Investment migration people in the news this week include:
- Kevin Bürchler of SIP Medical Family Office
- Suresh Rajan of LCR Capital Partners
- Jürg Steffen and Burak Demirel of Henley & Partners
- Sam Silverman of EB-5 Affiliate Network
- Shai Zamanian of The American Legal Center
- Mark Davies of Davies & Associates
- David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
Times of India: Decoded: Why are Indians giving up their citizenship
“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,” said Dr Juerg Steffen, the CEO of Henley & Partners, in the report.
He added that in terms of enquiries about the golden visa, India remains at the top in 2020, but the combination of Covid-19 and sustained political turmoil saw the US, which was in 6th position last year, shoot up into 2nd place (as it plunged down the Henley Passport Index rankings), followed by Pakistan, Nigeria, and South Africa.[…]
“AstraZeneca’s non-replicating viral vector vaccination currently ranks number one, having been approved by more than 120 countries. Pfizer–BioNTech’s vaccination is currently approved in 98 countries, Russia’s Sputnik in 71 countries, and Moderna in 69 countries worldwide. Your health or vaccination status — sometimes in combination with additional passports — may now be even more important for your global access rights than your primary passport is,” says Kevin Bürchler of the SIP Medical Family Office.
American Bazaar: Portugal hiking golden visa investment from January
Suresh Rajan, founder of LCR Capital Partners, gives the readers of American Bazaar an overview of the upcoming changes to Portugal’s golden visa rules.
It is noteworthy that these changes apply only to the purchase of residential properties. Commercial properties in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve (offices, shopping centers, and hotels) will continue to be eligible under the Portugal Golden Visa program in 2022, with no change in the minimum investment requirement for commercial real estate, currently starting at €500,000.
Another increasingly popular way to invest in Portugal is through investment funds. The fund market is highly regulated, making it a safe option that offers peace of mind for international investors, since the fund manager, the Depositary Bank, and the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) oversee the entire process.
The minimum amount to invest in the investment fund option that qualifies for the Portugal Golden Visa is currently €350,000; however, on January 1, 2022, that amount will increase to €500,000. The investment fund option has increased in popularity since the pandemic has made traveling abroad more difficult.
Although it is possible to purchase a residential property without a face-to-face visit, many people do not feel comfortable completing such transactions with only virtual visits, making investors take a closer look at the investment fund, which does not require travel.
Sam Silverman, Managing Partner of EB5 Affiliate Network, outlines best practices for preparing an EB-5 project business plan.
Since generating jobs is one of the main objectives of the EB-5 program, the employment-creation section of the business plan is critical. The business plan must describe how many jobs will be created, the nature and responsibilities associated with each position and an anticipated timeline for hiring the employees. Job creation must be carefully considered to ensure that every EB-5 investor is allocated at least 10 permanent full-time positions.
The methods for demonstrating employment creation differ significantly between regional center and direct EB-5 investment projects. Direct EB-5 investment projects can count only direct employment or full-time jobs that appear directly on the new commercial enterprise’s payroll. In contrast, regional center projects can count direct, indirect and induced positions. Indirect and induced employment is calculated by using development expenditures and operating revenues as inputs to an econometric model.
Many residents of the United Arab Emirates and neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries had been impatiently waiting for the resumption of the EB-5 program to file their applications in anticipation of a December rush. While the EB-5 program remains suspended, families interested in participating in the EB-5 program can begin the preparation of their applications to be at an advantage once the program is reauthorized. “Given the uncertainty as to when the program will be reauthorized, the best route at the moment is to be prepared,” says Shai Zamanian, Legal Director of The American Legal Center, the top EB-5 immigration consultancy in the GCC region with their head offices in Dubai. “We are continuing to monitor the situation and discussing the future of the EB-5 program with lobbyists in Washington, DC and will continue to update the GCC market about the latest news,” says Zamanian.
Mark Davies, of immigration law firm Davies & Associates, writes an op-ed for India’s second-biggest daily.
Along with the school and country, students must also analyse post graduation avenues. While some countries offer competitive schooling opportunities, not all offer growth prospects professionally. The United States, for example, allows students to stay on through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) route and then usually the H-1B Visa after the OPT expires. These options are relatively inflexible and place a lot of power with the employer. Obtaining a Green Card through the EB-5 Visa offers the time to find a good job, negotiate with employers on pay and conditions, and switch jobs as they climb the career ladder.
Henley & Partners Turkey Director Burak Demirel, which provides citizenship by Investment and residency programs consultancy, said that they expect the demand for the ‘Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program’ to continue to increase in 2022. Demirel said, “The global size of the sector is approximately 25 billion Dollars. Turkey gets a big share of this cake. We estimate that this rate will increase in 2022 and beyond. There are business people who demand citizenship from Turkey not only through real estate purchases but also through financial investments and investments that will create employment.”[…]
Demirel stated that business people who manage billions of dollars in the world describe citizenship programs as a kind of investment basket and said, “People are creating a basket of residence and citizenship in the same way as they create investment baskets such as Euro, dollar and Gold. According to our most recent passport index report, the strongest passport was Japan. With the bans during the pandemic period, Japanese citizens could go to less than 80 countries. Just having a Japanese passport wasn’t enough for a dollar billionaire with business in London to survive and thrive without a visa.”
Separately, David Lesperance, managing partner of immigration and tax adviser Lesperance & Associates, said “the cracks are already showing in plans that are made in haste in the crypto mining world.”
Lesperance cited the case of crypto mining company Xive, which shut down a 2,500-rig mine in South Kazakhstan due to lack of sufficient electricity supply from the national grid.
“Miners should remember the key elements to a successful operation are a) stable energy sources (preferably green); b) in a location with the rule of law to protect their business from sovereign risk or unsavory ‘partners’; and c) an ability for the owners to visit and oversee operations,” he said.
Kazakhstan does not adequately meet the first two requirements, so many minors are now looking at locations like Iceland and the U.S., Lesperance added.
“Unfortunately, both those jurisdictions have significant immigration barriers for the actual owners,” he said. “This later issue needs to be dealt with with indirect immigration strategies such as securing status in jurisdictions which enjoy preferred treaty access to the countries where the mining operations are located.”
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.