IM People in The News

“A Shift in the Citizenship Industry Away From Microstates” – Investment Migration People in the News This Week

  • José Cardoso Botelho of Vanguard Properties
  • Juerg Steffen and Dominic Volek of Henley & Partners
  • Ezzedeen Soleiman of Latitude
  • Alena Lesina of Astons
  • Alex Ingrim of Chase Buchanan
  • Kristin Surak
  • Ahsan Nasratullah of Global City Regional Center


Bloomberg – Portugal Home Prices Defy Rate Hikes on Strong Foreign Demand

“About 65% of our clients are foreigners or Portuguese nationals living abroad,” said Jose Cardoso Botelho, head of Vanguard Properties, one of Portugal’s biggest developers with 22 projects in prime locations in Lisbon and on the Portuguese coast in Comporta and the Algarve. “The vast majority of these sales are for people who wish to live and work in Portugal.”


Business Standard – Crypto millionaires migrating to protect interests, Singapore tops list

Traders, miners, investors, and cryptopreneurs are exploring investment migration strategies to safeguard their interests. “We have seen a significant spike in enquiries from crypto millionaires over the past six months looking to protect themselves against any potential future bans on the trading or use of cryptocurrencies in their own countries and mitigate the risks of aggressive fiscal policies that tax digital assets at source,” said Dr. Juerg Steffen , CEO of Henley & Partners.

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Canada (8th on 67.33%), Malta (9th on 64.83%) and Malaysia (10th on 62.5%) all make it into the Top 10 countries hosting the most appealing investment migration program options for crypto investors. As Volek points out, “Malta’s reputation as the “Blockchain Island” has been bolstered by government initiatives to foster innovation, attract blockchain businesses, and provide regulatory clarity, while Malaysia is developing into a promising center for blockchain innovation in the Asian region with its burgeoning crypto community and the emergence of numerous start-ups.”

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Canada (8th on 67.33%), Malta (9th on 64.83%) and Malaysia (10th on 62.5%) all make it into the Top 10 countries hosting the most appealing investment migration program options for crypto investors. As Volek points out, “Malta’s reputation as the “Blockchain Island” has been bolstered by government initiatives to foster innovation, attract blockchain businesses, and provide regulatory clarity, while Malaysia is developing into a promising center for blockchain innovation in the Asian region with its burgeoning crypto community and the emergence of numerous start-ups.”


CNBC – There are just six bitcoin billionaires in the world, new crypto super-rich report says

To be exact, 425 million people use crypto, according to Henley & Partners’ Crypto Wealth Report, which was released by the investment migration consultancy on Tuesday.

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The index is designed to show “the most appealing investment migration program options for crypto investors,” Henley & Partners explained in a statement published alongside the report.

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Singapore topped the overall index, followed by Switzerland in second and the United Arab Emirates in third place, while the U.S. and U.K. ranked in fifth and seventh respectively.


Investopedia – OpenAI and Google CEOs Among America’s Tech Moguls Acquiring More Visas, Citizenships

Ezzedeen Soleiman, a managing partner at Latitude Consultancy, a private global citizenship and residency planning firm, told Investopedia that clients often “seek a contingency plan or insurance policy in case of future travel, business, or lifestyle restrictions, similar to those experienced during the pandemic.”

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Soleiman, who specializes in the golden passport market in North America, says that most of his American clients are interested in the European Union, where a second citizenship from an EU country can also provide access to other EU member states. He noted that Portugal’s Golden Visa is a highly sought-after residency program among his clients, as well as Malta’s Exceptional Investor Program.


The Financial Express – Golden Passports: Cost of education more affordable across all Citizenship by Investment nations

Immigration Expert for Astons, Alena Lesina, says, “When considering citizenship by investment, one major concern is the potential return on that investment. Part of this return is going to be based around lifestyle and quality of life improvements offered by these CBI nations, but there is also the issue of financial returns.

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This can come in the form of property appreciation or perhaps business opportunities presented by your new homeland, but savings on the ongoing cost of living are also another way of earning back your initial investment.

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These savings of up to 94% are incredible. And when you consider that this is simply international primary education, you can imagine how significant the savings will go on to be for subsequent levels of education. Over the course of a decade, you could be looking at schooling savings in the many tens of thousands of pounds which in itself mitigates a good chunk of the initial investment cost.”


CNN – Considering leaving the US for good? Here’s what to think about before you move abroad

An important early question to ask is whether the country you want to move to has a double taxation treaty with the US, says Alex Ingrim, a licensed financial advisor with global wealth management firm Chase Buchanan. Such agreements essentially allow for offsets of certain taxes between countries, such as income tax, meaning that you won’t have to pay twice.

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“It’s all about taking a step back and looking at your personal situation and analyzing, ‘okay, where does my income come from? Am I retiring, is it going to be Social Security? Am I working? Is there a special tax treatment for my situation?’, and coming to terms with what your net income is going to be at the end of the day,” Ingrim says.

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He adds that self-employment is another consideration to keep in mind regarding taxes, especially in Europe, where Social Security taxes are much higher than in the US. “If you’re self-employed or you run your own business, you also have to understand what your Social Security liability is,” he says. “Those rates are really high as well. You’re running at 25% in a lot of countries.”

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“The one thing that I always say to clients is, ‘Have you looked at the other options?’, because there are so many ways to move to Portugal, there are several ways to move to Spain or Italy or Greece,” Ingrim says. “ So it’s a very nuanced topic, and obviously I’m not an immigration lawyer, but we get the question a lot. And I quite often push back on why someone’s going that route.”


The Wall Street Journal – Turkish Citizenship Is a Hot Commodity

Professor Kristin Surak pens an op-ed adapted from her new book, “The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires,” in the Wall Street Journal.

In the Western world, the idea of citizenship is usually celebrated for its promise of equality. Even in societies divided by class and status, citizenship enables disadvantaged segments of the population to obtain basic rights. Yet access to citizenship itself remains fundamentally unequal. No matter the country, governments screen entry into their territories to move the connected, the talented and the wealthy to the head of the line, while those deemed less worthy are left waiting on the doorstep. In the face of these barriers, many people act strategically by acquiring a second citizenship, to increase their possibilities and hedge risks.

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A decade ago, the market for citizenship was dominated by island microstates. Those that can offer “top tier” citizenships—like Malta, whose citizens also become citizens of the European Union—may ask for more than $1 million for the privilege. Others, like small countries in the Caribbean, may expect as little as $100,000. Since 2019, however, Turkey—a true nation-state—has come to dominate this global market and now accounts for around half of all CBI naturalizations, a stunning rise.

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Turkey represents a shift in the citizenship industry away from microstates, where investor citizens spend little to no time, toward bigger countries with bigger economies. “It has livability,” as one lawyer put it, before rattling off the high-end neighborhoods and restaurants, as well as attractive business possibilities. “You can have a real life. A driver costs only $1,000 per month.” Another service provider explained that Turkey appeals to Middle Easterners is because it’s close to home, easy to access, and livable. “With a Turkish passport, you can’t go to the U.K. or the EU,” she observed, “but in comparison to an Iraqi or Syrian passport, it’s very good.”

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Demand for programs like Turkey’s will persist as long as countries continue to produce wealthy citizens looking to improve their mobility or opportunities, or for an insurance policy against their own government. The shift from microstates to bigger countries is likely to accelerate as the trend toward deglobalization transforms the CBI landscape, leading people to look for ways to guarantee access should countries delink or seal themselves off into regional blocs. And supply is unlikely to falter as states with limited revenue sources turn to this source of easy money, particularly when other economic streams dry up.


Inquirer – Three iconic Philadelphia developments built by immigrant investors

Ahsan Nasratullah sought EB-5 investments in 2012 for Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp.’s Crane tower, a mostly market-rate, 150-apartment high-rise tower in Chinatown.

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Global City Regional Center, an LLC created by Nasratullah, raised $8.8 million for the $75 million Chinatown tower before it was built in 2017, mostly with bank and public financing. Nasratullah is now seeking investors for a project that could fit EB-5′s new urban focus, at the Africatown development in Southwest Philadelphia.

Ahmad Abbas AdministratorAuthorSubscriberParticipant
Director of Content Services , Investment Migration Insider

Ahmad Abbas is Director of Content Services at Investment Migration Insider and an 8-year veteran of the investment migration industry.

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