分类: kristin surak

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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.

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.”


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.

The Great Reconfiguration of the Investment Migration Market After COVID-19


Richard Moir and Kristin Surak consider how the pandemic has transformed investor migrants’ preferences.

Centrifugal forces

For practitioners in the investment migration industry, global citizenship  has a precise definition to suit the characteristics of globalization: increased internationalization, mobility, and disposable income, facilitating the financialization and commoditization of citizenship.

The centrifugal forces of globalization, as outlined by John Micklethwait in Future Perfect, have produced a class of individuals called Cosmocrats, much sought-after by jurisdictions and agents offering residency and citizenship by investment programs.

Centripetal forces

The advent of the pandemic and the concomitant restrictions on travel and other freedoms, however, has forced a reassessment of the benefits and costs of internationalism.

Is internationalism a passport to loneliness and to a loss of roots and identity? Covid has led to all manner of existential questions and moral quandaries, including about how to deal with the grief of loved ones dying alone in far-off places. Perhaps parochialism, close-knit family, and good neighbors have benefits after all.

The post-Covid reconfiguration of the investment migration market

According to Professor Kristin Surak of the London School of Economics, the pandemic has forced a revision of the assumptions on which the residency and citizenship by investment industry have heretofore been based. 

As she describes, until 2020 it was presumed that citizenship in a Caribbean country always came with ready entry into Europe. However, the flush of border controls imposed during the pandemic has brought this assumption into question. For much of 2020, a passport from Saint Kitts would not have gained its bearer entry into Spain, for example, but a residence permit secured through Spain’s “golden visa” program would have. 

This shift may change some of the considerations that buyers make and may make some residence programs more desirable than citizenship offerings. 

Furthermore, the new travel restrictions have impacted populations unaccustomed to such barriers. For many years, Professor Surak noted, citizens of countries of the Global North rarely needed to worry about securing the right documents before traveling to other economically successful destinations. 

This changed dramatically during the pandemic, and Americans represented the most salient case of those with traditionally privileged citizenships suddenly feeling unwelcome abroad. At one point, US passport holders had easy entry to about only 85 countries – about the same as citizens of Botswana in a normal year. This change of situation has increased interest among Americans – who still constitute the largest population of millionaires in the world – in ways to secure improved travel possibilities.

Closer to home

Professor Surak describes, moreover, that the demand calculations themselves may be changing. As borders harden, people will begin to look for Plan B locations where they would want to live for a longer period than a mere holiday or use more regularly as a base rather than just a launchpad. Her most recent statistical research on the economic outcomes of the residence by investment programs in the EU finds that investors resemble tourists and businesspeople – not immigrants –  in their logic when selecting options.

The pandemic has brought with it increased medium-term thinking, along with considerations of the quality of health care and overall quality of life – perhaps in places not too far from one’s home base. The result may be a rise in regional preferences, with Americans and Canadians considering Caribbean options and the post-Brexit British looking for ways to retain access to the EU, while Russians might telecommute from the Mediterranean and East Asians spend more time in Thailand and Malaysia.

Desire ≠ demand

The pandemic may have increased demand, Professor Surak explains, but its economic impact will have different effects depending on the wealth band of the buyer. Entrepreneurs with successful businesses that are comparatively smallish in size will take a greater hit than the very rich. 

Indeed, ultra-high net worth individuals have continued to see their wealth expand throughout the pandemic. Thus, if many have now recognized the utility of investment migration options, those in lower wealth bands may wait until the global economy recovers before they have the expendable funds to make the jump. 

And we’re likely to see demand continue to grow in booming Global South economies – places like China, India, and Vietnam, alongside South Africa and Nigeria. For years, countries in the Caribbean have been gradually dropping their prices, producing a “race to the bottom” that may also decrease the total revenue the programs bring to the country. The post-pandemic world might present a supportive context for reversing this trend.

Finally, Professor Surak added, there has been increased interest in investment migration programs outside Global North and its Caribbean neighbors. Turkey now hosts the most popular citizenship by investment program, and – when its program is not on hold – Malaysia outstrips even the US in demand for its residence by investment program. 

As pressure from Brussels mounts within the EU, we may also see countries retool their residence by investment programs into entrepreneurial programs that emphasize business skills when screening investor migrants. But whether or not this occurs, the programs in the Global South may still out-do them in numbers.  

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The post The Great Reconfiguration of the Investment Migration Market After COVID-19 appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.