Investment migration people in the news this week include:
- Bruno L’ecuyer of the Investment Migration Council
- Tina Cheng of Midland Immigration
- Mohammed Asaria of Range Developments
- Farzin Yazdi of Shard Capital
- Andrés Gutierrez of CSB Group
- Kate Everett-Allen of Knight Frank
- Alejandra Vanoli of VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty
- Niko Laković of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty
- James O’Brien of International Realty Group Ltd.
- Arthur Sarkisian of Astons
- Luís Lima of APEMIP
The Geneva, Switzerland-based Investment Migration Council has reacted strongly against the European Commission attempt to put an end to citizenship schemes.
“We defend the sovereign and societal value creation of Investment Migration Programmes, “ insists Bruno L’ecuyer, CEO of the Investment Migration Council (IMC).
“The two-month deadline set by the European Commission for the governments of Cyprus and Malta to reply to the letters of formal notice regarding their citizenship-by-investment pathways is approaching. In advance of this date, the Investment Migration Council (IMC) wishes to engage with all relevant stakeholders and remind them of a number of salient points,” L’ecuyer told the Cyprus Mail in an interview.
“The number of Hongkongers who liked the UK showed the largest increase because the threshold for Britain is the lowest among [choices like] Australia, Canada,” said Tina Cheng, senior strategy director at Midland. “Hong Kong people simply holding BN(O) can apply to move to England, with almost no other requirement than living there for a period of time.”
Arabian Business: How Covid-19 has impacted the citizenship by investment industry
Head of Range Developments, Mohammed Asaria, pens an opinion piece for Arabian Business in which he outlines the blows dealt and victories granted to the investment migration industry in 2020.
After almost a decade of being involved in the citizenship by investment industry, helping people find an investment that also provides freedom to travel and the ability to live in pastures greener, I have never seen a year quite like this one.
International Adviser: How to advise HNW clients with UK investor visas
Farzin Yazdi, Head of Investor Visa at London-based Shard Capital, opines in International Adviser.
Some have called for the UK’s financial services regulator to create a separate client classification for Investor Visa applicants given the systems and controls required to be able to meet not only financial but immigration regulatory obligations. The next time you see a potential Investor Visa applicant, do think of the risks involved and call upon those who have stood the test of time.
n spite of safety concerns and travel restrictions, the market for so-called “golden visas”—programs that grant citizenship or residency to foreign nationals who make significant investments in a country, often in real estate—has thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, with high-net-worth global buyers eagerly seeking out both physical and financial safe havens.
“Clients are diversifying,” said Andres Gutierrez, an investment immigration consultant with CSB Group in Malta. “In a pandemic, clients have realized that [citizenship by investment regulations] give an edge against geopolitical risk and volatility. They want investment stability, they want options for their children.”
“Portugal’s appeal and why it’s done so well is partly lifestyle and culture that’s particularly appealing, and values in Lisbon were pretty competitive compared to other European markets,” said Kate Everett-Allen, the head of international residential research at Knight Frank. “In terms of other markets, it’s quite striking how many there are.”
“Outside of Lisbon and Porto, we’re talking about small cities with not very good [transportation] connections,” said Alejandra Vanoli of VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty in Spain. “In Spain, you have excellent connections flying to Madrid, or on the coast, Levante, Seville or Andalucia.”
“Life costs are much cheaper here than in the European Union, and you’re getting a lifetime citizenship,” said Niko Laković of Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s a very beautiful lifestyle and we’re a maximum two-hour flight from major European cities. And you’re getting an actual passport three months after starting the process.”
“There’s no restriction at all to foreign ownership of land here, whereas there is some in European nations,” said James O’Brien of International Realty Group Ltd., an affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International in the Cayman Islands. “And obviously there’s no direct taxation at all, whether that’s property taxes, personal income, inheritance. It’s very difficult to find any jurisdiction that ticks all the boxes that the Cayman Islands does.”
“A number of EU nations do provide the option to obtain residency within one month, however, in these instances, you must have lived in the country for a specified number of years, usually around five,” said Arthur Sarkisian, managing director of Astons.
Portugal Resident: “Terrible mistake”: Portugal’s golden visa changes ‘kill the Golden Goose’
Said Luís Lima of APEMIP (the association of real estate professionals): “The way I see it, there couldn’t be a worse time to introduce these changes. It was already a mistake when they were announced in the 2020 State Budget, but the decision has become all the more incomprehensible within the context of the pandemic we are living through…”
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.