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Special: 9 Industry Leaders on How COVID Changed the IM Market

Special: 9 Industry Leaders on How COVID Changed the IM Market

In connection with preparing the Investment Migration After COVID report, we asked a selection of leading industry executives – whose companies operate in varied markets and offer a wide portfolio of programs – one simple question that would help us identify the principal effects the pandemic has had on the investment migration market: 

“Please tell us, in 100 words or fewer, what you consider the most significant difference between the IM market in 2019 and the IM market in 2021?”

What follows are their respective answers to that question, along with links to further reading on the themes each broached.


Jean-Francois Harvey – Global Managing Partner, Harvey Law Group

The trend we’ve seen in the last two or three quarters is that there is no more trend, destination-wise. The market is getting very well educated in most part of the world and there is so much information now available. The result is what we see increasingly; clients coming to us with a very precise idea of what they need. Their research is no longer about the choice of program but about finding a well-experienced firm that is knowledgeable and liable, legally speaking. Destination-wise, we’ve never seen such a variety of requests in almost 30 years.



Stefan Kraus – COO, Henley & Partners

The investment migration market today is far more diverse. In the past, the constant stream of inquiries from citizens of emerging economies and politically precarious states was somewhat predictable, but the game-changer has been the exponential spike in interest from nationals of highly developed countries — and in particular Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US — that now generate the same level of interest, if not more. Necessity has seen the industry prevail, and investment migration is now accepted as a mainstream advisory service for high-net-worth individuals, international investors, and entrepreneurs.


Mohammed Asaria – Founder of Range Developments

There is a greater impetus to execute. Anxieties around political, social, and economic challenges remain elevated. Combining this with the threat of higher taxes, some of which being mooted are citizenship-based, investors have accepted that this is not the time for window shopping; if the CBI solution makes sense then time is of the essence given the macroeconomic background. Dependent on the nationality of the investor, ensuring a perfect hedge may require the original citizenship to be relinquished.  Discerning investors are gravitating towards CBI programs with higher due diligence standards as this will ensure the long-term viability of their selected CBI strategy.


Micha-Rose Emmett – CEO, CS Global Partners

In 2021, we are seeing a new breed of investor emerge: Wealthy entrepreneurs from developed countries have become increasingly worried, as large governments start to put further restrictions on them. The reasons for wanting to invest in dual citizenship have also shifted to more practical ones such as healthcare and stable governance. The pandemic has unveiled the weaknesses of certain governments who are now penalising the wealthy as a means for funding and, as a result, investors are looking to countries where they will be welcomed. Pre-pandemic, most viewed having more than one citizenship as a nice-to-have. Post-covid, it has become a vital insurance policy. 


Nicholas Stevens – Managing Director, NTL Trust

Clients now understand that citizenship and residence planning is not so much about counting visa-free countries but more about developing a serious and resilient Plan B to cover personal security, business and asset protection, fiscal planning, and mobility – all together – and that holding multiple citizenships and residencies will be essential for any successful family in the future.


David Lesperance – Managing Partner, Lesperance & Associates

In the last two years, the importance of the quality of your Backup Plan has become painfully obvious. Whether disappearing like Jack Ma; being subject to major pending Tax the Rich policies in the US, UK, EU or Latin America; or pending major leadership changes in places like Saudi Arabia. 

The quality of your shelter only shows after tested by a tsunami.


Paul Williams – CEO, La Vida Europe

One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen is in the desire of clients for a second home, living there either part-time or full time. We analysed the reasons from enquiries on our website in the 12 months prior to 31st March 2020 and the 12 months after, published here. Both of these saw a significant shift upwards with full-time living rising 22.9% to 27.0% and part-time 26.1% to 34.3%. We expect this reflects changing attitudes pre and post Covid.


Sam Bayat – Founder, Bayat Legal Services

The most significant change is that we won’t be taking things for granted anymore and must all learn to respond sooner to events (global or local). We now have essentially two main groups; the ones who are now more committed to fully embracing business and life, and therefore want alternative citizenships, golden visas, etc to not miss any opportunity, and on the other hand we have a smaller group who want to relive the Covid-19 area perpetually as working from home, time with family, and no business travel was… peaceful.


In the Investment Migration After COVID report, you can see the complete results of the 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey, get an overview of which programs have been the relative winners and losers of the pandemic year, and learn how dozens of the leading executives in the investment migration market believe the market has, and will, change as a consequence of COVID.

The report attempts to identify the most consequential transformations that have taken place in the investment migration market over the last year, to prognosticate as to which marks 2020 will leave on the market in the long run, and to outline how industry professionals can prosper in the new investment migration market.

Investment Migration After COVID – Trends and Outlook 2021

Investment Migration After COVID tells the story of what we expected to happen after the pandemic, compares that to what happened, and highlights what dozens of leading investment migration executives anticipate will change in the years ahead.

  • Findings of the April 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey©
    • How pandemic-related government restrictions have affected the service deliverability;
    • How the pandemic has affected demand;
    • Which source markets are growing the fastest;
    • How client’s preferences have changed as a consequence of the pandemic,
    • In which regions IM companies are planning to open new offices;
    • Which programs have risen and fallen the most in popularity over the last year;
    • Which programs were the best-sellers in the last year, and which are expected to be the best-sellers in the next year; and
    • Which application processing units were the most efficient in 2020.
    • How companies have adapted to new work habits necessitated by the pandemic, such as working remotely, reducing travel and in-person event attendance, and the degree to which such changes are likely to persist in the long term.
  • A review of the April 2020 COVID Market Impact Survey©
    • How IM executives expected the pandemic to impact demand compared to what actually happened;
    • How demand has changed between April 2020 and April 2021; and
    • What IM executives expected to happen with border restrictions compared to what actually happened.
  • An interview with Nestor Alfred of the Saint Lucia CIU
    • How did the Unit change its policies to go from being a laggard to being the most efficient CIU, according to IM executives?
  • The mega-trends driving the transformation of the IM market after COVID
    • The West wakes up to investment migration;
    • Crypto-millionaires: The new new rich;
    • The race to digitize and remote-enable program processing;
    • Beyond visa-free travel;
  • How major investment migration programs performed in 2020
    • The winners and losers of the pandemic.
  • The biggest differences between the IM market before and after COVID, according to industry leaders
    • Stefan Kraus, COO of Henley & Partners;
    • Jean-François Harvey, Global Managing Director of Harvey Law Group;
    • Eric G. Major, CEO of Latitude;
    • Mohammed Asaria, Founder of Range Developments;
    • Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners;
    • Nicholas Stevens, Managing Director of NTL Trust;
    • David Lesperance, Managing Partner of Lesperance & Associates;
    • Paul Williams, CEO of La Vida Europe; and
    • Sam Bayat, Founder of Bayat Legal Services.

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Podcast: Micha-Rose Emmett – Motherhood, IM in Africa, Regulating IM

Our guest on the Mobility Standard podcast this week was Micha-Rose Emmett, long-time CEO of CS Global Partners. 

We started off on a personal level, by asking questions designed to tell us more about who Micha-Rose is. She answered questions about how she got started in investment migration and the road to where she is today. We discussed some of the issues closest to Micha’s heart – global citizenship, freedom, female empowerment, and so on. She also talked about what it was like becoming a mother while being the CEO of a major company and how she handled that transition.

Micha’s been in investment migration for 15 years already and we wanted to hear if this opportunity for longitudinal observation of the market had led her to draw any conclusions about what macro trends characterize the current chapter of investment migration’s history, and what’s different in the market now compared to in previous chapters.

Born and raised in Namibia and commercially active in Africa for a long time, Micha understands the continent better than most in this business. We wanted to take advantage of that to raise some of the questions we have about investment migration in Africa. What’s next for investment migration in Africa? Is it really the next big market for investment migration or will it remain a continent that just has great potential

We questioned Micha about how we might promote the maturation of the investment migration market. Ours is still a relatively immature line of business. It has low barriers to entry, it’s mostly unregulated, and isn’t capital-intensive. There’s no shortage of practitioners who cut corners or tell half-truths to close a deal. Are there any industries that are similar to, but ahead of, investment migration that we could use as a model or template for industry development? Perhaps one that has had to overcome similar obstacles in the past?

How has Micha’s own company changed as a consequence of the pandemic? What lessons did the pandemic teach her and her colleagues at CS Global? What pandemic impacts, negative and positive, drove organizational changes? Are more of her colleagues working remotely and, if so, does Micha expect them to return to the office? Does she think the world of business travel and conference circuits, as we knew it, will return?

Finally, Micha answered a number of questions from the audience, including whether she will consider entering the Turkey CIP market, what junior career paths are available for those who want to get a start in the investment migration business, and whether dropping company margins and lowered program prices will squeeze companies out of the industry. 

Timestamps
  • 03:38 – Micha’s story: Where did she start and how did she end up running CS Global?
  • 07:47 How becoming a mother changed Micha’s perspective on work, and how she managed the transition.
  • 10:11 – What characterizes the current chapter of investment migration’s history? How is it different from previous chapters?
  • 17:45 – Many investment migration firms are making big bets on the African market. Is that a wise approach? Does Africa really have that much potential?
  • 27:27 – Helping the investment migration industry mature. Is regulation the answer? What are the limits to regulation? What other solutions exist?
  • 40:57 – How has the pandemic changed the way CS Global operates? Are you spending less time in the office or on business trips? Will these adaptations outlast the pandemic?
  • 45:52 – Questions from the audience: How can I get started in investment migration? Will CS Global enter the Turkish market? Will lower program prices and company margins squeeze some firms out of the market?

More Podcast Episodes

Micha-Rose Emmett spoke to us about Africa’s IM market, how motherhood has changed her perspective on IM, how the IM market should be regulated, and much more.

Citizenship by descent, states competing for citizens, and CBI as employee performance bonus are just some of the topics we discussed in the 5th episode of the Mobility Standard.

The Mobility Standard hosts Murat Coskun to understand the future of golden visa investment fund options, in Portugal and beyond.

 

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More Citizenship-Based Tax Would “Set Off a Bonanza” for Investment Migration

IMI asked two prominent industry executives, Jean-François Harvey of Harvey Law Group and Micha-Rose Emmett of CS Global Partners, who combined have more than 30 years of experience in the business, what they expected from the investment migration market in 2021.

An economic boom comparable to the end of WWII
“Most economists agree that once we see the beginning of the end of the pandemic somewhere in Q3, it will be the dawn of an economic expansion that may be comparable to the period that followed the end of World War II in terms of economic growth and investment,” says Harvey, who points out that he shares this opinion and that propagating that message among clients will become important.

“Keep in mind that after WWII, there were practically very few visa restrictions and people were able to travel pretty much anywhere. Of course, this is not the case anymore and anyone that will want to jump on the economic expansion wagon will need to be truly mobile. This is the message that we need to convey as of now: “Get ready to hit the road or you will miss the parade”.”

Jean-François Harvey

Q3, then, the period Harvey pegs as the “light in the tunnel” zone, will become a crucial time for the industry, one in which it must convert fresh interest in investment migration into actual clients. Micha-Rose Emmett, similarly, believes the unanticipated demand brought on by the pandemic, particularly in non-traditional markets, is here to stay:

“As with any major global or regional catastrophe,” she says, “2020’s uncertainty created a surge of interest in RCBI. We have seen interest from individuals that would not ordinarily apply for a second citizenship now looking to secure new options. 2021 will see a continuation of this trend. Despite a preference for European citizenship, the industry will see an increased interest in non-European options.”

While the pandemic has “awakened” new markets, Emmett also believes it will change investors’ program selection patterns.

Micha-Rose Emmett

“Clients are seeking safe, secure destinations with smaller populations – as this regime feels more manageable,” Emmett points out. “For example, St Kitts & Nevis’ effective approach to the pandemic has impressed individuals seeking countries with competent governments. People want to be part of societies where governments responded wisely and quickly to the COVID pandemic without ultimately damaging the economy.”

The rich not waiting around to be eaten
She says clients are disgruntled by their governments’ responses to the pandemic and believes that authorities in the larger economies will inevitably look to HNWI to plug the holes in their budgets, which – thanks to the pandemic response – a the largest they have been in at least a generation. In such a scenario, she says “smaller jurisdictions may be seen to offer a gentler approach to their citizens.”

Harvey indicates he’s also seeing the tax man’s writing on the wall.

“Governments, all over the world, have been borrowing money in unprecedented volumes and this will need to be paid back, much of it through the raising of taxes,” he observes. “Considering that the CRS system is now fully implemented (and now a well-oiled machine) coupled with governments’ hunger for additional income (who now have the perfect justifications both morally and economically to bring in major changes), I will not be surprised to see numerous countries adopting the US model of world-wide taxation based on citizenship.”

Though such a development would clearly be an unwelcome one among HNWI, Harvey has no doubt that it would be good for the investment migration business, which, as we’ve pointed out before in IMI, is an anti-fragile industry. Increasing prevalence of citizenship-based taxation, he says, would “set off a bonanza for our industry. We will start to see the first hints of such movements in 2022, if not before.”

At the same time, he thinks there’s a real risk that the very government interests that could drive a citizenship-based taxation trend to help the investment migration market could also take measures to make citizenship-by-investment more difficult, so as to better “capture” HNWI taxpayers.

“There are many variables that could drastically change the industry but few are more formidable than a G20 government hungry for income,” comments Harvey.

If rich-world governments really do aim to tax people based on citizenship while making it more difficult to switch citizenships, it is likely attempts to do the latter will be accompanied by efforts to demonize or vilify the investment migration market. Emmett indicates the industry’s perception had until recently improved, but that recent scandals have caused significant setbacks.

“Sadly, we are still battling with a perception issue in the industry,” she writes. “The exposure of the Cyprus CBI programme’s corruption has done no favours for the industry and will continue to haunt it over the next year. Add the EU Commission’s infringement procedures against the European CBI players and it makes for an interesting 2021.”

The outcome of those procedures will be closely watched by stakeholders, she notes, because it will set the pace of development for citizenship by investment for years to come.

“Not only will the result determine how European countries create and manage their residence/citizenship programmes but it will continue to drive the philosophical debate around obtaining citizenship “for cash”.”

To guard against such adverse consequences, Emmett believes the best defense will be the improvement of program standards and service provider conduct.

“Increased scrutiny on programmes will prevail as safety and security remain a big concern. Proper due diligence and compliance must be the priority for countries conducting RCBI programmes. Agents should also be mindful of this aspect. The industry continues to have a negative reputation because it is not adequately regulated. Several agents continue to act indiscriminately and irresponsibly. The continuous disregard by agents to respect the rules of programmes will continue to denigrate this industry’s reputation.”

The four phases of the post-pandemic investment migration market
Harvey says both economic booms and downturns can drive demand for increased mobility, but that each scenario drives demand from different types of client. During economic expansions, people from countries with poor mobility want more visa-freedom in order to be able to “get in on the action” and invest globally. In periods of economic contraction, however, they are more motivated by wealth preservation, tax optimization, and security.

“The best time for the industry is when both situations meet, as we have seen often, where one sector of the economy is booming and another is slowing down,” says Harvey.

Harvey, who has an admirable track record of predicting future growth markets (notably entering the Chinese market in 1993 and the Vietnamese in 2010, in both cases shortly before the markets took off) splits the medium-term prospects of the investment migration market into four distinct phases:

In the first phase, which will begin when the pandemic threat truly begins to subside (Harvey is betting on Q3), he thinks we will “witness the last wave of “never again” clients who have been acquiring residency or citizenship to permit better mobility due to COVID-19’s restrictions.”

In the second phase, once the contours of a “post-war-esque” economic boom become visible, he anticipates a new wave of clients who want better mobility so as to better take part in what they’ll see as a coming expansion. This, he indicates, will be the most true in the traditional RCBI-markets, where mobility has always been minimal.

“The third phase,” writes Harvey, “will be what I would call the transition period; where the economy is booming and – because of that boom – our potential clientele will be very occupied with their own businesses. This will be manifested by a real slowdown in our industry as clients and their entourage will have other priorities than investment migration.”

In the fourth and final post-pandemic phase, which we’ll know has arrived because client volumes are returning to something resembling “normal”, demand will be driven in large part by those newly minted millionaires from the boom-years. “This will be the point at which the party really starts,” he says.

He prognosticates that “business as usual”, the way we used to know it before the pandemic, will not return until in about three years’ time. At that point, he says, “we will be cruising the usual up and down with clients, alternating between those who can newly afford investment migration and those we might call “old money”.”

Throughout each of the phases, he emphasizes, we’ll see sudden spikes in demand in particular locations due to more or less unexpected political and social crises, though predicting precisely when and where is unrealistic.

Questioned as to which types of programs will be the ultimate beneficiaries of changing demand patterns following the pandemic, Micha-Rose Emmett believes countries that can offer security, certainty, and comfortable lifestyles (she cites the Irish IIP and the Portuguese Golden Visa as examples) will see their stars rising.

She adds that “Caribbean CBI programmes, such as Dominica’s CBI, will also remain of interest due to the longevity of these programmes, the certainty of product, and the idea of living one’s Plan B on a tropical island. Lastly, keep an eye on the UK!”

As to whether the governments – having seen the pandemic drain their coffers – will respond by quickly opening investment migration programs to attract capital, she is ambivalent.

While she concedes that many governments are likely to seriously consider taking advantage of RCBI-revenue, she says “the reality of implementing a programme and managing it to achieve a reasonable revenue is a different story. I doubt we will see too many new good programmes emerge next year.”

Finally, Harvey believes that, for all the technological breakthroughs 2020 has bestowed on us, we’ve probably already gotten as much out video conferencing as we could hope for.

“The virtual meeting has reached its limits in terms of adoption and I don’t think we can expect much more from that technology. The demographic group that is entirely comfortable with the virtual alternative sadly does not overlap too well with our potential client demographic (although it will a decade from now).”

More From Industry Trends

The heads of Harvey Law Group and CS Global outline what effects they expect the pandemic to have on the investment migration market in 2021 and beyond.

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

Training has already led to over 100 graduates and, notably, certificate attainment has doubled over the last six months of 2020.

 

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

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

The post More Citizenship-Based Tax Would “Set Off a Bonanza” for Investment Migration appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

“More Than 1,000 Nigerians Have Inquired About CBI”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • Arthur Sarkisian, Armand Tannous, and Konstantin Kaminskiy of Astons
  • Nuri Katz of Apex Capital Partners
  • Juerg Steffen and Paddy Blewer of Henley & Partners
  • Arton Capital
  • Micha-Rose Emmett of CS Global Partners
  • Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments
  • Nestor Alfred of the Saint Lucia CIU
  • Evans Ahanaonu of High Net Worth Immigration
  • Veronica Cotdemiey of Citizenship Invest
  • Rasha Seikaly of Bluemina
  • Daniel Ryan of Atlantic American Partners
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates

Business Insider: The top 10 Golden Visas the ultrawealthy are scrambling to get ahead of the holidays

Countries such as Austria and Montenegro are still popular for those looking for Golden Visas, according to Astons, an investment immigration and relocation provider. They’re expensive: The minimum to secure a “citizenship by investment” in Austria can cost over£2 million ($3 million). Montenegro is relatively affordable, with a minimum investment that costs just over £300,00 ($400,000.).

[…]

Apex Capital Partners founder Nuri Katz told Business Insider that the newly weakened passport has led many ultrawealthy to question its longevity, with some asking: “A year from now, will the American passport be enough to get me to where I want to go?”

[…]

In August, The New York Times deemed having a second passport as the new “status symbol.” Business Insider’s Graham Rapier reported that London-based passport broker Henley & Partners saw a 42% increase in overall citizenship applications this year, while Katz estimated to CNN that about  5,000 used investment programs in 2017 to acquire citizenship. This year, he estimates about 25,000. 


Business Daily: Rich Kenyans race to buy Caribbean citizenship

“Kenya has seen tremendous growth in enquiries of 116 percent between mid-November 2019 and the same period in 2020, while India saw growth of 61 percent, off an already high base in the same period, and Nigeria saw 30 percent growth, also off an impressive starting point,” said Juerg Steffen, the Henley & Partners CEO.

[…]

Micha Emmett, the CS Global Partners chief executive officer, said that the Caribbean offers a luxurious lifestyle combined with accessibility which appeals to many Kenyan entrepreneurs and those wanting a better life for their families.

“What perhaps used to be seen as an unconventional avenue to obtain a second passport is now highly sought after,” Ms Emmett said in a statement.


JamesEdition: Second passport as the newest trophy – the 5 destinations for 2021

Armand Tannous of Astons contributes a piece on citizenship by investment in luxury goods marketplace JamesEdition.

Bloomberg recently called a second passport “the newest asset of a mega-rich U.S. citizen”, along with a Gulfstream jet or a Manhattan penthouse.

Given the global crisis and entry restrictions imposed by many countries, US citizens have found themselves in a peculiar position – probably, for the first time in history. Holding one of the world’s most powerful passports but not being allowed to travel freely, affluent individuals are looking to maintain their quality of life and obtain a second passport or residence permit that would provide greater flexibility.


Al Jazeera: The wealthy Nigerians buying citizenship overseas

The rush for golden visas among rich Nigerians started before October’s SARS protests. At London-based Henley & Partners, one of the world’s largest citizenship advisory firms, applications by Nigerians increased by 185 percent during the eight months to September 2020, making them the second-largest nationality to apply for such schemes after Indians.

More than 1,000 Nigerians have enquired about the citizenship of another country through Henley & Partners this year alone, which Paddy Blewer, head of marketing, says “is unheard of. We’ve never had this many people contacting us”.

[…]

The Six Senses La Sagesse is being constructed by Range Developments, whose founder and managing director, Mohammed Asaria, says it is not unusual for investors never to visit. In fact, since there is no obligation for citizenship investors to visit Grenada, interest in the scheme has ballooned among Nigerians.

“We have between high single figures and low double-digit sales of hotel units on a monthly basis to Nigerians. The average investment is just under $300,000,” says Asaria. “It’s a big market for us. And it’s going to get bigger. There are 300 million people [in Nigeria].” Of these, more than 40,000 are millionaires and, therefore, potential customers for golden visas, according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report.

It is a similar story across the Caribbean. Arton Capital, a citizenship advisory group, says demand from Nigerian families for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is up 15 percent this year compared with the last.

St Lucia has also seen a record number of Nigerians applying in 2020. “It’s more than it’s ever been over the past four years,” says Nestor Alfred, CEO of the St Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Unit.

[…]

“Businesses are struggling, inflation on the rise, insecurity, and a host of other issues. These issues have prompted an increase in citizenship or residency-by-investment from wealthy Nigerians in a bid to secure a better future for their families in developed countries,” says Evans Ahanaonu, a Lagos-based representative for High Net Worth Immigration, a citizenship advisory firm. Grenada and Turkey are popular for clients wanting quick access to Europe, he adds, while some go straight for the UK Innovator Visa which means setting up a business in the UK.


WealthManagement.com: Twenty-Five Passports HNW Clients Are Hoping to Find Under the Tree

“2020 has been an incredibly busy year for the residency and citizenship by investment sector and we’ve seen some significant uplifts in demand across a number of programs for a variety of reasons,” said Arthur Sarkisian, managing director of Astons. “Affordability and speed have always been a driving factor. However, with the pandemic bringing both economic uncertainty and restrictions around travel, we’ve seen investors opt for more remote and idyllic destinations such as the Caribbean and Vanuatu where they might not have otherwise.”


Zawya: COVID-19 impact: Many UAE expats are buying a second passport; applications rise by 30%

“When the pandemic started, those with strong passports had the option to move their families to a stable country with reliable healthcare and feel safe under governments that make sensible decisions. For those who hold less desired passports, this pandemic has accelerated the urgency to obtain a second nationality, a passport that allows them to travel outside their countries when they need to do so, without having to plan ahead and worry about visa complications,” said Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

[…]

“In the first quarter of the year 2020, when the pandemic started, people were uncertain and there was a sense of unease through all aspects of life. Decisions were put on hold, things were unclear. However, a few months down the line, expats from the GCC and citizens from the MENA region started considering dual passports by seeking countries with secure social services, healthcare and quality education,” Rasha Seikaly, Bluemina’s marketing director.


Business Daily: Why Kenyans are rushing for expensive investment visas

“The number of inquiries we have had from Kenya have tripled compared to 2011 when the option of dual citizenship came into play,” says Micha-Rose Emmett, chief executive officer of CS Global Partners, a marketing and legal advisory agency specialising in foreign direct investment (FDI).

[…]

In his last visit to the country in July last year, Atlantic American managing director Daniel Ryan told the Business Daily that they had signed up more than 20 high-net worth Kenyans to the programme in just seven months, while 20 others were in the process of filling in paperwork and getting vetted for suitability to the programme.

“It takes about six months for people to get ready to invest, given that most of them do not have the $500,000 instantly at hand,” Mr Ryan told the Business Daily.


Business Insider: Ultrawealthy Americans want to diversify their passports. Agencies trying keep up with demand

The US is facing potentially record-breaking expatriation numbers, along with an even larger number of citizens looking to acquire second citizenship.

Global tax and immigration lawyers are already contending with increased demand. Apex Capital, which specializes in citizenship by investment (CIP) programs, said it has seen interest increase more than 600% since the election, compared to 2019.

And agencies that cater to Golden Visas — where people can acquire citizenship or residency by investing a certain amount into that country — are also feeling the crunch.

“North America just blew up in terms of demand,” Konstantin Kaminskiy, an associate director at Astons, an investment immigration and relocation provider, told Business Insider. “We used to have maybe a couple of dozen Americans investors applying for European residencies or UK residencies per year. Now we have 20 to 30 inquiries per day.”

[…]

International tax and immigration advisor and lawyer David Lesperance previously told Business Insider that he’d heard similar reasoning from clients with marginalized racial, religious, and sexual identities. The ultrawealthy who are considering fleeing are worried about the implications of social and civic unrest.

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

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

The post “More Than 1,000 Nigerians Have Inquired About CBI”: 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.