Investment migration people and firms in the news this week include:
- Ayres Neto of The Agency
- Nuri Katz of Apex Capital Partners
- Henley & Partners
- Alena Lesina of Astons
- Nicholas A. Mastroianni of US Immigration Fund
- Anthony Liew of the MM2H Consultants Association
- Charlene Ng of Jade Land
- Vincent Fong of MM2H Club
- Jessie Ong of Overseas Living (MM2H)
- David Lesperance of Lesperance & Associates
According to Henley & Partners’ report, NYC is home to 340,000 individuals worth over $1 million, 724 centi-millionaires, and 58 billionaires.
The Big Apple is home to the highest number of individual homeowners with an ultra-high net worth of over $30 million, according to a 2021 report from financial information and insight firm WealthX and real estate platform REALM.
Properties bought via Portugal’s program represent roughly 0.3% of the country’s 300,000 annual real estate transactions, according to The Agency, a real estate brokerage. “That’s not enough to affect anything,” says Ayres Neto, managing partner of the company’s Portugal office.
People who work with the programs say any backlash will be temporary. Countries around the world have long seen the benefit of attracting skilled, wealthy immigrants willing to fund new businesses, says Nuri Katz, founder of citizenship-by-investment-services firm Apex Capital Partners. “This is unlikely to change,” he says. “While they may be reformed, they will not be terminated.”
Ekathimerini – US nationals opt for Greek Golden Visas
Astons showed in its research that during March 2023 overall searches for the Greek Golden Visa program soared 75.2%, just as Portugal’s program was abolished. While Spain also showed an increase – that was second to Greece’s – the Spanish program is also about to come to an end, while interest in Malta’s program showed a 59.2% decline in interest and Cyprus has also stopped its own.
Notably, another analysis by Astons showed that the end of the Portuguese realty investment-for-visa program will turn even more Americans toward the Greek property market; in the past US investors would primarily opt for Portugal in order to secure a European Union residence permit.
The Times Of India – How EB-5 is gradually emerging as a preferred alternative to H1B visa
In an article submitted to the Times of India, Nicholas A. Mastroianni, President and Chief Marketing Officer of U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF) argues the EB5 Visa is rapidly becoming a preferred alternative to the H1B.
One of the primary reasons for the increasing interest in the EB-5 program is the uncertainty surrounding the H-1B visa program. The H-1B visa program has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many companies laying off workers due to the economic downturn. According to reports, more than 216,000 tech employees have been laid off since the start of 2022. This has left many foreign workers who were previously reliant on the H-1B program with few options. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) has made the EB-5 program more appealing to H-1B visa holders who are already in the United States and wish to transition to permanent residency status. H-1B visa holders can now change their visa status from H-1B to EB-5 while still residing in the United States. This eliminates the need for H-1B visa holders to return to their home country and go through consular processing, which can be time-consuming and logistically challenging.
Immigration Expert for Astons USA, Alena Lesina, says, “Greece offers all of the geographical and lifestyle features that hold strong appeal amongst those looking to secure alternative residency via investment, not to mention the fact that it also offers one of the most affordable investment thresholds of all European nations.
“When you make the threshold too high, you are going to lose interest from people who might just choose to apply to another country or hold off their plans to migrate, especially during the pandemic,” said Anthony Liew, president of the MM2H Consultant Association.
Yet it had the opposite effect, according to Charlene Ng, general manager of real estate agency Jade Land in Hong Kong. “I think for the mass market, most people who might not be able to meet the  requirements definitely felt frustrated,” she said.
“For them, maybe they had a financially strong background and they could do it,” Ng said. “The ability to freehold land and properties, obtain mortgages at low rates and not worry about inheritance tax policies is very attractive.”
Vincent Fong, founder of the MM2H Club in Hong Kong, said that between 2018 and 2020, his consulting agency received 2,000 applications for the scheme.
“If the review can potentially return the policy of MM2H to its glory days of being the top golden visa programme in the world in 2019, that would be great for Hongkongers wanting to move to Malaysia,” he added.
Jessie Ong, director of visa consultancy Overseas Living (MM2H) in Penang, said she was already hearing a lot of positive feedback since the announcement that the visa’s criteria would be reviewed. “This will definitely kick-start interest in the scheme again,” she said.
David Lesperance, managing director and tax adviser at Lesperance Associates, called the HMRC’s proposal an “excellent result,” in a statement. Meanwhile, lawmaker Lisa Cameron, chair of a cross-party group for crypto in Parliament, said she was hopeful this would be the first step towards a comprehensive tax framework.
Coin Telegraph – China’s crypto stance unchanged by moves in Hong Kong, says exec
“Given that the Chinese government is coming down hard on the financial sector, it is hard to imagine that China is loosening its control over the ability for Chinese nationals to use crypto,” Lesperance & Associates founder David Lesperance told Cointelegraph.
The lawyer also noted that the crypto market in mainland China is “still effectively shut down.” That raises enforcement concerns about Chinese clients getting a chance to use Hong Kong exchanges to get money out of China. “Certainly, the authorities will try to stop this leakage,” Lesperance noted.