Our guest in this episode of the Mobility Standard podcast is Nuri Katz of Apex Capital Partners. We spoke to him about:
- Where the EU’s paranoia around CBI programs comes from;
- Why certain industry participants’ marketing methods perpetuate misconceptions about the industry;
- Why governments blame foreign investors for problems they themselves cause;
- Why the EU’s call for expanded visa suspension powers could actually be a good thing for Caribbean CIPs;
- Why Saint Kitts & Nevis has held onto Russian applicants’ money for 18+ months; and
- Why Nuri thinks the industry needs a new regulatory body that includes all practitioners.
The European Parliament, says Katz, is “having a knee-jerk reaction to the idea of ‘selling passports’ and part of the problem is in the way that these programs are being promoted because it sounds as if we are going around the world handing out passports out of suitcases to anybody who requests them. So, in a way, we are very much to blame ourselves.”
He cites as examples the many instances of RCBI advisories marketing passports rather than citizenships:
“You’ll see people on the internet saying, ‘Hi, I’m in the business of selling passports.’ Well, that obviously makes European politicians nervous because they just don’t exactly understand what this thing is about.”
In Europe, he points out, rich foreigners have become a convenient scapegoat for various economic ills, such as the housing crisis:
“Portugal is having all kinds of economic problems they are trying to deal with, and it’s always easier to blame the foreigners for your problems. Portugal blamed the foreigners who were investing in Portugal, creating a huge amount of employment, helping to raise the GDP, and donating and helping the economy. These people were blamed for the rise in real estate prices when for years that has not been the case anyway.”
Note from Nuri Katz regarding the episode:
About two weeks I recorded with IMI a podcast regarding the current state of the citizenship by investment industry. One of the major topics of the conversation was the issue of the pause on applications from citizens of Russia. At the time, I spoke about the fact that Russians had made investments in St Kitts upon approval of citizenship and had not received their citizenship or their money back. This podcast was released today. I am happy to announce that since the podcast was recorded, the government of St Kitts has contacted the applicants and has offered them their money back. I think it is important to announce that the government of St Kitts has taken the matter seriously and has offered a solution. I am very proud of the government for finding a solution, and I wanted to be clear about the fact.
Listen to the full episode in the player below, or search for “IMI Podcasts” on Spotify.