IM People in The News

Clients Now Assuming “No Difference Between Hong Kong and China”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week include:

  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
  • Juerg Steffen and Dominic Volek of Henley & Partners
  • Georg Chmiel of Juwai IQI
  • Andy Wong of Ricacorp Overseas Property
  • Ashish Saraff of Aretha Capital Partners

SCMP: Vanuatu to become more popular among mainland Chinese, Hong Kong investors once it allows property investment for residency, passport

“A real estate option could make Vanuatu citizenship even more appealing by enabling one to invest in an asset rather than simply handing over a fee,” said Georg Chmiel, co-founder and group executive chairman of property portal Juwai IQI.

Currently, investors cannot buy homes or property for residency or passports in Vanuatu. The country is, however, working on a real estate option, which will enable applicants to invest in projects that contribute to the country’s development. The legislation was passed in April, and the government is currently working out exactly how the programme will work, including the time to launch and investment size.

“The devil is in the details, so it is impossible to predict how popular the new option will be until we see the rules,” Chmiel said.


Fewer people are buying property in Vanuatu also because of the UK offering an emigration path for holders of British National (Overseas) passports in Hong Kong, said Andy Wong, director of Ricacorp Overseas Property and Immigration Consultants. Climate change is also a significant deterrent. It remains the most significant single threat to sustainable development in Small Island Developing States such as Vanuatu, according to the UN.

Cyclone Pam, which hit Vanuatu in 2015, clearly showed this, affecting 64 per cent of its economy and 60 per cent of its population. It also destroyed 96 per cent of the country’s food crops. Moreover, Vanuatu is also experiencing sea-level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification.

“The buyers are looking for a passport only. That’s why they don’t care about the potential risk of natural disasters. The only thing [of] concern is the validity of the passport,” Ricacorp’s Wong, however, said.

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David Lesperance made numerous media appearances over the last week-or-so, including:

  • SCMP: Hong Kong: international companies reconsider future in wake of security law
    “My clients are now starting to assume there is no difference between Hong Kong and China,” he said, noting that the national security law had formalised some of China’s previous, arbitrary detentions, such as the snatching of billionaire Xiao Jianhua at the Four Seasons hotel in 2017.
  • The Street: Cryptocurrency Price Check: Prices Slide as El Salvador Goes Crypto
    David Lesperance, managing partner of immigration and tax adviser with Lesperance & Associates, noted that Sam Bankman-Fried, who co-founded the FTX crypto exchange, said if cryptocurrencies do some self-policing “government regulators are going to drop their current (and entirely predictable) push for the imposition of Know-Your-Customer and anti-money laundering measures.”

    “I wonder if those using his exchange or his investors share his optimism?” Lesperance asked. “If he is wrong, he need look no further than Arthur Hayers for a glimpse of his future. FTX investors and exchange users need to look no further than the experience of their peers from BitMex.”

  • ZeroHedge: ‘Named & Shamed’ – IRS Lists The Record Number Of Wealthy Americans Becoming Ex-Americans In 2020
    David Lesperance, an international tax lawyer based in Poland who helps people renounce U.S. citizenship, told Axios that there’s a backlog of wealthy people trying to renounce their citizenship but “can’t get the appointment” with the government because “the system’s capacity has peaked.” He estimates “20,000 or 30,000 people” are attempting to renounce their citizenship. 

Ashsish Saraff, who also made an appearance on the Mobility Standard podcast last month, this week penned an op-ed for CNBC TV18:

  • Key reasons to consider investing in Europe
    Investing in Portugal can yield healthy financial returns. The real estate rental market yields 3-5% which is at par with any major metro across the world, probably a bit higher. The price index has also shown continuous growth over the past 7 years. Portugal Golden Visa program requires an annual stay of only 7 days, which makes it lucrative for global investors. Since the launch of this initiative in 2012, over 10,000 investors from outside the European Union have invested over 6 Bn Euros through this program.

  • Saraff was also quoted this week in Times of IndiaWith government okay on new agreement, Portugal likely to become hot destination for skilled Indians:
    “This agreement with Portugal will provide for greater freedom of movement for Indian professionals to not just Portugal but probably also to the entire EU region. So far, there have been no such bilateral agreements between India and the European countries that facilitate transfer of skilled workers. In fact, companies that have operations in those countries have to sponsor their staff members under intra-company transfers,” Ashish Saraff, founder and CEO at Aretha Capital Partners, a UK-based real estate investment company, told Times of India from London.

Henley & Partners this week released its new Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index, which saw extensive media coverage:

  • The National: Dubai ranked 11th most popular city globally for residence-by-investment programmes
    “Residence-by-investment programmes provide a channel for building a migration portfolio of multiple complementary residence and citizenship options to hedge against volatility and take advantage of new opportunities in the pandemic world order,” Juerg Steffen, chief executive of Henley & Partners, a company that provides residence and citizenship advice, said.
  • Finews.Asia: Henley & Partners: More Investors Considering Business Relocation
    “Along with seeking out new domicile options for their families, more and more investors are considering relocating their businesses. This trend had begun pre-pandemic, but it is accelerating,” Dominic Volek, group head of private clients at Henley & Partners, said.
  • WealthBriefing: “Golden Visa” Advisory Group, Partner Launch Cities Index
    One of the main advisory firms involved in the world for “golden visas” has launched an index ranking cities in terms of how well they score for residency-by-investment.

    Henley & Partners, working with Deep Knowledge Analytics, has launched what it calls the Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index. The index measures 25 major cities around the world where international entrepreneurs, company owners, professionals, and high net worth individuals can acquire residency through investment migration programmes.

Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

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.

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