IM People in The News

Golden Visas Becoming More Complicated But “Not Disappearing.”: Investment Migration People In The News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • Paul Williams of La Vida Golden Visas
  • David Lincoln of Lincoln Global Partners
  • Dominic Volek of Henley & Partners
  • David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
  • Lucas Fox
  • Luis Valdés and Mikel Echavarren of Colliers
  • Constanza Maya of Engel & Völkers
  • Francesc Quintana of Vivendex
  • Sergio Gutiérrez of Excellence Real Estate Circle
  • Gonzalo Robles of Barnes
  • Mikhail Bulanov of Tranio
  • Varun Singh of XIPHIAS Immigration

Bloomberg – There Are Still Ways to Get Golden Visas Even as Backlash Mounts

“Ideally you want to engage sooner rather than later as options in Europe are narrowing,” said Paul Williams, head of consultancy La Vida Golden Visas.


“Golden visas are getting more expensive and complex, but they’re not disappearing,” said David Lincoln, head of immigration consultancy Lincoln Global Partners.


“There are still plenty of options as nations don’t want to pass up on capital and talent,” said Lincoln.

Yahoo! News – Number of African-born millionaires to skyrocket over next decade: report

“The ‘big five’ are the five most developed countries in terms of infrastructure with much more advanced economies when you compare them to other African countries,” said Dominic Volek, the group head of private clients at Henley and Partners, the company that published the ninth Africa Wealth Report.


“If you look globally, there are about 54 African-born billionaires around the world, one of them being Elon Musk from South Africa. But, out of the 54, only 21 percent still live on the continent,” Volek added.

Financial Times – Fewer ‘golden visas’ will not dim millionaire demand for bolt-holes

Henley & Partners, which advises wealthy individuals on the subject, forecasts a 15 per cent increase in the number of applicants to golden visa schemes to 128,000 this year. Rules are tightening and prices rising but plenty of schemes remain open for business. Italy, Greece and Malta are all attracting applicants. US millionaires, along with their wealthier centi-millionaire and billionaire brethren, are leading the charge.

CCN – Tether Sanctions Busting: Venezuela Oil Company Uses USDT to Get Round US Ban, But Will This Boost Regulation Calls?

Crypto law expert David Lesperance told CCN that whether Venezuela accepting USDT or others using crypto to circumvent sanctions, it should be expected to see bilateral support for countermeasures from the US government.

Idealista – The end of Golden Visas in Spain to have limited impact, experts say

The golden visa was originally introduced as a way to attract international clients from outside the EU and Schengen Area to Spain. However, the actual number of golden visa transactions has been very low since it was introduced in 2013. “Most international client transactions in Spain are from within the European Union or they do not involve the golden visa scheme. Therefore, the actual impact on prices and transactions has been and will be extremely limited. However, it is likely that now, after it was announced that the golden visa scheme is to be phased out, there will be an avalanche of investors who were planning to make use of this scheme,” the Lucas Fox agent explains.


Luis Valdés, Managing Director of Residential Sales Advisory at Colliers, believes that the impact is negative but irrelevant for the real estate sector. He argues that “most foreign investors in Spain, are not interested in obtaining the golden visa and are more interested in Spain’s basic features – the quality of life, safety, education and leisure facilities. Madrid or the Costa del Sol are two clear examples. From our experience as advisors in the luxury residential market, we can confirm that buyers of this type of real estate asset do not base their purchase decision on obtaining the golden visa”.


For Engel & Völkers, another of the leading luxury real estate companies operating in Spain, this decision will not be “traumatic” either. “At Engel&Völkers Spain, we would hardly be affected by these measures because golden visa purchases only accounted for 2% of our total transactions in 2023. The nationalities that made the most use of the golden visa were Asians – mainly clients from China, Russia and Iran – who bought homes costing on average €668,000. By area, Barcelona is the most active location for this type of visa. Of all transactions, 94% were financed with own resources,” explains Constanza Maya, Head of Operations, Expansion and Support at Engel & Völkers Iberia.


Francesc Quintana, CEO and founder of Vivendex, does not think it will influence business either, given that an average of 1,400 transactions a year have been carried out. “Right now, they are not significant,” says the expert.


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Sergio Gutiérrez, co-founder and managing partner of the real estate agents’ club Excellence Real Estate Circle, believes that “the impact of the golden visa on sales is practically insignificant. Because the number of visas granted since 2013 is minimal compared to the number of property sales”.


Luxury real estate firm Barnes agrees that the real estate business will be minimally affected. In 2023, only 3,200 golden visas were granted, which is a tiny fraction of the 87,000 housing transactions carried out by foreigners in Spain. There may be a slight decrease in foreign interest in the lower end of the market, mainly affecting owners of standard homes. However, no significant change is expected in the luxury sector. The golden visa has been active in Spain for 10 years, so most people who wanted to obtain one have already done so,” the company says.


The real estate firm founded by Gonzalo Robles, Uxban, argues that “removing the golden visa will not have any impact on luxury housing prices, as they will continue to rise at a strong pace because demand is far from slowing down. However, it will have a knock-on effect on economic activity on a limited scale”.


For Mikel Echavarren, CEO and president of Colliers and one of the most reputable voices in Spanish real estate, “In the case of the luxury properties marketed by Colliers, we do not see the golden visa as a draw, as most owners do not want or need residency in Spain. For this type of profile, the main focus is the product’s appeal and the market in which the investment is made, normally Madrid or prime destinations such as the Costa del Sol or the Balearic Islands”.

GTP – Study: Greece’s Golden Visa Scheme May See Drop in Demand

“Foreign investors now perceive Greece’s Golden Visa program as nearing its conclusion. With the investment threshold set to rise to 800,000 euros in key locations favored by international property buyers, this is viewed as a prohibitive measure. Notably, Tranio observed a 6.9 percent surge in purchase inquiries during Q1 2024, as clients rushed to secure deals under existing conditions,” said Mikhail Bulanov, managing partner & co-founder of Tranio.


Additionally, he said, “higher mortgage rates and a waning domestic demand further compound this scenario… potential limitations on investment from Russian citizens and reduced activity from Chinese investors due to China’s economic slowdown could further impact demand.”

Cyprus Mail – Criteria of the residency through investment scheme

Evi Pilavaki of bbf: pens an article in Cyprus mail detailing the requirements for Cyprus’ residency by investment program. 

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division (UN DESA), Europe continues to host the largest number of migrants in the world. It would be interesting to know whether Cyprus has contributed significantly to that number. A quick search on Google for the most successful PR pathways in the world, will reveal that Cyprus often comes up in top 10 lists of countries with the most attractive permanent residency programmes.


In addition to the above investment, the applicant must be in a position to prove that they have at their disposal secure annual income of at least €50.000 and this income requirement increases by €15.000 for a spouse and by €10.000 for each of their minor children. It is important to note that the income should originate from abroad and it can comprise of salaries, pensions, dividends from shares, bank deposit interest, rents or any other source of income.

Financial Express – Golden visa programs of Greece and Cyprus offering residency-by-investment modified

Varun Singh of XIPHIAS Immigration writes an article exploring the changes to the Greek and Cypriot Golden Visas. 

These changes aim to balance the need to address housing shortages with the desire to continue attracting foreign investment, ensuring the integrity of residency and citizenship pathways for investors.


This increase could potentially deter some investors, as other European golden visa programs offer lower minimum investment amounts. However, Greece’s strong economy, quality of life, and faster path to citizenship compared to most European nations may counterbalance the uncertainty caused by the changes.


Overall, the impact of these changes on immigration will depend on how they are perceived by potential investors and the extent to which they affect the attractiveness of these countries’ residency-by-investment programs. While the new rules may deter some investors, the strong economic rebound and high quality of life in Greece, as well as the stricter controls in Cyprus, could still attract a significant number of high-net-worth individuals seeking residency and access to the European Union.

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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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