Includes USA EB-5 program special feature section
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CONTENTS Spring/Summer 2019 City focus Ahmedabad
Features Basic Do’s and Don’ts for Entering the Indian Investment Migration Market Brexit Timeline… the story so far
The Thin End of the Wedge
Sovereign Equity instead of Sovereign Debt
In a Rapidly Changing World, Migration Dominates the Global Conversation Mapping the Global Migration of Millionaires
Visa-openness and an Asian Future: The Latest Henley Passport Index
Antigua & Barbuda
St. Kitts and Nevis
USA EB-5 Section
City focus: Johannesburg
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FEATURES: INTRODUCTION Welcome to the first issue of Citizenship by Investment for 2019 in what is certain to be one of the most politically dramatic years in modern history, not just in the UK but across Europe, with potential ramifications reverberating around the globe. The UK was supposed to have left the European Union on 29 March 2019, nearly three years after the referendum which saw a victory for the controversial ‘Leave’ campaign. Instead, businesses are still facing uncertainty about the future and the political landscape looks a whole lot different after the European Parliamentary Elections on 23 May, with the two major political parties taking a historic bashing and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May finally being forced to resign. Inside this issue of Citizenship by Investment, we have included a Brexit Timeline, summarising some of the key dates and events that have brought us to this situation.
The ultimate luxury item for HNWIs At the end of February 2019, the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations – Nigel Green of deVere Group – commented that: “A second passport or elite residency in a host country are now widely perceived by high-net-worth individuals as the ultimate luxury item.” He added: “Wealthy individuals around the world are now increasingly considering investing in a second citizenship or overseas residency. It’s our experience that the majority of high-net-worth individuals and their families wishing to obtain dual citizenship or residency are coming from India, China, South Africa, the Middle East and Russia.” Mr. Green’s comments came as his company reported a 45% year-on-year leap in enquiries from individuals across the globe who are seeking citizenship and/or residency outside their country of origin. The topic of global migration is one that Dr. Juerg Steffen, Group CEO of Henley & Partners, addresses in one of our featured articles, looking at reasons behind the growth in migration and the possible effects of Brexit in relation to talent migration. According to the AfrAsia Bank 2019 Global Wealth Migration review, the number of high-net-worth individuals who migrated last year topped 100,000 for the first time; in this issue, we look at the net flow of millionaire migrants between countries to see where many HNWIs are moving to, and where many have left. In choosing 4
Citizenship By Investment
which countries offer the best residency programmes, one of the key determining factors is the power of the country’s passport in providing easier visa-free access to as many countries as possible, especially for business investors. As recently as 2015, the UK passport was still ranked number one, but not anymore. Inside, we report on the very latest top 100 global rankings. The importance of due diligence is always a major concern and some programmes have received criticism – fairly or unfairly – over a perceived lack of transparency. MichaRose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, argues that it is the responsibility of each country to manage the perceptions of their programmes and to collectively tighten up on practice standards. Doing things in the right way can generate so much more for the host country than simply raising extra funds for the national treasury, as Dr. Christian Kalin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, illustrates in his article on Sovereign Equity. Elsewhere in this issue, Prashant Ajmera offers some excellent advice on entering the Investment Migration market in India, which is one of the biggest and fastest growing markets.
Revamped Country Spotlights Over the past three months, we have been revamping our website and we have all-new Country Spotlights both in this magazine and many more on our website. Included for the first time is the eastern European Republic of Moldova, which officially launched its Citizenship by Investment programme in November 2018 and has just announced its first completed application. We also report on new Business Visas for the UK and we have a separate USA EB-5 section, which this issue includes a detailed report by Lee Li and McKenzie Penton of IIUSA about the importance of India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the EB-5 Investor market. In addition, we have reports from our recent Global Investment Immigration Summits in India and a City Focus on the location of our next BLS Global event – Johannesburg. If you are reading this magazine for the first time at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, we welcome you to our event and hope that you find both the event and this magazine interesting and fruitful. You will be able to find these articles, and much more besides, on our website www. citizenshipbyinvestment.org where you can register for free regular updates, and you can also follow us on social media including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter BOB WITTENBACH, Editor, 31 May 2019
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NEWS UPDATES… NEWS UPDATES… USA The 2018/19 US federal budget was finally passed on 15th February 2019 – three weeks after the longest US federal government shutdown in history (35 days) – confirming the EB-5 program has been extended until 30 September 2019. The E-2 Visa may soon open for Israeli investors. There have been several years of discussion in regards to the E-2 investor visa opportunity for Israelis who wish to invest in the US.
UK Changes to the UK Immigration Rules were announced effective from 29 March 2019 – The UK Tier 1 system introduced the Innovator and Start-up visas and the Investor and Entrepreneur visas take a back seat (see also page 75). The controversial Brexit payment exemption for Tier 2 will be extended for the NHS and schools, so that they can continue to appeal to and hire experienced teachers, nurses and paramedics.
SOUTH AFRICA The ongoing deteriorating economic system in South Africa has caused concern amongst the country’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and provided them with more reason to look for an alternative route for economic safety and business opportunities through citizenship by investment. Election Concerns Fuel Continuing Rise of South African Emigration - The political uncertainties are causing unrest within the South Africans, pushing many of them to seek out a more secure future overseas.
ST KITTS & NEVIS The country already has one of the strictest due diligence processes and now the government has introduced new stricter measures that will strengthen its security checks.
GRENADA There have been recent changes to the Statutory Rules and Orders in relation to the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Regulations. The investment opportunity in real estate, for many investors is now more available than it has been for the last couple of years. The programme’s minimum investment has dramatically decreased from $350,000 to $220,000; this will be effective from 1 April 2019. 6
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NEWS UPDATES… NEWS UPDATES… BULGARIA The Bulgarian government had been planning for changes to their citizenship law and they published a draft Bill of the proposed changes on 22 March 2019. The draft Bill will focus solely at citizenship rather than permanent residency.
TURKEY Turkey was the first Middle East country to introduce a citizenship investment programme (CIP), launching it in January 2017, but with limited take-up. So in September 2018, the minimum investment requirements were reduced significantly, from USD $3 million to $500,000 for business investors and from $1 million to $250,000 for real estate investment. Since then, interest in the Turkish CIP has risen dramatically: figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute show a dramatic increase in house sales to foreign buyers during Q1 2019 – up by a massive 81.5% compared with Q1 2018 – while April also kept the momentum going, being 82.1% up year-on-year. 17% of the buyers were from Iraq, with Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia the next largest groups of nationals.
MOLDOVA Moldova is one of the newest countries to introduce a citizenship by investment programme and the MCBI was officially launched in November 2018. As of mid-May, over 30 applications had been received and, on 23 May 2019, Henley & Partners announced the successful completion of the first MCBI application. (See page 66 for the Moldova Country Spotlight).
MONTENEGRO The government recently announced that there will be changes and that they will be introducing a special CBI scheme that is now likely to commence towards the end of 2019 and be fully functioning by 2020.
For further information on the news updates above and future news on the CBI programs please visit www.citizenshipbyinvestment.org Citizenship By Investment
GIIS 2018 BENGALURU: A PICTORIAL REVIEW
Sheraton Grand, Bengaluru, India, 20-21 October
ollowing on from the success of the BLS Global Investment Immigration Summit held in Mumbai in February 2018, the BLS Global team returned to India in October, this time heading for the Silicon Valley of India – the garden city of Bengaluru.
The venue was the deluxe Sheraton Grand hotel which provided excellent facilities for the two-day event. The summit attracted many leading citizens from the Indian Film and IT industries, as well as investment immigration professionals, attorneys, foreign intermediaries, project developers and regional centres. Special guest of honour and keynote speaker was the popular multi-award winning Bollywood actress and superstar Raveena Tandon. Addressing the enthralled audience, Raveena told delegates: “The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.” The first morning sessions focused on the USA and included EB-5 Panel Discussions on the changing face of EB-5 and its impact on Indian investors. These were followed by spotlights on various EB-5 realty investment projects currently available. The afternoon sessions focused on the Caribbean and included country spotlight presentations on Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda. Day two opened with the European Sessions including country presentations on Portugal and Greece. These were followed by a very interesting and informative panel session on Global Migration for ICT professionals and highly skilled Indians, moderated by the renowned Indian lawyer Prashant Ajemra. Prashant revealed that children’s education was one of the key motivating factors for Asian parents considering migration and the last panel session looked at gateways to a better education for children. The summit was a great success, with lots of business conducted at the exhibition stands over the two days. BLS Global will definitely be returning to Bengaluru in autumn 2019.
Citizenship By Investment
QUICK FACTS Area: 464 sq. km Location: 23.03°N, 72.58°E Altitude: 55 metres above sea level Average high °C: Feb 31°, Mar 35° (Year 34°) Population: 8.1 million (2017 estimate) Languages: Gujarati, Hindi and English Main industries: Pharmaceuticals, Textiles and Construction City GDP: $68 billion (2017 estimate) Time Zone: GMT +5.30
CITY FOCUS: AHMEDABAD
ituated on the banks of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad has developed into one of the most important economic and industrial hubs within India. It is the largest city in Gujarat State with an urban population of 6,357,693 at the 2011 Census, making it the 7th most populous city in India. The city was the former capital city of Gujarat and ranked third in Forbes’ list of fastest growing cities of the decade in 2010, having grown by 25% since the 2001 Census.
Ahmedabad (also pronounced as Amdavad in the Gurati dialect) was founded in 1411 by the Sultan Ahmad Shah I as Ahmadabad, although records of settlements on the banks of Sabarmati can be traced back to the 11th century. The new town was fortified and made capital of the Gujarat Sultanate until falling firstly to Mughal rule in 1573 and later to the Maratha Empire in 1758, before the British East India Company took over the city in 1818. Following the end of British rule and the partition of India in 1947, several Hindu migrants headed to Ahmedabad from Pakistan, helping to swell the city’s population to well over half a million. 10 Citizenship By Investment
Leaders in Higher Education During the years that followed Indian Independence, Ahmedabad became home to a large number of educational institutions and industrial research facilities. In 1960, the new state government established what has evolved into Science City in the Hebatpur district of Ahmedabad, promoting the importance of science and technology and aiming to draw more students towards education in science. Then in 1961, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), was founded with the proactive support of the governments of India and Gujarat, prominent local industrialists, the
Ford Foundation and the Harvard Business School. The IIMA has been consistently ranked as the premier business management school in India and also ranks within the top 30 of the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings with a three-year average rank of 28th (2016-2018). By the time of the 1961 Census, Ahmedabad’s population exceeded 1.1 million and the city had been chosen as the capital of the new Gujarat state following the partition of the State of Bombay in 1960. Since then, the city has been successfully attracting students and young skilled workers from the rest of India and the urban population has swelled accordingly.
A thriving city economy Ahmedabad used to be known as ‘The Manchester of the East’, being home to some of the oldest textile mills in India. Today it is still the second highest producer of cotton in the country and the largest supplier of denim.
The Ahmedabad Stock Exchange, dating back to 1894, is the second oldest in the country and the city is still the financial centre of Gujarat State, even though the decision was taken in 1970 to move the state capital to the all-new Indian designed city of Gandhinagar, situated 26 kilometres north of Ahmedabad. But it’s not just the Textiles Industry that’s driving Ahmedabad’s economy today. The IT sector has developed rapidly, with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of India’s largest companies and the world’s 2nd largest IT services provider, has a campus in Ahmedabad. The automobile industry is also making giant strides into Ahmedabad with Peugeot, Ford and Honda among those establishing manufacturing facilities. Many of India’s top pharmaceutical companies are headquartered in Ahmedabad, including Zydus Cadila Healthcare and Torrent Pharmaceuticals. In addition, the success of the Ahmedabad-based Nirma group of companies is a true rags-to-riches entrepreneurial story, from a one-man operation doing door-to-door selling of detergent powder to domestic housewives in 1969, to becoming the largest detergent brand in India within three decades with a market share of 38% and the second largest soap brand.
Award-winning infrastructure The growing population has brought about a boom in construction projects and the creation of new housing, parks and transport systems. Following four years of feasibility studies, urban planning and development work, Ahmedabad’s award-winning Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) was officially opened to the public on 14th October 2009 and now covers 125 kilometres across 12 routes and some 250 buses servicing 149 stations as at June 2018. In future, it is intended that the BRTS will be integrated with the Ahmedabad Metro, or Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) as it is also known. Initial feasibility studies for the mass-transit rail system were drawn up in 2003 by the Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board and approved by the Central Government in 2005, but later abandoned to give priority
GUJARAT STATE QUICK FACTS Gujarat is known as ‘The jewel of the East’: • The westernmost province of India • Birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi • Area: 196,024 sq. km • Coastline of 1,600 km – the longest sea shore of all Indian states • Population: 67.2 million (2017) – the 9th most populous Indian state
to the BRTS and suburban railway projects. But in 2008, the plans were revisited and construction officially started in 2016 for two routes, one being an East-West corridor of 21.16 km length and the other a North-South corridor of 18.87 km, totalling 40.03 km of which 33.50 km will be elevated and 6.53 km will be underground. The first trial runs are due to start early in 2019 and operation is due to start by 2020. Now, with a well-developed infrastructure with several shopping malls and leisure entertainment complexes, Ahmedabad has become one of the nation’s most preferred real estate investment locations. The city is home to many museums and monuments and boasts a rich architectural heritage from various different cultures, ranging from classical Indo-Persian through European colonial styles to the modern skyscrapers and parks being developed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). The Times of India named Ahmedabad as the best of India’s cities to live in following an exclusive opinion poll conducted by the leading market research agency IMRB during 2011.
Bringing life back to the waterfront Although Ahmedabad has 6 zones constituting 64 wards, the city is effectively divided into two parts by the Sabarmati River. The Eastern part comprises the old city, with crowded streets, street food
One of the most prosperous Indian states: •N ominal State GDP $230 billion (2018 estimate) – the 3rd largest state economy of India’s 29 states •A verage GDP growth rate of 14% (2010-2017) – 7th fastest growth •G RDP per capita of $2,200 (2017) •L owest unemployment rate of all India’s states (2015-16 report) •G ujarat’s residents represent 5% of India’s total population but hold over 30% equity of all Indian stocks in the share market.
markets, packed bazaars and numerous places of worship. The old walled city of Ahmedabad was proclaimed as India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City in July 2017. The Western side is more modern, having been developed during the colonial period, and includes the main industrial and business areas. Two main bridges connect the old with the new – Ellis Bridge which was constructed in 1895 and the more modern and larger Nehru Bridge, dedicated to India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The city also has two main lakes – Vastrapur Lake in the western part of the city and Kankaria Lake in the south eastern part – both of which are surrounded by gardens and public walk-ways for exercise and recreational pastimes. The AMC has also been developing the Sabarmati Riverfront for several years to improve the local environment and sanitation and it has so far reclaimed around 200 hectares of land of which over 85% is to be used for public recreational parks, sports facilities and gardens. Construction work started in 2005 and the first phase was completed in 2014, giving a two-tier pedestrian promenade 11 kilometres in length along both the east and west banks with many environmentally-friendly facilities and platforms at regular intervals to host organised cultural activities.
Vegan delights But no visit to Ahmedabad would be complete without a tour of the old city and a walk around the historic city square of Manek Chowk. In the morning it operates as a vegetable market and in the afternoon it becomes a jewellery market, reputedly the second biggest in India. But in the evenings from around 9.30pm until well into the night, it transforms into a bustling street food market with a wide variety of snacks including desserts and ice cream. Gujarati food is primarily vegetarian and Ahmedabad claims to be the largest vegan city in the world. Did you know that the world’s first all-vegetarian Pizza Hut restaurant opened in Ahmedabad? But for a true taste of local cuisine, the Gujarat Thali is especially recommended! Citizenship By Investment 11
QUICK FACTS Area: 326 sq. km Location: 21.10°N, 72.50°E Altitude: 13 metres above sea level Average high °C: Feb 32°, Mar 35° (Year 33°) Population: 6.3 million (2017 estimate) Languages: Gujarati, Hindi and English Main industries: textiles, diamonds City GDP: $60 billion (2017 estimate) Time zone: GMT +5.30
CITY FOCUS: SURAT
ituated on the south bank of the Tapi River, Surat is the 2nd largest city in Gujarat State and the 8th largest in India by population. It lies 265 kilometres south of Ahmedabad by road, or 225 kilometres by direct train, and 289 kilometres north of Mumbai. A former port city, being just 14 kilometres from the Arabian Sea, it has always attracted merchants and traders from afar. Today, Surat is one of the world’s fastest growing cities in the world and has been selected as the first smart IT city in India.
Surat’s original name was Surajpur and was already a major international trading port before changing its name to Surat by 1520. The city prospered during the 17th century as the emporium of India, exporting gold and cloth, until the rise of Bombay (modernday Mumbai) during the latter half of the 18th century. Surat’s shipbuilding industry declined and it wasn’t until the opening of the railways, with Surat’s railway station opening in 1860, that the city started to prosper again. At that time, the population of Surat had been fairly static at just under 110,000, and remained so until the 1920s when the population declined by 16% between the 1921 and 1931 censuses. The 1940s saw a huge increase in both population and economic growth and every 12 Citizenship By Investment
More recently, Surat has rapidly become a major diamond processing hub and trading centre. The first diamond workshops in the state of Gujarat started appearing in Surat in the 1950s and quickly capitalised on high demand from America during the 1970s. Today, Surat is the largest diamond cutting and polishing hub in the world and is nick-named the Diamond City of India. It is estimated that 80% of all diamonds on the world market were cut and polished in Surat, with the industry earning about US$10 billion in annual exports for India.
decade since has brought further growth, breaching the one million population mark in 1983. The latest census in 2011 recorded Surat’s population as over 4.5 million and, in 2016, Surat was named as the 4th fastest growing city in the world according to an international study by the City Mayors Foundation.
Surat is also developing an IT hub, with several IT and software development companies locating in the city. The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), which is responsible for maintaining the city’s infrastructure and services, has embraced digital technology to help improve its efficiency.
City of silks and diamonds
Fastest growing economy
Surat is famous for its textiles, cotton mills and Surat Zari Craft, which is a textile product made from yarns of silk and cotton mixed with gold, silver or copper weaved in intricate designs. With over a hundred thousand mills and units and over 800 cloth wholesalers, Surat is the largest manufacturer of clothes in India and is known as the Silk City of India.
Between 2001 and 2011, Surat saw a 63% increase in population, putting enormous strain on the SMC’s handling of the city’s services and amenities. During those years, the city was averaging an annual GDP growth rate of over 10%. Surat began its ‘Safe City Project in 2011 and began installing over 10,000 surveillance cameras, as well as what was reputed to be the
world’s largest video wall in the control room of the Surat police. In 2015, Surat was selected for an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant and this helped the SMC to improve their digital platforms and create a more citizen-centric approach. Surat was named ‘best city’ in the 2013 annual survey of India’s city-systems and in 2017 was named as the fourth cleanest city according to the Indian Ministry of Urban Development. In 2017 the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) opened a new campus under a publicprivate partnership in Surat and has started offering B. Tech. programmes in Computer Science & Engineering and Electronics & Communication Engineering. A report published by Oxford Economics in December 2018 forecasts that Surat will be the world’s fastest growing city during the period 2019-35, with an average GDP growth rate of 9.2%. The report also says that as many as 17 of the top 20 fastestgrowing cities on the list will be from India, with Agra ranking second (8.58%), Bengaluru third (8.5%) and Hyderabad fourth (8.47%).
Getting around Surat Surat Airport is located in Magdalla, 11 kilometres southwest of Surat. First opened in 2007 for connecting flights to Delhi and Mumbai, the airport has been gradually upgraded and was finally given clearance for international customs checks during summer 2018. The first direct international flights are due to start in February 2019 with an initially twice-weekly service to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. As yet, there is no public transport from the airport into the centre of Surat, so booking a private car or arranging transport with your hotel is usually recommended. Within the city itself, there is a local bus system as well as plenty of privately operated auto rickshaws. In 2014, the first bus rapid transit (BRT) routes started operating under the name S-Connect, integrating with the Surat City Bus system. The centre of Surat has plenty of tourist attractions, historic monuments, temples and parks to visit. Surat Castle – also known as the Old Fort – was built in 1540 by Sultan Mahmud III to provide protection against Portuguese raids and today, after ongoing restoration work by the SMC, offers a panoramic view of the city and the Tapi River. Book lovers will enjoy a trip to the Kavi Narmad Central Library. But as well as the malls and bazaars, Surat is also famous for its food. Walking the streets, you won’t need to search for food, as the food will find you. The locals particularly like their street food and there is a wide range of cuisines on offer as well as the traditional Gujarati dishes and egg stalls dotted around the city. But tourists should be aware that Surat is a dry city and drinking alcohol in public is strictly prohibited. Citizenship By Investment 13
GIIS 2019 AHMEDABAD: A PICTORIAL REVIEW
Hyatt Regency, Ahmedabad, India, 23 February
lobal Investment Immigration Summit (GIIS) Ahmedabad 2019 proved to be a resounding success, attended by over 300 business investors, government officials, agents, real estate developers, media personnel, bankers, sponsors and supporting organizations.
Following previous successful events in India in Mumbai and Bengaluru, this was the first time that BLS Global had hosted an event in the state of Gujarat. Ahmedabad was chosen as it is an important economic and industrial hub in India and the largest city and former capital of Gujarat state. A convivial Networking Mocktail event was held in the Hyatt Regency on the preceding evening of 22 February, sponsored by CIU, Antigua and Barbuda, with a welcome address by its CEO, Charmaine Quinland-Donovan. The next morning, the conference was opened by Chandarakant Salunkhe, President of SME Chamber of India who welcomed delegates to a packed day of presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities for the hundreds of Indian business owners and entrepreneurs who attended. The morning sessions focused on the USA and included EB-5 Panel Discussions on the changing face of EB-5 and how this impacts on Indian investors. These were followed by spotlight presentations on EB-5 realty investment projects currently available and on UAE business markets. The early afternoon session focused on the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda and was moderated by Hollis Law, principal and founder of HEF Law. The rest of the conference featured presentations on the investment immigration programmes available in Latvia, Malta, Montenegro and Canada. The adjoining exhibition hall was a hive of activity during the refreshment breaks and following the close of the main conference programme, with the exhibitors reporting high levels of business generated.
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â€œWe were very impressed with the quality of attendees and overall exhibition.â€? Christine Hanna, Chief Operating Officer, Global Premier America Regional Center
“Well organized. An overall good event.”
Tom Giornofelice, Sales Manager, Vazir Group
“Congratulations Sam, today was completely terrific, well done!” Mark Davies, Managing Director, Davies and Associates
“It was a pleasure meeting you in India for the BLS Ahmedabad/Surat events. You have a hardworking team dedicated to making the events successful. Your team seems much more dedicated to increase the retail investor traffic. The fact that you have Canada, Caribbean, and Europe, it may help attract the USA EB-5 prospects in the long term.” Sudhir Bhatt, Managing Partner, Primary Capital
“A huge thank you for the summits in Ahmedabad and Surat and congratulations on what were highly successful events in virgin territory. You had the vision to do these conferences in India… thereby exposing the industry to the new and hugely potential market in India… I look forward to our continuing collaboration.” Kaisha Ince, Managing Director of Caribbean Legal, & Project Advisory Services Limited and Upakrama Associates (Grenada)
“The Summit was well organised and everything went well; we were very busy with meetings.” Laszlo Gaal, Managing Director, Residency Citizenship Program Ltd.
BASIC DOS AND DON’TS FOR ENTERING THE INDIAN INVESTMENT MIGRATION MARKET India is one of the few emerging economic powerhouses whose HNWIs have yet to appreciate the benefits of residency and citizenship by investment (RCBI). In this article, we outline some of the major DOs and DON’Ts of Indian investment migration market success. RCBI is a relatively new investment concept to most wealthy Indians. Complicating matters is that India is a very large country, its people as diverse as its landscape with multiple languages, religions, cultures, and food habits. Before even beginning to market RCBI programs in India, therefore, in-depth study and understanding of the market – and especially the Indian mindset – is essential.
by PRASHANT AJMERA Attorney, Prashant Ajmera Associates
SEVEN MISTAKES TO AVOID TO BREAK THROUGH THE INDIAN MARKET: IMPATIENCE: RCBI is not a readily grasped concept here, so try not to be impatient. It takes time for inquiries to convert into actual investment.
EXPECTING LOCAL RCBIAGENTS TO KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT: India has more than 5,000 immigration agents/ consultants, but their knowledge about RCBI is dismal or a bare minimum to say the least. So if you think appointing any old immigration agent in India to market your product is a sound strategy, think again. We’ve already met large international agencies that have burned their fingers trying to break into the Indian investment migration market by relying on local agents. To some, the results have been so disappointing that they’ve decided to pull out of the market altogether.
EXPECTING HNWI ADVISORS TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU: Chartered accountants, wealth managers and lawyers who work with and for Indian HNWIs also have very basic or no knowledge about RCBI programs and its utility for Indian HNWIs.
UNDERESTIMATING THE CHALLENGE OF GETTING MONEY OUT OF INDIA: Government regulations are not very favourable when it comes to transferring money from India to a foreign jurisdiction.
THINKING MOST INDIAN HNWIS ARE IN A RUSH TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY: India has a stable democracy and a vibrant economy. Thus, most HNWIs are not highly motivated or desperate to leave the country and acquire immigration elsewhere. 16 Citizenship By Investment
NEGLECTING THE STIGMA OF HNWI EMIGRATION: RCBI is not well accepted socially. When wealthy Indians try to acquire residency or citizenship of another country, it is often perceived as an attempt to flee from the law, escape wrongdoing, or due to possible ostracism by the business or social community.
EXPECTING INDIAN HNWIS TO BE OPEN TO THE IDEA OF RCBI: Indian HNWIs are quite conservative and many will not even consider the idea. Very few HNWIs have made an international investment through RCBI, so there are few examples for other HNWIs to follow. Changing these perceptions will take time.
FOCUS ON SELLING YOUR COUNTRY, NOT YOUR PROJECT: Try selling your country rather than your project Indian HNWIs. Better still, stress on the unique sales proposition (USP) of your country’s program from the Indian HNWI perspective. If the program does not appeal to their personal and economic sensibilities, Indians won’t part with their hard-earned money. Connecting with the psyche of Indian HNIs is the key – success stories of the Indian diaspora and the prominent presence and appreciation of Indian culture, food, and places of worship in your country will create a sense of welcome and belonging.
WHAT SERVICE PROVIDERS AND DEVELOPERS MUST DO TO SUCCESSFULLY ENTER THE INDIAN MARKET:
THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX: Create a USP for your country; attract Indian HNWIs through trade missions, providing subsidies for shooting Bollywood movies, promoting luxury wedding destinations, etc.
Consider this Rule Number One: Though they are both neighbours and economic powerhouses, India and China are by no means the same. So what works in China may not or likely will not work in India. This means, for example, that the marketing strategies that attracted thousands of investors in China may not attract a single one in India.
DON’T TRY TO COVER THE WHOLE OF INDIA IN ONE TRIP: It can’t be done. Also, do not expect to close deals in the first meeting itself. It may take many meetings and follow-ups before an Indian HNI actually signs up.
Case in point – One of the leading companies promoting RCBI in the world has a veritable fleet (100+) of agents working on their behalf in India. For the past few years, they’ve been conducting seminars and road shows on a regular basis but their efforts have produced virtually no results. Out of frustration, they have decided to pull out of the Indian market altogether. This is a common experience for many foreign developers and project promoters. I’ve met several stakeholders at various events who have shared their frustrations with the Indian market. Not only foreign companies but even Indian origin developers and promoters face a roadblock when marketing their products and services to the Indian clientele.
HERE ARE 11 POINTERS OF THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO AVOID THE SAME FATE: EDUCATE: Be prepared to educate Indian HNIs regarding RCI program due to lack of awareness and knowledge.
BUILD TRUST: Indians normally prefer doing business through personal references. They do not easily trust credit ratings and long drawn agreements. Trust is the main issue here. So finding a way to win the trust of Indian HNIs is imperative.
BE GENEROUS WITH GOOD INTRODUCERS: Don’t hesitate to seek help from local associates to convert leads into actual clients. Be generous in compensating them. This will motivate them to work harder and get more business.
FIND COMMON TIES: Caribbean countries can take advantage of common ties with India such as love for cricket, medical schools and the local Indian-origin population (who migrated to their countries two to three generations back) to attract Indian HNWIs. European countries can attract Indian HNWIs actively involved in business by showcasing the high quality of life, natural beauty and excellent opportunities for education and business across Europe.
Awakening the Indian HNI tiger requires caution and patience. But it is just a matter of time until its roaring will be heard all over the world! This article first appeared in IMI Daily on 9 March 2019
FIND KNOWLEDGEABLE LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES: Indians like working with reputed foreign service providers who have a strong presence in India. Appointing a knowledgeable and reliable agent or representative in India who protects your interests is important.
TRY WORKING WITH ONE GOOD AGENT RATHER THAN MANY MEDIOCRE ONES: India is a big country but one good agent can generate more business than 10 frivolous ones.
APPOINT PROFESSIONALS AS YOUR ASSOCIATES: those who have good connections and professional rapport with HNWIs.
ALLOCATE A SIZABLE BUDGET FOR MARKETING: Newspaper advertisements, seminars, and road shows can prove to be quite expensive. Social media marketing is a good and costeffective way of generating leads as most Indians are social media savvy.
PRASHANT AJMERA Mr. Prashant Ajmera is an Indian immigration attorney (Gujarat Bar Association) with more than 25 years of experience in residency and citizenship by investment (RCBI). A Canadian citizen and an NRI since 1988, his expertise in the EB-5 investor visa of US, the Canada investor program and other such investor programmes, have gained him recognition as one of the leading lawyers in India in the field of investment-based immigration.
Citizenship By Investment 17
BREXIT TIMELINE… THE STORY SO FAR SEPTEMBER 1944
Benelux economic union formed in Western Europe consisting of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The European Economic Community (EEC) is officially formed by the Treaty of Rome, consisting of the Benelux countries plus France, West Germany and Italy.
After previous attempts to join the EEC were famously blocked by French president Charles de Gaulle, the UK finally joins the EEC, along with Ireland and Denmark, effective 1 January 1973.
A public referendum held on 5 June asks the country: “Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community?” – Voters choose by 67.2% to 32.8% to remain.
The European Union (EU) is formed through the Maastricht Treaty (signed on 7 February 1992), ultimately replacing the EEC and expanding the constitutional powers of the European Community. Prime Minister David Cameron becomes the first leader to veto a new EU-wide Treaty which sought to help address the euro’s debt crisis. (The UK had negotiated exemption from the Eurozone in 2003). Cameron’s big speech about the challenges facing Europe, leading to his promise of membership renegotiation with the EU.
18 Citizenship By Investment
Conservative Party wins the UK General Election on 7 May with an outright majority of 12 seats, enabling David Cameron to make good on his manifesto promise to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
Results of the UK’s renegotiation of EU membership agreed and announced on 19 February and a date is set for the referendum, with Cameron announcing that the government would campaign to Remain within ‘a reformed European Union’.
The referendum is held on 23 June and results come in 51.9% for Leave and 48.1% for Remain (with a national turnout of 71.5%). This effectively voided the UK’s renegotiated terms and Cameron announces his resignation as prime minister.
New Prime Minister Theresa May, who took office on 13 July, states that she plans to invoke Article 50 of the EU Treaty, thereby taking the UK out of the EU.
Mrs May’s signed order is delivered to the Council of EU, starting the countdown to the British Exit on 29 March 2019.
Theresa May decides to call a snap general election for 8 June 2017, aiming to secure a larger working majority which she hoped would strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations, which are put on hold until after the election.
Mrs May’s plans are thwarted as the Conservative Party suffers a net loss of 13 seats and loses its majority. However, they remain in power as a minority government after securing an arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, which won a DUP party record of 10 parliamentary seats. Formal negotiations for Brexit commence in Brussels on 19 June, with an agreement to prioritise the matter of residency rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK and those of UK citizens in Europe. UK and EU agree a resolution with a date for the transition period, but accept that nothing is binding until everything is agreed; the question of how to deal with the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – which is an open border within a common travel area – remains a major sticking point in the negotiations. The government publishes its ‘Chequers Plan’ on 12 July, insisting that withdrawal from the EU would go ahead on 29 March 2019; however May also stated that the EU must change their proposals for the Irish border and that there would be no further compromises. Discussions continue as the EU proposes a ‘backstop’ to maintain a frictionless trade border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Michel Barnier – the European Chief Negotiator for the UK’s Exit from the European Union – cast doubt on a trade deal between a post-Brexit UK and the EU being agreed before the 17 October EU summit, but both parties continue to hold talks. Despite Mrs May’s efforts to canvas support in Europe, her ‘Chequers Plan’ white paper is rejected by the EU on 21 September, stating there can be no “cherry-picking” of the single market’s four fundamental freedoms.
Mrs May’s first ‘meaningful vote’ (i.e. parliamentary votes on Brexit) is rejected by the House of Commons.
A second meaningful vote is rejected. The House votes against leaving the EU without a deal. The EU agrees to an extension for the deadline to 12 April 2019, after when the UK would be required to participate in the European elections. Over a million people march through central London on 23 March demanding a ‘People’s Vote’ for a final say on Brexit. The original Brexit date passes as a third meaningful vote is also rejected.
29 MARCH 2019
23 MAY 2019
The EU Summit in Brussels on 17/18 October resolves the Gibraltar issue with Spain, but the Irish border issue remains the big stumbling block, as May states that “any circumstance in which Northern Ireland could be in a separate customs territory to the UK is unacceptable.” The UK government and the EU agree a proposed withdrawal agreement and a transition period lasting until 31 December 2020. On 25 November, all 27 leaders of the other EU countries endorse the Brexit agreement.
After receiving a hostile reaction in the UK House of Commons debate, amid deep concerns about the Irish backstop and a potentially indefinite and costly transition period, Theresa May cancels the vote planned for 11 December, recognising that the deal “would be rejected by a significant margin.”
24 MAY 2019
May asks for a further extension of the Brexit deadline and concedes that the UK must now make preparations for the European Parliament elections on 23 May, or leave without a deal on 1 June. A compromise deadline date of 31 October 2019 is agreed, with a review scheduled for 20-21 June to assess progress. The Conservative Party pays the price for failing to deliver Brexit and comes fifth in the UK’s European Elections with just 9.1% share of votes, winning only 4 of the 73 UK seats. The newlyformed Brexit Party win 29 seats with 31.6% share of votes, helping the total pro-leave share of vote reach 44% (34 MEPs). The Liberal Democrats win 16 seats (20.3% share), decisively beating the Labour Party into third place (10 seats, 14.1% share). The Green Party come fourth with 12.1% share (7 seats), while the SNP win the biggest share in Scotland. Theresa May finally announces her resignation, stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party on 7 June and triggering a leadership contest which will decide who takes over as UK prime minister in July. Citizenship By Investment 19
20 Citizenship By Investment
THE THIN END OF THE WEDGE: IT IS TIME TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE By MICHA-ROSE EMMETT CEO, CS Global Partners
ately, the investor immigration industry has been attracting more attention from the international community than before. Whether it was good or bad, unwarranted or really quite pertinent, depends on each programme and how it has been managed at certain points. Each country is responsible for the perception of their programme, both on the regional and international stage. Industry leaders and governments operating in the investor immigration arena ought to address these concerns in a pragmatic and comprehensive way by constructively communicating with international institutions in order to dissipate any concerns and, as appropriate, look to fine-tune programme policies to ensure that illicit characters are not granted citizenship in contravention of rules and regulations. The Commonwealth of Dominica did exactly that. As soon as January this year, the Dominican Parliament passed new legislation that aligns its fiscal policies to further comply with the expectations of its external partners. In doing so, Dominica demonstrated that it is determined to lead by example. Proactive steps like those taken by Dominica inspires trust in the country’s CBI Programme and indicates that the investor immigration industry has reached maturity. Likewise, St Kitts and Nevis took a firm hand at the beginning of February, when it decided to introduce even stricter due diligence measures which, to individuals of high moral standing looking for a reliable second citizenship, can only mean good news. The twin-island nation proposed two mechanisms that will strengthen its security checks: digital fingerprinting – a first for the Caribbean – and new legislation regarding escrow accounts used under the real estate option of its CBI Programme. Meanwhile, its newest investment option – the Sustainable Growth Fund – remains the more straightforward route to St Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship, according to our clients’ testimonials. The rationale is quite straightforward: partnerships should not be taken for granted. They imply mutual respect for each party’s own rules, and when one refuses to do so, inevitably, they are perceived as questioning whether that partnership is sustainable. There is obviously a shift in one party’s needs and priorities; and that’s absolutely
fine, so long as there is a sensible, thoughtthrough plan to meet those needs and priorities coherently. The lesson for Residence and Citizenship by Investment (RCBI) programmes worldwide, including the 23 currently existing in EU Member States, is that if you’re not willing to comply or be transparent, expect to be shown the door. Ultimately, entities protect their own and it is their job to identify risks and eliminate them. Explaining why certain programmes cannot be labelled as risky is the only wise solution to dismantling any myths about the RCBI industry. When or if those concerns are valid, a mature government should address them constructively. Ever the intelligent solution seekers, CS Global Partners draws its pragmatism from its strong legal background. As lawyers, we have learned that the moment someone avoids answering a valid question, their intentions could be treated as doubtful, even if they do look good on paper. That is why we only work with the clients that reflect our ethos. Similarly, when an international body perceives any lack of transparency in an area of interest, they have reasonable doubt to at least investigate whether their concerns are valid and decide, if necessary, to only work with those who reflect this ethos. And those who fail to do so may eventually be written off as bad partners. Should that ever happen, the road back is guaranteed to be more difficult than doing the right thing to start with. So why not just do the right thing to begin with?
At CS Global Partners, we take pride in our work and we are strong believers in truly serving the countries we are mandated to promote regionally or worldwide – namely Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia. Likewise, we protect our clients’ interests, who mostly look for long-term security for their investment, above all. That is why we have a 99% approval rate and governments know that, if there is a recommendation coming from us, it is guaranteed to be a sensible one. This principle extends to all our work, which led to us nurturing such strong relationships with agents, governments, stakeholders and even native citizens of the countries we serve, whenever we visit them. After all, transforming lives is our job. This year, we plan on investing in our industry. Our doors are open to all those who are in it for the long haul and wish to grow sustainably by keeping practice standards high. It is time for a collective effort for our industry to adopt reliable processes, fact-led and genuinely useful collaterals, and openness to deal with valid concerns responsibly. It is time to lead by example. We invite you to help us raise the bar higher and join us as the voices of the industry.
MICHA-ROSE EMMETT Citizenship By Investment 21
SOVEREIGN EQUITY INSTEAD OF SOVEREIGN DEBT: A PARADIGM SHIFT FOR GOVERNMENTS by DR. CHRISTIAN H. KÄLIN Chairman, Henley & Partners
core premise of investment migration is to enhance a country’s economy in exchange for residence or citizenship rights for individual investors. This is a good description of a classic ‘win-win’ formula. However, it is clear that the benefits of residence- and citizenshipby-investment programs for host nations go far beyond extra funding for the national treasury or increased foreign direct investment (FDI). One of the industry’s most unique and positive attributes is that it can endow nations with a considerable source of sustainable revenue without them having to further increase debt and thereby burden future generations. This capacity to expand a state’s ‘sovereign equity’ by enlarging the number of citizens who actively contribute has the invaluable potential to reduce inequality within as well as between states. It is a phenomenon uniquely facilitated by investment migration.
Sovereign equity in practice Sovereign equity is a means for governments to improve public finances and support economic growth and employment creation without increasing their debt – meaningfully 22 Citizenship By Investment
addressing the growing imbalances and inequalities inherent to traditional sovereign debt financing by engaging with the global community of high-net-worth investors. There are many sovereign states around the world that lack the ability to raise sufficient revenue and may even at times be locked out of traditional financing through capital markets or international lenders. Many countries find themselves trapped in a pattern of negative debt and have little opportunity to escape their situation through traditional means. Short of discovering natural resources such as hydrocarbons or minerals, the capacity to reduce debt, increase revenue, and attract investments in the country is seriously limited.
Debt financing is helpful and often critical in times of crises. But as Dominica showed in the aftermath of two consecutive hurricanes in 2017 and 2018 that destroyed large parts of the country’s infrastructure and wiped out entire villages, citizenship-by-investment was the critical if not the only real lifeline to enable the government to provide immediate support to the population and rebuild infrastructure. Outside of a crisis, where countries find themselves in a situation involving a lack of fiscal autonomy, they lose the ability to operate as truly sovereign states, forfeiting the gains from their economies to pay off creditors. Countries also lose the ability to sufficiently invest in core infrastructure, education, and health services that enhance the lives of their citizens. This can lead to a scenario in which society’s best and brightest leave to look for opportunities elsewhere, depriving the country of skills and reducing opportunities and quality of life for the general population. Investment migration is arguably the single most effective means of addressing this
dilemma. As a direct injection of liquidity into a country’s economy, it quickly relieves stress on the national treasury without tying the country into debt-based obligations. Moreover, it is not only a source of sustainable income, but a proven driver of important FDI. In essence, this twin dynamic can mitigate the problems of many countries relating to sovereign debt and lack of investment, which ultimately provides greater national autonomy and prosperity for all citizens.
The key to sovereignty is fiscal autonomy Prudently managed residence and citizenship programs with proper due diligence on applicants and clear, transparent structures are able to drive investments that meet the needs of governments, without adding to the burden of debt. Such funding can be used to either pay off debt — as countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis have shown dramatically — or can be used directly to create societal value through strategically targeted government spending. This provides governments with significantly increased fiscal autonomy, which is a key factor in determining how sovereign a country can be. Investment migration programs also act as a remarkably successful FDI platform that can attract capital and skills to an economy beyond the specific investment requirements of a residence or citizenship program. The numerous material benefits of FDI are beyond dispute, but it is in the massive social impact created by this type of investment that real human value is to be found. Increased investment drives employment opportunities for citizens at all levels. From architects to construction workers, from manufacturing and technology companies to the tourism sector and other service industries: more business activity and investment is the result, leading to an overall more dynamic and positive socioeconomic environment. The natural consequence of this is to alleviate pressure on government spending, further increasing fiscal autonomy and ultimately establishing greater prosperity.
Proven socioeconomic benefits In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Malta’s economy, for example, like all of Europe’s, was weak. Just years after the launch of the citizenship program in 2014, Malta had one of the highest GDP growth rates and one of the lowest unemployment levels of any EU member state. It is now the best performing economy in the EU by almost any measure. This year, the Maltese government expects to post its fourth fiscal surplus in as many years. By the end of 2018, Malta had raised almost EUR 600 million in direct revenue, seen property sales exceed EUR 110 million, earned EUR 70 million in rentals, and received over EUR 120 million worth of investments in government bonds. Results like these are not just unthinkable
with traditional ways and means of public finance, they are impossible.
Sovereign equity is the future, not further sovereign debt
In the Caribbean, the reform and relaunch of the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenshipby-investment program in 2007 and the subsequent investment boom in this country as well as in several other countries in the Caribbean that introduced new programs or enhanced existing ones, is remarkable and unprecedented in the region’s history.
The concept of sovereign equity is both self-evident and revolutionary. It has the potential to usher in a broad paradigm shift in how sovereign states think about sovereign funding, attracting investment from abroad, and public finance. Sovereign equity is also a means of addressing persistent global inequality. FDI has already shown to be essential for developing, transitional, or recovering economies, but it can also be critical for regional development in large and advanced economies. It is sovereign equity made possible through investment migration, rather than further sovereign debt that will support economic growth and prosperity in a sustainable way.
Following independence from Britain, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis witnessed over time a dramatic decline of its sugar industry. It is thanks to its citizenship-byinvestment program that the country was able to restructure its economy away from loss-making sugar production and raise hundreds of millions of dollars in FDI, geared towards providing a sustainable transition and laying the foundations for future growth and development. Today constituting 30% of national annual revenue, investment migration is, according to Prime Minister Timothy Harris, “a pillar in the foundation of the country’s unique future and prosperity.” In Antigua and Barbuda, the country’s citizenship program, created in 2013, now constitutes approximately 15% of the government’s annual revenue and is responsible for substantial investments in the construction sector, as well as for the country’s transition to renewable energy with thousands of solar panels installed on government buildings and land throughout Antigua to produce electricity. The country’s citizenship program is also essential in providing sovereign equity to support the efforts to rebuild Barbuda after a recent tropical storm devastated the island, forcing the evacuation of the entire population. When the International Monetary Fund conducted a review of the Antigua and Barbuda economy, it found that the inflows of capital provided by investment migration had significantly helped to boost public and private sector construction raising economic growth and pulling the country out of a deep recession. In Moldova and Montenegro, where the two most recent European citizenship programs were launched in 2018, the positive impact can be expected to be similar. In addition to boosting fiscal health and economic growth, the enhanced inflow of much needed investment will enable both countries to become more competitive and their economies more sustainable, which will result in greater autonomy and capacity to steer their own futures. From this sovereign equity will also mean less dependence on foreign lending and a greater ability to drive national resources to where they are needed most. For ordinary Montenegrin and Moldovan people, the benefits of a new debt-free revenue stream will be felt directly in economic growth, employment opportunities, better social services, and improved infrastructure and education.
For those countries able to offer it, investment migration represents one of the most important opportunities for growth and economic development, creating considerable societal value and persuading productive members of the community to stay and contribute to their country rather than to emigrate. In short, investment migration is a long-term positive solution to raise and sustain sovereign equity, supporting public finance needs and attracting much needed investment.
DR. CHRISTIAN H. KÄLIN Dr. Christian H. Kälin, TEP, IMCM, Chairman of Henley & Partners, is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in investment migration and citizenship-by-investment, a field he pioneered. Holding master’s and PhD degrees in law from the University of Zurich, he is a soughtafter speaker and advises governments and international organizations. He is the author, co-author and editor of many publications, including standard works such as the Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook, the Kälin – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, and the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook. Citizenship By Investment 23
IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD, MIGRATION DOMINATES THE GLOBAL CONVERSATION by DR. JUERG STEFFEN Group CEO, Henley & Partners
lobalization has transformed every aspect of our lives. Some changes are easy to detect and track: enhanced labor markets, expanding networks of communication, and stunning technological advancement. Other changes are less tangible, but just as significant: changes to the way we think and view the world around us — changes to the very contours of the worlds we inhabit. According to the International Organization for Migration, 258 million people were living outside the country of their birth in 2017. The latest projections suggest that this extraordinary figure will grow to 405 million people by 2050. We have only begun to register the effects of unprecedented global migration, and there is still a great deal for us to learn and understand. What is clear is that we are experiencing an epochal shift, one so significant that Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, argues that “clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do. Rather, we need to redesign them from the ground up, so that we can capitalize on the new opportunities that await us”.
Getting to grips with a rapidly changing world But what does this mean in practical terms? Now that questions of migration and global mobility are central to the consideration of geopolitics at every level, what does it mean to redesign or rethink old ways of doing things? These are just a few of the questions that the recently published Henley Passport Index and Global Mobility Report has attempted to answer. The report, which is the first of its kind, brings together commentary and analysis from leading scholars, experts, and industry leaders in examining global and regional mobility trends, with a key focus on the overall improvement in global mobility, as well as on the divisions created by war, climate change, economic inequality, and political instability. Among other things, the report shows that the world has had to develop pragmatic and coordinated migration policies in response to these ever-growing complexities. It also finds that despite rising isolationist sentiment in some parts of the world — Brexit and the recent government 24 Citizenship By Investment
shutdown in the US over the proposed border wall being just two examples — there is simply no real alternative to co-operation and communication between nations. Tensions will not be resolved by working at cross-purposes, and the challenges of the 21st century will not be met by clinging to the old ways of doing things. Global mobility and migration are indisputable facts of life, and those who accept this will be best placed to capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves — something made very clear in the report’s analysis of recent trends in wealth and talent migration. The report finds that, as ever, wealth and talent will go where they are wanted and stay where they are well treated, and that wealthy and talented immigrants have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their host nations, contributing significantly to economic growth and innovation.
Where wealth travels – and where it stays In 2018, 108,000 high-net-worth individuals migrated, up from 95,000 in 2017 and 82,000 the year before. Safety (particularly women’s safety), financial stability, quality of life, and religious or political tensions are a few of the factors driving these wealthy citizens to seek expanded opportunities abroad. Demand for alternative residence or citizenship is highest from China, Russia, and the Middle East, with around four-fifths of visas under the US EB-5 residence-byinvestment program going to Chinese nationals, for instance. After Australia, the US, Canada, the UAE, and the Caribbean nations are ranked as the most appealing destinations for highnet-worth individuals, in that order, while Malta, Cyprus, Portugal, and Spain are also attracting significant numbers of wealthy individuals in search of enhanced global mobility and security and all the attendant benefits. The report confirms what is already widely accepted and established: these benefits work both ways. For instance, the latest available statistics indicate that nearly half of the 17 countries that saw the biggest percentage increases in wealth from 2016 to 2017 were assisted by inflows of wealth from high-net-worth individuals. Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, and Portugal in particular saw significant wealth inflows in 2017, and the report notes that several of these nations are benefiting from residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs. Malta is singled out for special notice, given that the country saw a 12% increase in its ultra-wealthy population in 2016, primarily due to its citizenship-byinvestment program. Europe is generally the most popular region for those seeking alternative citizenship through investment migration, and it is widely acknowledged that residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs have been fundamental to several countries’ economic recovery following both the global financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis. In fact, a recent report
…wealthy and talented immigrants have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their host nations, contributing significantly to economic growth and innovation. estimates that investment migration has brought approximately EUR 25 billion of foreign direct investment into EU countries since 2010. The extraordinary growth of the investment migration industry over the past decade, and the transformative effect it has had on the lives of those global citizens who favor a borderless world, is a prime example of how rethinking the old ways of doing things can yield dramatically positive results.
Rethinking the meaning of citizenship In an increasingly globalized world, “citizenship” has many meanings, and the latest trends in global wealth migration show that wealthy individuals are embracing these expanded definitions and the opportunities that come with them. Overall demand for a second passport continued to grow in 2018: more than a third of global ultra-high-networth individuals (those with a net worth exceeding USD 30 million) already hold one, and another 29% are planning to obtain one. In terms of talent migration, the report offers a slightly less optimistic picture — one very much clouded by the looming impact of Brexit. As Dr. Simone Bertoli, Professor of Economics at Université Clermont Auvergne (CERDI) in France and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics in Germany, observed, “the future status of EU nationals in the UK is still unclear, and the attractiveness of this destination for talented individuals could substantially deteriorate. Indeed, net migration flows from the EU to the UK have plummeted over the past two years.” In his essay on the latest trends in talent migration, Dr. Bertoli notes that British academic institutions anticipate a decline in their ability to recruit scholars, given the loss of access to EU sources of funding. London’s finance sector could also see a decline in its appeal, and there is a strong possibility that other European countries (notably, France, Germany, and Ireland) could decide to strengthen policy measures to attract financial sector workers. While highly educated and highly skilled individuals may feel pushed out of traditional migration destinations, they are being welcomed across Asia, a region which is pursuing an increasingly generous policy of visa-openness.
The impact of visa-openness on growth and democracy Fascinatingly, there appears to be a direct correspondence between the growth of these
open-visa policies and the improvement in a country’s democracy score. Using data from the 14-year history of the Henley Passport Index, political scientists Uğur Altundal and Ömer Zarpli find “the number of visa-free destinations held by a country has a positive and statistically significant effect on that country’s democracy score.” This study is the first one of its kind, one which its authors hope will precipitate a timely debate about the political and economic effects of various visa policies. More broadly, it is estimated that the spread of ‘open door’ policies could potentially contribute to the global economy by generating USD 206 billion in tourism revenue and creating as many as 5.1 million jobs. We live in a world where all major issues have become cross-border: the confines of the state no longer limit the ambitions, expectations, and imaginations of millions of people around the world. 2019 brings with it its share of formidable challenges, but the growing trend towards overall global mobility and visa-openness is an unambiguous spark of hope.
DR. JUERG STEFFEN Dr. Juerg Steffen is the Chief Executive Officer of Henley & Partners. Juerg has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry and is widely regarded as a leader of the investment migration industry. Before joining Henley & Partners, Juerg was a personal advisor in the family office of one of Europe’s wealthiest families. Juerg has also been a Director in the Cross-Border Wealth Planning department of UBS in Zürich, where he advised high-net-worth individuals and key clients in complex matters regarding financial, tax, succession, and residence and citizenship planning. He has also established and developed a private bank operation for one of the leading banks in Switzerland and is the editor of the definitive books on HNW relocation to Austria and Switzerland. Citizenship By Investment 25
MAPPING THE GLOBAL MIGRATION OF MILLIONAIRES
he AfrAsia Bank 2019 Global Wealth Migration Review shows that, whilst the USA, China, Japan, UK and Germany are still the five wealthiest countries (as well as having the five largest economies), the country with the highest wealth growth over the past two years was India, with 24% growth. Looking over the past 10 years (2008 - 2018), India’s wealth grew by 96%, while China’s grew by 130% and Vietnam’s by 94%. Global wealth has grown by an estimated 27% over the past decade, assisted by strong growth in Asia. Forecasts for the period 2018 to 2028 expect Asia to continue to lead the charts, with Vietnam (200%), India (180%) and Sri Lanka (150%) the top three countries by percentage growth, with China forecast to grow by 120%. With new accrued wealth comes the desire to improve one’s quality of life and seek a better and safer environment, not just for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) but also for their families. Similarly, HNWIs from countries with relatively restrictive travel and business restraints, may look for opportunities to invest overseas to get visa-free access to more countries and more advantageous tax benefits. The rate of global migration is accelerating with
approximately 108,000 dollar millionaires migrating last year, compared with 95,000 in 2017, 82,000 in 2016 and 64,000 in 2015. China, being the most populous country in the world, has seen the biggest migration of millionaires over the past few years, but as a country it continues to produce far more new HNWIs than it loses each year. Indeed, as China’s standard of living improves, several wealthy Chinese migrants may move back, as has been seen in Vietnam in recent years. The UK has long been seen as a dream country to move to, but with rising crime figures, a high inheritance tax rate (40%) and uncertainties over Brexit, the UK is currently experiencing a net outflow of HNWIs to countries like Australia and the USA.
The wealth exodus from China continues; Australia and the US see big gains. High net worth individuals (HNWI*), top countries by inflow and outflow SPAIN +1,000
UK -3,000 FRANCE -3,000
RUSSIA -7,000 CHINA -15,000
USA +10,000 PORTUGAL +1,000
NEW ZEALAND +1,000
Global number of migrating HNWIs 2017 = 95,000 2018 = 108,000 (+14%) BRAZIL -2,000
SAUDI ARABIA GREECE -1,000 ISRAEL +1,000 +1,000
Source: AfrAsia Global Wealth Migration Review *HNWI: Individuals with wealth of US$1M or more †’Caribbean’ incl;udes Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands, St Barts, Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis etc
(With grateful thanks to Jeff Desjardins of Visual Capitalist) 26 Citizenship By Investment
SIGNAPORE +1,000 AUSTRALIA +12,000
VISA-OPENNESS AND AN ASIAN FUTURE: INSIGHTS FROM THE LATEST HENLEY PASSPORT INDEX
by DOMINIC VOLEK Managing Partner of Henley & Partners Singapore and Head of Southeast Asia
ecently, global headlines have been dominated by the rise of neoisolationism in an era of globalism: Donald Trump’s wall, Brexit, the impact of the Sino-US trade war, ultra-nationalism in Poland and Hungary, elections being won on anti-immigration platforms, a changing Brazil under Bolsonaro, and constantly reanimated border disputes. It is almost inevitable that along with these headlines comes the perception that countries around the world are less interested in engagement and collaboration. Although this belief is understandable, it does not align with reality. The truth of the matter, which is that global networks of collaboration are more expansive than ever before, is clearly illustrated by the latest rankings from the Henley Passport Index. Originally invented in 2004 by Chairman of Henley & Partners Dr. Christian H. Kälin, who designed the first ranking of all the world’s countries according to how many destinations their citizens can travel to visafree, the index is the original, authoritative, and most widely used of its kind. The latest rankings show we are witnessing a fundamental geopolitical shift, but not the headline-friendly shift regarding borders and the rise of nationalism. Instead, the index shows that Asia’s growing power is transforming trade and tourism networks, and that travel freedom and visa-openness in Asia and around the world are very much the model of the future. Analysis of historical
data from the index’s 14-year history indicates that we have been heading in this direction for some time: in 2006, a citizen, on average, could travel to 58 destinations without needing a visa from the host nation. This number has now almost doubled, with the average citizen able to travel to 107 destinations without a prior visa. Japan, Singapore, and South Korea now hold joint top spot on the Henley Passport Index, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 189. These latest results consolidate 12 months of Asian dominance, after Japan first climbed to the top spot in February last year, unseating Germany. Following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan, Germany
currently sits alone in 2nd place, with a score of 188. Five countries now share 3rd place on the index — which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — with a score of 187: Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, and Sweden. The UK and the USA look increasingly unlikely to regain the top spot they jointly held in 2015, as the UK now sits in 5th place with a visa-free/ visa-on-arrival score of 185, and the USA in 6th, with a score of 184. Afghanistan and Iraq remain at the bottom of the ranking, a position one or both countries have occupied throughout the index’s 14year history, with a score of 30. The UAE continues its upward trajectory and is now just one spot away from entry into the index’s top 20. After the recent formalization of a mutual visa-waiver agreement signed with Russia, UAE passport holders are now able to access 165 destinations around the world without a prior visa. This current score marks an extraordinary ascent from the position the UAE held a decade ago, when the country shared joint 61st place with Thailand and Zimbabwe and had a visa-free/ visa-on-arrival score of just 52. The UAE’s ascent is one of many success stories on the Henley Passport Index. Albania, for instance, has moved up 28 Citizenship By Investment 27
“With all Asian countries topping the index for the first time, there is a clear momentum behind the region taking center stage in globalization.” places on the index over the past ten years, with citizens of this once closed-off nation now able to access 116 destinations without a prior visa. China’s ascent is less dramatic, but it is a change that experts believe to be far more significant from a geopolitical point of view: the country now sits in 67th spot, having moved up 11 places since 2008. According to Dr. Parag Khanna, Founder and Managing Partner of FutureMap and author of The Future Is Asian: Global Order in the Twenty-first Century, the 21st century belongs to Asia. “With all Asian countries topping the index for the first time, there is a clear momentum behind the region taking center stage in globalization. The rise of China through its visa-waiver agreements shows how incremental and reciprocal measures can lead to significant progress in trust and recognition. I fully expect other countries to follow these examples as they seek to benefit from global flows of talent and capital.” Commenting further on the impact of China’s multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the largest infrastructure project in history, Dr. Khanna observed that “with the Belt and Road Initiative expanding its constellation of member states and cross-border projects, we can expect Asian, European, Arab, and African countries to continue to seek more seamless access to
each other’s countries. This will benefit both China and all countries participating in the rising trade along the new Silk Roads.” Uzbekistan’s significant shift in visa policy and the promise of a new Central Asian ‘Silk Visa’ are emblematic of this progressive approach. The once isolated nation has been re-energized by BRI-led development, with China heavily involved in rail construction in the country. In February of this year, Uzbekistan dramatically relaxed its once highly restrictive and arcane visa policy in a bid to embrace both tourism and further foreign direct investment. Nationals of 45 countries can now obtain a visa on arrival, and it is expected that tourism will flourish. While growing passport strength seems inevitable for some countries, uncertainty abounds for others, with Brexit being the most obvious example, as Prof. Dr. Florian Trauner, Research Professor at the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels, observed. “Post-Brexit, it is likely that UK citizens will retain their (short-stay) visa-free travel for the Schengen area. If the UK and EU manage to maintain a close political and trade relationship, the actual impact of Brexit on the travel freedom of British citizens may remain limited. However, the picture gets different with regard to long-term mobility given that the free movement rights for UK citizens in the EU (and vice versa) will cease to apply.” Overall, the latest rankings from the Henley Passport Index show that global headlines suggesting
28 Citizenship By Investment
increasing isolationist sentiment do not tell the full story. The index has always been an important tool for global travelers, but it reveals more than just the relative strength of the world’s passports. Crucially, it is also a prism through which one can examine both the world in which we live and global policy trends that shape it. With some notable exceptions, there is a growing acknowledgment that policies of engagement, collaboration, and openness yield the greatest results, for both individual nations and the global community as a whole.
Top 100 Countries on the Henley Passport Index 1
Hong Kong (SAR China)
United Arab Emirates
St. Kitts and Nevis
United States of America
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia & Herzegovina 119
Trinidad and Tobago
Iceland New Zealand 10
St. Vincent & Grenadines 146
Macao (SAR China) Panama
South Africa 52
142 The information provided here reflects the 2019 Henley Passport Index ranking on 26 March 2019.
Citizenship By Investment 29
QUICK FACTS Capital city: Ottawa Population: 37,314,442 (1 January 2019) GDP in current prices: USD $1,733.7 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 1.8% (2018) Area: 9,984,670 km2 (land 9,093,507 km2) Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Julie Payette Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD) HDI: 12th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 22nd (2018/19) Time zones: Ontario and Quebec GMT -4, Alberta GMT -6, British Columbia GMT -7 Dialling code: 1
anada is a country in the continent of North America, stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Atlantic Ocean to the east and sharing a land border with the United States to the south and the US state of Alaska to the northwest. Its northern territories extend well into the Arctic Ocean with the Danish territory of Greenland situated off to the northeast. By total area, it is the second-largest country in the world after Russia, although this includes nearly two million lakes, with nearly 9% of Canada’s surface area covered by freshwater. With a population of over 37 million people, Canada is the 38th most populous nation and has a strong multicultural heritage. However, because of the size of the country and with most of its terrain comprising forests and tundra, Canada is the 8th least densely populated country. Over 38% of Canada’s area is covered by forests and they provide 10% of the world’s total forest cover, as well as being rich in biodiversity. Canada is a highly advanced country with the tenth largest economy in the world and a very high Human Development Index (HDI). Importantly for anyone thinking of migrating, Canada is one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural countries 30 Citizenship By Investment
in the world with extremely high degrees of civil liberties and quality of life. A founder member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations, it is also a member of the G7. Canada is also one of the wealthiest countries globally, ranking 8th in the 2018 Credit Suisse listings with USD $8,319 billion.
History European expeditions to North America began colonisation in the late 15th and early 16th centuries with generally peaceful integration with the indigenous Inuit people. Canada was originally one of the five selfadministering colonies that comprised New France and included the city of Quebec which was founded in 1608. The English had established colonies in Newfoundland from 1610 and what became the Thirteen Colonies further south.
Over the next few decades, there were several skirmishes as the different settlements worked with indigenous tribes to gain control of the lucrative North American fur trade. By 1713, Nova Scotia had come under British domain as France renounced its claim to a trade monopoly with the indigenous tribes. The decisive French and Indian War of 1754-1763, which was effectively the North American stage of the worldwide Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), culminated in Britain gaining huge territorial gains from the French including the province of Quebec, which was granted rights of selfadministration by the British Parliament’s Quebec Act of 1774. However, simmering anti-British discontent within the Thirteen Colonies led to the American War of Independence, following which the 1783 Peace Treaty of Paris formally recognised the United States of America as Britain ceded its territories south of the Great Lakes to the USA. This prompted many British loyalists to head north to central Canada, leading to the Constitutional Act of 1791 which divided the province into two provinces – Lower Canada (predominantly French-speaking) to the east and Upper Canada (predominantly English-
speaking) to the west – each with its own legislative assembly. On 1 July 1867, the Confederation of Canada was officially constituted, uniting the then four provinces of Canada into one Dominion under the British Empire. Lower Canada and Upper Canada had reunited as one province in 1841 but they separated again upon Confederation into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario respectively, with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia being the other provinces. The capital was established at Ottawa in Ontario and is still the national capital today, despite not being the capital of Ontario province. Over the next few years, other British colonies including areas to the northwest previously owned and run by the Hudson Bay Company, joined the Confederation. Newfoundland, however, voted in 1869 to remain a British crown colony and in 1907 was granted dominion status. The Great Depression of the early 1930s affected Canada and Newfoundland more than most countries, and in 1933, Newfoundland relinquished its self-governing status and accepted the recommendations of a British and Canadian royal commission to be governed by a Commission of Government. Ironically, the Second World War provided a huge boost to the economy of Newfoundland with the United States building many military bases there and many servicemen settling there. With new found prosperity after the war, Newfoundland held several referendums which narrowly decided upon joining Canada as its tenth province on 31 March 1949. By this time, Canada’s independence had been recognised by the 1931 Statute of Westminster, although it wasn’t until the
Constitution Act of 1982 that Canada’s patriation was confirmed, giving Canada complete sovereignty from 17 April 1982.
Government and administration The Canada Act confirmed Queen Elizabeth II as constitutional monarch of Canada separate from the monarchy of the United Kingdom. The governor general carries out most of the royal federal duties in Canada as directed by the Cabinet responsible to the House of Commons of Canada and led by the prime minister, currently Justin Trudeau. The upper house of the Canadian Parliament is called the Senate. This is a group of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister, with
regional quotas. The House of Commons is the lower house and has 338 elected members of parliament representing their local constituencies. Each parliament was limited to a term of five years but this has recently been amended to four years. However, there is no binding time limit on the prime minister’s term of office as he or she is appointed by the governor general on behalf of the monarch, subject to winning or retaining a seat at the election and being able to hold the support and confidence of the majority of MPs. Each of the ten provinces has its own legislative assembly with one parliamentary house and shares government responsibilities with the federal government. The three territories also have their own legislative councils but with no sovereignty and fewer responsibilities. Canada’s official languages are English and French and these have equal status in parliament, the courts and in all federal institutions. French is the official language in Quebec and New Brunswick is officially bilingual under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The rest of the provinces use mainly English as their primary language, while the territories give official status to several indigenous languages, with Inuktitut the majority language in Nunavut as one of its three official languages. According to the 2016 Census, 56% of the Canadian population spoke English as their mother tongue and 21% spoke French as their mother tongue, with around 98% able to speak one or both languages. The Canadian population is mainly centred in urban areas relatively close to the southern border with the US. The percentage of the population living in rural areas has declined gradually over the past years to 18.7% in 2018, mainly because of a migration of younger people to Citizenship By Investment 31
Table 1. List of administrative provinces and territories of Canada Province
Population (Jan 1, 2019)
% of Capital Largest City Population
Year Joined Confederation
Share of National GDP
14,446,515 38.72% Toronto
8,433,301 22.60% Quebec
4,345,737 11.65% Edmonton
1,360,396 3.65% Winnipeg
1,168,423 3.13% Regina
Newfoundland & Labrador
Prince Edward Island
40,369 0.11% Whitehorse Whitehorse 1898
38,787 0.10% Iqaluit
Ottawa Source: Statistics Canada (2017 GDP data)
urban population centres. 30% of the total Canadian population live in the three largest metropolitan areas of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. By contrast, the three territories to the north have over 39% of the country’s total area, but only 0.33% of the population.
Economy and trade During the course of the 20th century, Canada’s economy transformed from being largely rural to becoming a principally industrial urbanized economy. Since World War II, Canada’s economic relations with the United States has increased substantially, helped by the discovery of large oil fields in Alberta in 1947. In January 1965, Canada and the United States signed a trade pact (known as the Auto Pact or APTA) to trade in automobile manufacturing and automotive products. Then in 1988, Canada signed a free trade agreement with the USA which was expanded from January 1994 to include Mexico in the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2018, over three-quarters (75.1%) of Canada’s exports by value were to the US with Mexico taking 1.4%. The other main trading partners were China (4.7% of Canada’s exports), the UK (2.8%) and Japan (2.2%). Mineral fuels including oil was both the number one and fastest growing export commodity last year, representing 22% of total share by value and up by 16.9% over 2017. Canada is one of the few developed countries that is a net exporter of energy. It is also unusual amongst developed nations in that its primary sector – the extraction of natural resources such as forestry, agriculture, minerals and petroleum – is such an important part of its economy. 32 Citizenship By Investment
Much of Canada’s manufacturing industry is based in Ontario and Quebec and the country is a net exporter of transportation equipment and parts. Canada is also one of the world’s major players in science and technology. The federal and provincial governments have provided billions of dollars in research and development and Canada has produced many renowned scientists who are pioneers in their fields. In 1962, Canada became only the third country to launch a satellite into space (after the USSR and the USA) and the Canadian Space Agency has an active programme of interplanetary and deep space research, while its aerospace industry has designed and built many rockets and satellites as well as developing the use of robotics in space. In all, Canada’s exports of goods and services accounted for 30.2% of its 2018 GDP. In all, services account for approximately 70.7% of GDP, with industry 27.7% and agriculture 1.6%. Canada’s economic growth rate has tended to fluctuate in real terms, although it’s been positive every year since 2009. 2018 saw real growth of 1.8% compared with 3.0% in 2017 and 1.4% in 2016. On a nominal GDP per capita basis, Canada currently ranks 19th with US $48,601.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Canada was one of the first countries to operate immigration investment programmes, launching its Federal Immigrant Investor Program (FIIP) in 1986. However, this was closed permanently and suddenly in 2014. Currently, the only Canadian citizenship by investment program open is the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). This is a very popular scheme for business owners and company directors, particularly as there are no age limitations and no language or minimum education requirements, but it only opens for fixed time-periods. The QIIP program now only accepts a maximum of 660 applicants per year.
the benefits of Canadian citizens. Canada is one of the safest and most liberal countries in the world and offers free universal health care, free education and highly reputable universities.
The 2019/20 program is due to start in August 2019 and interested applicants are advised to prepare their applications as soon as possible. The required level of investment has increased since the 2018 program and the new qualification requirements are as follows:
Although the National programme was closed down a few years ago, many of the provinces have signed agreements with the federal government to develop their own business immigration programmes. The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allows participating provinces and territories to nominate a set number of economic immigrants they would like to put forward to the IRCC for applying for permanent residence each year. These are predominantly targeting graduate entrepreneurs and SME businesses and skilled workers, as well as experienced young farmers in some provinces including British Columbia and Manitoba.
• The applicant (and spouse) have to show they have a legally obtained minimum net personal wealth of CAD $2,000,000 or the equivalent in foreign currency; previously this benchmark was CAD $1,600,000. • The applicant must have been a shareholder of a private company for the past two years, or to have been one for at least two of the past five years. If the applicant does not or has not owned a company, they must have at least two years’ managerial experience as a paid employee in an admissible company. • The applicant must make a risk-free deposit of CAD $1,200,000 (previously $800,000) into an authorised investment fixed-term account guaranteed by the Government of Quebec within 60 days of receiving provisional approval, and must keep the money invested for five and a half years without taking any interest but paying the related costs, after which time the money is returned. The interest generated by the deposit is used by the government to help fund new businesses and generate new jobs. •A s most applicants may be reluctant or unable to liquidate assets to meet the mandatory investment amount within the time allowed, applicants may make use of the QIIP Financing Option which is to make a one-time non-refundable payment of CAD $350,000 which covers all government broker fees, but not does not cover the legal professional fees to prepare and follow the application process. Once the applicant has received a Permanent Residency Visa under the QIIP, this entitles them to live, work, invest or study anywhere in Canada and to enjoy all
After the applicant has been physically present in Canada for just three years (and not necessarily consecutively if one is a frequent traveller), he or she is able to ask for and receive full Canadian citizenship including a Canadian passport, which gives visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 184 countries, plus the right to vote.
Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur programmes
Each of the provinces and territories (except Quebec and Nunavut) has its own immigration ‘streams’ with its own features and minimum qualifying criteria, but all of them require a medical examination and a police check. It is also desirable – and in most cases mandatory – to make an exploratory visit to the province you are thinking of relocating to and to prepare a business plan that should include provision for the creation of at least two jobs for local Canadian citizens. Most of the programmes are fixed for a determined period and have a maximum limit of applications within those timeframes. In 2017, Canada welcomed 159,262 permanent residents through its Economic Class programmes, of whom a record 49,724 (from 23,504 accepted applications) came through the Provincial Nominee Programs. For 2018 the IRCC had set a target of 55,000 rising to 61,000 for 2019 and 71,300 in 2021. These programmes are constantly changing and they are usually oversubscribed, so it is advisable to check online with the Canadian Immigration Services website at www.canada.ca and look up the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You can also check our own website www. citizenshipinvestment.org for regular updates on the provincial programmes. Citizenship By Investment 33
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
ntigua and Barbuda is an island nation situated in the West Indies between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, in the middle of the Leeward Islands chain. The country consists of two major islands and a small number of mostly uninhabited islands. Antigua is the largest island, with a total land area of 281 km2 and a coastline of 87 kilometres. Barbuda – land area 160 km2 – lies just 25 nautical miles (40km) north of Antigua and is easily reached by the Barbuda Express catamaran service (journey time of 90 minutes in nearly all weather conditions) or a 20 minutes helicopter flight. Antigua and Barbuda’s ideal geographic positioning 17°N of the equator makes the tropical twin-island jewel a regional travel hub, with excellent air links to North America and Europe. Home to over 100,000 people and blessed with 365 powder-white sand beaches, the country is revered as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Both islands are mostly low-lying islands with natural harbours, lagoons and sandy beaches along their coastlines and rimmed by reefs and shoals. Antigua was first explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493. However, the Spanish never colonised the island due to its lack of fresh water and it wasn’t until 1632 that the British started to colonise Antigua, with Barbuda first colonised from 1678. In 1958, Antigua and Barbuda joined the shortlived Federation of the West Indies and in 1967 became one of the self-governing West Indies Associated States, before being granted Independence from the UK on 1 34 Citizenship By Investment
November 1981. The country also joined the Commonwealth on that date and was granted admission to the United Nations on 11 November 1981. Antigua and Barbuda, along with seven other states, is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), a development of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC) as its currency. The EC has been pegged to the United States dollar for the last 40 years, contributing to long-term financial stability. Antigua and Barbuda’s political system is based on the British parliamentary system, with English being its official language.
Economy and tourism The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is service-based and relies heavily on tourism. Its real GDP growth has tended to fluctuate over the past three decades as the country
Capital city: St. John’s Population: 102,012 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $1.52 billion (2017) GDP growth: 2.8% (2017) Area: 440 km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Rodney Williams Prime Minister: Gaston Browne Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 70th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 112th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 268
is more vulnerable than most markets to external economic downturns and natural disasters such as hurricanes. The country suffered badly from the global recession of 2008 which brought about the collapse of its largest private sector employer, steep declines in tourism and a rise in debt. As a consequence, the government has been diversifying its economy, with financial services, communications and transportation becoming more important. Bolstered by generous government incentives for businesses and entrepreneurs, foreign investment has contributed to the recovery of the economy, especially with regard to construction and real estate. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda launched its citizenship by investment program (CIP) in October 2013, raising $33 million in its first year alone. Since 2013, the economy has enjoyed a steady return to real GDP growth, with 2017 up by 2.8% and 2018 estimated to reach $1.61 billion, which would give a real growth rate of 3.5%. Currently, Antigua and Barbuda’s economy ranks 171st in the world, but 49th in terms of GDP per capita. Services represented 77.5% of 2017 GDP, with Industry accounting for 20.2% and Agriculture – which includes farming, fishing and forestry – contributing just 2.3%. The total contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP in 2017 was equal to almost 52% share of GDP in 2017, of which 13% was a direct contribution.
During 2017, the number of international tourist arrivals fell from 265,187 in 2016 to 247,320 in 2017 having previously shown steady growth since 2010. Two-thirds of all tourists come from the United States or the UK – 39% and 26% respectively of all visitors in 2017 – with Canada next (9%). Emphasizing how important the US is to Antigua and Barbuda, the total number of arrivals in 2015 was 250,450; of the extra 14,737 tourists who came in 2016, 14,035 were from the US. The net figures from 2015 to 2017 show that arrival numbers from the US grew by 1.8% while numbers from the UK declined by 9.2%. In each of the past few years, the country has been registering a significant trade deficit, which in 2017 was $534 million. Antigua and Barbuda imports most of its products from the United States (34.5% share by value of 2017 imports), followed in 2017 by Poland (21.6%), China (4%) and the UK (3.7%). Most of Antigua and Barbuda’s agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and its exports are currently led by ships and boats (51% by value in 2017), iron products and refined petroleum. The country’s economy was also knocked by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, which battered Barbuda with 185 mph winds and destroyed 95% of the island’s buildings. The entire population of Barbuda was evacuated to Antigua, which fortuitously was spared by the worst of the hurricane, and it was estimated that over $200 million worth of damage had been done to homes, buildings and infrastructure. Several countries including China provided international aid to repair homes and healthcare facilities, and the foreign direct investment funds raised by the CIP since its inception have been a vital contributor to helping the country recover.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT The ABCIP Act allows for anyone aged 18 years and above, in good health and with no criminal record, to apply for citizenship through one of historically three options. The application process is fairly rigorous and has to be done through an authorised agent licensed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU). Because of the due diligence process and depending on the complexity of the application, timelines can vary and be difficult to predict. But the benefits of acquiring citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda include low taxation, low residency requirements, no interview requirement, the opportunity to maintain dual citizenship, and visa-free access to over 125 countries.
Investment options • National Development Fund (NDF) This is the simplest and most popular option, whereby the applicant pays a non-refundable minimum contribution of $100,000 to the NDF, which is a nonprofit fund audited by an internationally recognised accounting firm and subject to parliamentary reporting every six months to allow for transparency and accountability. The main applicant can also include spouse and up to two other family members (dependent children and/or dependent parents over 58 years of age) for no extra money, other than the processing and due diligence fees which apply to every named person on the application. For a family of five or more, the minimum of required contribution is $125,000. NOTE: It should be pointed out that these prices are limited time offers in
The National Development Fund (NDF)
the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Irma and may be subject to increase after 31 October 2019. • Real Estate Applicants may make an investment of at least $400,000 in officially approved real estate projects. The real estate purchased must be held for at least five years unless purchasing an alternate real estate property of equal or higher value. • Business Investment A single applicant may make a minimum investment of $1,500,000 in a business, whether existing or proposed, that has been approved by the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA). Alternatively, two or more persons may propose to make a joint investment in an approved business, in which case the total investment must be at least $5,000,000 with each individual applicant contributing at least $400,000 to qualify for applying for citizenship through an agent. • University of West Indies This is a new option which Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced in September 2018, intending to raise funds to finance the new campus of the University of West Indies. This requires a minimum contribution of $150,000 rather than the $100,000 NDF option, but is specifically for families of six or more members and will include one year’s tuition-free scholarship at the university for one member of the family. The processing fees and due diligence fees will be in line with the current NDF fees as below. Due Diligence and Passport Fees
Family of four members
Family of over four members
$25,000 for a family of up to 4 persons
$25,000 for a family of up to 4 persons with incremental payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent.
$7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over
$7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over
Dependent child aged 0-11
Dependent child aged 12-17
Dependent aged 18-25
Due Diligence Fee $7,500
*Other fees payable include passport fees. These fees are subject to change. *All fees quoted are in US dollars (USD).
Dependent parent aged 65 and over $4,000 $10,800
The Real Estate and Business Investment Options IndividualApplicant
Family of four members
Family of over four members
$50,000 for a family of up to 4 persons
$50,000 for a family of up to 4 persons with incremental payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent.
$7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over
$7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over
Due Diligence Fee $7,500
Passport fee – each person
* Standard due diligence and passport fees apply ** Note: ECD = Eastern Caribbean Dollars
*Other fees payable include passport fees. These fees are subject to change. *All fees quoted are in US dollars (USD).
Citizenship By Investment 35
approved applicants. Our experience in and knowledge of the Antigua and Barbuda CIP application process is second to none and our team will make the process as seamless as possible for the applicants and their representatives alike.
What are the benefits of having a second citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda? •S econd home as successful applicants will be allowed unrestricted stay in Antigua and Barbuda •D ual citizenship allowed •V isa-free access to over 130 countries •E ase of doing business in Antigua and Barbuda •E ase of purchasing properties in Antigua and Barbuda •T ax benefits (mentioned later).
What services do you provide in helping HNWIs who may want to invest in Antigua and Barbuda?
HOLLIS E. FRANCIS JR. ANTIGUA & BARBUDA LICENSED CIP AGENT What is the role of the Licensed Agent under the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP)? Applications for citizenship under the CIP of Antigua and Barbuda can only be submitted to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) by a Licensed Agent. As a Licensed Agent, I will act as sole agent for the applicant in respect of the application for citizenship and the CIU is duty bound to address all matters concerning the applicant’s application only with the Licensed Agent. As Licensed Agent, my role, ably assisted by competent staff, is to ensure that the application and all supporting documents would meet the requirements of the relevant legislation and the CIU, thereby resulting in an approval of the application for citizenship. My responsibility is to assist the applicant at every stage from preparation of the application for submission to delivery of Antigua and Barbuda passports, once successful.
Could you please give a brief overview of HEF Law’s profile and key services? HEF Law is a civil law firm which has been in operation for the past 15 years. We boast of a team of competent, professional and friendly staff, which includes myself as Principal, along with an Associate Attorney, a Paralegal and other Legal Secretaries. In addition to handling CIP applications, our areas of practice include – but are not limited to – corporate law, banking and securities, contracts and conveyancing (real estate) law, all of which may interest
Conveniently, I am a senior Attorney-at-Law in Antigua and Barbuda, having been in practice for the past 20 years. I am the principal Attorney at HEF Law, which is situated in the heart of the business centre in St. John’s, Antigua. My firm offers an expansive array of legal services and we are well-versed in contract law, conveyancing (real estate) law and corporate law. Our past and present clientele includes HNWIs who we have been able to serve to their satisfaction as a result of our combined experiences in the CIP process and related legal practices. We are highly cognizant of and sensitive to the needs of our HNWI clientele.
Are there any tax benefits that can be gained from the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment? There are substantial tax benefits to be gained from the CIP programme. Citizens would benefit from not having to pay personal income tax on their world-wide income. There are also no Estate, Death, Inheritance or Capital Gains Taxes for participants in the programme. The above benefits provide investors in the CIP with a safe option that could be used to maintain their wealth and provide the flexibility of dual citizenship without additional burdens on taxes on the income that they generate outside of Antigua and Barbuda.
How would you describe Antigua and Barbuda as a place to live now, and how do you envisage it in five to ten years? I see the state of Antigua and Barbuda as a hybrid island state. It is a relaxed, hasslefree destination and it is the perfect place for unwinding. At the same time, the state is a robustly developing epicentre for industry and commerce in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). In under a decade, I see an increase in infrastructural development within urban areas and the creation of more business centres in and around the city of St. John’s. As the
popularity of the Citizenship by Investment Programme expands, I foresee an increase in the country’s diversity as many of our applicants already span a multiplicity of countries and ethnic backgrounds. It is my hope that when approved, our newly minted citizens will visit the shores of Antigua and Barbuda often, migrate to or retire in our home paradise, thereby adding to the diverse yet unique Antigua and Barbuda which I envisage.
What is your favourite thing about Antigua and Barbuda? So many things could easily top this list. It could be the fact that the islands boast 365 beaches, literally one for each day of the year. It could be our geographical location which makes us the gateway to so many of the other Caribbean islands and easy to travel to the United States of America, Canada, Europe and Asia. The list of possible answers is endless. For me though, I think the greatest asset of Antigua and Barbuda, my home, is our people. As our main industry, tourism has served to highlight the warmth and friendliness of Antiguans and Barbudans, and once on our islands, you will never feel away from home. Antigua and Barbuda will ALWAYS feel like home as our people will dutifully ensure you experience all that Antigua and Barbuda has to offer. The twin-island state’s greatest resource will truly make you feel at home in Antigua and Barbuda. I unreservedly recommend this bit of paradise to you.
HOLLIS E. FRANCIS JR. Hollis E. Francis Jr. is a graduate of the University of Wolverhampton, England, and the BPP Law School in London. His formal legal studies culminated at the Eugene Dupuch Law School in the Bahamas where he obtained the Council of Legal Education Certificate. Mr. Francis was admitted to the Antigua and Barbuda Bar in May 1999 and started his own practice in October, 2004. Currently, he is the Principal and senior Attorney-atLaw of the firm HEF Law in Antigua. He is also an experienced Licensed Agent under the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP). In addition to his practice as an Attorneyat-Law and Licensed CIP Agent, Mr. Francis served as Legal Counsel/Corporate Secretary (Ag.) for two of Antigua’s indigenous banks. He has served as Chairman of the Prison Visiting Committee and as a director on the Medical Benefits Scheme Board of Control in Antigua and Barbuda. Mr. Francis is a past member of the Bar Council and Disciplinary Committee of the Antigua and Barbuda Bar Association. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of St. John’s Antigua and has served in several capacities including President and Secretary with distinction.
Citizenship By Investment 37
QUICK FACTS Full name: Commonwealth of Dominica Capital city: Roseau Population: 73,925 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $560 million (2017) GDP growth: -4.7% (2017) Area: 750km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary republic President: Charles Savarin Prime Minister: Roosevelt Skerrit Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 103rd (2018) Ease of doing business index: 103rd (2018/19) Time zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 767
ominica is an island nation situated in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea, just a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the North. Dominica’s official name is the ‘Commonwealth of Dominica,’ which is mostly referenced in official communications and to further distinguish the island from the Dominican Republic, its northerly Caribbean sister.
flourished as a democracy which is patterned after the British parliamentary system. The president is the head of state, elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term. The president appoints the prime minister, an elected member of the House of Assembly who commands the support of the majority of its elected members.
An eco-tourism paradise
Dominica is a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative that grants duty-free entry for many goods into the USA, and is also a member of CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The climate is tropical and the terrain spectacular. Its breathtaking landscape reveals rainforests, rivers and waterfalls, as well as the world’s second-largest hot spring at Boiling Lake. Dominica is affectionately known as “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” as citizens of Dominica share their home with many rare species of exotic flora and fauna. The rugged terrain offers adventurous visitors the chance to canyon, bike or swing from new heights. For those with a love of nature, Dominica is the perfect birdwatching destination. Additionally, the botanical gardens are home to the Sisserou Parrot, which is the country’s national bird and is featured on the national flag. Dominica is known for its spectacular reefs which visitors can explore while diving or snorkelling. Keen divers should certainly visit the signature Champagne Reef. For a less active visitor, there is the always the option to join a boating tour. From a catamaran, visitors can enjoy whale and dolphin watching. 38 Citizenship By Investment
Looking out onto the Caribbean Sea, the mountainous green slopes are dotted with exotic tropical flowers, banana plantations and coconut trees. The Boiling Lake is the perfect place to soul search and discover yourself as its renowned healing properties are considered legendary. An inclusive island with a rich cultural makeup, Dominica offers a vibrant mix of European and African cultures and serves as the home to the Caribbean’s only remaining population of pre-Columbian Carib Indians. Dominica has the honour of being nominated as one of the happiest places to live on Earth. Simplicity is key here, whether you want to walk barefoot through the pristine shore, wander down any number of green jungle trails or chill out on the beach looking onto the ocean, Dominica is a place where concerns are replaced by an overwhelming sense of peace and oneness.
Economy and trade Dominica gained national independence on 3rd November 1978. Dominica has since
Dominica’s main exports are agricultural and include coffee, cocoa, bananas, citrus fruits, and tropical fruits. However, the sector is highly vulnerable to weather conditions and 2017 saw a decline in real GDP after Hurricane Maria struck the island and wreaked over $900 million worth of havoc. The chief exported manufactured products are rum, timber, and soap. Tourism, which includes a budding eco-tourism industry, is also an important economic driver. In 2017, services accounted for 58% of Dominica’s GDP compared with agriculture 15.7% and industry 11.5%.
Benefits of citizenship in Dominica One of the main benefits of a Dominican citizenship for the potential applicant would be the access it provides. Dominica itself is a safe and enjoyable place to live,
with a high quality of life. English is the official language, so business transactions should run without language complications. Dominica has a progressive a stable economy and fosters an investor friendly environment. Citizenship also comes with free movement of capital, dividends and profits made outside of the island, and no tax on wealth, gifts, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains tax, and no personal income tax for residents. Dominica’s Government has frequent dealings with the private sector and other foreign investors in order to facilitate growth. There are a number of flexible and tailored projects available for the investor, as many international companies are targeting Dominica to develop agricultural opportunities, alternative energy projects, manufacturing concerns, hotel resort developments and even investment in the film industry. The soil is perfect for producing a variety of fruits, produce and plants due to its rich volcanic content. The landscape is also a prime candidate for real estate development and there are a number of opportunities to work together with joint venture investments and private landowners. Holders of Dominican passports can use them to travel internationally and benefit from the many visa-free travel regimes the Dominican Government has established with its allies across the globe. Some of the major hubs available to those travelling on a Dominican passport include the United Kingdom, with whom Dominica shares a long history, Singapore, Hong Kong and the European nations of the Schengen Area.
Investment options Dominica offers applicants the option of becoming citizens in return for a qualifying investment, which includes either a donation to Dominica’s Economic Diversification Fund, or the purchase of pre-approved real estate.
“The Commonwealth of Dominica has the honour of being nominated as one of the happiest places to live on earth.” contribution amounts, based on the number of dependents included in the application, which are as follows: • Single applicant: a non-refundable contribution of US$100,000 is required • Main applicant and spouse: a nonrefundable contribution of US$175,000 is required • Main applicant with up to three qualifying dependents. A non-refundable contribution of US$200,000 • Additional qualifying dependants US$25,000
•U S$50,000 for a family up to 6 persons, including the main applicant •U S$70,000 for a family of 7 or more. In order to qualify for citizenship, you must hold authorised real estate for three years from the grant of citizenship. You may only re-sell that real estate under the Citizenship by Investment Programme after five years. Given that the application procedure under this option entails the purchase of real estate, this may extend the processing time, which is subject to the chosen property.
Applicable Fees The following fees are also payable on application: Processing fees US$1,000 per application Due diligence fees Main applicant – US$7,500
2. Real estate
Spouse – US$4,000
To qualify for citizenship of Dominica under the real estate option under the Citizenship by Investment Programme, an applicant must purchase authorised real estate to the minimum value of US$200,000.
Dependant aged 16 years or above – US$4,000
Following approval of a real estate investment application, the following government fees are payable: • US$25,000 for a single applicant
(In some cases, an enhanced due diligence may be required, depending on the citizenship the applicant holds and other personal circumstances.)
• US$35,000 for a main applicant and spouse
Certificate of Naturalisation Fee – US$250 per person
• US$35,000 for a family up to 4 persons, including the main applicant
Expedited Passport Issuance Fee – US$1,200 per person
1. Economic Diversification Fund The Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) was established through the Citizenship by Investment Programme as one component of a national capital mobilisation portfolio towards an ultimate goal of national development for Dominica. Generated funds are utilised for public and private sector projects where a need is identified. Public sector projects identified for financing under the Programme include the building of schools, a national sports stadium, renovation of the hospital, and promotion of the offshore sector. With respect to private sector projects, government emphasis is on the tourism, information technology and agricultural sectors. Since 2016, the Citizenship by Investment programme has been described as an economic and fiscal lifeline, particularly following Hurricane Marie. To qualify for citizenship under this investment option, there are four investment categories with different minimum Citizenship By Investment 39
renada is located in the West Indies at the southern end of the Grenadines group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. The country consists of the main island of Grenada plus the two smaller islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which became a dependency of Grenada in February 1974. The picturesque tropical islands offer the perfect getaway destination for both adventure lovers and those seeking rest and relaxation or a romantic break with a partner.
The islands are of volcanic origin with extremely rich soil. Their natural beauty remains largely untouched by industrialisation. With its lush, fertile landscapes and award-winning white sandy beaches and invitingly clear waters, Grenada has the perfect balance, and visitors may find themselves wishing that they could extend their stay. Before the arrival of Europeans, Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous Arawaks and the Island Caribs. Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 on his third voyage of discovery to the Americas, but there is no evidence to suggest the Spanish ever settled there. Grenada became a French colony from 1649 until it was formally ceded to the British in 1763. The country achieved its full independence from the UK on 7 40 Citizenship By Investment
February 1974 but has remained a member of the Commonwealth. Its official language is English. Grenada’s islands feature some of the most diverse terrain in the Caribbean, from crater lakes and verdant rainforests to sun-kissed swaths of beach and unspoiled underwater ecosystems. Almost one quarter of Grenada is preserved as national parks or wildlife sanctuaries. Nature trails criss-cross the terrain, offering visitors and locals alike the chance to drink in the spectacular views of mangrove-fringed coastlines and experience the islands’ splendid array of fruits, spices, and tropical plant life.
Trade and tourism Grenada has a largely tourism-based, small, open economy, which has shifted from
QUICK FACTS Capital city: St. George’s Population: 107,825 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $1.12 billion (2017) GDP growth: 5.1% (2017) Area: 340km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Cecile La Grenade Prime Minister: Keith Mitchell Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 75th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 147th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 473
agriculture to services. Manufacturing industries in Grenada operate mostly on a small scale, including production of beverages and other foodstuffs, textiles, and the assembly of electronic components for export. The Grenada Chocolate Company has pioneered the cultivation of organic cocoa, which is also processed into finished bars. Since 2014, Grenada has been hosting an annual Pure Chocolate Festival, which this year will take place from 31st May to 7th June 2019. The country’s principal export crops are nutmeg and mace - Grenada is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg and provides roughly 20% of the world supply. Grenada is known as the “Island of Spice” as it is reputed that travellers can taste a faint flavour in the air. Spices aren’t the only natural bounty that Grenada shares with its guests; cocoa beans, bananas, avocados, cloves and cinnamon are also grown in abundance throughout the islands. Large-scale tourism is a recent phenomenon, and Grenada is largely undiscovered, unspoilt and full of opportunity. Beach and watersports tourism is largely focused in the southwest region around St George’s, the airport and the coastal strip. The Grand Anse beach in St. George’s is regarded as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.
Ecotourism is growing in significance. Most small eco-friendly guesthouses are located in the Saint David and Saint John parishes. During the cruise ship season, numbers greatly increase. Well-preserved places of interest abound in Grenada. In the lovely capital of St. George’s, pastel buildings and red-tiled roofs show off the city’s strong Caribbean identity, while historic English and French architecture also hints at the culture’s rich heritage of European influence. Fort George, a garrison that has overlooked the capital’s harbour for more than 300 years, is open to the public for tours. In addition, the Saturday market offers locals and tourists alike the opportunity to explore local produce, spices and crafts in a centuries-old tradition. The St. George’s University has expanded rapidly in recent years and specialises in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health sciences, nursing and business degrees. It has become of the island’s biggest employers and attracts many international graduate and undergraduate students. The island’s airport, the Maurice Bishop International Airport, is situated at the most south-western point of the island, some 8 kilometres from St. George’s. From here you can get connecting flights to the USA, Canada, Toronto and London as well as to other Caribbean islands.
Citizenship by Investment The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Committee (CIBC) is the main governmentappointed body responsible for overseeing the processing of applications for Grenadian citizenship by investment. The Committee assesses applications in accordance with the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Act, after which recommendations are made to the Minister, who makes the final decision to deny, approve or delay granting Grenadian citizenship. The Citizenship by Investment Programme came into being in August 2013. Subject to strict due diligence procedures, applicants may choose between these two types of investments to obtain citizenship or permanent residence: •A payment into the National Transformation Fund; or •A payment towards an approved real estate project in Grenada.
Benefits Individuals who obtain citizenship through Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Programme are entitled to the same rights as any other Grenadian citizen. These include the right to live and work in Grenada at all times, and all the rights associated with Citizenship By Investment 41
membership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). There is no requirement to reside in Grenada before or after citizenship is granted. The application process is confidential, with no disclosure or exchange of information with other governments or bodies, except when due diligence checks are carried out as part of the application process by an authorised due diligence agency. Grenada allows individuals to hold dual citizenship, and citizenship may be extended to family members, such as a spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents. Children and young adults may obtain preferred access, and in some cases grants, to top schools and universities. Grenada has no foreign income, wealth, gift, inheritance, or capital gains tax. There is no restriction on the repatriation of profits and imported capital. Generous incentive packages exist including corporate tax incentives, full exemption from import duties, tax relief benefits, and export allowance. Grenada’s currency, the East Caribbean dollar (XCD), is pegged to the US dollar (USD). Lastly, there is duty-free trading in the Caribbean. Grenadian citizens can travel without visa restrictions to more than 115 international and Commonwealth countries. These include the UK and all other members of the EU, and important business hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong. Grenada is one of very few nations whose citizens can travel to the People’s Republic of China without first obtaining a visa. Grenadian citizens also have the opportunity to apply for the USA E-2 visa. Grenada is one of the few countries to have an E-2 visa treaty of commerce arrangement with the United States.
Options and costs 1. The NFT option The National Transformation Fund (NTF) is a government fund responsible for financing projects that will benefit Grenada’s economy and help its diversification. Applicants who choose this route must make a one-time contribution to the NTF. It is important to
42 Citizenship By Investment
Table 1: DONATION Individual Applicant Required Contribution USD 150,000 Amount
Main Applicant + Spouse
Family of four members
Family of over four members
USD 200,000 plus USD 25,000 per additional dependant after the third dependant USD 1,500 per person
USD 1,500 per person
USD 1,500 per person
Due Diligence Fee
USD 5,000 per person
*Dependent child 0–16 nil *Dependent child 17–25 USD 5,000
USD 1,500 per person
USD 1,500 per person aged 18 and over, USD 500 for persons under 18
USD 1,500 per person aged 18 and over, USD 500 for persons under 18
Main Applicant + Spouse
Family of four members
Family of over four members
Table 2: REAL ESTATE OPTION Individual Applicant Required Contribution USD 350,000 Amount Government Fee
USD 50,000 and USD 25,000 per additional dependant after the hird dependant
USD 1,500 per person
USD 1,500 per person
USD 1,500 per person
Due Diligence Fee
USD 5,000 per person
*Dependent child 0–16 nil *Dependent child 17–25 USD 5,000
USD 1,500 per person
USD 1,500 per person aged 18 and over, USD 500 for persons under 18
note that applicants may not contribute to the NTF in person, but rather that they must use the services of an Authorised Local Agent. Under the NTF route, applicants may either immediately apply for citizenship, or first apply for permanent residence and apply for citizenship at a later stage. Applicants opting for the NTF route must contribute at least US$150,000 to the Fund, plus fees, as per table 1. 2. The Real Estate Project option Applicants who choose to go the real estate route must make their investment through an authorised local agent. The CIBC reviews
USD 1,500 per person aged 18 and over, USD 500 for persons under 18
viable projects and recommends them to the Minister who then decides whether or not to approve them. A list of approved projects for citizenship investment can be found on www.cbi.gov.gd and currently includes luxury hotels, resorts and villas. The real estate option is significantly more expensive than the NFT option, but with a booming tourist trade, there could be fantastic opportunities for investors seeking high returns on their investments. The investments in real estate projects must be maintained for at least three years from the date on which citizenship is granted. The fees for the Real Estate option are as per table 2.
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St Kitts and Nevis is the youngest nation in the Americas, and yet it is famed for its growing tourism industry and international business platforms. Where else can you find four worldclass golf courses overlooking the Caribbean Sea?
P R I M E M I N I ST E R O F T H E F E D E RAT I O N O F ST K I T T S A N D N E V I S
“As the pioneer of citizenship by investment, St Kitts and Nevis is committed to the highest level of due diligence and efficiency in the running of its Citizenship by Investment Programme. The reputation of our Programme is matched by the strength of our economic growth and the beauty of our country. In St Kitts and Nevis, we seek to invite only the discerning investor to come to our country.”
Citizenship within 90 days of application submission, or guaranteed approval in 60 days under the Accelerated Application Process
No interview, residence, education, or business experience requirement
Exciting business opportunities in a country with an impressive GDP growth
Visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to over 155 countries and territories worldwide
Life in a country focused on becoming the
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world’s first fully green economy C I T I Z E N S H I P BY I N V EST M E N T P R O G RA M M E
Learn more on the offcial website: www.ciu.gov.kn
W W W.C I U.G OV. K N
ST KITTS AND NEVIS, PORTRAIT OF A PRESTIGIOUS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME The St Kitts and Nevis Programme is the well-established citizenship programme in the world, as it has been running for 34 years. This ensures applicants feel certain of the programme: one that has awarded lifetime citizenship in return for an investment in the future of the nation. Today, St Kitts and Nevis offers the â€˜Platinum Standardâ€™ of citizenship, meaning responsiveness, effectiveness, and discretion in all processes. Applicants can benefit from the Accelerated Application Process, an exclusive service that accommodates applicants with fast-paced lifestyles by ensuring that their application, if successful, will be returned to them in 60 days or under (including receipt of passport). There are two main routes to obtain citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis.
OPTION 1: The first is the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), the most straightforward, streamlined and fastest path to second citizenship, with an investment threshold of USD 150,000 for a single applicant. The SGF channels resources to priority areas like education, health, climate change and resilience, infrastructure, tourism and culture, and the promotion of indigenous entrepreneurship in St Kitts and Nevis.
OPTION 2: The second option is to invest in a Pre-Approved Real Estate Project, which may include hotel shares, villas, and condominium units. Applicants for citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis wanting to purchase property are required to singlehandedly invest USD 400,000, and are required to hold that property for a minimum of five years to maintain their economic citizenship status. Otherwise investors now have the alternative option to invest into a share scheme paying a minimum of USD 200,000 into a luxury hotel resort. The real estate must be held for a period of seven years to maintain their economic citizenship status. Additional Government fees apply to both real estate options.
P R I M E M I N I ST E R O F T H E CO M M O N W E A LT H O F D O M I N I CA
Dominica welcomes people around the world to join our global community. Those looking for strong investment opportunities in an international network that stretches well beyond this small Caribbean island are invited to apply for citizenship. A Dominican citizenship is the fast track to opportunity in a country that prides itself on being resilient, courageous and open to new ideas that will tackle global issues, all the while embodying a strong sense of community as a global family.
“We are a nation deeply rooted in community values and a mindset of reciprocity. For this reason, we invite individuals and families from around the world to invest in our country, and in exchange we promise to provide you with citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica – a status that comes with a myriad of opportunities aimed to transcend borders in a continually globalising world.”
W E LCO M E TO
Untapped business opportunities in a growing economy and stable democracy
Seamless processing leading to citizenship in 3 months from submission of application
No interview, residence, education, or business experience requirement
Visa-free travel to more than 120 countries and territories Learn more on the offcial website: www.cbiu.gov.dm
C I T I Z E N S H I P BY I N V EST M E N T P R O G RA M M E
W W W.C B I U.G OV. D M
D O M I N I CA’ S G LO BA L CO M M U N I T Y, ST R O N G I N V EST M E N T C H A N N E L S A N D W E A LT H O F O P P O RT U N I T Y When looking for an option for second citizenship, Dominica ticks all the right boxes. It has a widely respected Citizenship by Investment Programme, with a reputation for integrity. The Programme is known for its efficiency, while continuing to ensure the highest standards of due diligence. For the second consecutive year, the programme has been ranked number one in the world by CBI Index – a comprehensive study into economic citizenship – that was published by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine. Busy investors need not be anxious about having to travel or reside in Dominica, as applications can be submitted abroad through an Authorised Agent. There are two paths to achieve economic citizenship in the Commonwealth of Dominica.
OPTION 1: The first option is the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), a non-refundable contribution to the country, starting from USD 100,000. This option allows an applicant to play a major role in Dominica’s promising future.
OPTION 2: The second option to obtain Dominican citizenship is to invest in Pre-Approved Real Estate, starting from a minimum investment of USD 200,000. This option provides an investor with the opportunity to become a proud owner of prime real estate. There are a number of high quality projects available for investment with trusted global brands.
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Saint Lucia C I T I Z E N S H I P BY I N V EST M E N T P R O G RA M M E
Citizenship for life, including the right to work, reside and study in Saint Lucia
No interview or language proficiency requirements
Visa-free travel to over 120 countries and territories
Saint Lucia allows dual citizenship
Ability to include family members on the application
Option to invest in the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund, in a government approved real estate or enterprise project, or interest-free government bonds Learn more on the official website: www.cipsaintlucia.com
When opting to be a citizen of Saint Lucia, we are not just offering citizenship, but rather an identity - our people and our place in the world. It is one thing to have a beautiful country with picturesque landscape but it is also the people that inhabit this land that make the vital difference. Saint Lucia’s motto captures all of our combined treasures - the land, the people, the light.
W W W.C I P SA I N T LU C I A .CO M
SA I N T LU C I A , A YO U T H F U L A N D E N E R G E T I C C I T I Z E N S H I P Saint Lucia is a strong option in the Caribbean’s tourism market, and is among the region’s most famous destinations, particularly for honeymooners. The industry is bolstered by direct flights to Europe and the Americas, and numerous visa-free agreements to match demand for overnight stay. The island’s workforce – youthful, energetic, and well-educated – has propelled Saint Lucia into new, less traditional industries, including technology and financial services. There are four paths to achieve economic citizenship in Saint Lucia. OPTION 1: The first option is the National Economic Fund (NEF), a non-refundable contribution to the country, starting from USD 100,000. It is the most efficient option to obtain citizenship. OPTION 2: The second option to obtain the Saint Lucia citizenship is to invest in an Approved Real Estate project starting from USD 300,000. The approved real estate projects fall into two broad categories: high-end branded hotels and resorts, and luxury boutique properties. OPTION 3: Citizenship by investment may also be achieved through the purchase of non-interest-bearing Government bonds for a minimum investment of USD 500,000. These bonds must be registered and remain in the name of the applicant for a five year holding period. OPTION 4: The third option is to invest in an Approved Enterprise Project starting from a minimum investment of USD 3,500,000.
www.csglobalpartners.com 50 Citizenship By Investment
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Citizenship By Investment 51
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
aint Kitts and Nevis, also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island state in the West Indies and a member of the Commonwealth. Part of the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in area and population. The capital city, Basseterre, is on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller island of Nevis lies approximately 3km southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called “The Narrows”. English is the official language but Saint Kitts Creole is also widely spoken. Saint Kitts was named “Liamuiga”, meaning “fertile land”, by its original native inhabitants the Kalinago Caribs. The name was preserved when the tallest peak on St. Kitts was renamed Mount Liamuiga on the day of gaining independence in 1983.
white-sand beaches. Beds of offshore coral, teem with fish of every stripe and colour. Although they are only 3km apart, St. Kitts is classified as having a tropical savanna climate whereas Nevis has a tropical monsoon climate.
Christopher Columbus sighted what is now Nevis in 1493 and gave that island the name San Martín. The current name “Nevis” is derived from a Spanish name Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, meaning Our Lady of the Snows, perhaps in reference to the white clouds which usually wreathe the top of Nevis Peak.
With the beautiful nature there is a lengthy and rich cultural history. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, dating from 1690, is a UNESCO world heritage site that has been dubbed the “Gibraltar of the West Indies”. Tourists can see where tobacco, indigo and then sugar were grown on the historic plantations, take sweaty rainforest hikes, or relax on the sandy, palm fringed beaches. The sugar industry survived until 2005, and a unique legacy of this is the St. Kitts Scenic Railway where passengers can ride for 29km along a narrow gauge line built to transport cane.
Geography The islands are of volcanic origin, with large scenic central peaks covered in tropical rainforest. There are numerous rivers descending from the mountains to empty, 44 Citizenship By Investment
Capital city: Basseterre Population: 55,345 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $992 million (2017) GDP growth: 1.2% (2017) Area: 261 km2 Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton Prime Minister: Timothy Harris Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 72nd (2018) Ease of doing business index: 140th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 869
Today the island lives by tourism, a transformation that appears to have been achieved with record speed. St. Kitts now welcomes a steady stream of cruise ships and has a 394-room Marriott resort and casino. Major luxury property developments are taking shape and a private jet terminal and superyacht marina recently opened. It is also known for a number of celebrations including Carnival (December-January) and the St. Kitts Music Festival (June).
Economy At the turn of the 18th century, St. Kitts was the richest British colony per capita in the Caribbean, a result of the sugar trade. The economy had traditionally almost exclusively depended on the growing and processing of sugar cane until the late 1970s, when the government backed a drive into small-scale, export-oriented industrialisation and offshore banking sectors. On 19 September 1983, the country achieved independence from the UK. The economy of St. Kitts and Nevis experienced strong growth for most of the 1990s but a number of hurricanes contributed to a sharp slowdown, particularly in the agricultural, tourism and construction sectors. Latest estimates for 2017 show that Agriculture contributes just
1.1% of the economy, with Industry being 30.0% and Services accounting for 68.9%. Since 2010, tourism has been steadily rising again to become the largest source of foreign exchange. In 2016, Travel & Tourism directly contributed 5.9% to GDP and in total, including employment, accounted for 25.1% of GDP, a figure forecast to reach 33% by 2027. According to the IMF, St. Kitts and Nevis attained the strongest growth and fiscal performance in the ECCU region in recent years, with public debt set to meet the ECCU’s 60% of GDP target in 2018. The strong performance owes much to Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) inflows as well as overall prudent macroeconomic policies. GDP in St. Kitts and Nevis is projected to reach around $1.05bn in 2020. St. Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues a common currency (the East Caribbean dollar) for all its members, and regulates and manages monetary policy and banking. The US dollar is widely used as well. The United States is the main export and import partner for the country, accounting for 56% of the total exports and 31.7% of imports.
Citizenship by investment The Saint Kitts and Nevis passport is issued to citizens for international travel. The passport is a Caricom passport as Saint Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Caribbean Community. Interested parties can acquire citizenship if they pass the government’s background checks and make an investment into an approved real estate development. The St. Christopher (Kitts) and Nevis passport issued is valid for 10 years, which can be renewed thereafter. It takes about three to four months processing time. The Government has introduced extensive legislation to attract financial services businesses to the island. The Citizenship by Investment Programme has also been in operation since 1984, allowing foreign investors to acquire citizenship under certain conditions. This makes it the oldest existing citizenship programme in the world, as well as the most reputable citizenship programme in existence. St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is highly regarded. As a result, St Kitts and Nevis citizens enjoy a passport with an excellent reputation and very good visa-free travel, including to all of the EU’s Schengen Area, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and other countries. Accordingly, the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme is an attractive option if one is looking to acquire a second citizenship through investment without prior residence requirements.
When you acquire citizenship under the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Programme, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent. As a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, you have the right to take up residence in St. Kitts and Nevis at any time and for any length of time. You will not be taxed on foreign income, capital gains, gift, wealth, or inheritance tax so this may complement your current wealth protection and tax planning strategies.
Citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis are allowed to hold dual citizenship, and the acquisition of citizenship is not reported to other countries. The regulations regarding citizenship by investment are contained in Part II, Section 3 (5) of the Citizenship Act, 1984. These provisions allow the government to operate a program under which citizenship is granted to persons who qualify under criteria set by cabinet decision.
REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES Minimum Investment To qualify for citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis under its citizenship by investment programme, there are two active options: 1. Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) St. Kitts and Nevis launched a new Sustainable Growth fund, effective from 1 April 2018 after the expiry of Hurricane Relief Fund. The Sustainable Growth Fund for a single applicant requires a one-time non-refundable contribution of US$150,000, inclusive of Government fees. The contribution for a family of up to four will be US $195,000 following incremental steps. The fund will benefit St. Kitts and Nevis in sustainable areas such as healthcare, education, alternative energy, heritage, infrastructure, tourism and culture, climate change and resilience, and the promotion of indigenous entrepreneurship. The contribution requirements under SGF are: • Main Applicant: US$150,000 • Family of Four: US$195,000 (i.e. the main applicant, plus spouse US$25,000 and two children US$10,000 each) • Additional family dependents: US$25,000 The government also allows for parents and grandparents over the age of 55 to be included in the application as dependents, if they are living with and are fully supported by the main applicant. The contribution of US$10,000 is required for each additional dependent, regardless of age. 2. Real estate Designated recoverable real estate investment with a value of at least US$400,000 plus payment of various registration and other fees. Additional fees apply for any accompanying family members. The real estate can be sold after five years – it also qualifies the next buyer for citizenship. Effective from April 2018, two persons (jointly) can buy real estate, each contributing US$200,000 (plus the government fees) to meet the US$400,000 requirement but the property can only be
resold after seven years. The government works with various approved real estate developers. You can buy villas or apartments or luxury condos, provided you satisfy the minimum investment. The real estate route is more expensive and takes longer to complete, but there is a chance to recoverable investment after five years. You can expect total costs of US$492,000 or more, with the real estate option for single applicant. Additional costs apply for accompanying family members. The SIDF is a much cheaper option for citizenship, compared to real estate investment. The average processing time is between four and six months, if property is purchased from a developer that meets all criteria for efficient processing of citizenship application.
Fees and costs Minimum investment: US$150,000 Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) or US$400,000 (Real estate) Government fee: US$50,000 per person Due diligence fee: US$7,500 main applicant US$4,000 for spouse and for each dependent aged 16 years or over Passport fee: US$500 per person Lawyer fee Accelerated Application Process Uniquely amongst citizenship by investment jurisdictions, St. Kitts and Nevis offers an Accelerated Application Process (AAP) for a fixed fee. Interested applicants still need to meet all the mandatory criteria for submitting documents, but if successful they would be guaranteed full processing including getting a registration certificate and passport within 60 days of submission. The AAP fees are inclusive of standard due diligence fees and cost US$25,000 for the main applicant and US$20,000 for dependents aged 16 or over. For any family members under the age of 16 the fee is just US$500 for the passport processing fee. Citizenship By Investment 45
Caribbean Spotlight: ST. KITTS AND NEVIS: WHERE OPPORTUNITY AWAITS
he Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, a small dual-island nation situated in the Caribbean, continues to demonstrate leadership via its prosperous Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. As pioneers of the economic citizenship industry, St. Kitts and Nevis has a unique advantage that sets the islands apart from the rest of the world. Since 1984, the Federation has offered citizens of the world a streamlined and rewarding programme that has come to be known as the Platinum Standard of CBI. More than three decades later, just over a dozen nations across the world have now adopted their own version of the programme, contributing to a rapidly-growing industry. While St. Kitts and Nevis may be one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere, what it lacks in land mass it makes up for in its expanding global
46 Citizenship By Investment
presence. The most recent accomplishments can be partly attributed to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mark Brantley, who has committed to strengthening the country’s
By CS GLOBAL PARTNERS
international relationships across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Citizens, both economic and native, can now enjoy visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to nearly 160 destinations. For investors, this means greater mobility to vital business jurisdictions, such as the Schengen Area, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom. St. Kitts and Nevis’ passport is also recognised as one of the most powerful passports in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), a significant factor for those limited by their own nation’s freedom of movement. With the introduction of a new investment channel – the Sustainable Growth Fund
(SGF) – earlier last year, opportunities across the islands have increased. It has been hailed as St. Kitts and Nevis’ most straightforward route to second citizenship and injects funds directly into its national development. This includes areas such as tourism, infrastructure, education, health and various other public and private sectors. The SGF calls for a minimum investment of US$150,000, while a family of four requires a contribution of US$195,000. As the oldest programme of its kind, St. Kitts and Nevis has managed to remain at the top of the CBI industry by continuing to find innovative ways to appeal to the market. As a result, government officials announced that 2018 had seen more applications to the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme than the last four years. One of the most appealing features of the programme, as recognised by a special report devised by experts at the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine, is its sturdy multi-tiered vetting procedures. Due diligence remains the foundation of a successful citizenship programme and ensures that the integrity of both the country and the wider industry are protected. St. Kitts and Nevis, in
particular, uses both government and independent specialist risk analysis firms and international law enforcement agencies. St. Kitts and Nevis Accelerated Application Process (AAP) is the only such feature in existence within the industry, and guarantees successful applicants are approved and have their passports issued within 60 days. Together with the dualisland’s absence of mandatory travel or language requirements, St. Kitts and Nevis promises ease of processing for those of high moral-standing. The success of the programme is spurring a growth in the tourism sector, such as the CBI-funded Park Hyatt hotel which opened its doors in 2018. St. Kitts and Nevis has not only seen widespread international attention from the likes of Forbes and Bloomberg, but has also received numerous accolades for its excellence in the Caribbean region. Booming tourism has heralded in many firsts for the dual-island nation, including the welcoming of its one millionth cruise passenger and the inaugural call of the world’s largest cruise ship – the Symphony of the Seas. This, combined with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association recognising the Federation as a ‘marquee’
destination, has verified its well-deserved place as a world-class destination. As CBI continues to contribute to the development of the nation, it also fosters a healthy business environment which investors can benefit from. Prime Minister Timothy Harris recently announced that, for the first time in history, over 400 business licenses had been issued by the Inland Revenue Department – an impressive number for an island with a population of around 55,345. The islands have also welcomed the largest number of jobs, workers and social security contributors in the past four years. The successful business landscape is a signifier of a strengthened economy that provides opportunities to all native and economic citizens. With longevity and experience on its side, St. Kitts and Nevis has found a good balance. While offering global investors a robust programme rooted in innovation and reliance, approved citizens can enjoy knowing that their investment is going towards sustainable development of their new country. And as the industry becomes more competitive, St. Kitts and Nevis demonstrates why it continues to remain a pacesetter.
Citizenship By Investment 47
Are you looking for the right place to invest? St. Kitts provides a healthy climate for business and investment. Situated in the Eastern Caribbean, this exotic tropical island provides an array of investment opportunities in seven priority sectors, namely: Tourism, Financial Services, Information Technology, Agriculture, Light Manufacturing, International Education and Renewable Energy. St. Kitts is rapidly developing with modern infrastructure; roads, international air and sea ports and advanced telecommunication services. Located just three hours by air from the east coast of the United States of America, St. Kitts is perfectly located for doing business. The Government offers investment incentives; including tax holidays for certain qualified investment projects and businesses. There is No Personal Income Tax in St. Kitts or any restrictions on the repatriation of profits and imported capital. The countryâ€™s Citizenship by Investment Programme is the oldest and most respected programme of its kind. Its passport provides instant visa-free access to over 150 countries. Citizenship by Investment is an ideal gateway to the world for individuals and families in search of secondary citizenship. 48 Citizenship By Investment
Priority Sectors Tourism Information Technology Agriculture Light Manufacturing Financial Services International Education Renewable Energy Tel: 869-465-1153 www.investstkitts.kn email@example.com
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME by the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency
t. Kitts & Nevis ranked first in the Caribbean region for its citizenship by investment (CBI) programme, in the 2018 Passport Index, released by leading international CBI firm, Henley & Partners. This is a significant accomplishment for St. Kitts & Nevis as the small island state recently signed a historic Visa Waiver Agreement with Russia. St. Kitts and Nevis was also the only Caribbean island recognised in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s travel list for 2018, positioning the country as a more attractive destination for CBI programmes. Currently, St. Kitts & Nevis residents enjoy visa free/entry permits to over 150 countries/territories including Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, while citizens also enjoy “short stay” visa waivers to France. This is extremely beneficial to St. Kitts & Nevis’s CBI programme, which continues to
maintain its high standards of conducting business, and St. Kitts and Nevis is working hard to ensure that its CBI programme remains a first-class brand. Investors in the programme are given the option to invest in real estate or make a contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). SUSTAINABLE GROWTH FUND (SGF) CONTRIBUTION Applicants may qualify for citizenship through a contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). • Single applicant: a non-refundable contribution of US$150,000 is required • Main applicant with up to three dependents (for example, a spouse and two children): a non-refundable contribution of US$195,000 is required
• Additional dependents, regardless of age: US$10,000 Upon submission of an application, nonrefundable due diligence and processing fees must be also paid. These fees amount to US$7,500 for the main applicant, and US$4,000 for each dependent of the main application who is over the age of 16 years. REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT Applicants may qualify for citizenship through an investment in a pre-approved real estate project, which may include hotel shares, villas, and condominium units. The minimum real estate investment required by law is US$200,000 (resalable after 7 years) or US$400,000 (resalable after 5 years) for each main applicant. Upon submission of an application, nonrefundable due diligence and processing Citizenship By Investment 49
fees must also be paid. These fees amount to US$7,500 for the main applicant, and US$4,000 for each dependent of the main applicant who is over the age of 16 years. On approval in principle of an application made through a real estate investment, a government fee applies, as follows: • Main applicant: US$35,047 • Spouse of the main applicant: US$20,047 • Any other qualified dependent of the main applicant regardless of age: US$10,047 In addition to these fees, real estate buyers should be aware of purchase costs (mainly compulsory insurance fund contributions and conveyance fees). The government has succeeded in creating an attractive investment climate through sound policies and careful planning. A new landscape of opportunities is now available to investors under defined, prioritised sectors. These include tourism, offshore financial services, information technology, agriculture, international education, renewable energy and manufacturing. The government offers tax incentives in the form of exemption from import duty and tax holidays of up to 15 years for qualified investments. The Hotel Aids Act allows for exemption from import duty on materials for the refurbishment or construction of a hotel and tax holidays of 10 years for hotels with 30 or more bedrooms and 5 years for hotels with 10 to 29 bedrooms. St. Kitts offers numerous opportunities for wealth preservation through an attractive tax regime for doing business. There are no personal income tax and no capital gains 50 Citizenship By Investment
or death tax. St. Kitts is attractive as an international financial centre because its services cater to small closely held companies with an easy application process and reasonable rates. In addition, the Financial Services sector is equipped with experience and knowledgeable staff and the jurisdiction boasts a regulatory body that meets international standards. Foundations, and Captive Insurance Companies, are identified as unique investment opportunities due to the nature and viability of the products. Companies registered in St. Kitts and Nevis can repatriate all capital, royalties, dividends and profits. There are no exchange controls in St. Kitts and Nevis and the invoicing of foreign trade transactions may be made in any currency.
St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency
2nd Floor KOI Building, #1 Airport Road Golden Rock St. Kitts
Tel. (869) 465-1153
Fax (869) 465-1154
Tel: 869-465-1153 www.investstkitts.kn firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICK FACTS Capital city: Castries Population: 178,844 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $1.71 billion (2017) GDP growth: 3.0% (2017) Area: 617 km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Neville Cenac Prime Minister: Allen Chastanet Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 90th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 93rd (2018/19) Time zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 758
aint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located between St. Vincent to the south and Martinique to the north, with Barbados approximately 174 kilometres to the southeast. The island measures just 43 kilometres long by approximately 22 kilometres wide and has a coastline of 158 kilometres. With its sandy palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear waters, beautiful bays and lush rainforests, it is a popular destination for tourists and cruise ships. The island is the only country in the world named after a historical woman, specifically Saint Lucy of Syracuse, who was executed in 304 and venerated as a saint in Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox churches. Legend has it that some French sailors were shipwrecked there on 13 December, which is the feast day of St. Lucy, and named the island in her honour. The French were the island’s first European settlers, signing a treaty with the Carib Indians in 1660. Over the next 150 years, the rule of the island switched at least 13 times between France and Britain – giving rise to the nickname ‘the Helen of the West Indies’ – before the British gained definitive control in 1814. After becoming one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967, Saint Lucia gained its independence from the UK on 22 February 1979 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. English is the official language of Saint Lucia, although Saint Lucian Creole French is also used.
52 Citizenship By Investment
Geography and climate St. Lucia is more mountainous than most Caribbean islands and even has a drive-in volcano. On the southwestern side of the island, two volcanic peaks rise up out of the clear blue waters. These peaks are the Pitons, the Gros Piton being 771 m high and Petit Piton 743 m high. This area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004 and is located near the town of Soufriere, which used to be the French capital of Saint Lucia. Many tourists visit Soufriere for the tranquillity of the Saint Lucia Botanical Gardens and the medicinal properties of the Sulphur Springs. The modern day capital is at Castries, a flourishing port city in the district of Castries, where nearly a third of the island’s population live. Castries took over as the capital city in 1967 and retained that honour when Saint Lucia gained its independence. The local climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds, with daytime
temperatures averaging around 30°C, falling only to around 24°C at night. As the island is located near to the equator, the temperature does not vary greatly throughout the year. Saint Lucia typically has two seasons during a year, a dry season from December until the end of May, and a wet season from June through November.
Politics Saint Lucia is a two party parliamentary democracy, and a Commonwealth nation. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State, and her presence is represented by a GovernorGeneral. The Prime Minister is usually the head of the party that commands a majority in the House of Assembly. There are 17 seats in the House of Assembly, and 11 seats in the second chamber of Parliament, the Senate. The seat of government is located in Castries, which also houses the head offices of many foreign and local businesses, a number of international embassies and consulates, and the secretariat of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. The city is located in Castries Quarter in the northwest of the island, one of eleven ‘quarters’ (administrative districts) that the country is divided into. The country is a mixed jurisdiction in that its legal system is based on both civil law and English common law.
As well as being a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations, which it became a member of in December 1979, Saint Lucia is a member of CARICOM (the Caribbean community) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. It maintains friendly relations with all of the active major powers in the Caribbean including the US, UK, France and Canada.
Economy and tourism Saint Lucia is categorised by the UN as a Small Island Developing State economy. Its GDP grew by 3% in real terms during 2017 and is expected to have grown by a similar amount in 2018. Its 2017 nominal GDP figure of $1.712 billion ranked 167th on the World Bank listings, but in terms of nominal GDP per capita rankings, Saint Lucia’s figure of $9,574 placed as high as 68th. The services sector accounted for 82.8% of GDP, followed by industry at 14.2% and agriculture 2.9%. The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, attracted by a well-developed legal and commercial infrastructure, an educated workforce, improved roads, an upgraded communications system, port facilities, and a business-friendly entrepreneurial climate. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area. Crops such as bananas, cocoa, coconuts, avocados and mangos are grown for export. Tourism is vital to Saint Lucia’s economy, accounting for 65% of GDP, and is the main source of jobs, income and foreign exchange earnings. The popular tourist season tends to be January to April during the dry season. The island was attracting over 900,000 visitors annually, most of which were stopping off as part of a cruise. However, statistics released by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) showed that Saint Lucia recorded an all-time record with 1,105,541 inbound tourist arrivals in 2017. This represented an impressive 11% increase over the previous year and was the highest percentage growth amongst all CTO members. A different kind of tourist attraction is the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. First held in 1992, this annual event has grown in stature and encompasses live music performances, street parties, educational activities and fashion shows at various venues across the island. This year’s festival celebrating local, Caribbean and international jazz music commences on Monday 6th May and finishes in a major concert on Monday 13th May at the Pigeon Island National Landmark.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme was founded in 2015 and came into force from 1 January 2016, making it the newest of the Caribbean citizenship programmes.
Benefits Saint Lucia is a stable nation and has a quality of life that very few places in the world can rival. Having a Saint Lucian passport allows for visa-free travel to more than 120 countries, including most of Europe, the UK, and Hong Kong. Saint Lucia recognises dual citizenship, which can provide advantages for business expansion and tax belief. There is no tax on wealth, gifts, foreign income or capital gains. There is no requirement to visit Saint Lucia during the application process, no interview requirement and there are no residency requirements. Applications for citizenship by investment must be submitted in English by an authorised agent on behalf of the applicant. Applications, including those with dependents, are processed within 3 months. In order to qualify for citizenship, applicants must choose one of the following four options: • National Economic Fund • Real Estate Projects • Enterprise Projects • Government Bonds
1) National Economic Fund This is a fund established to receive investments of cash from the citizenship program that will be used in the funding of government sponsored projects. The Finance Minister must seek approval from Parliament for the allocation of funds for his chosen purposes. Once an application for citizenship through investment in the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund has been approved, an investment is required as follows:
• Applicant applying with spouse and up to two other qualifying dependants: US$190,000 • Each extra qualifying dependant, of any age: US$25,000
2) Real Estate Projects The Cabinet of Ministers evaluates proposed real estate projects for the possibility of citizenship. Approved real estate projects may be luxury branded hotels and resorts or high-end boutique properties. The minimum investment is US$300,000 per application plus additional government fees of US$50,000 for the main applicant and US$35,000 for spouse, plus additional fees for dependants. The real estate must be held for at least five years following the grant of citizenship.
3) Enterprise Projects Applicants may choose to make investments in pre-approved enterprise projects such as marinas, research institutions or infrastructure projects (e.g. ports, bridges, roads and highways). Joint investments are allowed, with each applicant investing at least US$1 million and the entire project must be valued at no less than US$6 million and create at least six permanent jobs. A sole applicant must make a minimum investment of US$3.5 million and create at least three jobs.
4) Government bonds The fourth option is through the purchase of non-interest-bearing Government bonds. These bonds must be registered and remain in the name of the applicant for a minimum of five years from the date of first issue and not attract a rate of interest. Once approved, the following minimum investment is required: • Sole applicant: US$500,000 • Couple (applicant and spouse): US$535,000
• Single applicant: US$100,000
• Applicant applying with spouse and up to two dependants: US$550,000
• Main applicant plus Spouse: US$165,000
• Each extra dependant: US$25,000.
Citizenship By Investment 53
SAINT LUCIA - SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!!
hether you are looking for dual citizenship for investment opportunities, a second or additional passport, a change of climate, peace of mind, a place to retire, visa free access to numerous countries, better tax planning, or an alternative place to call home, Saint Lucia – arguably the most beautiful country in the world – should be your number one option.
A picturesque heaven for all, it offers infinite opportunities for potential investors. Saint Lucia is a sovereign state and part of CARICOM, OECS, Commonwealth of Nations and the International Organization of Le Frankaphonie. Saint Lucia remains one of the most appealing jurisdictions in the region for business. Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program was launched in Monaco on 7th October 2015. Although Saint Lucia is the latest country to have joined the CBI Programs in the Caribbean Region, being the newcomer has its advantages. Saint Lucia has since tailored its program and adopted a structure and legislative framework based of some of the most successful programs in the region and undoubtedly produced one of the best Citizenship by Investment programs in the region. 54 Citizenship By Investment
ADVANTAGES There are several reasons why you should invest in Saint Lucia.
Fast Tracking? Is it possible to expedite your application? Yes! Saint Lucia is the only island which offers this option, at no additional cost. Preprocessing, this allows due diligence checks to be performed, whilst you are compiling your application.
More Options? How many you ask? Saint Lucia offers investors the most options in the region for investing. Investors can donate to the national economic fund, invest in an approved real estate development, invest in an approved enterprise project or purchase
non-interest-bearing government bonds. This unique offer to purchase government bonds can act as a store of value to applicants from jurisdictions with high inflation rates and can also be used as collateral or a security instrument for other financial investments.
Second Chances? Saint Lucia is one of the few if not the only island which allows applicants the right to request a review if they are not satisfied with the final decision. Applicants are given a time frame of 60 days from the date the decision was taken, to apply in writing to the Minister responsible. We believe in second chances.
Economical? With some of the most economical rates, it is no wonder that we have become irresistible to many investors. With Investment opportunities to donate to the National Economic fund, starting as low as US$100,000 for a single applicant and US$190,000 for a family of four, it is near impossible to find a better value for the price.
Due Diligence? Saint Lucia’s program has made its mark by setting a high standard for its due
Applicants can apply for their immediate family. This includes spouses of the opposite sex, parents over 65 and children under 26 who are dependent on the main applicant.
The application process is fairly simple and processing time is approximately 2 to 3 months. The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age, in good health, have a clean criminal record and proof of the qualifying investment.
FEES All investment options are subject to nonrefundable application fees and agents’ fees. Non-refundable Processing Fee USD
Non-refundable Due Diligence Fee USD
Non-refundable Administration Fees USD (applicable for real estate or enterprise project investments)
Qualifying Dependent (16 and over)
$35,000 (18 and over)
Qualifying Dependent (Under 16)
$25,000 (Under 18)
Enterprise Projects Investors
Investment Amount USD
More than one applicant (Joint Venture)
diligence process. No stone is left unturned as this vital step is carried out thoroughly to safeguard and preserve the integrity of the country, its citizens and member states. When you become a citizen of Saint Lucia, you are in the enviable position of having passed one of the most stringent due diligence processes ever.
Restrictions? Saint Lucia has the least restrictions in the region. With the exception of Iranian nationals, we afford the opportunity for a second citizenship to all other nationalities around the globe.
Easier travel? If you hate the hassle of applying for visa’s before you travel, having a Saint Lucia passport can help make travelling easier. With visa-free or visa on arrival access to over 145 countries, travelling will never be the same.
Investment Amount USD
Applicant with Spouse
Applicant, Spouse and up to 2 other qualifying dependents
Each additional qualifying dependents of any age
National Economic Fund Investors
Investment Amount USD
Applicant with Spouse
Applicant, Spouse and up to 2 other qualifying dependents
Each additional qualifying dependents of any age
Real Estate Projects Investors
Investment Amount USD
ABOUT US Our Team at Foster Citizenship Corporation has a wealth of experience in the Citizenship by Investment Program, having handled a significant number of applications. We are poised to provide you with quality service to make your application process seamless and hassle free. As an affiliate of FOSTERS one of the leading law firms in the region, we have access to some of the best and most knowledgeable attorneys in the field to represent you. Confidentiality, professionalism and efficiency are our guiding mantra as we strive for excellence. For superb customer service and exceptional representation Foster Citizenship Corporation is all you need!
CONTACT US FOR A FREE QUOTE Peter I. Foster Q.C. – Executive Director T. 758 453 1100 | F. 758452 4940 C. 758 285 8558 E. email@example.com Claire Greene-Malaykhan - Director T. 758 453 1100 | F. 758452 4940 C. 758 484 1068 E. firstname.lastname@example.org Isa Alexander – Business Development Officer St. Lucia T. 758 452 3145 | F. 758452 4940 C. 758 729 1561 E. email@example.com Renee St. Rose – Attorney T. 758 453 1100 | F. 758452 4940 C. 758 721 7757 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Requirements? • No residency requirements • No need to visit the country • No interview or language requirement • No minimum net worth.
www.fostercitizenship.com Citizenship By Investment 55
QUICK FACTS Full name: Republic of Cyprus Capital city: Nicosia Population: 1,179,551 (1 January 2018) GDP in current prices: USD $23.96 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 4.0% (2018) Area: 9,253 km2 Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic President: Nicos Anastasiades President of Parliament: Demetris Syllouris Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 32nd (2018) – “very high” Ease of doing business index: 57th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT + 2 Dialling code: 357
yprus is an island country situated in the far eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Geographically, it is closer to Asia than it is to Europe, lying just 70 kilometres south of Turkey, 105 km west of Syria, 207 km northwest of Lebanon and 390 km north of Egypt. Although the Greek island of Crete lies 785 km west of Cyprus, historically and culturally Cyprus is definitely in Europe.
The island is 225km long at its largest point and 97 km at its widest, with a coastline that measures 648 km, making it the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Its climate is subtropical and is one of the warmest countries in Europe with an average annual temperature of 24° along its coast and over 340 days of sunshine a year. Not unsurprisingly, the island is a major tourist destination, not just for its fabulous beaches with shallow turquoise waters, but also for its many historic churches and archaeological sites dating back to the Greek and Roman empires. Cyprus has long been revered as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite who, in Greek mythology, was born in the sea and came to the shore 25km east of Paphos on the coast road to Limassol.
History Its strategic location has meant that Cyprus has seen a lot of history and been a major trade hub between Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East. The earliest known settlers date back to around 10,000 BC, with some archaeological discoveries pre-dating ancient Egyptian civilisation. One of the most important finds is that of a remarkably 56 Citizenship By Investment
well-preserved Neolithic settlement dating back to 6,800 BC. Khirokitia was discovered in 1934 and, after further excavations from 1977, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Cyprus was colonised by Mycenaean Greeks during the 2nd millennium BC and was later occupied at different times by Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians before Alexander the Great seized the island in 333 BC, after which the island became fully immersed in Greek culture and language. Cyprus became a Roman province in 58 BC and subsequently part of the Byzantine Empire after the division of the Roman Empire in AD 395 between west and east. Shortly after King Richard I of England captured the island on his way to the Third Crusade, the Kingdom of Cyprus prevailed from 1192 until 1489 when it was annexed by the Republic of Venice. However, the island endured frequent attacks from the Ottoman Empire and fell under Ottoman rule from 1570. In July 1878, British occupation began by mutual agreement as the Ottomans sought protection from Russian aggression, whilst the British were keen to protect their vital sea
route to India via the recently opened Suez Canal. Cyprus became a strategic naval outpost and to this day, Britain still has two sovereign military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The British Empire formally annexed Cyprus in November 1914 following the outbreak of World War I, and held the island as a crown colony until independence was secured on 16 August 1960 in an agreement between the UK, Greece and Turkey. Archbishop Makarios III had been elected president in December 1959 and, having accepted that full union with Greece was politically unworkable, he moved more towards non-alignment and cultivated good relations with Turkey as well as with Greece after taking office as the 1st President of Cyprus. At the time, the population of Cyprus was 573,566 of whom 77.1% were Greeks and 18.2% were Turks. However, simmering discontent over the constitutional allocation of rights between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots led to intercommunal attacks, threats of invasion and an attempted Greek-led military coup to oust Makarios III, prompting a full-scale Turkish invasion during July and August 1974. This led to the UN-organised partition of the island and the creation of a buffer zone, commonly referred to as the Green Line, which went through the capital city of Nicosia. Around 150,000 Greek Cypriots were expelled from the occupied northern territory and between 40,000 to 65,000 Turkish Cypriots were later displaced from the south to the north. In 1983, the Turkish part of the island – some
3,355 km² amounting to 36.25% of the total island’s area – declared its independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but Turkey is the only country to recognise it. The rest of the international community regard the Turkish Army based there as an illegal occupation force. Cyprus has been a member of the UN since 20 September 1960 and of the Commonwealth of Nations since 1961. On 1 May 2004, Cyprus joined the European Union despite unsuccessful attempts by the UN Security Council to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing partition. Several rounds of talks were held throughout 2000-2002 ahead of an EU Summit in Copenhagen in December 2002 and in April 2003 the Turkish side unilaterally opened the border in Nicosia. However, the Annan Plan of 2004, drafted by the then UN Secretary Kofi Annan, was rejected in a referendum. The net result is that the Republic of Cyprus was accepted as a full member, but the rights of membership are still suspended for Northern Cyprus. Cyprus adopted the euro as its national currency on 1 January 2008 and is expected to be able to join the Schengen Area in the near future.
Politics Cyprus is a unitary republic with a presidential system of government. The President of Cyprus is both head of state and head of government and he or she (although there has yet to be a female incumbent) is elected every five years during the middle
of the parliamentary term. The current president Nicos Anastasiades was re-elected for a second consecutive term of office on 4 February 2018. The House of Representatives is the parliament of the Cypriot Republic based in the capital Nicosia and was originally intended to have 50 representatives, with 35 seats (70%) allocated to the Greek Cypriot community and 15 seats to the Turkish Cypriot community. However, the Turkish Cypriots have not attended since 1964 and a decision was made in 1985 to increase the number of seats to 80, but keeping the same constitutional share so that the Greek allocation of 56 seats would be numerically sufficient to maintain the smooth running of the parliamentary committees and the legislative body. The members are elected every five years by a proportional representation system and voting is mandatory. The last election was held on 22 May 2016 and the 24 seats allocated for the Turkish Cypriots remain vacant.
Economy Cyprus has evolved from a small exporter of agricultural products and minerals into an advanced high-income economy based on services and some light manufacturing. Despite the damage done to the island’s infrastructure and tourist industry in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion, its GDP grew steadily during the 1980s with an average annual real GDP growth of 6.1%. The 1990s saw more fluctuating swings but
still maintained continuous positive growth averaging 4.9%. But 2009 saw Cyprus suffer more than most during the global economic depression, having only just joined the euro zone, and the economy contracted by 2.0%. Worse was to follow during the 2012/13 Cypriot financial crisis, which was largely caused by a series of what turned out to be bad loans made to Greek companies, during Greece’s own financial crisis as part of the wider Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. In June 2012, the Cypriot government requested help from the EU as its economy contracted by 2.9% and its international credit rating was reduced to ‘junk status’. In March 2013, the government received a €10 billion bailout from the European Commission, the European Central bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with several unpopular austerity strings attached. These included the dismantling of the Cyprus Popular bank in March 2013, with its ‘good’ assets being taken over by the Bank of Cyprus. The economy declined a further 5.8% in 2013, but by Q1 2015 the economy had started to grow again after three and a half years of recession. The Cypriot government was praised by the EU for its financial reforms and the country was able to exit the programme in March 2016, having only drawn €7.3 billion of the available funds. Since then, the economy has been growing again at a real annual growth rate of 4% and, in 2018, the major international credit ratings agencies upgraded Cyprus’ economic outlook to ‘stable’.
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The economic recovery was helped by a resurgent tourist trade and real estate market after the government re-launched its economic citizenship programme in 2014. This contributed to a huge surge in demand for luxury apartments and homes in coastal areas and town centres. Property sales rose by a reported 24% between 2016 and 2017, with over a quarter of new purchases being made by non-Cypriots, which has also had the effect of pushing prices up whilst boosting the construction sector.
Trade and tourism Agriculture has remained a strong sector for Cyprus, with citrus, potatoes and cheese amongst its main exports. In 2017, agriculture contributed 2.3% to GDP, while industry contributed 11% and services 86.7%. The main export markets for Cyprus in 2017 were Greece (12% by value), Israel (9%), Libya (8%), UK (7%) and Germany (4%). Cyprus imports more products than it exports, with refined petroleum, passenger and cargo ships and cars being the main imported goods recently. The island’s geographical location and its proximity to the Suez Canal has greatly benefitted its economy as many ship management companies have established offices in Limassol. Cyprus has one of the world’s top ten merchant fleets with more than 1,600 ships sailing under the Cypriot flag. Each of the past five years has seen an increase in the number of international tourists heading for Cyprus. 2018 saw a
record breaking 3,938,625 tourist arrivals according to Cystat, an increase of 7.8% over 2017’s total of 3,652,073 and over 63.7% higher than 2013. The highest number of inbound tourists comes from the UK (36% in 2018), followed by Russia (22%). The total contribution of travel and tourism to Cyprus’ GDP last year was 21.9% and generated around 22% of employment. Cyprus has two international airports at Larnaca and Paphos – not counting the Turkish Cypriot Ercan International Airport which only flies to Turkey – and the port of Limassol, which services cargo, passenger and cruise ships, is one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean.
Fuel for growth Looking to the future, large gas fields were discovered off the Cypriot coast in 2011 in Aphrodite Field and industrial gas production is expected to begin in 2022. Egypt also discovered a large gas field in 2015 adjacent to the Aphrodite field and has been in discussions with Cyprus about a shared undersea pipeline. In February 2019, US energy giant ExxonMobil confirmed it has discovered a huge natural gas reserve off the south coast of Cyprus within the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and there is speculation that the find could prove to be a game-changer in the region’s energy resources, even potentially helping to resolve the ongoing dispute with Turkey over the island’s partition.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Cyprus first introduced its Citizenship by Investment programme in 2002 but with a highly prohibitive minimum entry figure of €15 million. In the wake of the 2012/13 financial crisis, the government effectively re-launched the programme in May 2013 and every year since has seen an increase in the number of applications, coming mainly from Asia, the Middle East and Eastern European countries. The minimum investment was reduced to €2,000,000 in 2016, and a further review in May 2018 put a cap of 700 approved new applicants a year under the Cypriot Investment Programme (CIP) and tightened up on due diligence. With the number of yearly applicants soon reaching the self-imposed cap for approvals in 2018, the Council of Ministers approved further amendments to the CIP effective from 15 May 2019. To qualify for the scheme, applicants must meet the following requirements: • Own or purchase a permanent private residence in the Republic of Cyprus valued at €300,000+ VAT or more. • Possess a valid passport and have a valid Schengen Visa. • Not have been refused for citizenship by another EU member state. • Invest €2,000,000 in real estate property development, infrastructure projects or in businesses recognized under the Registered Alternative Investments Organisations (UCITS), including investment made within the Cyprus shipping industry. (The option to invest in government bonds has now been abolished). •F urthermore, the investment is required to be maintained for a period of at least five years from the date of naturalization, whereas previously the period was three years. • In cases where residential property is acquired and had already been used for the purposes of the CIP, the required investment amount increases from €2 million to €2.5m. • A donation of €75,000 must be made to the ‘Research Promotion Foundation’. •A donation of €75,000 must also be made to the ‘Cyprus Land Development Corporation’.
Benefits of Cyprus permanent residency • Visa-free entry to 173 countries including freedom of movement throughout the European Union. • There are no language requirements and no requirement to live in Cyprus. • Cyprus allows dual nationality. • Citizenship is also passed on to all future generations subject to basic documentation. • Advantageous tax system for businesses; corporate tax rate in Cyprus is 12.5%. 58 Citizenship By Investment
CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP PROGRAMME RAISES MINIMUM INVESTMENT, REPORTS €6.6 BILLION REVENUE SINCE 2013 by CHRISTIAN NESHEIM editor, Investment Migration Insider
aving lowered the minimum investment requirement for its citizenship by investment programme in 2016 from €3.0 million to €2.0 million, Cypriot authorities have decided to add on a requirement for mandatory contributions amounting to €150,000. The Ministry of Finance reports that total revenues from the program since inception amount to €6.6 billion. Mandatory donations Applicants must make a donation of €75,000 to the Research and Innovation Foundation and a second €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Agency. “With the mandatory contribution to the research and innovation institute and [the Land Development Agency], resources are secured for each naturalization of a foreign investor to correspond to the resources for an affordable home for our fellow citizens in need,” said Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, according to StockWatch Cyprus. The requirement for a contribution to the Research and Innovation Fund can be waived if the applicant invests at least €75,000 in a certified innovative business or a certified social business.
Number of approved citizenship by investment for main applicants and their family members
Government Bonds 9%
Source: Cyprus Ministry of Finance
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment: Total Revenue Since 2013 (€ millions)
Number of Cyprus CIP Passports Issued by Year:
“With the mandatory contribution to the research and innovation institute and [the Land Development Agency], resources are secured for each naturalization of a foreign investor to correspond to the resources for an affordable home for our fellow citizens in need.”
• real estate investment constituted €3.6 billion
214 2014 Main applicant
The Finance Ministry reported it had conducted a study into the program’s economic impact since opening in 2013 and found that it had contributed some €6.6 billion so far, of which: • business investment constituted some €1 billion
Source: Cyprus Ministry of Finance
Major economic impact Investors will still need to maintain a permanent residence valued at €500,000 in Cyprus, and must now hold the remaining €2 million qualifying investment for five years, rather than the previous three. Mr. Georgiades also emphasized that the new rules included provisions for improved due diligence, regulations that would “make control more stringent and more effective, such as the measure of thorough scrutiny of each applicant separately from an independent international house, and the obligation to maintain a Schengen Visa, as well as the exclusion of applicants who have been refused by other Member States.”
• bank deposits accounted for €723 million • government bond acquisitions amounted to €580 million • mixed investments of €134 million and • deposit “haircuts” (under a special policy from 2013, some of those foreigners whose deposits suffered government expropriation were allowed to let that count as a qualifying investment for the CIP) The study found that some 9.2% of GDP growth during the last three years were directly attributable to the CIP.
Citizenship By Investment 59
QUICK FACTS Full name: Republic of Latvia Capital city: Riga Population: 1,934,379 (2018) GDP in current prices: USD $30.3 billion (2017) GDP growth: 4.5% (2017) Area: 64,573 km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic President: Raimonds Vejonis Prime Minister: Krisjanis Karins Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 41st (2018) Ease of doing business index: 19th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT +2 Dialling code: 371
atvia is one of the Baltic states situated in Northern Europe and a former member of the Soviet Union. It is bordered to the north by Estonia, by Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast and Lithuania to the south. It also shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. The total area of Latvia is 64,573 km2, which makes it the 122nd largest country in the world and roughly equivalent to the size of West Virginia, the 41st largest state in the US. Much of Latvia’s territory lies less than 100 metres above sea level. Approximately 54% of Latvia’s area is forest land, 28% is agricultural land and 4% inland water. The country has four national parks and over 700 state-protected nature reserves, making Latvia one of the world’s greenest and most environmentally-friendly countries. Latvia has over 12,000 rivers and more than 3,000 lakes, the largest of which is Lake Lubans with an area of 80.7 km2. The coastline runs for 494 kilometres along the Baltic Sea and is largely undeveloped, with white sandy beaches, dunes and lined by pine forests.
A brief history Latvia first declared independence as a separate country on 18 November 1918, one week after the armistice that brought World War I to an end. Previously, much of what is now Latvia and Estonia had been Swedish Livonia (1629-1721), with Riga its capital city. However, the territory was conquered by the Russian Empire during the Great Northern War and was ceded to Russia in 1721. 60 Citizenship By Investment
During World War II, Latvia came back under Soviet military control in August 1940 and was renamed the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. The following summer, it was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany for three brutal years until Soviet troops eventually recaptured Riga in October 1944. The post-war years saw a lot of changes to the demographic profile as the Soviets started imposing their communist methods. Many Latvian nationalists were deported and a steady influx of Russian labourers, administrators and military personnel was brought in to help man the new factories and processing plants that Moscow established in Riga and other cities across Latvia. Between 1935 and 1959, the share of ethnic Latvians had decreased from 77% of 1.906 million population to 62% of 2.093m, while the share of ethnic Russians increased from 9% to 27%. During the late 1980s, while the Soviet Union’s economy was stagnating and undergoing social reforms, the movement
towards Latvian independence was gaining momentum and reached a peak in the summer of 1988. On 4 May 1990, a declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia was adopted. Attempts by Soviet political and military forces to overthrow the Latvian authorities failed and full independence was declared on 21 August 1991. Latvia’s independence was formally recognised by the Soviet Union on 6 September and the country was admitted to the United Nations on 17 September 1991.
Politics and administration Modern-day Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and is recognised as a high income country and a very highly developed country, ranking 41st on the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Its 100-seat parliament is elected by popular vote every four years, the last election having been in October 2018, and the seats allocated by proportional representation. The president is elected by the parliament’s members in a separate election and he or she appoints a prime minister who, together with his council of ministers, forms the executive branch of government, subject to the approval of the majority of the parliament’s members. On 11 June 2013, the government launched live online broadcasts of cabinet meetings to strengthen transparency and public confidence in government decision-making.
Latvia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1999 and was admitted to the European Union on 1 May 2004, along with Estonia and Lithuania and seven other countries. Latvia also joined NATO in 2004, hosting the 2006 NATO Summit, and has played a full role in international peacekeeping and military security operations. In December 2007, Latvia joined the Schengen area and on 1 January 2014 became a full member of the Eurozone and switched to the euro as its currency. Administratively, the country is now (since July 2009) divided into 9 metropolitan areas (called republican cities) and 110 one-level municipalities. Although Latvians have a strong rural heritage, a combination of migration and a low birth rate has seen Latvia’s total population decline over the past three decades to the point where now nearly 70% of the population are classified as urban, with the capital city of Riga now housing a third of Latvia’s total population. With a population of 637,827 in 2018, Riga is the largest city in all three Baltic states and is home to all the biggest companies in Latvia. Founded in 1201, the city has a rich architectural heritage from medieval to Art Nouveau and Its historical centre was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Latvia has a strong folk music culture and Riga is home to many open-air cafes, concert venues and theatres including the Latvian National Opera, founded in 1918. In 2014, Riga was the European Capital of Culture
and the city attracted almost 1.5 million foreign visitors last year, contributing significantly to Latvia’s GDP.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Economy and trade Since achieving independence, Latvia has implemented a lot of market-oriented reforms. The economy took a while to stabilise, but from 1996 through to 2007 it grew by an annual average of 7.4% real GDP growth. With highly developed transit services, manufacturing and timber and wood-processing industries, Latvia was among the fastest growing economies within the enlarged EU, having privatised most of the previously state-owned companies and banks. Today, privatisation in Latvia is almost complete, although the country’s main energy utility supplier, Latvenergo, which generates about 70% of Latvia’s electricity mostly through hydroelectricity, remains state-owned. Latvia suffered a severe recession in 2008/09 which saw the collapse of its second largest bank, an 18% contraction in the economy and led to unemployment reaching an EU high of 23%. However, a strengthening regional economy and steady growth in domestic demand and exports has helped the economy recover since 2011. 2017 achieved real GDP growth of 4.5%, with services accounting for 73.7% share of GDP, industry 22.4% and agriculture just 3.9%. Initial figures for 2018 put Latvia’s GDP at $34.3 billion giving a real GDP growth rate of 3.7%.
Latvia introduced its investors’ residence scheme in 2010 (the first European country to do so) as a means to attract foreign direct investment and stimulate the real estate market after the financial crisis of 2008. The plan worked in as much as the number of ‘Golden Visa’ applications – particularly from Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet Union countries – rose exponentially to the point that, by the end of 2014, over €1 billion euros had been invested in real estate under the scheme and was driving up housing prices. The residency permit rules for foreign (non-EU) investors were subsequently tightened and the minimum requirement for real estate investment was increased from €70,000 to €250,000 from September 2014, with the result that the number of new applications fell sharply from 2015. Nevertheless, it is still one of the cheapest residency programmes in Europe and has much to offer anyone from non-EU countries with restricted visa-free access. By 30th June 2018, a total of 7,545 golden visa applications had been received, resulting in 17,878 temporary residence permits being issued to investors and family members. Of these, 69.5% were from Russia, 8.2% from China, 7.9% from Ukraine, 4.2% from Uzbekistan, 3.8% from Kazakhstan, 2.1% from Belarus, 1.6% from Azerbaijan and 0.6% from Vietnam.
Benefits of a Latvian residency permit • Latvia is situated within the heart of the EU Schengen area within easy reach of most of Europe’s capitals by air from Riga • Having residence in Latvia allows visafree access to 25 other countries within the Schengen area, including Switzerland, without border controls • A residency permit also extends to spouses and children under 18 • No minimum requirement to reside • Fast track – Latvia has one of the quickest procedures for obtaining a residence permit in Europe, taking less than three months • The residency permit is renewable after five years • The investor can apply for permanent residency permit after five years, provided they have resided in Latvia for at least four of those years • After ten years, the applicant can apply for citizenship, with all the benefits, education and healthcare facilities that an EU passport brings; however, there are strict requirements on integration into Latvian culture, including being able to speak some Latvian. Citizenship By Investment 61
has now picked up again with several new apartment building projects underway. There is a high demand for apartments in Riga and the resort towns of Jurmala and Kaugri on the Gulf of Riga.
There are currently four main investment options for applying for a residency permit: 1. Real estate 2. Business investment 3. Bank deposit investments
By 30th June 2018, of the €1.474 billion euros raised since July 2010, 82.8% had been invested in real estate from 6,160 applications out of a total of 7,545 applications.
4. Government bonds
1) Real Estate Projects This is the most popular option and requires a minimum investment of €250,000 euros plus a government fee of 5%. The property must be retained for as long as you want a residence permit and for a minimum of five years if you wish to proceed to permanent residency. There are no requirements to reside in the property and renting the property out can be arranged through a reputable residency citizenship agent.
2) Business Capital Investment This requires a minimum investment of €100,000 either to increasing the equity capital of an existing company or founding a new capital company, plus a fee of €10,000 paid into the state budget. Qualified business investors get five years’ residency and biometric ID cards valid for one year which are renewable each year.
Buying a property in Latvia can be a very profitable investment. The property market saw prices rise on the back of thousands of ‘Golden Visa’ applications, mainly from Russians seeking EU residence. Initially this led to a shortage of new-builds, putting upward pressure on housing prices before dropping back in 2015 as the demand from Russian investors fell away. But the market
Business rates in Latvia are some of the lowest in Europe, with a Corporate Tax Rate of 15% from 2002 until 2017, although this was raised to 20% from 1 January 2018, payable only upon the distribution of profits through dividends. For individual shareholders who are Latvian tax residents, the new tax is better in that they no longer
This investment option requires a €280,000 deposit in a bank or other financial institution for a term of not less than five years, whilst requesting a temporary residence permit for five years. The state fee is €25,000. By 30th June 2018, €158 million euros had been invested by 492 applications.
4) Government bonds This option was introduced from January 2015 and is the safest investment option, although only 43 applications had opted for this route as at 30th June 2018. A deposit of €250,000 is made to a government securities account at the State Treasury which is guaranteed by the Latvian government to be repaid to you without interest after five years. You should only buy the bonds after your residence permit has been granted, which may take less than two months to receive. The permit is valid for five years and you do not need to necessarily travel to Latvia each year to renew. In addition, there is a state fee of €38,000 fee after the permit has been issued.
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Data 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2018
3) Bank deposits
Chart 2. LATVIA’S RESIDENCY PERMITS BY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Chart 1. GOLDEN VISA INVESTMENT IN LATVIA BY YEAR 400
have to pay what was previously 10% tax on their dividends.
Source: Latvia OCMA
Kazakhstan (677) Belarus (382)
Others (206) Source: Latvia OCMA
QUICK FACTS Full name: Republic of Malta Capital city: Valletta Population: 475,701 (31 December 2017) GDP in current prices: USD $14.27 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 6.4% (2018) Area: 316 km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic President: Marie Louise Coleiro Preca Prime Minister: Joseph Muscat Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 29th (2018) – “very high” Ease of doing business index: 84th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT + 1 Dialling code: 356
he Republic of Malta is a small South European island country that lies approximately 80 miles south of Italy and 207 miles north of Libya. Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, but only the three largest islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino are inhabited. The landscape of the islands is characterised by terraced fields, dry vegetation, rock and limestone. This is due to the long hours of strong sunshine that they receive throughout the summers, which are usually dry and hot. The average annual temperature is around 23°C. Malta is the 10th smallest country by land area and one of the most densely populated nations in the world. Its capital Valletta is the smallest national capital in the European Union. Maltese and English are the official languages, although Italian is also widely spoken.
and the Middle East. A succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, French, and British have ruled the islands, each adding to the distinctive cultural mix.
Malta is particularly known for its connection with the Order of the Knights of St. John, who were given the island by the Spanish king Charles V in 1530. They introduced the Italian language to the island, built the city of Valletta, and developed the cultural and economic links through the region. The official state religion of Malta is Catholicism, with the island having a long Christian legacy dating back to around AD 60 when St. Paul was shipwrecked in Malta whilst traveling from Jerusalem to Rome and stayed there for three months.
Malta is a popular tourist destination due to its warm climate and its architectural and historical heritage. The islands have been inhabited since around 5900 BC and some of the Megalithic Temples of Malta are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Ggantija temple complex on the island of Gozo pre-dates even the pyramids of Egypt and are reckoned to be the world’s second oldest manmade religious structures, around 5,500 years old. Malta’s location in the middle of the Mediterranean has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base and a crossroads between Europe, North Africa
After briefly falling under Napoleon’s rule in 1798, the Maltese managed to oust the French rulers with British help and they voluntarily
became a British protectorate in 1800 and a Crown colony of the British Empire in 1813. The importance of their location greatly increased after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. During the early years of the Second World War, Malta came under concentrated bombing and naval siege by the Axis powers – so much so that in 1942 King George VI awarded the whole Maltese population the George Cross in recognition of their bravery. A depiction of the medal is incorporated onto Malta’s national flag. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom on the 21 September 1964, whereupon it joined the Commonwealth and the United Nations. On 13 December 1974 Malta became a republic with the President as head of state and adopted a policy of neutrality in 1980. It joined the European Union in 2004 and on 1 January 2008 it became part of the Eurozone.
Politics The parliamentary system is closely modelled on the Westminster system. The parliament is made up of the president, a prime minister and the multi-party House of Representatives. The country is divided into five regions – including Gozo and Comino which are classified as one region – with each having its own Regional Committee which serves at an intermediary level between local government and national government. Citizenship By Investment 63
The House of Representatives consists of 65 members, with five members being elected from each of the thirteen electoral districts. The role of the President of Malta is largely ceremonial, and he or she is appointed by the House of Representatives for a fiveyear term. The President appoints a Prime Minister, selecting a member of the House of Representatives who is judged to be best able to command the support of the majority of its members. The current President, MarieLouise Coleiro Preca, is the youngest person to have held the office of President, aged 55 when she was sworn in in April 2014, and is the second woman to have held the post. The current Prime Minister is Joseph Muscat, leader of the Labour Party, with the main opposition leader being Adrian Delia, leader of the Nationalist Party.
Economy Malta is a highly industrialised, high-income, advance service-based economy and is listed within the top 30 countries by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Malta’s real GDP growth in 2017 of 6.6% was one of the highest growth rates in the EU and was forecast to rise by 5.4% in 2018 by the European Commission, although initial figures released by the NSO for the first three quarters of 2018 suggest a higher figure is likely to be achieved. Malta’s main advantage has always been its central location for trade, and the economy reflects that. Being a small island nation, it has limited natural resources and can only produce around 20% of the food requirements for its relatively large population. The economy therefore is dependent on human resources and foreign trade. Malta’s economy is driven by financial services, tourism, real estate, and manufacturing, particularly of electronics. Other significant sectors are pharmaceuticals, information technology and call centres. There is a strong manufacturing sector for products like electronics and pharmaceuticals, and the manufacturing sector has more than 250 foreign-owned, export-oriented enterprises. Film production is another significant industry. The Maltese government introduced financial incentives for filmmakers
64 Citizenship By Investment
in 2005, and currently foreign productions can get up to 27% back on spending incurred.
participates in the SSM Supervisory Board decision making.
Ahead of its entry to the EU, the Maltese Government pursued a policy of gradual economic liberalisation and privatisation, taking steps to shift the emphasis from reliance on direct government intervention and control to policy regimes that allow a greater role for markets. In 2007 the government sold off its 40% stake in ‘MaltaPost’, and by 2010, Malta had managed to privatise its telecommunications, postal services, shipyards and shipbuilding.
Other key bodies are The Central Bank of Malta, which has responsibility for monetary policy and the promotion of a sound and efficient financial system, and FinanceMalta, which is the quasi-governmental organisation tasked with promoting Malta as a jurisdiction for finance, banking and insurance. Malta regularly ranks within the top 30 financial systems on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and placed 36th overall in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Index.
Malta produces almost all its electricity from oil, and energy costs, which are some of the highest in Europe, have become an issue. The government is looking into the potential of solar and wind power and Malta and Tunisia are currently discussing the commercial exploitation of petrochemicals on their shared continental shelf. Malta has managed to maintain a relatively low unemployment rate of less than 4%, mainly because of constant economic growth and by policies encouraging continuous training for the labour force. Malta ranks high on global inward foreign direct investment comparisons and is among the top twenty countries most likely to sustain economic growth. Malta didn’t suffer in the same way as other jurisdictions during the Eurozone crisis, because of low debt and sound banking. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), is the single regulator for financial services in Malta. It was established in 2002, taking over supervisory functions previously carried out by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre. The Authority is an autonomous public institution and reports to parliament on an annual basis. It aims to attract businesses, especially aircraft and ship registration, banking licences and also fund administrators. A core part of the growth strategy of the island includes aiding service providers to these industries, including fiduciary and trustee business and encouraging EU compliance. The MFSA forms part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) within the European Central Bank and
Another major factor in Malta’s economic growth has been its property market, helped by the fact that Malta does not have a property tax. Because of pressure from population growth and foreign direct investors, the property market has been in constant boom, especially in towns like St Julian’s, Sliema and Gzira and around the harbour area.
Tourism Malta relies heavily on tourism and 2018 has again seen record-breaking arrival numbers. Tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings derived from tourism have steadily increased over the last 30 years. 2017 brought over 2.273 million inbound visitors to the country, 15.7% higher than in 2016 and nearly twice the 2009 total of 1.183 million. The latest published figures from Malta’s National Statistics Office show that in the first ten months of 2018, the number of inbound tourists had exceeded 2.302 million – an increase of over 10% over the corresponding figure of 2017 – while the total tourist expenditure was estimated at nearly €1.9 billion, an increase of 8.6% year-on-year. In 2017, travel and tourism contributed 27.1% of Malta’s GDP compared with 21.6% in 2009. There are currently five times more tourists than there are residents. The increased numbers of visitors have increasingly stretched resources and put pressure on the existing infrastructure (such as water, waste management, hotels, beaches and roads), with overcrowding especially during the peak
summer months. Consequently, the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA)and the Ministry for Tourism have been promoting cultural tourism and festival tourism as ways to attract visitors during all months of the year rather than just the summer months. As part of the Schengen Area, visitors to the EU can travel freely. While Malta cannot unilaterally drop the requirement for nations it makes agreements with to obtain visas to enter the Schengen Area through its border crossing points, it is permitted to offer visa facilitation agreements to some nationalities. Visitors are attracted by the island’s rich history and culture, and the use of English, but medical tourism has also become popular in recent years, helped by government efforts to market the practice particularly in the UK. The United Kingdom and Italy remain Malta’s most important source markets, accounting for 24.7% and 16.0% of total visitors, respectively, with Germany and France the next most important markets. Malta’s performance compared positively with other countries. According to the World Tourism Barometer, arrivals in Southern and Mediterranean European countries grew by an annual rate of 12.6%, while the global tourism industry registered a 6.7% increase in 2017.
Transport The main mode of public transport in Malta is bus, offering a cheap and frequent service to many parts of Malta and Gozo with the majority of buses departing from a terminus in Valletta. There are also frequent daily car and passenger ferry crossings between Malta and Gozo. Car ownership is very high in Malta considering the size and population density of the country. Malta has just the one airport, located approximately 5 miles southwest of Valletta, through which 97.9% of its international visitors arrive. Passenger numbers have been growing rapidly, from 3.5 million in 2011 to just over 6.0 million in 2017. The rest come by sea. Malta has three large natural harbours, one of which – Malta Freeport on the south-eastern side of the island – is the 9th busiest container port in Europe with a trade volume of 3.084 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2016.
Future outlook According to the Central Bank, the economy is expected to see 6.8% GDP growth in 2018, falling to 4.8% in 2019 and 4% in 2020. Aside from these, the Central Bank also has said its projections for the government balance were also looking better than first expected, with the debt-toGDP ratio falling to 44.6% by 2020, with domestic demand to replace net exports as the main driver of economic growth. The government budget is also forecast to remain in surplus, and Malta’s debt-to-GDP should fall below 50% for the first time in more than 20 years.
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Malta currently has two investment migration programmes:
investments must be in Stock sanctioned by the Maltese government.
•T he Malta Individual Investment Programme (MIIP) for citizenship
Applications can be supported by a genuine link to Malta through residence.
•T he Malta Residence Visa Programme (MRVP) for permanent residency.
MRVP for residency
MIIP for Citizenship Introduced at the beginning of 2014, the Malta Individual Investment Programme (MIIP) offers high- and ultra-high-networth-individuals worldwide citizenship in a highly respected EU member state. Gaining citizenship in Malta via investment is a simple, quick process which can allow the entire family to immigrate with ease. Citizenship is typically approved after just four months processing time. Family eligibility extends to parents of the applicant and spouse, minor children and unmarried adult children under 27. Descendants gain citizenship automatically. Since its inception five years ago, the MIIP has raised more than €1 billion in revenue for the government. As of June 2019, over 1,000 applications have been made from more than 40 different countries. The original IIP regulations put a cap of 1,800 successful applicants (excluding dependents) for the duration of the programme, so they have reached more than half the pre-established target. However, it should be pointed that Malta exercises tight due diligence; on average, one in five applications fail for whatever reason as Malta strives to be more transparent and more exclusive.
Eligibility To be eligible for citizenship by investment, applicants must: •B e over 18 •B e in good health •H ave a clean criminal record •N ot been refused a visa for a country with which Malta has visa-free arrangements. The main applicant is required to contribute €650,00 to Malta. Spouses and children are required to contribute €25,000 each and unmarried children between 18 and 25 and dependent parents are required to contribute €50,000 each, although these contributions can be made after application approval. Applicants are required to invest at least €350,000 in purchasing property or to enter a rental property agreement for at least €16,000 p.a. on five year contract. Applicants are also required to invest €150,000 in bonds or shares. The
Malta’s Residence Visa Programme was launched in spring 2017, and received over 1,000 applications during its first eighteen months, with 250 (main applicants) visas approved by July 2018. To be eligible, applicants must be nationals of a non-EU/EEA country and be able to prove that they either have an annual income of at least €100,000 from outside Malta, or have capital assets of not less than €500,000. In addition, the applicant must: • Make an investment of €250,000 in Government bonds or accepted securities/shares on the Malta Stock Exchange; the investment must be retained for a minimum period of five years • Purchase or rent a property for a minimum value of €270,000 or yearly rental of €10,000 in the south of Malta or on Gozo, or a minimum value of €320,000 or yearly rental of €12,000 if the property is in the north of Malta • Make a contribution to the government of €30,000, of which €5,500 is a nonrefundable administrative deposit and must be paid upon submission of the application; once it is established that the beneficiary qualifies for such status, the balance of the contribution must be paid.
Benefits of Maltese Citizenship A successful application for Citizenship by investment in Malta gives the right to live, work and study in any country in the European Union and Switzerland, plus visa-free travel to over 180 countries. The Maltese tax system is based on domicile and residence, rather than citizenship. Tax is only due on income and capital gains arising in Malta. After a period of five years, property can be sold in Malta completely tax free, so long as it was the resident’s sole residence for at least three years. If selling the property before three years of residence, a tax of 12% is charged on the selling price. In addition, there are no inheritance or death taxes, no net worth or wealth taxes, no municipal taxes, rates or real estate taxes and no estate duty. With tax benefits such as these, a stable economic climate and banks ranked as some of the most stable in the world, investment in Malta is a sound way to gain citizenship. Citizenship By Investment 65
he Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south. A former member of the Soviet Union, Moldova gained independence from the USSR in 1991 and was admitted to the United Nations on 2 March 1992. Although the country is landlocked, it is close to the Black Sea which helps to keep the climate moderately cool. The summers tend to be warm with an average high temperature of 22°C between May and September, while the winters tend to be dry and cold, with temperatures averaging -3°C in January. The country’s terrain is mostly hilly rather than mountainous, and is served by two main rivers. The Prut river forms the border with Romania, running for 695 kilometres until flowing into the Danube. The Royal Forest Natural Reservation, an area of 6,039 hectares described as a national treasure, was established in 1993 alongside the Prut river in Glodeni in the northwest of the country to protect the abundant flora and fauna of the floodplain forests. In the east of the country, the Dniester river starts in Ukraine and flows north to south through Moldova for 657 kilometres before draining into the Black Sea back in Ukraine. 66 Citizenship By Investment
Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and has had to contend with several crises both internally and externally since gaining independence. The population is just over 3.5 million, 57% of whom are classified as rural residents and many of these still live below the poverty line. However, the last few years have seen a return to economic growth as Moldova seeks closer ties with the European Union.
History Moldova’s history is linked closely to that of Romania. Whilst Moldovan is named as the official national language of Moldova in the
QUICK FACTS Full name: Republic of Moldova Capital city: Chisinau Population: 3,547,539 (1 January 2018) GDP in current prices: USD $9.56 billion (2017) GDP real growth: 4.5% (2017) Area: 32,870 km2 (including Transnistria) Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic President: Igor Dodon Prime Minister: Pavel Filip Currency: Moldovan Leu (MDL) HDI: 112th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 47th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT + 2 Dialling code: 373
around 1359, the Vlachs in Moldavia rebelled against the Hungarian King Louis I and another Vlach leader, Bogdan, secured independence for the Principality of Moldavia. Moldavia remained a principality until 1859, when it united with Wallachia to create the modern Romania. But by this time, it had lost its eastern half to the Russian Empire, who renamed the area Bessarabia. In 1917, following the Russian Revolution, the area reconstituted itself as the Moldavian Democratic Republic and in 1918 entered a union with the Kingdom of Romania. The union was recognised by the principal Allied Powers in the 1920 Treaty of Paris, but was never ratified due to Japan withdrawing its support. Russia still considered Bessarabia as Russian territory under illegal occupation and in 1940 the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum to Romania to withdraw or face a full-scale invasion. Romania conceded and this led to Bessarabia being included within the newly created Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. During the 1980s, whilst the USSR was entering its ‘glasnost’ period, Moldova along with several other Soviet republics started moving towards independence, and in 1989 the nationalist Popular Front of Moldova (PFM) was formed in opposition to the Communist Party, organizing a mass demonstration in Chisinau in August that led to major riots. The first democratic elections for the local parliament were held early 1990 and, on 27 August 1991, Moldova declared its independence. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991, Moldova declared itself a neutral state and, on 2 March 1992, gained formal recognition from the United Nations. country’s Constitution, the 1991 Declaration of Independence states that Romanian is the official language. The Moldovan parliament later declared that Romanian and Moldovan were designations of the same language and in December 2013, the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled that the Declaration of Independence takes precedence over the Constitution and that the state language is therefore Romanian. According to the 2014 Census, 79% of the population use Romanian as their first language, while as many as 14.5% still use Russian as their first language. The region between the Eastern Carpathian Mountains and the Dniester river had largely been home to various nomadic peoples until the Mongols invaded in 1241. But by the 1340s, the Mongol ‘Golden Horde’ was beginning to disintegrate as Poland and Hungary both started to expand their territories. After a Hungarian army defeated the Mongols in 1345, new forts were built east of the Carpathians and a Vlach ruler named Dragos took possession of the lands along the Moldova river, establishing Moldavia as a Hungarian territory. But
However, the territory east of the Dniester river – officially known as Transnistria – which has a high percentage of ethnic Russians (34%) and Ukrainians (27%), proclaimed their own independence in August 1990 with their capital in Tirasol. Clashes between Transnistrian forces and Moldovan police during the winter of 1991/92 escalated into a full military conflict on 2 March 1992 lasting more than four months until a ceasefire was arranged. To this day, the Transnistria situation has been unresolved, as the majority of its population favor independence from Moldova or annexation by Russia rather than reunification with Moldova. However, none of the UN’s full member states recognize Transnistria as a sovereign state.
Relations with Europe Moldova became a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 1994 and was admitted to the Council of Europe on 29 June 1995. In 2005, Moldova worked with the EU to improve collaboration between its neighbouring countries Romania and Ukraine. The European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) was established to offer support in Moldova’s and Ukraine’s fight against cross-border Citizenship By Investment 67
crime and to bring their border and customs procedures broadly in line with EU standards. With support from Romania, Moldova signed an association agreement with the EU on 29 November 2013, dedicated to the European Union’s ‘Eastern Partnership’ with ex-Soviet countries. This was followed by Moldova signing an Association Agreement with the EU in Brussels on 27 June 2014. The then prime minister Iurie Leanca stated at the time that they were “doing everything possible for Moldova to become a full member of the European Union when Romania will hold the presidency of the EU in 2019” and this aim was reconfirmed by the parliamentary speaker in July 2017. In 2014, Moldova was one of three countries (with Georgia and Ukraine) to enter into a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA) agreement which allows access to the European Single Market in selected market sectors and grants EU investors in those sectors the same regulatory environment in the associated country as in the EU. The agreement with Moldova was ratified and officially came into force in July 2016.
Politics Moldova is a unitary parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. The Prime Minister is formally appointed by the President and exercises executive power along with the cabinet subject to parliamentary support. The central legislative body is the unicameral Moldovan Parliament which has 101 members who are elected by popular vote for a four-year term. The next parliamentary election is scheduled to take place on 24 February 2019. Between 2001-2015, the president was voted for by the parliamentary members, but this was changed constitutionally in 2016 to a two-round direct election by the citizens. The elections were won by Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), and he was sworn in as the 5th President of Moldova on 23 December 2016 after resigning his leadership of the PSRM.
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Moldova is divided into 32 districts, three municipalities and two autonomous regions, including Transnistria which remains a disputed territory and not controlled by the central government. There are 66 cities or towns, plus 916 communes and 700 villages. The largest city is the capital city, Chisinau, which has an urban population of 690,000 (as of 1 January 2018).
Economy Following its independence from the Soviet Union, Moldova experienced a serious economic crisis as its industrial and agricultural outputs fell and the economy fell into decline. With help from the World
Bank and the IMF, the economy, backed by sound macroeconomic and financial policies and structural reforms, started to recover from 2000. By 2017, the service sector had grown to over 60% of the country’s GDP, with manufacturing accounting for 23% and agriculture, forestry and fishing falling to less than 12% share of GDP compared with 28% in 1995. In November 2014, Moldova’s central bank uncovered a large-scale fraud that saw $1 billion disappear from three banks, leaving deep public discontent and a financial hole in the public finances equivalent to 12% of the country’s GDP. It was not the first time that Moldovan banks had been involved in
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT In November 2018, Moldova officially launched its Moldova Citizenship by Investment (MCBI) programme. One of the attractions of the MCBI programme is that it provides visa-free access to 122 countries including Russia, Turkey and the Schengen countries within Europe. It is also one of the cheapest CBI programmes in the world currently available and it does not have any residency requirements. The government has put a cap of 2,000 applications per annum and it is hoping to raise around €1.3 billion over the next five years. To qualify for citizenship, applicants must make a non-refundable economic contribution to Moldova’s Public Investment Fund for Sustainable Development as follows: Russian money laundering schemes and the political fall-out was far reaching as it brought down several prominent politicians and businessmen. The new government installed in January 2016 under the leadership of Pavel Filip has managed to restore political stability and the economy has returned to positive growth since 2016. Nevertheless, Moldova’s GDP per capita is still the lowest in Europe as is its Human Development Index (HDI). Historically, Moldova has been one of the most productive agricultural regions in southeast Europe, benefitting from its rich soils and temperate continental climate. As well as vegetables, fruits and grapes, the country has a well-established wine industry with an estimated total of 148,000 hectares of vineyards exporting Moldovan wines and cognac to 28 countries including Russia, Poland and the USA. In 2017, Moldova was the 20th largest wine producing wine country in the world according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). With few natural energy resources of its own, Moldova still has to depend on imports from Russia and Ukraine for most of its energy sources. It has seen energy prices rise dramatically over the past decade and is actively pursuing renewable energy options to try to meet its target of providing 20% of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2020.
Tourism Moldova is one of the least visited countries in Europe. The Bureau of National Statistics reported that 3.8 million foreign visitors entered Moldova during 2017. Of these, 55% had come from Romania and 27% from Ukraine, with the Russian Federation the next highest source of visitors (8%). However, only 145,000 foreign visitors stayed at least one night in tourist accommodation in 2017, although this compares favourably with 94,000 in 2015 and 70,000 in 2007.
Moldova only has the one international airport – Chisinau International Airport (IATA code KIV) – located 13 kilometres south east of Chisinau. Only 17.3% of all foreign tourists arrived by air, the majority of foreign arrivals coming by road (81.2%) with 1.5% arriving by train. The main attractions for foreign visitors are the country’s natural landscape and its history, while the country has also been promoting wine tours to its many vineyards and cellars.
• €100,000 for a single applicant
In a bid to encourage more foreign tourists, Moldova agreed visa-free arrangements for the USA, Canada, Japan and Switzerland from 2007 and for Turkey from 2012. As a result of signing its Association Agreement with the EU, Moldovan citizens with biometric passports were granted visa-free access to EU countries from April 2014.
In addition, all applicants are required to pay government fees as follows:
• €115,000 for a couple • €145,000 for a family of four • €155,000 for a family of five or more. The scheme follows a thorough four-tier due diligence system, costing €6,000 for the main applicant and €5,000 for spouses, dependent parents and dependent children up to the age of 29.
• €5,000 for the main applicant • €2,500 for a spouse • €1,000 for each child aged 0-15 years • €2,500 for a dependent child aged 16-29 years •€ 5,000 for a dependent parent of the main applicant or of the spouse who is aged 55+. There is also a post-approval government service provider fee of €35,000 for each application. Assuming no problems with the due diligence process, a certificate of naturalization can be completed within three months from the date of the full application. Once obtained, citizenship is also transferrable to future generations without restrictions. Dual citizenship is permitted. Moldova offers foreign companies and individuals an attractive and stable climate in which to do business, and its MCBI programme provides one of the biggest and most exciting opportunities for foreign direct investment. For anyone who is looking specifically to obtain EU citizenship, Moldova is definitely one to watch. Citizenship By Investment 69
ortugal is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, located on the Iberian Peninsula, bordered by Spain to the north and east and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. It is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe with mountain ranges, valleys, national parks, beautiful beaches and abundant wine regions. Portugal’s climate is described as a Mediterranean climate and is one of the warmest countries in Europe with over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. The annual average temperature varies from 12°C in the mountainous northern highlands to 22°C in the southern coastal areas, with average high temperatures in the popular Algarve region ranging from 16°C in January to 29°C in July. The fact that much of the country faces the ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture – its beautiful beaches are a very popular tourist destination and much of the country’s architecture is rooted in its rich history which harkens back to its naval past, influenced and paid for by its colonial possessions at a time when Portugal was one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers. Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. It is ranked as the 4th most peaceful country in the world behind Iceland, New Zealand and Austria on the 2018 Global Peace Index rankings, and for the past ten years it has consistently been listed as one of the 30 most prosperous nations of the world (24th in 2018) on the Legatum Prosperity Index. 70 Citizenship By Investment
History Portugal has a rich history dating back to Roman times. Its foundation as the Kingdom of Portugal dates back to 1139, when Alfonso I was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally and four years later was recognised by its neighbours through the treaty of Zamora. Portugal’s independence was formally recognised by Pope Alexander III in 1179 and the country remained a monarchy until 1910. During the late 14th century, Portugal embarked on a period of naval exploration, and this resulted in voyages which pushed the bounds of European knowledge across the Atlantic Ocean, along the African coast and beyond the Cape of Good Hope. Vasco Da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India in 1497-1499 was significant in that he was the first European to connect the Atlantic and Indian oceans, paving the way for a period of global imperialism and enabling the Portuguese to create a colonial empire in Asia that was largely unchallenged for several decades. Meanwhile, Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in Brazil on 22 April 1500 and claimed
Full name: Portuguese Republic Capital city: Lisbon Population: 10,291,027 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $218 billion (2017) GDP real growth: 2.7% (2017) Area: 92,212 km2 Government: Unitary Semi-presidential constitutional republic President: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Prime Minister: Antonio Costa Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 42nd (2018) Ease of doing business index: 34th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT + 0 Dialling code: 351
possession of the land in the name of the King. Throughout the 15 and 16th centuries, the Portuguese empire grew, as it largely monopolised the spice trade worldwide, thus creating immense wealth and expanding Western influence across the globe. However, disaster struck when, on 1 November 1755, its capital city Lisbon was completely destroyed at the hands of a violent earthquake, tsunami and subsequent fires. Then in 1756, a global conflict, which became known as the Seven Years’ War, broke out, during which Spain invaded Portuguese territory. After that, Portugal lost much of its power to other naval states like France and Britain. Brazil declared its independence in 1822 – formally recognised in 1825 – and after losing all its territory in South America, Portugal focused primarily on its African territories and a few in Asia including Macau, which remained a Portuguese colony until 1999 when it was handed back to China as a special administrative region. The dawn of the 20th century brought state bankruptcy, economic turmoil and social unrest. On 1 February 1908, King Dom Carlos I was assassinated along with his eldest son and heir apparent. The youngest son became King Manuel II, but was eventually overthrown during the 5 October
1910 revolution and Portugal became a constitutional republic. Portugal was one of the few European nations to remain neutral during World War II, but the succeeding years saw several armed conflicts in its overseas territories and a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from its African territories including Angola and Mozambique. By 1975, all its African territories were independent and in 1976 Portugal held its first democratic elections in 50 years.
Politics Portugal is a parliamentary republic based on the 1976 constitution, amended in 2004. The government holds the nation’s sovereignty and not only has executive powers but also limited legislative powers, mainly concerning its own organisation. The parliament is known as the Assembly of the Republic with 230 deputies who are elected for a maximum term of four years. The legislature is elected by proportional representation, used in 20 multimember constituencies. Power is shared between the president, the assembly, the government and the courts. The country is a member of the European Union since 1986 and was a founding member of NATO, the eurozone and the OECD. It enjoys a high standard of living, has a low crime rate, little corruption, press freedom, social progress, prosperity. It is now a secular state with one of the world’s highest rates of moral freedom. Portugal is also a full member of the Latin Union and has a dual-citizenship treaty with its former colony Brazil. Sharing a long history and a common language, there is a mutual interest in using their bilateral political capital to increase trade and investment and to partner together in science, technology, culture and education. Over recent years, trade has grown steadily and is relatively balanced with over 600 Portuguese companies having a presence in Brazil and an increase in Brazilian investment in Portugal. Co-operation between the countries extends across the areas of innovation, nanotechnology, biotechnology and energy production.
Economy Portugal is a developed high income country. With a population of 10.3 million, Portugal currently ranks as the 88th most populous country in the world, but its GDP of $218 billion (2017) is the 47th highest and ranks 38th highest by GDP per capita ($20,368 nominal). Portugal saw real GDP growth of 2.7% in 2017 and is expected to have achieved around 2.3% growth in 2018. The majority of industries, businesses and financial institutions have traditionally been located around Lisbon and Porto, but after the revolution in 1974, their most notable era of economic expansion ended and since they have tried to adapt to the changing modern global economy, a process that is successfully continuing still. There is now more focus on exports, private investment and developing a high technology sector. Having suffered from a severe recession and the indignity
of accepting a bail-out in 2011 (which they have now exited), the national commitment to a reformist momentum endures and unemployment continues to fall. The World Economic Forum places Portugal 34th on its 2018 Global Competitiveness Index, a significant rise from 51st in 2013. Portugal is a notable producer of minerals particularly copper, tin, tungsten and uranium. Lithium is also mined from their subsoil. Portugal is among the top ten producers of lithium, which is increasingly sought after by manufacturers of electric cars and mobile phones who use the element in their batteries. There is great interest in exploring lithium deposits further in the areas from Alto Minho to Beira Baixa, passing through Trás-osMontes, where Dakota Minerals already is mining the ‘white oil’ in a €370m investment. One of the country’s main exports is wine and it is the 11th largest exporter in the world by volume. The genesis of this trade dates back to the Roman Empire. Its wine-producing regions, the Douro valley and Pico Island, are protected by UNESCO and offer a large selection of different wines from a vast array of grapes, all distinctive due to variations in soil and climate. Portugal’s industry is diversified, ranging from textiles and food to automotive and aerospace, and investment is growing strongly in the biotechnology and IT sectors. Research grants are prolific, particularly for neuroscience and oncology. The country has a strong infrastructure with widespread broadband connectivity and it is also a leader in electronic payments. There is an open door to a market of 500 million and the country is currently ranked joint-highest in the World Bank’s Trading Across Borders Rank. Portugal has a highly developed motorway network and a port system among the best in the world. (Sines was recently the fastest growing container port in the world). Porto Airport was named as the 3rd best European airport in 2013 while the Atlantic Corridor is a rail freight line across Europe which is among the best in the world.
Tourism Tourism remains extremely important to the country and it is one of the top 30 most visited countries in the world. The number of foreign
arrivals has been growing steadily since 2009, attracted by breathtaking landscape, glorious beaches, fine cuisine and even finer wines! 2017 brought in a record number of 12.7 million foreign tourists, an increase of nearly 12% over 2016 and almost twice the 2009 figure of 6.4 million. Portugal was promoted as one of the top 3 hottest travel destinations worldwide for 2018 by ‘Lonely Planet’ and foreign arrival numbers are expected to have exceeded 13 million in 2018. Tourism and travel revenues now account for 10% of Portugal’s GDP and this is forecast to continue growing with more hotels and more daily direct flights from the US being added this year. Portugal has also been declared Europe’s leading destination for golf.
Living in Portugal A large majority of Portugal’s citizens are Roman Catholic but it is home to a large number of small communities representing different faiths and so it gives off a welcoming impression to all who grace its borders. The official language is, of course, Portuguese derived from early Latin. Although if Portuguese is not your first language, you should not fear as according to the latest EF English Proficiency Index, Portugal has a high proficiency level in English, higher than in countries like Italy, France or Greece. Many people, after spending time in Portugal, come to the conclusion that they would like to live there permanently. To these people, there is some good news as citizenship by investment is entirely possible in Portugal, but you will need to invest a minimum of €500,000 in order to qualify for a “golden visa”. Once you have acquired a golden visa, it is then possible to apply to become a citizen of Portugal after six years. In comparison to other some other EU countries, the minimum cost of investment is a little higher, but there are many benefits to Portuguese citizenship, including low tax rates, low minimum stay periods and, of course, the benefits of a climate and culture that are in-line with each other – easy going, with hot periods. While being a more expensive option than some of its neighbours, Portugal offers investors a warm and friendly climate, gorgeous coastlines and vibrant cities in which to seek residence. Diverse, beautiful and culturally arresting, Portugal, in many ways, offers bits of the best of all of Europe. Citizenship By Investment 71
PORTUGAL’S GOLDEN VISA PROGRAMME RAISES €838.5 MILLION INVESTMENT DURING 2018 Statistics released by Portugal’s Borders and Immigration Service (SEF) show that 1409 investors made applications during 2018, averaging €595,000 each to give a combined FDI total of nearly €839 million during the calendar year. After a blip in 2015, when the SEF was having problems processing applications before the government introduced enhanced checking procedures to restore confidence, the number of new applications seems to have now stabilised at around 1,400 per year.
As in previous years, China generated the highest number of main applicants during 2018, but with 485 applications this only represented just over a third of all applications (34.4%) compared with over three quarters (76.0%) of all applications received before 30 June 2016. Since 2015, Brazil has provided the second highest number of applications and last year produced another 180. But the biggest change was from Turkey which produced just over 200 main applicants last year. Meanwhile, there were 57 applicants from South Africa and 48 from Russia. As at the end of December 2018, Portugal’s Golden Visa has raised almost €4.25 billion since it began in October 2012, from 6,962 investors and 11,815 permits for family members. The vast majority of those chose to invest in property, putting in a total of €3.85 billion by 31 December 2018. This has boosted property prices in Lisbon and other big cities, with housing prices reported as having increased by 12% during 2018. Of the 6,962 total investors, 4,073 (58.5%) were Chinese. The other top nationalities applying for the scheme have been from Brazil (9.4%), Turkey (4.2%), South Africa (4.0%), and Russia (3.5%).
• Property Investments: – Acquisition of property above €500,000. – Acquisition of property above €350,000 for properties more than 30 years old or located in areas of urban renovation. • Capital Investments: – Transfer of funds above €1,000,000. – Transfer of funds above €350,000 for research activities. – Transfer of funds above €250,000 for artistic or cultural activities. – Transfer of funds above €500,000 for capitalisation of small and mediumsized companies.
• Job creation: – Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs. Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of one year and then will be renewed for subsequent periods of two years. The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.
In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements: • Keep the investment for a minimum period of five years
Number of golden visa applications by year:
ROUTES TO CBI IN PORTUGAL
2018 Source: SEF
• Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa • Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services
Total number of applicants by nationality:
275 4.0% Turkey
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• Funds for investment should come from abroad
• Absence of conviction of a relevant crime • Minimum stay in Portugal: seven days during the first year and 14 days during each subsequent period of two years As at the end of December 2018, Portugal’s Golden Visa has raised almost €4.25 billion since it began in October 2012, from 6,962 investors and 11,815 permits for family members. The vast majority of those chose to invest in property, and most (58.5%) were Chinese. The other top nationalities applying for the scheme have been from Brazil (9.4%), Turkey (4.2%), South Africa (4%), and Russia (3.5%).
SOUTH AFRICANS OPTING FOR THE NEW ‘GREEN VISA’ IN PORTUGAL
he Golden Visa is one of the most popular choices for those applying for residence in Portugal. In January 2019, the Portuguese government announced it was expanding its investment immigration programme to include the new ‘Green Visa’. This category will focus specifically on environmental sustainability, renewable energy and eco-tourism. Over the past decade, Portugal has made significant improvements in energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, making a positive impact on their business environment. In May 2019, Eurostat advised that Portugal had made the biggest reduction in CO2 emissions in the European Union, down by 9% and more than triple the EU average of -2.6%. According to Schroders’ Global Investor Study 2018, as many as 45% of South African investors are including investments in sustainable environmental projects within their financial portfolios. The report revealed that the importance of environmental investment is recognised in many other countries and that interest has
grown substantially over the past five years, especially amongst younger adults aged between 18 and 44. Further research shows that 76% of South African investors had increased their sustainable investments over the past five years. Since 2012, over 7,000 investors have been accepted under Portugal’s Golden Visa programme. South Africa is one of the top four countries applying for Portuguese residencies, with a total of 276 visas granted to date. The new ‘Green Visa’ would be an attractive option for South Africans seeking to migrate to Europe. In order to qualify for the ‘Green Visa’ applicants will have to invest at least €500,000 (approximately R8million) in an
environmental project in Portugal. Some of the areas that investors can put their money into are eco-tourism, organic farming, renewable energy and carbon neutral projects; however there are several other projects targeted towards environmental gains that are also available for investment. Once the ‘Green Visa’ has been granted, applicants will need to keep their investments for a minimum of five years. They need only spend seven days a year for those five years in Portugal in order to keep their visa valid for this period. After those five years, investors can apply for permanent residency and, once they have completed a further year as a resident, they can officially apply for a Portuguese passport and citizenship. Citizenship By Investment 73
Full name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Capital city: London Population: 66,040,229 (30 June 2017) GDP in current prices: USD $2,808.90 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 1.4% (2018) Area: 242,495 km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Prime Minister: Theresa May Currency: Pound Sterling (£) (GBP) HDI: 14th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 9th (2018/19) Time zone: GMT +0 Dialling code: 44
he United Kingdom, more commonly referred to simply as the UK, is a sovereign country in the northwest of Europe, separated from the European mainland by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. To the west lies the Irish Sea and the island of Ireland, which incorporates Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and the Atlantic Ocean.
‘United Kingdom’ came into use after the British and Irish parliaments passed their acts of union in 1800. However, subsequent events in Ireland led to the partition of Ireland in 1921 and the ratification of the Constitution of the Irish Free State on 5 December 1922, while the six historical counties of Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom.
The UK was the world’s first industrialised country and, with a strong naval history dating back to the 16th century, became a world leader as the British Empire spread to become the largest empire in history during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of its former colonies gained independence during the latter part of last century, but remain members of the Commonwealth of Nations, a political association with 53 member states, the majority of which are former British territories.
The UK’s capital is London, which has a population of around 8.9 million and is one of the main financial centres and cultural capitals of the world. It is also home to the UK parliament which is based in the Palace of Westminster and has two houses: the House of Commons, which has 650 members elected by popular vote, and an appointed House of Lords.
The UK is a founder member of the United Nations and a permanent member of its Security Council since 1946. It has also been a member of the EU/EEC since 1973 but is currently embroiled in heated negotiations to leave the EU on or shortly after 29 March 2019 following a referendum held in June 2016.
Rule Britannia The UK is actually a union of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is the name of the largest island in the UK (and also Europe) with an area of 229,848 km² of which roughly 57% is England, 34% Scotland and 9% Wales. 74 Citizenship By Investment
Much of the island south of the Caledonian highlands formed the Roman province of Britannia from 43 to 410 AD; Britannia is also the name of the goddess who personified the province and has featured regularly on British coinage. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was officially enacted on 1 January 1801. Prior to that, Wales had been a principality since its conquest by King Edward I in 1282 and was incorporated into the Kingdom of England by Henry VIII in 1535. Following the death of the childless Queen Elizabeth I on 24 March 1603, the English throne passed to King James VI of Scotland who became King James I of both England and Ireland in a union of crowns, although each country retained its separate entity. A series of intertwined conflicts in all three states led to the temporary overthrow of the monarchy and the creation of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1649 until 1660, when the monarchy was restored. On 1 May 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain officially came into being as the parliaments of both England and Scotland passed acts of union to ratify the Treaty of Union. The term
Of the 650 UK parliamentary constituencies, 519 are in England (of which 14 are in Greater London), 73 are in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland. In addition, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own devolved governments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast respectively, each with their own education and healthcare administrations and other varying powers. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II who is the longest-serving English monarch and current head of state, having reigned since 6 February 1952.
Economy and tourism Today, the UK has the fifth largest economy behind the US, China, Japan and Germany; but whilst the economy grew by 1.4% in 2018, the rate of real GDP growth has declined every year since 2014 and the
economy is forecast to be overtaken by India within the next year, especially in the light of the uncertainties over ‘Brexit’. Much of the economy is driven by services – in 2017 they accounted for 79% of GDP, with production accounting for 14%, construction 6% and agriculture less than 1%. The UK has a rich cultural and historic heritage, from Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. Being a primarily liberal democracy, creative arts and fashions have flourished and contributed enormously to global music, literature, visual art and cinema. In 2008, Liverpool – home of the Beatles who were the most influential and successful popular music band of the 20th century – was named European Capital of Culture, while Glasgow was only the third city to be awarded the title of UNESCO City of Music, with Liverpool receiving the same accolade in 2014. England is also home to two of the world’s five oldest surviving universities – the Universities of Oxford (from 1096) and Cambridge (founded 1209). Travel and tourism contributes nearly 11% to the UK’s economy, with a direct contribution of 3.5% of GDP in 2017. The number of international inbound tourists to the UK increased every year from 29.803 million in 2010 to a record 39.214 million in 2017, generating £24.5 billion in expenditure and establishing the UK as the sixth highest tourist market in the world in 2017. The UK is a major hub for air travel with direct connections to well over 100 countries. 76% of inbound visitors travelled by air, with 13% entering the UK by ferry and 11% via the Channel Tunnel, which at 37.9 kilometres (23.5 miles), is the longest underwater tunnel in the world and opened in 1994, connecting Folkestone in southeast England with Calais in northern France. The USA is the top inbound market, accounting for 10% of visitors and 15% of revenue in 2017, followed by France and Germany. However, contrary to earlier positive forecasts by VisitBritain, the first 10 months of 2018 have seen a 4% drop year-onyear, with visitor numbers from Europe down by 5% and expenditure down by 8%. The UK government has confirmed that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, EU nationals will continue to be able to enter the UK without a visa.
THE CHANGES TO THE UK IMMIGRATION RULES FOR 2019 The Tier 1 system has taken a turn around, with the Investor and Entrepreneur visas being gradually replaced by the Innovator and Start-up visas. Although the Investor visa has not closed, there are changes that have been implemented. As for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, the extensions for current applicants are still open until 5 April 2023 and settlement applications until 5 April 2025. Below are the two new visa outlines and requirements for those who wish to invest and build a business in the UK. These new visas officially opened with effect from 29 March 2019. The new system also comes with a lot of new rules, which are set out in ‘Immigration Rules Appendix W’ on the government website www.gov.uk outlining each different requirement that the applicant will have to meet.
INNOVATOR VISA Applicants should first show that they intend to set up or run a business in the UK, which they then need to have endorsed by an approved body. This includes demonstrating that the business plan is viable. Other applicants already in the UK can also extend or switch their current visa to the Innovator visa. Individuals can apply if they are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. In order to see if applicants are eligible, they should: • Pass the English language test – unless from one of the countries that the government exempts from the language clause • Be at least 18 years of age
obtained. If investors wish to team up with other individuals, this is allowed, but each innovator applicant would have to show an investment fund of £50,000 in their own individual bank account. However, if the individual already has a business established in the UK and it is already endorsed from an earlier visa, then there would be no need for a further investment fund. Furthermore, the applicant must have at least £945 in their bank for at least 90 consecutive days before applying for the visa. They cannot use the money from their investment fund or any money that they obtain through illegal employment in the UK to support them. If the applicant has dependants, then they will also have to show that they also have savings of £630 per dependant for 90 consecutive days. These can either be in the dependants’ own accounts or the main applicant’s account. Therefore if the applicant has two dependants, he or she should have a total of £2,205 in their account for the previous 90 days. Usually when applying on the standard service system, the decision can take three to eight weeks depending on the circumstances of the application. If, however, the application is made on a super priority service, then applicants can get a decision within one working day from when they submit the documents, unless there are complications causing delay such as: • Call for verification of the supporting documents
• Prove that they have enough personal savings to sustain themselves during their stay in the UK.
• Call for an interview for the application
Applicants must have at least £50,000 in investment funds to be able to apply to the Innovator visa and the funding can come from any source providing that it is legally
• Any personal circumstances causing delay, such as criminal records etc. The application should be made no earlier than 3 (three) months before the travel date. Citizenship By Investment 75
The costs of the applications are as shown in the table below: Application Extend/Switch (outside the UK) Application (in the UK) Applicant £1,021
Applicant £966 from Turkey OR Macedonia
Each £1,021 £1,277 dependant Furthermore, there are no limitations on the number of times an applicant can extend their visa, thus after every three years the visas can be extended. However, visas may be cut short if the endorsement is withdrawn. Therefore, whenever applying to renew visa they must apply with re-endorsement. Along with the eligibility there are guidelines as to what individuals can and cannot do: Can: • Start a business or several businesses • Work for your business • Employ people. Cannot: • Work outside of your business • Work as a doctor or a dentist in training • Work as a professional sportsperson, including being a coach • Get public funds. Supporting documents, applicants must provide: • Current passport – valid identification/ travel document • Bank statements to prove savings • Proof of language • Evidence of investment funds • Tuberculosis tests. There are more requirements that applicants need to meet (see Appendix W) before submitting their application, and should therefore consider legal assistance. This application is typically made online, however under certain circumstances, e.g. if applying from North Korea, applicants would have to be sent by post. The applicants can stay in the UK until they get their decisions, if already in the UK. For further information, go to www.gov.uk/innovator-visa
START-UP VISA The Start-up visa differs from the Innovator visa in many aspects, however the principle requirements remain the same. The Start-up visa is to some extent an expanded alternative to the Graduate Entrepreneur application. The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur programme will be closed to new applicants from 6 July 2019, but people can continue to apply for the Graduate Entrepreneur visa until 5 July 2019. An authorised body must endorse the applicant; this can be from a UK Higher Education Institution or a business 76 Citizenship By Investment
organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.
(see Appendix W) before submitting their application.
In order to see if applicants are eligible, they should: • Pass the English language test – unless from one of the countries that the government exempts from the language clause • Be 18 years of age - minimum • Prove that they have enough personal savings to sustain themselves during their stay in the UK.
This application is typically made online, however under certain circumstance, e.g. if applying from North Korea, applicants would have to send through post.
Application costs The application should be made no earlier than 3 (three) months before the travel date. The costs of the applications are as shown in the table below: Application Extend/Switch (outside the UK) Application (in the UK) Applicant £363
Applicant £308 from Turkey OR Macedonia
Each £363 £493 dependant Those applying under the Start-up visa, if accepted, they can stay in the UK for 2 years, however unlike the Innovator visa, they cannot extend their visa and they cannot apply for settlement. Although, applicants’ visas may be cut short if the endorsement is withdrawn. They will have to apply with a new endorsement before the current visa expires. If applicants wish to further grow their business and to settle in the UK, after the 2 years period of their Start-up visa, they will then have to switch over to the Innovator visa. Once they have been on the Innovator visa for the three years timeframe, they can then apply for settlement in the UK. Along with the eligibility there are guidelines as to what individuals can and cannot do: Can: • Bring family members • Switch to this visa from other visa categories • Work in another job as well as working for your business. Cannot: • Get public funds • Work as a doctor or a dentist in training • Work as a professional sportsperson, including being a coach • Settle in the UK on this visa. Supporting documents, applicants must provide: • Current passport / valid identification / travel document • Bank statements to prove savings • Proof of language • Evidence of investment funds • Tuberculosis tests. As with the Innovator visa, there are more requirements that applicants need to meet
For further information, go to www.gov.uk/start-up-visa
TIER 2 The Tier 2 visa had undergone recent changes in June 2018 in regard to the requirements that people need to comply with to be able to enter the UK. The changes for Tier 1 and Tier 2 were announced on 7 March 2019, with the changes for Tier 1 as noted above being implemented from 29 March 2019. The controversial Brexit payment exemption for Tier 2 will be extended for the NHS and schools, so that they can continue to appeal to and hire experienced teachers, nurses and paramedics. If we have a look at the amendments and the future prospects of them, they provide more opportunities for those skilled workers worldwide and in particular those pursuing their career in the UK within the fields of Healthcare (the NHS) and Education especially now that the number of professions from the exemption threshold of £30,000 has increased. Non-EEA (European Economic Area) workers in these professions will only need to meet the lower minimum salary of £20,800. However, non-exempt professions are still subject to a higher threshold of £30,000 minimum income requirement, as per the Standard Occupational Classification (SoC). The process of the revision post-Brexit will potentially include reducing the qualification level for applicants, therefore they will only need an A level/RQF 3 (equivalent) or above to be eligible. Furthermore, the restrictions upon the number of entries will be abolished; therefore there will be no limitations on the number of qualified people coming into the UK. There will be steps to look into the changes for skilled workers, along with the potential for agricultural workers. Additionally, the government has announced a two-year exchange scheme, whereby they will allow 20 nurses from Jamaica to enter the UK on Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) visas. They will be allocated to work at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust after initial training in Jamaica, in order to gain valuable experience to take back to the Jamaican healthcare system. This is seen by Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes as: “a fantastic opportunity for future collaboration between the UK and Jamaica.” The Home Office amendments and revision of prices for visa applications came into effect on 29 March 2019 and there are currently no price changes to the applications for Tier 2. With Brexit still pending potentially until 31 October 2019 or even later, there are many requirements in the Tier 2 application that will almost certainly be revised, depending on the final outcome. Watch this space for further news.
UNDERSTANDING THE NEW UK BUSINESS IMMIGRATION ENVIRONMENT
An interview with HELENA SHEIZON Founder & CEO, Kadmos Immigration Consultants Helena is the founder and managing director of Kadmos Consultants and has focused on immigration for the last 12 years. She is actively involved in all aspects of business immigration and enjoys working with businesses who rely on overseas talent as well as migrant entrepreneurs and investors.
What services are you able to provide for high net worth individuals who may be considering investing in or moving to the UK? We help resolve all sorts of urgent and pressing issues related to immigration – from applications for political asylum to assistance with entry clearance for a parent of a child in school in the UK. We offer tailor-made solutions for the specific needs of the family and our first question to the client is “what do you want to achieve?” Some may wish to become British citizens, finding the British way of life comfortable, the rule of law reassuring and the British passport convenient for international travel. Others may simply want a visa-free travel to the UK as frequently and for as long as they choose. Some want to run a business in the UK but not necessarily live in the UK, others want to work for an employer or have access to primary, secondary or higher education for their children. With the long-term goal in mind, we advise on the best possible immigration route to bring our clients from where they are to where they want to be in the quickest possible fashion and with as little hassle as possible.
How much difference, if any, have you noticed in levels of interest from potential investors and entrepreneurs towards the UK during the Brexit negotiations? There is certainly more caution and hesitation. Yet, many investors are attracted by the climate of change. As the twentieth century history shows, political upheavals are often a lucrative place to be for those who can take advantage of the situation. Wealthy people will have a good opportunity to multiply their wealth.
Do you think that the sudden abolition of the entrepreneur visa is part of the Brexit-related motions? How can it be otherwise! Immigration laws are necessarily part of the overall political picture. At the same time, it is so difficult to see the logic of this move, if indeed there was any logic behind it. I see it as an attempt to attract bigger players and discourage smaller businesses from overseas. We may anticipate that the investor visa option will become a real alternative for those entrepreneurs who seriously want to make the UK their home. Those who are not interested in emigration can set up a branch of an overseas business in the UK and send a representative of the business to manage the UK branch. Overseas employees of the business may also be relocated to the UK subject to meeting certain requirements related to their role in the business and salary. However, the owner would only have the right to work in the UK if recognised as an investor. The new innovator visa is not an alternative to the entrepreneur visa, except perhaps for fintech companies, cyber security or gaming industry. Many established businessmen will undoubtedly be put off by the requirement to receive an endorsement of a supervising body and report to the endorsing organisation on the progress of the business. Moreover, many solid and viable businesses may fail the test for innovation or scalability.
Are there any advantages or benefits of the new Innovator and Start-Up Tier 1 visas? The new visa for start-ups does not require any investment – it is accessible for those who want to set up their first UK business and have a brilliant idea which is innovative, viable and scalable. This idea has to be
assessed and endorsed by an approved body which will reassess the progress of the business every six months. Subject to the relevant endorsement, the visa will be granted for two years with the option to switch to the innovator route within this time. The innovator route is subject to the same endorsement procedure but also requires a capital investment of at least £50,000. This visa will allow settlement after five years but the requirements for settlement create a much harder threshold than those for entrepreneur visa holders. In principle, the advantage of the new route is the reduction of the initial investment requirement. The problem is that it is not clear at the moment how many business people will be able, or indeed, willing, to take advantage of this option in light of the uncertainty around the method of operation of the endorsing bodies or lack of guidance on what will be viewed as sufficiently innovative to command an endorsement.
What is your advice to prospective entrepreneurs? My advice would be, think ahead, think big and tell us what goals you want to achieve. We work closely with a team of accountants, business consultants, financial advisors and marketing specialists to provide you with a most comprehensive and cost-effective service. We cherish a chance to make it all happen for you! Helena can be contacted at: Kadmos Consultants 166 College Road Harrow HA1 1BH Tel. 020 8930 9503 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.kadmosimmigration.com
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AMERICA EB-5 QUICK FACTS Full name: United States of America Capital city: Washington D.C.
Population: 327,167,434 (1 July 2018)
GDP in current prices: USD $20.891 trillion (2018) - ranked #1 GDP real growth: 2.9% (2018)
Area: 9,833,520 km2 (land 9,531,905 km2)
Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic President: Donald Trump Vice President: Mike Pence
Currency: United States Dollar ($) (USD) HDI: 13th (2018) - “very high”
Ease of doing business index: 8th (2018/19)
Time zones: Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST) GMT -5 Central Standard Time Zone (CST) GMT -6 Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST) GMT -7 Pacific Standard Time Zone (PST) GMT -8 (All zones switched to Daylight Saving Time from Sunday March 10, 2019 until Sunday November 3, 2019) Dialling code: 1 78 Citizenship By Investment
Trade & InvesT In amerIca | The eB-5 gaTeway
98 | Trade & Invest in Amercia | The EB5 Gateway
Citizenship By Investment 79
IIUSA DATA INSIGHTS: THE GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE EB-5 INVESTOR MARKETS IN INDIA AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
By Lee Li and McKenzie Penton Invest In the USA (IIUSA)
One of IIUSAâ€™s core missions is to inform our members of the latest trends in the EB-5 investor markets with first-hand, exclusive data analyses and to develop a platform for EB-5 experts and service providers to not only share their expertise, but also expand their business in these important investor markets overseas.
Figure 1: Number of New EB-5 Investors from India by Year (FY2008-FY2018, Estimates)
Based on IIUSAâ€™s latest EB-5 investor markets analysis, we found that India has become the second largest EB-5 investor market, generating over $560 million in EB-5 investment in fiscal year (FY) 2018 alone. In addition, our analysis also indicated that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a hub of high net worth individuals (HNWIs), featuring ample opportunities to raise EB-5 funds from prospective investors. Overall, there is a lot that the data is telling us about these two important EB-5 investor markets, here are our highlights:
nvest In the USA (IIUSA) is the national trade association of the EB-5 Regional Center industry. Based in Washington, DC, United States, IIUSA represents over 500 industry stakeholders of the EB-5 immigrant investor program through advocacy, business development, education, and research.
INDIA: THE SECOND LARGEST EB-5 INVESTOR MARKETS IN THE WORLD India accounted for over 1,200 EB-5 investors in FY2018, representing a 115% growth from FY2017 and over $560 million in capital investment. The EB-5 investor market in India is growing rapidly. IIUSA estimates that the number of I-526 petitions filed by Indian investors jumped 115% year-over-year to over 1,200 in FY2018. In the last five years, investors from India contributed over $1.1 billion in EB-5 investment. In FY2018 alone, Indian investors generated more than $560 million in economic development funds through the EB-5 Program. India is the second largest EB-5 investors market in the last two years, accounting for 19% of new EB-5 investors worldwide in FY2018. Since FY2014, the EB-5 investor market in India has demonstrated a consistent year-over-year growth. In FY2017 and FY2018, it surpassed Vietnam to become 80 Citizenship By Investment
1200 1000 800
2012 2013 2014 Fiscal Year
Data Source: USCIC (IIUSA obtained via FOIA). Prepared by: IIUSA.
Figure 2: Ranking of EB-5 Investor Markets, (FY2014-FY2018, Estimates) By number of I-526 petitions files per year Ranking
China China China China China
Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam India
Data Source: USCIC (IIUSA obtained via FOIA). Prepared by: IIUSA.
the second largest investor market with the highest number of new EB-5 investors per year. Its market share has grown from less than 1% in FY2014 to more than 18% in FY2018. This shows that India has become an important market that contributes to a significant amount of EB-5 investment every year.
In the last 10 years, nearly 1,470 Indian investors and their family members have received their U.S. green card through the EB-5 Program. In FY2018 alone, a total of 585 EB-5 visas were issued to applicants from India, a 236% year-over-year increase and the highest annual growth among the top EB-5
investor markets including Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil. Between FY2008 and FY2018, nearly 1,470 investors and their family members received a U.S. green card through the EB-5 Program.
Figure 3: EB-5 Visas Issued to Indian Investors & Family Members by Fiscal Year (FY2008-FY2018)
EB-5 Visa Usage
The United States was the second most popular destination country for Indian migrants1 as of 2017. According to Pew Research Center, approximately 2.3 million Indian migrants have immigrated to the U.S., accounting for nearly 14% of the entire Indian migrant population. In addition, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) remained the top destination country for Indian migrants from 2010 to 2017. More than 3.3 million Indians migrated to the UAE since 2000.
United Nations data indicated that 3.3 million, or 40%, of the immigrants in the UAE are originally from India. In addition, Bangladesh accounted for 1 million (or 13%) of the international migrants. Furthermore, the number of immigrants from Pakistan, Egypt, Philippines, and Indonesia living in the UAE were respectively 950k, 858k, 539k, and 304k. These countries of origin, including Bangladesh and India, represented 84% of UAE’s international migrants and nearly 74% of the entire population in the UAE.
Average approval rates of EB-5 investors from India was 87%, 5.4% lower than the worldwide average level. According to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration services (USCIS), the average
2012 2013 2014 Fiscal Year
Data Source: US Department of State. Prepared by: IIUSA.
Figure 4: Number of Indian Migrants by Destination, 2017 Estimates Destination
Number of Indian Migrants in 2017
% of Indian Migrants in 2017
United Arab Emirates
Data Source: Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, 1990-2017. Pew Research Center. Prepared by: IIUSA.
Figure 5: Number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in the UAE (in Thousands 2010-2018) 70
Over 60 new EB-5 investors in FY2017 were from the five countries (excluding India) that make up a majority of the UAE’s immigrant population.
Number of HNWIs (000s)
The Philippines and Indonesia represented over $28 million in EB-5 investment in FY2017. New investors from Pakistan and Egypt accounted for over 65% of the total number of new EB-5 investor filings from these five countries in FY2017. In addition, 40% of UAE’s immigrants, or 35% of the UAE’s entire population, originally came from India, the second largest EB-5 investor market in the last two years.
The UAE’s HNWI population was nearly 54,000 as of 2017.
88% of the UAE population in 2017 was international migrants, the highest percentage of the immigrant population percentage of any country in the world.
UAE: THE HUB OF HNWIs, FILLED WITH EB-5 OPPORTUNITIES
Based on the Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2018, the UAE’s high net worth individual (HNWI) population in 2017 was 53,700, a 3% decrease from 2016. However, Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2017 ranked Dubai as the fourth highest city in the world in terms of HNWI inflows in 2017, estimating that over 2,000 HNWIs migrated to Dubai last year.
40 30 20 10 0
Data Source: World Wealth Report 2018, Capgemini. Prepared by: IIUSA. 1. According to the United Nations Population Division, “an international migrant is someone who has been living for one year or longer in a country other than the one in which he or she was born. This means that many foreign workers and international students are counted as migrants.”
Citizenship By Investment 81
A variety of reasons could cause a request for evidence (RFE) or even a denial of an I-526 petition, including source of funds, path of funds, and more. EB-5 immigrant investment process is complex and it is important to ensure that every step of the process is in compliance with U.S. laws and regulations.
IIUSA NOT ONLY GROWS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF IMPORTANT MARKET STATISTICS BUT CONNECTS THE INDUSTRY IN INVESTOR MARKETS AROUND THE GLOBE As this comprehensive data report shows, IIUSA is at the forefront of industry data analytics. It is our intention to ensure members, industry stakeholders, elected officials and the general public alike all know of the profound economic impact that the EB-5 Program is making each and every day to communities around the country. Our efforts to analyze investor market trends further enables industry stakeholders to make the right business decision as they look to attract investors to their economic development projects. While our data work is second to none, the association also brings considerably more value to the table for members, partners and other industry stakeholders. Over the past several years, we have worked collaboratively with our members to ensure that they also receive worldclass educational, business development and networking opportunities both in the United States and around the globe. Perhaps nowhere is the intersection of the association data analysis, business development and education more apparent than at our Global Banquet Series. Launched in 2017, the series has traveled the globe connecting our members to the markets and international stakeholders that matter most. To date, the events have reached audiences in India, Vietnam, China, South Korea and the UAE. In the near future, we will also add Turkey and Taiwan to this growing list of destinations. The events are a testament to IIUSA’s data quality and convening power as the only international, non-profit EB-5 industry membership association and a key benefit the association provides for our members and partners around the globe. Perhaps more importantly, the events are positive reflections of the incredible potential for economic development and job creation that the EB-5 Program represents – it has 82 Citizenship By Investment
Figure 6: Percentage of Migrants in the UAE by Country of Origin, 2017 Estimates
Other 30+ Countries
1,306,874 (16%) Indonesia
International migrants accounted for 88% of the entire population in the UAE, the highest percentage of international immigration population in the world.
538,590 (6%) Egypt
857,947 (10%) Pakistan
Data Source: Inernational Migrant Stock: The 2017 Revision, United Nations. Prepared by: IIUSA.
Figure 7: EB-5 Investors from the Top Five Countries of Origin* of UAE’s International Migrant Population in 2017 Note: The number of I-526 filings include all 1-526 petitioners who lived in their home country, the UAE, or anywhere in the world when they filed their petition.
84 Indonesia Philippines Egypt Pakistan Bangladesh
70 I-526 Petitions Filed
approval rate of I-526 petitions (applications filed by an EB-5 investor for the eligibility of a conditional green card) was approximately 92.4% in FY2017. However, the approval rates vary between investors from different countries. As Figure 8 illustrates, 87% of the Indian nationals whose I-526 petitions were adjudicated in FY2017 received an approval from USCIS; while the approval rate of investors from Egypt was only 63%.
22 20 13
2012 2013 Fiscal Year
*Number of I-526 filings from Indian petitioners is not included on this data chart. Data Source: USCIS (IIUSA obtained via FOIA. Prepared by: IIUSA.
As the only non-for-profit trade association for regional center professionals, it is IIUSA’s responsibility to provide our members and the industry as a whole the critical program updates and market intelligence they need to succeed. To that end, we are honored to provide our banquet attendees with in-depth investor market data presentations as well as industryleading panels. Since 2017, our international events have provided well over 600 industry stakeholders with expert analysis on some of the industry’s hottest topics, including legislation, Program reform, retrogression, source of funds and more. We certainly hope you enjoyed the above indepth analysis on two of the most important EB-5 investor markets and hope your organization will consider working with IIUSA in the year(s) ahead as we look to provide the EB-5 industry with key market intelligence, business development, and educational opportunities across the globe.
Figure 8: Average I-526 Approval Rates of EB-5 Investors from the Top Six Countries of Origin of UAE’s International Migrant Population in 2017 100% 100 95 90 85 I-526 Approval Rates (FY2017)
become increasingly clear that the strength of international investor markets around the globe and the dedication of our members has only just begun to show the true potential for the industry.
IIUSA EB-5 Global Banquet Series in Mumbai, India.
75 70 67%
60 55 50
Data Note: Margin of error:+/- 0.5%. Data Source: US Citizenship and Immegration Services (IIUSA obtained via FOIA). Prepared by: IIUSA.
For more information, visit IIUSA website at www.iiusa.org or contact IIUSA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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NOT AN OFFER Disclaimer: TO SELL THIS SECURITIES IS NOT AN OROFFER THE SOLICITATION TO SELL SECURITIES OF ANOROFFER THE SOLICITATION TO PURCHASEOFSECURITIES. AN OFFER TO ANY PURCHASE OFFERSECURITIES. TO ANY OFFER TO Y SPONSOREDPARTICIPATE PARTNERSHIP IN ANY MAY SPONSORED ONLY BE MADE PARTNERSHIP PURSUANT MAY TO ONLY A WRITTEN BE MADE PURSUANT OFFERING TO MEMORANDUM A WRITTEN OFFERING AND ANY MEMORANDUM SALE AND ANY SALE ARTNERSHIP INSHALL SUCHBE LIMITED EVIDENCED PARTNERSHIP BY A SUBSCRIPTION SHALL BE EVIDENCED AGREEMENT BY A SUBSCRIPTION EXECUTED BYAGREEMENT A FOREIGNEXECUTED NATIONAL.BYEB5A FOREIGN NATIONAL. EB5FFERED THROUGH INTERESTS EXCLUSIVE TO BE OFFERED ADMINISTRATIVE THROUGH EXCLUSIVE PLACEMENT ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, AN SECPLACEMENT REGISTERED AGENT, BROKER-DEALER AN SEC REGISTERED AND ABROKER-DEALER AND A /SIPC. MEMBER OF FINRA/SIPC.
CMB: An EB-5 Success Story CMB Regional Centers has over 20 years of experience in assisting our clients and their families pursue their dream of a life in the United States. CMB carefully selects and structures each EB-5 investment offering with a goal-focused approached and places the aspirations of our clients above all else. As an industry leader, CMB streamlines the EB-5 immigration process for each of our clients by providing trusted support and a proven model for success. CMB has raised over $2.6 billion in EB-5 funds which are invested in projects to achieve the EB-5 immigration goals of over 5,300 clients.
FROM ONE US GREEN CARD HOLDER TO ANOTHER (POTENTIAL APPLICANT) by SEBASTIAN A. STUBBE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Pine State Regional Center
s a long-time US permanent resident, I know first-hand the value of a green card. Like so many aspiring immigrants, I first arrived in the United States to study on an F-1 visa. My student visa served me well and I seized upon my school experience. But not until later, when I finally secured my green card, did I realise how much the United States had to offer someone like me. A world of unrestricted professional opportunities opened up for me, and my family benefited from the many advantages of American life. In the interest of full disclosure, I am in the business of EB-5, so you might expect me to say this. But, I genuinely and objectively feel that pursuing a green card for our family was the single most valuable decision we made. And, I believe EB-5 remains one of the best ways to access the American Dream – as long as you put safety and quality first!
Many reasons to pursue the green card More foreign families than ever before are seeking an American education for their children, according to data from the Institute of International Education, a nonprofit organisation that promotes and analyses study-abroad programmes. The inflow from developing nations has surged in recent years, as families recognise the advantage of an American education. For instance, the number of Indian students in the United States has more than tripled over the past two decades, placing India second only to China in that respect. That said, the quota limitations for F-1 student visas pose a daunting challenge – and even for those fortunate enough to attain a student visa, restrictions on scholarships, financial aid, work opportunities, and Optional Practical Training (OPT) often prevent them from taking full advantage of that education. A green card can change all of that and open a wide range of opportunities. In addition to the allure of a US education, America continues to attract immigrants for a variety of individualised reasons, including access to better health care, freedom of expression, or the promise of financial opportunities. For others, the green card simply represents ‘mobility insurance’.
Other options are drying up Leading economies, including the United States, continue to tighten immigration rules. In the US, the H1-B visa category has been significantly restricted, and the EB-2 86 Citizenship By Investment
and EB-3 are facing mounting backlogs. Moreover, US non-immigrant visas like E-2, L-1, and H-1B require renewals every few years, which in some cases require additional investment or documentation. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is in midst of increasingly challenging Brexit negotiations, and programmes in Australia and Canada are becoming more restrictive and expensive. In all of that, the EB-5 program remains one of the most reliable and cost-effective paths.
EB-5 is a great program, but safety is paramount Once you have a good understanding of how the program works, take your time and figure out which investment sounds right for you. Choosing an EB-5 project is an important and very personal decision, and investors should do their own due diligence. It’s all about minimising risk.
Some things to keep in mind as you choose a project: • First of all, remember that your return on investment is the path to legal immigration to the United States, so focus on which project has lower risk factors rather than which projects have better yield. • Invest in a top-flight immigration attorney: experience really does matter and your attorney will be the one to accompany you through the multi-year process. • Verify the independence of your regional center: it is an advantage for an EB-5 investor if the focus of the regional center is to protect investor capital, not to maximise profit for the developer. • Pay particular attention to (i) completion risk (ii) job creation risk, and (iii) USCIS approval status. • Finally, while not yet required by the USCIS, choosing a project that already employs a reputable broker dealer and a reputable
escrow administrator can provide additional layers of independent oversight and protection.
Position yourself for potential program changes In recent years, pressure to reform the program has intensified among members of the United States Congress and the USCIS. Given that the investment price has not increased since the program’s inception 28 years ago, it is likely that the level will be raised in the near future. Additionally, there is broad consensus on the need for implementation of certain integrity measures. Finally, there is mounting pressure on the EB-5 program to benefit a wider array of needy communities. That was the original intention when the Immigration Act of 1990 introduced the EB-5 program, and yet in recent years, a majority of EB-5 dollars have flowed into wealthy neighbourhoods in large cities, where the need for funding is less pronounced. Now congressional leaders are pushing for a greater share of EB-5 funds to go to projects in rural or urban distressed areas, such as infrastructure and manufacturing projects that create jobs which often tend to be better paying, higher skilled, sustainable, and diversified. So, what should a prospective investor do today? First, contrary to common perception, there actually already are many highquality rural and urban distressed projects. Secondly, it remains unclear when regulatory or legislative reform may come, but given growing competition for visas, it is not worth trying to time the market. Once you decide that EB-5 is the right solution for you and your family, I believe it is worthwhile to lock in an early priority date at a lower price, rather than waiting. From one green card holder to another (prospective applicant), I view EB-5 as the best way today to procure the option for a better future.
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Why choose EB5 Investment Sheraton Hotel Atlanta? by Mr. Durga Prasad Gadde, Developer, Shoora EB5 Fund The EB-5 Visa is an excellent immigration solution for those who possess the financial resources to qualify. Its benefits are immeasurable. It provides a direct method to become a permanent US resident, and to obtain all of the freedoms and opportunities of living in the United States. Our investors include those who chose it for their entire family, some who just chose it for themselves and others who wanted to make an investment to their children’s future. EB-5 has become one of the most popular and advantageous US immigrant visa programs. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is one of the world’s busiest airports with flight services to 225 destinations in 51 countries. More than 280,000 passengers commute through ATL a day on average via nearly 2,500 arrivals and departures. Atlanta has been ranked the seventh most visited city on business travel in the US.
Shoora Fund LLC is proud to introduce the Sheraton EB-5 investment project. Shoora Fund presents its latest offering – the 4-star Diamond full service Sheraton Hotel by Marriott, which has direct access to the world’s busiest airport. Sheraton is an industry leading globally recognised brand and is widely preferred among business travellers. The EB-5 project involves construction of a brand new Sheraton Hotel by Marriott which directly connects to the Atlanta International Airport via the ATL Sky Train. The hotel has direct access to the major hub of Delta Airlines, which is one of the world’s largest global airlines serving more than 160 million travellers annually. Many leading businesses also call Atlanta their home.
“The EB-5 Visa has no requirement regarding language skills, age, professional training, or specialised education and experience. It provides a direct track to permanent visa status.”
The hotel is built on a colossal eightstorey building featuring 300 luxury guest rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a majestic 30,000 sq. ft. ballroom, a three-meal restaurant with a premium brand coffee shop, bar and lounge, as well as an equipped library and other modern amenities, with direct connections to the airport’s internal train service. Job creation in the EB-5 Program: The investment carries a requirement to create at least 10 direct full-time jobs for Americans. Investors must therefore look at how the jobs are created. The Sheraton by Marriott project will be financed by a combination of equity investment, a senior loan and an EB-5 loan. EB-5 financing is less than 10% of the capital stack. Sufficient job creation: According to the econometric analysis by EB5 Economist, the Sheraton project will create 1,223 jobs, of which 500 jobs will be created through operations and 723 jobs through construction. The more certain the method of job creation, the more secure the project becomes in helping investors achieve their permanent Green Cards.
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Ignacio Donoso, Esq., is Managing Partner of Donoso & Associates, LLC. Donoso & Associates is nationally recognized as a leading business immigration law firm with particular expertise in visas for EB-5 entrepreneurs, companies expanding operations to the U.S., start-ups, skilled professionals, professional athletes and artists in the entertainment industry. Mr. Donosoâ€™s career spans 23 years as a lawyer, advising thousands of investors in successfully navigating the U.S. visa system. More recently, Donoso & Associates, LLC expanded its operations to include visas for Canada and Mexico. Mr. Donoso founded Donoso & Associates in 2013, after previously working as Partner of FosterQuan, LLP (now Foster, LLP), one of the top immigration law firms in the U.S. Mr. Donoso has been selected to serve in many National Committees of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), including the National Annual Conference Planning Committee. From 2013-2018, Mr. Donoso has served on the AIL National EB-5 Committee. Mr. Donoso has been recognized among the Top 25 immigration attorneys in the United States for investor visas in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Mr. Donoso is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on U.S. immigration law and has frequently published on specific issues related to immigration matters. He has been interviewed on national news media including Fox Business and the New York Times, as well as national television and radio in relation on immigration issues.
7401 Wisconsin Avenue Suite 400 Bethesda MD 20814 E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01 301-276-0653 www.donoslaw.com 90 Citizenship By Investment
AWARD WINNING IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM TEMPORARY WORK VISAS FOR PROFESSIONALS AND INVESTORS GREEN CARDS FOR SKILLED AND UNSKILLED WORKERS EB2 AND EB3 SELFSPONSORED GREEN CARDS FOR EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY WORKERS AND NATIONAL INTEREST WAIVERS INVESTOR GREEN CARDS FAMILY IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATIONS
JOHANNESBURG QUICK FACTS Area (City): 335 km2 Area (Urban): 3,357 km2 Location: 26.12°S, 28.2°E Altitude: 1,753 metres Average high °C: Jan 29°, July 20° Population: 5.5 million (2018 estimate) Languages: English, Zulu, Afrikaans Main industries: Manufacturing, financial and business services City GDP: $80 billion (estimate) Time zone: GMT +2 Telephone area code: +011
CITY FOCUS: JOHANNESBURG
ituated high on the eastern plateau of the Highveld, over 500 kilometres from the nearest coastline, lies the city of Johannesburg. It straddles a prominent east-west running ridge called the Witwatersrand, which in Afrikaans means ‘White Water’s Ridge’, so-called because of the appearance of glistening quartzite rocks within trickling streams of water emanating from springs. It was here in June 1884 that gold was first discovered on a farm, triggering a gold rush that necessitated the government establishing a township. Johannesburg was founded in 1886, and within ten years it had a population of 100,000, making it one of the fastest growing cities in history. Initially, Johannesburg was a typical rough and ready mining town, but during the 20th century the city was transformed through major building developments and the arrival of big gold and diamond mining corporations. Today, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the financial centre of the country. It is also the world’s biggest inland city not built on a river or natural harbour and was the selected location for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. Although it is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, which is the smallest of the South Africa’s nine provinces by area. Nevertheless, Gauteng is the most populous and richest province with 25% of the total population and generating over one third of the country’s economy. The name Gauteng literally means ‘place of gold’ in the Sotho language.
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Climate Johannesburg has a subtropical highland climate. Being in the southern hemisphere, its summer months are October to April with hot sunny days followed by afternoon thunderstorms and cool evenings given the high elevation. The average daily temperature during these months ranges from a high of 26° to a low of 14°. The winter months are actually the sunniest, with mild days and chilly nights, with temperatures in June/July ranging from a high of 17° to a low of 2° with no rainfall.
Getting around Johannesburg Johannesburg is not exactly one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa but it does have several museums, luxury shopping malls (including Sandton City) and various flea markets where tourists can
buy souvenirs of African art. The Carlton Centre is a skyscraper in downtown Jo’burg within the south-eastern area of the Central Business District (CBD) which many tourists head to upon arrival. At 223 metres tall (732 feet), it is still the tallest building in Africa and has an observation deck on its 50th floor that is colloquially known as the ‘Top of Africa’. From here, visitors can get sweeping views of the city and its surrounding suburbs. Close by, in the district of Newtown, is the Museum of Africa, housed in what used to be Johannesburg’s main fruit and vegetable market. Here, visitors can step back in time to learn about the political, economic and social history of the city, and experience some of the musical ‘Sounds of the City’. A trip to the Gold Reef City theme park is also a popular afternoon tour which encompasses an authentic reconstruction of the city during the gold rush, including an underground mine tour. No visit to Johannesburg should be complete without a visit to the Apartheid Museum, which is on the Northern Park Way close to Gold Reef City. This gives a sombre overview of what life was like for local residents under South Africa’s Apartheid regime between 1948 and 1990, using film footage, photographs and oral history. Children younger than 11 years of age are prohibited from entering.
In similar vein, a trip to Constitution Hill and the Fort Complex is recommended to see the notorious Number Four prison, whose previous inmates included Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, who was imprisoned there in 1906. Although declared a national monument in 1964, the Old Fort fell into disrepair and ceased functioning as a prison by 1987. Most of the prison was later demolished to make way for the new Constitutional Court of South Africa and the new building held its first court session in February 2004. As well as the museum exhibitions, the court itself is open to the public and includes an art gallery situated within the court’s atrium. Visitors to Johannesburg with an interest in the country’s history may be keen to take a trip out to the shanty towns of Soweto, regarded as the birthplace of the freedom movement which led to the creation of South Africa’s new democratic constitution. Originally a collection of settlements for native black Africans mostly working in the mines and later for black South Africans displaced from areas designated for white settlements during apartheid, the SouthWestern Townships (Soweto) became fully part of the municipality of Johannesburg in 1994. It is strongly recommended that tourists intending to visit Soweto do so by taking an official guided tour. Most tours include a visit to Mandela House, which is now a museum and a national heritage site, situated just a short distance away from Tutu House, home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Further afield Tourists based in Johannesburg may also want to take a day-trip, with several appealing options available. The Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated approximately 50 kilometres northwest of the city and includes a complex of limestone caves which have yielded many paleoanthropological discoveries over the past 80 years.
SOUTH AFRICA QUICK FACTS
For lovers of nature and wildlife, the Johannesburg Zoo is one of the largest in South Africa and is highly recommended. There are several nature reserves within a short drive of the city, including Lion Park, the Krugersdorp Nature reserve and the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve situated 11 kilometres south of the city centre. But for a real safari experience, Kruger National Park is one of the world’s most famous safari parks and is situated about 435 kilometres (between 4-5 hours’ drive) east of Johannesburg.
Crime in Johannesburg It cannot be denied that there is a lot of tension in Johannesburg because of the unequal distribution of wealth and high unemployment and poverty levels. The local tourist offices are keen to point out that there are lots of safe areas to go and that the shopping malls and business districts have plenty of security and surveillance cameras. Nevertheless, one should be street-smart and be wary of pickpockets, keeping mobile
Full name: Republic of South Africa Capital city: Pretoria (administrative) Bloemfontein (judicial) Cape Town (legislative) Population: 57,725,600 (2018 estimate) GDP in current prices: USD $376.7 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 0.8% (2018) Area: 1,221,037 km2 Government: Unitary dominant-party parliamentary constitutional republic President: Cyril Ramaphosa Deputy President: David Mabuza Currency: South African Rand (ZAR) HDI: 113th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 82nd (2018/19) Time zone: GMT +2 Dialling code: 27
phones well-hidden and leaving valuables in safe-deposit boxes in the hotel. Sandton is one of the more affluent areas of Johannesburg and has become the main business and financial centre of the city. It also has Sandton City, which is one of the largest shopping centres in Africa and includes Nelson Mandela Square (formerly Sandton Square until being renamed in 2004). Sandton is on the Gautrain rapid rail link with connections to the OR Tambo International Airport and also with the city of Pretoria, 49 kilometres north of Sandton. However, anyone driving from the airport to Sandton should be advised that the district of Alexandra – which is next to the road from the airport to Sandton – is one of the areas to be avoided at all costs and drivers should ensure that all doors are locked and windows wound up at all times.
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ELECTION RESULTS PUSHING SOUTH AFRICAN EMIGRATION FURTHER
f we have a look at the number of Internet searches made in South Africa, the word ‘emigration’ is rising to the top. Furthermore, a lot of law firms and attorneys have been reporting a surge in enquiries in relation to emigration, especially when the South African Election 2019 had started. The political uncertainties are causing unrest within the South Africans, pushing many of them to seek out a more secure future overseas.
The South Africa Election 2019 has probably seen the worst turnaround of votes where only 46% of those over 18 went to cast their votes. Even with the African National Congress (ANC) taking ‘victory’, all still seems lost. Many South Africans have been reminded of the 1994 Elections where Nelson Mandela had actually brought victory to the polls. Several immigration lawyers and consultants such as KPMG, said that the rise in enquiries for visas abroad has increased tremendously especially over the last couple of weeks with one firm reporting that the amount of enquiries had quadrupled during that time. Many South Africans have warmed to the idea of global citizenship and seeking overseas residency to help them preserve their assets and secure their families’ futures with a second passport living abroad. A significant number of South Africans are growing in preference to an alternative citizenship, so they still have
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their South African passport rather than relocating or immigrating fully. The current emigration situation is a result of the poor social, economic and political aspects in the country that have been deteriorating over time. This goes from rising fuel prices and high unemployment to preserving assets and safety at home. Since 2006, more than 100,000 South Africans have emigrated, with over 25,000 moving abroad in 2015 alone. Research published last month by FNB Estate Agents found that the number of house sales going through because of emigration has doubled in the past two years, with emigration-sales accounting for 14.2% of all sales and 18.1% of sales by HNWIs in Q1 2019. Even with the pressure of improvement on the ANC, the probability of reform still seems minimal. The economic and political crisis is not shedding any light of hope, adding further impetus for those South Africans seeking to broaden their horizons into safer environments.
RESIDENCY & CITIZENSHIP TO YOUR IDEAL COUNTRY PRESERVE YOUR WEALTH, SECURITY FOR LIFE
ARE YOU THINKING OF MIGRATING? • TAX BENEFITS • VISA-FREE • SECURITY • BUSINESS EXPANSION • EDUCATION • DUAL CITIZENSHIP • DEPRECIATING RAND INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE
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The measure of success for any regional center is the success of their investors. CMB is proud to have helped over 800 investors achieve I-829 approvals and receive return of capital.
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Welcome to the first issue of Citizenship by Investment for 2019 in what is certain to be one of the most politically dramatic years in mode...
Published on Jun 10, 2019
Welcome to the first issue of Citizenship by Investment for 2019 in what is certain to be one of the most politically dramatic years in mode...