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“Vulnerability of South Africans in Question”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include

  • Nadia Read Thaele of LIO Global
  • Christian Kalin and Juerg Steffen of Henley & Partners
  • Leana Nel of Chas Everitt International
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates

Business Tech: Big increase in people looking to leave South Africa

The recent violence combined with the tardiness of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has led to a spike in demand for second residency and citizenship programs, says Nadia Read Thaele, founder of LIO Global.

The current crises have further compounded the rising crime and security concerns of recent years, Read Thaele said.

“People want to live and work in a safe environment and are looking for the mobility that a second passport offers,” she said.

“As the epicentre of the coronavirus meets the brunt of the violent protests in Gauteng and KZN, the vulnerability of South Africans is called into question.

“Dual citizenship not only provides the safety and peace of mind that many look for, but also secures their investment into politically and economically stable countries.”

India Today: High-heeled Indians relocating overseas, pandemic no bar

Figures also reveal a surge of 61 per cent in Indian enquiries about citizenship-by-investment opportunities overseas following the coronavirus outbreak last year.

In 2019, India, South Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria all emerging markets — were the top five countries in terms of enquiries for investment migration, reported Henley and Partners, a global firm for residence and citizenship planning.

“The unexpected events of 2020 have simultaneously exacerbated push factors such as political and economic instability, and reprioritized pull factors, with stability, safety, and access to education and healthcare becoming issues of greater concern than ever,” noted Dr Juerg Steffen, the CEO of Henley and Partners, in the report that found a 25 per cent increase globally in high-net-worth-individual enquiries about citizenship-by-investment options as opposed to residence-by-investment programs.

Business Tech: New route for South Africans looking to emigrate to Italy

“This is not a ‘Golden Visa’ programme like those that have been offered since the global financial crisis of 2008 by countries such as Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Grenada and even the US,”  said Leana Nel, head of the Chas Everitt International Sales & Relocations division.

“It is also not one of those schemes one sees advertised on the Internet which offers people homes in remote Italian villages for $1 each and permanent residence if they are prepared to restore these properties and stay in them for a number of years.”

Spear’s: What does citizenship-by-investment controversy mean for the way HNWs live, work and play?

Direct passport sales are a $3 billion-a-year business worldwide, according to London-based Henley & Partners, the global leader in arranging citizenship-by-investment. Its chairman, Dr Christian Kälin, says uncertainties created by Brexit and, until recently, Donald Trump’s administration were boosting demand.

Then came the pandemic: ‘People think, “Look, this pandemic could come back. We need the guarantee that, if it does, we can go to a safe place and that we will be admitted.”’ During lockdown, borders were not closed to returning nationals and legal residents. Demand for new nationalities is up by 50 per cent year-on-year, Kälin says.

Ekathimerini: Local realty lands good yields

The Astons analysis points out that “the Greek real estate market is an extremely diverse one not only from a lifestyle offering but also in terms of the real estate market and the investment opportunities available.”

“For those looking to invest on a long-term basis through migration investment, for example, the location of choice will be very much focused on personal factors. However, those looking to invest commercially will need to consider the returns available, so a more developed region that benefits from high tourism footfall will be preferable,” said Astons Managing Director Arthur Sarkisian

“It’s important to be realistic about why you want to invest. Often the lines between personal and professional benefits are blurred and this can be detrimental,” he warned.

The Street: Cryptocurrency Price Check: Bitcoin Slide Drags Down Sector

“While Chinese crypto miners and exchanges are desperately relocating, international exchanges like Binance are discovering that failure to anticipate regulatory oversight could be fatal to their long-term survival,” said David Lesperance, managing partner of Lesperance & Associates. “We can look at a similar situation from the mid 2000s … the on-line gaming industry.”

Business Today: High-heeled Indians relocating overseas, pandemic no bar

“Savvy investors,” noted Dr Steffen, “have realized that diversification is as relevant to lifestyle planning as it is to wealth management. By spreading their assets across a range of markets and jurisdictions, over time they are more likely to harvest returns than if they hedge their bets on one country alone – even if that is a world-leading nation.”

The post “Vulnerability of South Africans in Question”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

“My Only Marketing Channel is Twitter”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration in the news this week include:

  • Katie “The Russian” Ananina of Plan B Passport
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
  • Fiona McEntee of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • Ronald Warsal of the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission
  • Floyd Mera of the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit
  • Dominic Volek and Juerg Steffen of Henley & Partners
  • Cyrus D. Mehta of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners PLLC

Katie “The Russian” Ananina, founder of Plan B Passport, made a big splash in a number of mainstream media outlets over the last week.

  • CNBC: This company sells passports to Americans looking for a tax break on their bitcoin profits:

    “It’s basically a donation into the sustainable growth fund of the country,” she said. “So, clients make a $100,000 or $150,000 donation, plus some due diligence fees, government fees, and then $20,000 for my legal fees.”

    Typically, families opt for Saint Kitts, while Saint Lucia is the most popular program for single applicants, because it’s one of the cheaper destinations and has a decently quick application turnaround time.

    Business has never been better, according to Ananina.

    “My only marketing channel is Twitter,” she said. “I literally do not spend a single penny, but I’m booked out three weeks ahead on consultation calls.”

  • Fox Business: Company claims to offer bitcoin, crypto tax relief through passport

    Ananina told Varney that in order for people to avoid paying taxes on cryptocurrencies using her company “you would have to become a non-tax resident of the country you are currently a citizen of,” which she acknowledged is “really hard” to do in the United States.  

    “The United States has a unique feature to its passport called ‘citizenship-based taxation,’ which means if a United States citizen resides in a foreign country, it will still be necessary to file taxes in the United States,” she explained.  

    Ananina  clarified that whoever buys a passport from her must live in one of the seven nations or “maintain a nontax residency status” in order to “take advantage of the tax regime those nations provide.” 

David Lesperance, author of the Reasonable Doubt column here on IMI, pens an op-ed in InvestmentNews in which he explores a textbook example of his trademark Backup Plans from real-life.

InvestmentNews: 3 steps to prepare wealthy clients for higher tax rates

As it turns out, on the day after my client’s expatriation, President Biden announced a proposed increase in the top federal capital gains rate from 23.8% to 43.4%. Later in President Biden’s Green Book, the administration suggested the applicable date for this increase would be April 28, 2021. This means that should this rate increase and implementation date become law, the client just avoided an increased tax obligation of $39.2 million! Compared to the potential hit to his fiscal house, the “premium” that he paid in investing in fire prevention, insurance and an escape plan was minuscule.

David also made an appearance in CNBC’s How the IRS is trying to nail crypto tax dodgers:

“Crypto gains are being taxed as any other type of gain in assets, either at long-term capital gains or ordinary rates. President Biden has proposed to eliminate the difference between the two,” said David Lesperance, a Toronto-based attorney who specializes in relocating the rich. 

Lesperance told CNBC the proposal would also function retroactively and apply to any transactions which took place after April 28, 2020. 

“This translates into $19,800 in increased capital gains tax for each $100,000 in capital appreciation of crypto,” he said.

Amid the rising crypto crackdown here in the U.S., Lesperance has helped clients to expatriate in order to ditch their tax burden altogether. 

“By exercising a properly executed expatriation strategy, the first $750,000 in capital appreciation is tax-free and the individual can organize themselves to pay no U.S. tax at all in the future,” he said. 

But Lesperance warned that taxpayers need to move fast. “The runway to execute this strategy is very short,” he said.

Many of Lesperance’s comments were reproduced also in International Business Times’ Biden and IRS To Crack Down On Crypto Tax Dodgers

Times of India: US bid to attract talent: ‘Specific visa needed for startup founders,’ says Fiona McEntee

“[…] The existing visa options do not readily accommodate the startup entrepreneur for many reasons, the least of which includes the fact that they were all created over 30 years ago well before we had the internet on our phones, and before social media and apps,” reads a statement by Fiona McEntee, immigration attorney and chairperson, media advocacy committee at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which was placed on record by the House subcommittee panel.

The Guardian last week ran a four-part series on Vanuatu citizenship by investment, which, as Martin St-Helier pointed out, did not do a good job of substantiating its claims. The Guardian quoted a number of Vanuatu officials.

The Guardian: Citizenship for sale: fugitives, politicians and disgraced businesspeople buying Vanuatu passports

In response to these concerns, Ronald Warsal, the chairman of the Vanuatu Citizenship Office and Commission, said: “Vanuatu is a signatory to … most internationally sanctioned treaties and has ratified such treaties in recent years prohibiting transnational criminal syndicates to operate within its [jurisdiction] and as such, it is hard for international criminal syndicates to establish a base in Vanuatu.” He also said the country required checks before allowing a legal change of name.


In response to the Guardian’s inquiries about the individuals, Floyd Mera, the director of Vanuatu’s Financial Intelligence Unit, said: “Reading your list, most have allegations, pending investigations and ongoing court proceedings. A few have cases against them only after obtaining Vanuatu citizenship … If there are substantial convictions against any of these names, their citizenship may be revoked.”

He added: “Going forward, the FIU will conduct enhanced checks on the names provided in your list. If any of these persons have criminal convictions, FIU will promptly inform Citizenship Office of the updated information.”


Warsal, of Vanuatu’s Citizenship Office and Commission, said: “Abdul Rahman Khiti’s application was lodged prior to sanctions on a number of his business and by the time his application came before the screening committee and the FIU there was no adverse finding against him and the commission approved his application.”

New Zealand Herald: New Zealand passport pandemic proof in Henley power rankings

“Australia and New Zealand has been ranked amongst the top three investment migration host countries in terms of health management and risk readiness,” said Dominic Volek Group Head of Private Clients.

Quarantine efficiency was seen as a big factor in ranking the New Zealand passport as the second most pandemic proof nationality.

Chief executive Juerg Steffen expects both travel disruption and increasing demand for investment passports to continue. Since the outbreak of the Pandemic last year the company has seen an increased interest for dual citizenship by investment or by ancestry “as a means to mitigate volatility and reduce their exposure to risk at a national, a regional, and global level.”

Times of India: US court quashes plea to exclude family members from EB-5 annual visa quota

Cyrus D. Mehta, a New York based immigration attorney told TOI that, “A provision in the INA – section 203(d), could be interpreted to not count family members. Although the case involved plaintiffs who limited their argument to the EB-5 cap for investor green cards, this case will cast a pall on additional lawsuits by plaintiffs making the same argument under other employment family categories.”

The post “My Only Marketing Channel is Twitter”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

IM Programs “Now a Standard Consideration for HNWI”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • David Lesperance of Lesperance Associates
  • Nuri Katz of Apex Capital
  • Micha Emmett of CS Global Partners
  • Juerg Steffen of Henley & Partners
  • Nigel Green of DeVere
  • Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments
  • Chris Immelman of Pam Golding International
  • Alex Muscat of the Maltese government

Business Insider: The US passport has dipped in value in 2020. Wealthy Americans are looking to diversify.

The ultrawealthy have had enough in 2020 — of America.

Americans are set to potentially break records for expatriation, or renouncing citizenship, this year, not to mention how many wealthy Americans are obtaining second passports. David Lesperance, an international tax and immigration advisor and lawyer, thinks the numbers could be higher than reported. 

As Lesperance put it, being in the US right now is like being in a “wildfire zone” — and procuring another citizenship is akin to “fire prevention.”

“With the expatriation numbers, that’s people actually getting in the car, using their fire escape plan, and leaving,” he told Business Insider. “For every one of those, we’ve got probably 10 people who are just getting the fire insurance and the fire escape plan. And they may never have that day.”


Apex Capital, a firm that specializes in citizenship by investment (CIP) programs, said it has seen interest increase more than 600% since the election, compared to 2019.

Founder Nuri Katz said interest has historically piqued during elections. In 2016, he said, it started “getting a lot of calls about wanting to get out.” He said many of those potential clients in 2016 didn’t follow through, but 2020 has changed all of that.

Quartz: Kenya’s elite join a growing list of Africans buying up second passports from Caribbean nations

With a growing number of Western countries including the US, UK and the European Union tightening their immigration and visa policies, citizens of African countries are finding it harder to travel abroad.

Given the odds, global residence and citizenship advisory firms like Henley & Partners and CS Global Partners are seeing a surge of wealthy Africans interested in acquiring citizenship of a second country in exchange for a sizable financial contribution to the passport host country’s economy in a process termed “citizenship by investment.”


“The Caribbean offers a luxurious lifestyle combined with accessibility which appeals to many Kenyan entrepreneurs, business owners, and those wanting a better life for their family,” says CS Global Partners chief executive Micha Emmett in a press statement. “What perhaps used to be seen as an unconventional avenue to obtain a second passport is now highly sought after.” Emmett added.

International Adviser: Number of HNWs seeking second passport ‘skyrockets’

According to financial advisory firm DeVere, demand for its residency and citizen service “skyrocketed”, with an increase of 50% year-on-year, while citizenship advisory company Henley & Partners reported a similar trend with a 25% increase in enquiries about citizenship-by-investment schemes by mid-November 2020.


“The volume has also now reached a critical mass where it is reasonable to suggest that investment migration is now a standard consideration for international HNWIs who are looking to hedge volatility, create short-term value as well as long-term yield through enhanced global mobility,” said Juerg Steffen, chief executive at Henley & Partners.

Arabian Business: Dubai’s ability to bounce back from a crisis is again clear for all to see

Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments pens an opinion piece for Arabian Business in which he posits that Dubai, the end of which seems to always be “imminent”, will continue to defy pessimistic predictions thanks to strong fundamentals.

All of us are looking for stability, security, and quality of life. Can anywhere else in the world compete with Dubai on all these levels at the moment? I suspect not. Dubai is poised not just to bounce back, but to leap forward.

Business Tech: Here’s how many South Africans are choosing Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme

Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International, said: “Portugal is among the top three in the 2020 Global Peace Index, and with English widely spoken, great weather, an affordable cost of living and healthcare, excellent education facilities and no wealth or inheritance tax or tax on overseas pensions, is increasingly popular among South Africans seeking residency by investment or easy access to EU countries. With interest and uptake ongoing through the Covid-19 lockdown, most of our investors are looking to acquire a Golden Visa in order to afford them and their immediate families visa-free access to EU countries in all 26 countries in the Schengen zone to study, work or live – with some seeking to relocate or retire permanently to Portugal.

Times of Malta: Defending what is ours by right

Malta’s “Citizenship Czar”, Alex Muscat, outlines the economic, moral, and legal reasons his office has taken a hardline stance against the European Commission’s attempts to lean on Cyprus and Malta over their citizenship by investment programs.

We will defend our well-thought programme not just for the sake of our economic gains but for the sake of our citizens. Because individuals who opt to invest here and deserve to pass through our sieve are individuals who invest in Malta and in all the Maltese, with all our potential, attributes, aspirations and dreams.

We will protect this symbiotic scenario with all our might.

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The post IM Programs “Now a Standard Consideration for HNWI”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.