Consulting
  • William Tonnard of OptylonKrea
  • Nirbhay Handa of Henley & Partners
  • Charles Harris of The Get Golden Visa
  • Jean-François Harvey of Harvey Law Group
  • Ryan Rosenberg of Larlee Rosenberg
  • Rohit Kapuria of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
  • Mitch Wexler of Fragomen
  • Aaron Grau of IIUSA
  • Preeya Malik of Step Global
  • Nigel Green of deVere Group
  • Chitra Stern of Elegant Group
  • Luiz Felipe Maia of Maia International Properties
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • Jason Gillot of GVP Life

SCMP: Hongkongers are still drawn to a new life in Portugal, even with tighter Golden Visa rules

“Many clients from Hong Kong are not only looking to invest, but they are also looking to relocate to Portugal, which they consider to be a harmonious, peaceful and welcoming environment to rebuild their personal and professional lives,” said [André] Miranda, a partner at the Pinto Ribeiro law firm.

[…]

Luis Lima, head of the Portuguese Real Estate Agents Association, said the revamped Golden Visa programme might send the wrong message to investors.

“I would understand that there might be a need to introduce adjustments in areas where there is greater real estate pressure, namely Lisbon and Porto … but to remove them from this programme sends a negative sign,” he said.

[…]

Hong Kong-based immigration consultant John Hu said he had noticed a decreasing number of queries from Hongkongers about the Portuguese programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which made travel and property inspections more difficult, as well as because of the new BN(O) visa scheme.

Hu said his agency was currently processing more than 50 new BN(O) applications and “recruiting more staff to cope with more Hongkongers migrating overseas”.

In Portugal, William Tonnard, president of investment management and real estate development company OptylonKrea, said Hongkongers had become some of his firm’s main clients.

“We have seen a lot of interest since the third quarter of 2019 from Hongkongers, who are now in our top three nationalities,” said Tonnard, who previously worked as a banker in the city. He said his company had received more than 400 direct enquiries from Hongkongers last year alone.


Times of India: Indian Rich Top World in Looking to Leave Country
“We saw a 62.6% increase in the number of enquiries received from Indians in 2020 as compared to 2019. The base for 2019 was over 1,500 enquiries,” Nirbhay Handa, director and head of global South Asia team, Henley & Partners, told TOI.

[…]

“Canada and Australia are key contenders, (but) the processing time for these programmes has become long and the investment amounts higher over time, so Indian HNWIs understand limitations,” says Handa.


Washington Post: Want a second passport? Here’s how to get dual citizenship.

Investing in a country, though expensive, is another way to get a second passport or a long-term visa, though not in every country. Services such as Get Golden Visa, which helps people obtain a second passport through investment, have reported strong growth in the last year. Charles Harris, Golden Visa’s director, says applications increased fivefold in 2020.

“The week of the 2020 U.S. elections, we received over a hundred requests from prospective American investors,” Harris says. “Our sales team had an inquiry every 20 to 30 minutes.”


SCMP: Canada’s ‘huge’ and ‘remarkable’ immigration offer to Hongkongers is partly political, partly pragmatic

“I’ve been doing Canada immigration for 29 years and I’ve never seen something so flexible,” said Jean-Francois Harvey, the Hong Kong-based founder and managing partner of the Harvey Law Group.

“A fresh graduate can come in. No language requirement. No minimum funds. It’s an open door,” said Harvey.

In Vancouver, fellow immigration lawyer Ryan Rosenberg was also unprepared for the scheme’s scope, calling it “wild”.

“The closest thing – and it’s not really in the same ballpark – is resettling tens of thousands of Syrian refugees,” he said.

He said open work permits of the type on offer were “coveted”.

“The idea of opening these up to an entire swathe of people because they happen to come from one place, because of their nationality, is pretty remarkable,” Rosenberg said. “Open work permits mean you can take any job. You don’t even need prearranged employment. We’re telling people, ‘you should come’ … it’s extremely generous.”


Times of India: Cash for Green Card: Will the Popular EB-5 Regional Center Programme Survive?

Today, the Damocles’ sword hangs over the heads of investors as the Regional Center programme, that was instituted in 1991, is at risk of expiration. Time is running out and nonone says it better than IIUSA, a dominant EB-5 regional center trade association.

In its message to stakeholders, IIUSA (Invest in the USA) emphatically states: “Be clear about this! If the EB-5 Regional Center programme is not reauthorised before June 30th, it will cease to exist. Its elimination would leave thousands of good-faith investors uncertain as to their status at best and potentially without the immigration benefits they had sought in pursuing an EB-5 investment. Also significant for the future, the EB-5 Regional Center’s elimination would jeopardise funding efforts for economic development projects across the country – just when our country needs it most.”

[…]

Rohit Kapuria, partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, a law firm, explains: “The EB-5 programme (meaning, the direct EB-5) is permanent and is not at risk. It is the Regional Center (pilot) programme, which was instituted in 1991, that is at risk of expiration. This programme has been subject to multiple extensions over the last few years. Previously, the extensions were lengthier, but in the last 6 years, it has been subject to several short extensions that were tied to the government’s budget appropriations process.”

[…]

“The fate of pending and approved I-526 petitions, that were predicated on regional center investments, is entirely up to USCIS,” states Mitch Wexler, partner at Fragomen, a global immigration law firm.

[…]

IIUSA appears to be optimistic:

“Given the recent transition in the US administration and its completely opposite disposition toward immigration, it is more likely than not that there will be no termination and if for some reason there is, grandfathering is just as likely,” says Aaron Grau, executive director at this trade association.


Arabian Business: Why the US immigrant investor programme is making headlines again

Managing Director of Dubai-based Step Global, Preeya Malik, pens an op-ed for Arabian Business in which she considers the future of the EB5 regional center program.

“While the industry is hopeful that the stand alone EB-5 legislation will pass by the end of June, the fact remains that with the recent change in administration, an impeachment hearing, and many other pressing matters currently sitting in Congress, the chances of timely renewal are slim.”


Forbes: Will The Golden Visa Boom Continue In 2021?

London-based Henley & Partners says it has seen a 25 percent increase in inquiries from high-net-worth individuals asking about residence-by-investment programs. Most of these people are coming from emerging markets, as has traditionally been the case. India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and South Africa filled out four of Henley’s top five countries for 2020.

[…]

Financial advisory firm deVere Group says it saw inquiries grow by 50 percent from similar countries, as well as Russia and countries in the Middle East and East Asia.

What does this surge tell consultants? Henley and deVere both say it indicates that second passports have become more of a practicality for investors than an optional luxury item.

“Whether it be for personal reasons, such as to remain with loved ones overseas or be able to visit them, or for business reasons, a growing number of people are seeking ways to secure their freedom of movement as they have faced travel restrictions which are, typically, based on citizenship,” Nigel Green, deVere CEO said in December 2020.


SCMP: Portugal Golden Visa: Hong Kong buyers likely to take advantage of property investment extension in Lisbon, Porto

“When the Portuguese government introduced the deadline of July 2021, Hong Kong buyers were hesitant to commit as they felt they may not have enough time to do the transaction and then fly to Portugal to complete the necessary biometrics,” said Chitra Stern, founder and owner of Elegant Group, developer of Martinhal Hotels & Resorts and Martinhal Residences, a branded residence project in Lisbon. “The extension removes this barrier and we expect to have more enquiries now.”

[…]

“Investors will now have more confidence [regarding] their application as ten and a half months is a very comfortable time frame,” said Luiz Felipe Maia, managing director at Lisbon-based Maia International Properties, which has an office in Hong Kong.


International Adviser: Demand for UK golden visa set to rise

The UK Tier 1 investor visa is expected attract more attention this year, according to research by citizenship-by-investment firm Astons.

If the estimates are correct, this would see an inversion in the current trend as the number of applications has significantly declined since 2018.

According to Astons, the Brexit referendum lifted demand for golden visas. Total applications increased by 61.3% in 2017 compared with the previous year, and investment nearly doubled at £700m ($960m, €792m), from the £434m of 2016.

But the surge slowed in 2018, with a 7.4% rise in applications leading to the issuance of 376 such visas and £752m in total investment value.

Since then, demand has been “in freefall”, Astons said.

[…]

Arthur Sarkisian, Astons’ managing director, said: “There has been a rather drastic decline in demand for UK Tier 1 visas in recent years and this is a trend that has continued during the last year, no doubt intensified by the restrictions caused by the pandemic.


Financial Times: Should I give away my assets before the Budget?

Jason Gillott, co-founder of GVP Life, which specialises in helping people obtain “golden visas” in Portugal, says you have three options. The D7 Passive Income Visa is the most accessible route. If you can demonstrate that you have a stable, passive income — such as from renting property or investment dividends — in your current country of residence of at least €7,980 a year, then you can live anywhere you want in Portugal without having to buy property locally.

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Portugal GV Changes a “Terrible Mistake”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Bruno L’ecuyer of the Investment Migration Council
  • Tina Cheng of Midland Immigration
  • Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments
  • Farzin Yazdi of Shard Capital
  • Andrés Gutierrez of CSB Group
  • Kate Everett-Allen of Knight Frank
  • Alejandra Vanoli of VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty
  • Niko Laković of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty
  • James O’Brien of International Realty Group Ltd.
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • Luís Lima of APEMIP

Cyprus Mail: Cyprus: “Legal case against passports for investment is weak” – Expert

The Geneva, Switzerland-based Investment Migration Council has reacted strongly against the European Commission attempt to put an end to citizenship schemes.

“We defend the sovereign and societal value creation of Investment Migration Programmes, “ insists Bruno L’ecuyer, CEO of the Investment Migration Council (IMC).

“The two-month deadline set by the European Commission for the governments of Cyprus and Malta to reply to the letters of formal notice regarding their citizenship-by-investment pathways is approaching. In advance of this date, the Investment Migration Council (IMC) wishes to engage with all relevant stakeholders and remind them of a number of salient points,” L’ecuyer told the Cyprus Mail in an interview.


South China Morning Post: Easy path to citizenship makes UK top choice for Hongkongers fleeing political upheaval, says Midland Immigration Consultancy

“The number of Hongkongers who liked the UK showed the largest increase because the threshold for Britain is the lowest among [choices like] Australia, Canada,” said Tina Cheng, senior strategy director at Midland. “Hong Kong people simply holding BN(O) can apply to move to England, with almost no other requirement than living there for a period of time.”


Arabian Business: How Covid-19 has impacted the citizenship by investment industry

Head of Range Developments, Mohammed Asaria, pens an opinion piece for Arabian Business in which he outlines the blows dealt and victories granted to the investment migration industry in 2020.

After almost a decade of being involved in the citizenship by investment industry, helping people find an investment that also provides freedom to travel and the ability to live in pastures greener, I have never seen a year quite like this one.


International Adviser: How to advise HNW clients with UK investor visas

Farzin Yazdi, Head of Investor Visa at London-based Shard Capital, opines in International Adviser.

Some have called for the UK’s financial services regulator to create a separate client classification for Investor Visa applicants given the systems and controls required to be able to meet not only financial but immigration regulatory obligations. The next time you see a potential Investor Visa applicant, do think of the risks involved and call upon those who have stood the test of time.


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

n spite of safety concerns and travel restrictions, the market for so-called “golden visas”—programs that grant citizenship or residency to foreign nationals who make significant investments in a country, often in real estate—has thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, with high-net-worth global buyers eagerly seeking out both physical and financial safe havens.

“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.”


The Express: Passports: Best ‘golden visa’ citizenships to beat Brexit travel restrictions

“A number of EU nations do provide the option to obtain residency within one month, however, in these instances, you must have lived in the country for a specified number of years, usually around five,” said Arthur Sarkisian, managing director of Astons.


Portugal Resident: “Terrible mistake”: Portugal’s golden visa changes ‘kill the Golden Goose’

Said Luís Lima of APEMIP (the association of real estate professionals): “The way I see it, there couldn’t be a worse time to introduce these changes. It was already a mistake when they were announced in the 2020 State Budget, but the decision has become all the more incomprehensible within the context of the pandemic we are living through…”

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