IM People in The News

Portugal’s Scrapping NHR “Plays in Favor of Italy”: Investment Migration People in the News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • David Lesperance of Lesperance and Associates
  • Marco Cerrato of Maisto e Associati
  • Patricia Casaburi of Global Citizen Solutions
  • Kristin Surak
  • Dr. Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners
  • Parviz Malakouti of Malakouti Law
  • Kashif Ansari of Juwai IQI
  • Inês Azevedo of Azevedo Ascenso
  • Colin Bishop of Reef View Enterprises
  • Jeffrey Henseler and Daniel Duric of Passport Legacy
  • Paulo Silva of Savills 
  • Claude Berda and Jose Cardoso Botelho of Vanguard Properties
  • Pedro Coelho of Square Asset Management

Financial Times – Stay or go? UK’s non-doms prepare for scrapping of tax status

“What I am seeing is that, all of a sudden, clients are asking questions — they’re coming to the realisation that the government has got to call an election no later than 14 months,” says David Lesperance, founder and principal of international tax advice firm Lesperance & Associates.


Marco Cerrato, a partner at Maisto e Associati, a law firm based in Italy and the UK, says the scrapping of Portugal’s special tax regime “plays in favour for Italy and other countries”. Under Italy’s scheme, a new tax resident can make an annual tax payment of €100,000 to shelter their foreign earnings and gains from Italian tax for up to 15 years. The system came into force in 2017 and had been used by about 2,500 people by 2021, according to the latest statistics available.

Coindesk – UK Won’t Excuse Ignorance in the Hunt for Unpaid Crypto Taxes, Experts Say

In fact, the government could employ several different tactics to track down who’s not paying taxes or hiding crypto holdings, David Lesperance, founder of tax advisory firm Lesperance and Associates, told CoinDesk in an interview.


There are a number of ways that the government can find those who have not paid their crypto tax, Lesperance said. If an investor has money with collapsed crypto firms like FTX exchange or lending platform Celsius, then that investor could be “named as a creditor,” during bankruptcy proceedings, he said.

Foreign Affairs – Is Portugal’s Golden Visa Scheme Worth It?

NINE OTHER COUNTRIES in Europe also offer golden visas, but Portugal’s is the most popular. The reason, insiders believe, is because it asks little of investors and provides a straightforward path to citizenship. “You have to live in Greece, fulltime, for seven years before getting citizenship,” said Lisbon-based Patricia Casaburi, director of investment migration firm Global Citizen Solutions. “Here, you just have to speak the language passingly and have a legitimate visa for five years.” Since Portugal’s golden visa is good for five years, requiring holders to spend an average of one week a year in the country, obtaining a passport is easy. What’s more, all of Portugal’s golden visa benefits extend to the holder’s immediate family—parents, spouse, and children.


So far golden visas have ushered in more than $7.3 billion, rescuing Portugal from a crippling recession. Last month, for the second time in nearly 50 years, Costa’s government announced a budget surplus for 2023. While the windfall is welcome, there’s no doubt that the influx of wealthy foreigners has transformed Portugal. As cited by Bloomberg, in the last decade, according to the National Statistics Institute, foreign residents have risen by 40 percent. Within that same period, the country became a top magnet for high-net-worth individuals. “It started slowly,” Casaburi said, “but it’s grown over time.” Last year, an estimated 1,300 millionaires moved to Portugal.

Foreign Affairs – The Price of a Passport: What Is Lost When Citizenship Is Sold

Citizenship may be a deeply meaningful notion to many people, but it is also a commodity that can be bought and sold. And according to The Golden Passport, a new book by the sociologist Kristin Surak, its commoditization is only set to grow. The market for passports has, in recent years, become almost institutional thanks to years of lobbying, standardization, and professionalization.


According to Surak, the market for citizenship began to formalize in 2006, when a Swiss businessman named Christian Kalin advised the island country of St. Kitts and Nevis to make the most of an old law it had on the books offering the islands’ citizenship in exchange for an “economic contribution.” (The cost has varied; today, it is $250,000 or a $400,000 investment in real estate.) Kalin, who had worked with ultrarich clients in Switzerland, believed this demographic could be sold on the appeal of second passports as a Plan B—an alternate citizenship to ease travel, open bank accounts and companies, and find shelter in case of political instability at home.


In exchange for the right to market the program, Surak notes, Kalin’s firm spruced up the application process. Kalin and his colleagues traveled the world to bring in clients, in the process lending the business a veneer of professionalism. St. Kitts and Nevis was, incidentally, in the market for a savior: its economy was in bad shape after its sugar industry went into decline in the 1980s. The quarter million dollars that the consultant proposed the government charge each applicant was nothing to sniff at, and it certainly couldn’t hurt to have more wealthy Kittitians and Nevisians who could invest in the country and tell their rich friends about the islands.

Forbes – El Salvador Invites Bitcoin Millionaires To Rebuild The Country

“I don’t see El Salvador’s Freedom Visa being very attractive to Americans informed of market alternatives. El Salvador is asking a hefty million-dollar price tag for what appears to be a citizenship-by-investment program. That point is not even clear because some of their marketing materials reference residency, which is a different thing than citizenship,” global mobility lawyer Parviz Malakouti told me in an interview.

Bloomberg – Beverly Hills of Dubai Shows India’s Wealthy Splurging Millions

Immigration firm Henley & Partners estimates that the Middle Eastern country is expected to be the top destination for migrating high net worth Indians in 2023. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani bought beach-side real estate on the emirate’s swanky Palm Jumeirah archipelago last year, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg at the time. Actor Vivek Oberoi has invested in a home and a property firm in the city, and has pictures of his Rolls Royce in Dubai on Instagram.


For Dubai, the funds rolling in from wealthy Indians are also helping shore up the luxury property market because they come at a time when inflows from rich Russians —- which had surged after the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine —- are tapering off. By Henley’s estimates more millionaires will come to the Middle Eastern country from India than any other this year.

New Straits Times – Sarawak becoming preffered destination for MM2H programme: Juwai IQI co-founder

According to Kashif Ansari, co-founder and group chief executive officer of Juwai IQI, local authorities in Sarawak had approved 406 applications as of July of this year.


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“If you compare Sarawak’s estimated 700 approvals in 2023 to the number of approvals issued in 2021, which was 27, the growth seems dramatic.


“These numbers show there is still sufficient international demand to make the national MM2H a success,” he said.

Observador – Migration reform: demographic and atmospheric depressions

Inês Azevedo pens an article discussing the Portuguese migration reforms amidst strenuous circumstances. (Translated via Google, original text in Portuguese).

On October 29th, three years after the first Resolution of the Council of Ministers that defined the reform of the Foreigners and Borders Service ( announced following the death of Ihor Homeniuk), thestatutes of the Agency for Migration and Asylum Integration were published ( “AIMA”) and the Border and Foreigners Coordination Unit (“UCFE”) was approved. There is now a separation of the exercise of police functions from administrative functions.


These are lives that are on hold. A foreign citizen cannot travel without a residence permit. Result: postponed work, unfinished business, families that do not come together for a funeral, etc. The Government had three years to carry out a reform and was unable to complete it in order to be fully operational on the day defined by the Government itself.


It is not clear what the government’s priority is. I question whether the Government knows what to prioritize? In the Borders and Foreigners Coordination Unit, they change the order of words and place borders in front of foreigners, eventually giving the impression that the security aspect is prioritized. In turn, at the Agency for Migration and Asylum Integration, they prioritize the integration of foreigners in the face of the migratory movement.

Forbes – Blockchain In The Citizenship By Investment Industry

Colin Bishop of Reef View Enterprises Ltd pens an article exploring the nuances of blockchain technology within the CBI industry.

The CBI industry is no stranger to innovation, continually adapting to the evolving needs of high-net-worth individuals seeking international mobility and second citizenship. At the same time, as someone working in this space, I see blockchain as a burgeoning technology as a way to record every transaction, approval and background check without the possibility of alteration or deletion.


Blockchain when distributed provides a nearly tamper-proof ledger that can record all CBI-related transactions, ensuring transparency and immutability. Governments, applicants and service providers can access this ledger to confirm the legitimacy of transactions and track the progress of applications.


For the CBI industry, the security benefits are two-fold: Blockchain can provide a secure repository for sensitive data and, at the same time, offer a seamless method of verifying and authenticating an applicant’s information during the application process. This includes verifying the applicant themself.

CNN Philippines – Pursuing residency, citizenship abroad through investment | The Final Word

CNN Philipines interviews Jeffrey Henseler and Daniel Duric of Passport Legacy to explore the investment migration industry and how it can benefit Filipinos looking at life overseas. 

Bloomberg – Lisbon’s Hot Housing Market Defies Push to Deter Foreign Buyers

“Despite these changes, we’ve seen an increase in the number of inquiries from our foreign clients,” said Paulo Silva, head of real estate consultant Savills in Portugal. “There simply aren’t enough homes to fulfill demand, even as sales have slowed.”


Soon thereafter, thousands of overseas buyers descended upon Lisbon looking for bargains as the country recovered from the financial crisis. Among them was Swiss billionaire Claude Berda, the founder of French broadcaster AB Groupe. In 2016, he partnered with local investor Jose Cardoso Botelho to buy their first plot of land on one of Lisbon’s seven hills.


The two set up Lisbon-based Vanguard Properties and have since developed almost a dozen residential buildings in the city of half a million people. Demand was so strong that they often sold out before they were built.


Concerns are mounting that today’s rising prices could soon turn. Portugal’s central bank last month said lenders would have to build additional capital buffers to cover for possible housing-related losses. The move took place after residential sales in Portugal fell 22% in the first six months of the year, according to real estate services provider Jones Lang LaSalle.


“At the end of the day, the country’s warm climate, stunning beaches, lifestyle and relatively low cost of living will continue to draw the interest of foreign investors,” said Pedro Coelho, chief executive officer of real estate investment firm Square Asset Management.

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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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