IM People in The News

“Armageddon Americans”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • Armand Arton of Arton Capital
  • Nuri Katz of Apex Capital Partners
  • Alina Lesina of Astons
  • Christian Kälin, and Judi Galst of Henley & Partners
  • Kristin Surak
  • George Ganey of Ganey Law Group
  • Ezzedeen Soleiman of Latitude

Economic Times – Rush for golden visas after Portugal’s decision to end much-criticised scheme

Armand Arton, head of Arton Capital, which helps people get a second residency or citizenship via investment, said his firm had seen a 50% jump in applications since the announcement.

“As soon as you put a deadline on something, it gets people rushing,” Nuri Katz from another adviser, Apex Capital Partners, told Reuters. “There’s absolutely nothing as good as a deadline in this business.”

[…]

Both Katz and Arton described the decision as populist.

“He (Costa) is just trying to … show that he’s doing something about the housing prices,” Katz said.

Arton said: “I have seen a lot of PMs doing this kind of messaging for electoral votes.”


CNBC – Many of Europe’s ‘golden visa’ programs are closing — but demand is up in this Mediterranean hotspot

Alina Lesina, immigration expert for Astons USA, said it looked likely that Greece would now become the “destination of choice” for wealthy U.S. expats.

“Not only has it been the second most popular European golden visa scheme amongst U.S. investors in recent years, there has also been a huge increase in this interest on an annual basis,” Lesina said.

[…]

Greece ranks among the world’s leading “residence by investment” programs, according to the latest index from citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners.


BusinessTech – Tax tips for wealthy South Africans emigrating to the US

George Ganey, a founding partner at Ganey Law Group, said that the most common residency via investment route is the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Program visa.

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The EB-5 requires investment in an enterprise that creates jobs for US citizens. It costs $900,000 for specially designated areas and $1.8 million for non-designated areas.

The investor and their family are given conditional permanent residence and can be given a green (a permanent residence) card after two years.

“The EB-5 visa is certainly the most effective for South Africans, as recent legal reforms offer greater protection to investors, more clarity around timelines, and other assurances,” Ganey said.


Huff Post – The American Elite Are Planning Their Escape — And It Starts With Paying For Passports

More likely than not, the sender was trying to tap the hottest new market for secondary citizenship: the United States. Henley & Partners, the world’s premier passport brokering company, said that in 2022, more Americans inquired about citizenship by investment — programs that allow people to pay for citizenship instead of gaining it by demonstrating their ties to a country — than in any previous year. Americans were also the leading nationality for submitting applications.

“Americans for the first time ever are becoming the number-one investors in these programs,” said Ezzedeen Soleiman, a managing partner at Latitude, a competitor to Henley & Partners.

[…]

“There’s a citizenship hierarchy out there, in that a lot of the people with privileged passports don’t even realize it,” said Kristin Surak, an associate professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science who studies the citizenship industry.

[…]

“Very wealthy people, they’re very, very risk-averse,” Surak said. “They’re kind of paranoid. They have a lot of money, and they’ll do a lot to keep it safe — a second citizenship, a third citizenship, a backup Plan B, a backup Plan C, a backup Plan D. … You’re getting more and more ‘Armageddon Americans’: Either [President Joe] Biden ‘the communist’ is going to take over America, or the fascists are going to take over.”

[…]

Judi Galst, a senior client adviser with Henley & Partners who is based in New York, said most of her American clients are not making an explicit escape plan so much as they are trying to quiet an unsettled voice in the back of their head. For now, it’s about freedom and flexibility, and never losing access to world travel again. It’s about passing on another asset to their children. Some of them were planning to invest in international property anyway — so why not get secondary citizenship as part of the bargain?

I was curious to see the process close-up. A Henley spokesperson gamely connected me to Galst for a mock interview.

Most well-to-do applicants turn to Henley & Partners to handle the application process for them. The concept of citizenship as a commodity, rather than a chance fact of birth, is fairly new and was pioneered by Christian Kälin, Henley’s former chair. Kälin designed St. Kitts and Nevis’ program in 2006, with a fee taken in exchange for every successful application. From there, it was no trouble for Henley to corner the market on wealthy applicants and recruit several more nations, such as Malta, to start Henley-designed, fee-for-citizenship programs of their own.