Our guest this week on the Mobility Standard podcast was Sam Bayat, founder of Bayat Legal Services, one of the Middle East’s foremost investment migration firms.
Sam has been active in the investment migration market since the very beginning and we took the opportunity to raise a number of questions best answered with the benefit of three decades of hindsight.
Though he’s been nearly three decades in the UAE, Sam’s investment migration adventure began in Montreal. That’s an origin he shares with many of his peers: Why is it that so many of those company founders who today are big names in the investment migration market all got their start in Montreal? In other words, why is Montreal, in particular, the birthplace of so many leading investment migration firms?
Sam says he’s concerned that the industry as a whole doesn’t have adequate “representation or a more active think-tank to give our perspective on different issues.” But isn’t that what the IMC is doing? Well, Sam has a different take on that and new ideas around what needs to change in investment migration industry associations for them to be truly effective, ideas on which he elaborated during the show. He also explained why he has decided not to join any industry associations for the moment.
“We are more concerned with setting up seminars and talking among ourselves rather than talking to people who are not part of our industry. […] If Henley and Arton would agree to work together to represent the interests of the industry, and if there were one entity, then I would be a member.”
Sam is closely involved in the promotion of North Macedonian citizenship by investment throughout the MENA region. Considering the conspicuous absence of any official mention of the program, we asked him whether we can be confident that there is a government-sanctioned EUR 200,000 citizenship by investment program in North Macedonia. Why is the government not saying anything?
“We have received the first ten approvals, and two of them are my clients,” Sam responds. “[…] The biggest problem the promoters of this program have is, basically, the government’s attitude,” he adds, pointing out that the government has been hesitant to adopt best-practice recommendations from seasoned CBI advisors. “It’s Eastern Europe, things are not moving fast and they are not really inclined to change.” Nonetheless, he says he believes that once we see the first several citizenships formally granted, the government of North Macedonia is likely to also become more proactive in their promotion of the program.
- 02:37 – Why did it all start in Montreal?
- 18:42 – Industry representation and the role of associations like the IMC
- 37:03 – Updates on citizenship by investment in North Macedonia
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 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.