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AFRICAN INVESTMENT IMMIGRATION VIRTUAL EXPO

I S S U E 20

2020

EVENT SPECIAL ISSUE

SUMMER 2020

The vision for residency and citizenship in changing times www.citizenshipinvestment.org


Organised by:

AFRICAN INVESTMENT IMMIGRATION

AUGUST 17 & 18 BST+ 9:00

INTERACT GLOBALLY CHAT IN REAL TIME

ENQUIRE NOW FOR ANY SPONSORSHIP OR EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITIES +44 (0) 20 7241 1589

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CONTENTS Summer 2020 City Focus Johannesburg

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Ahmedabad

22

Features The global mobility gap at its starkest: insights from the latest Henley Passport Index St. Kitts and Nevis: five steps to a successful CBI Programme Investment migration brings a new dimension to asset allocation Malta to launch new Investment Migration Programme

12

14

16

18

26

EB-5 Investor Market Trends: The Rising Stars for Raising EB-5 Capital

29

Antigua and Barbuda

30

Dominica

38

Grenada

44

St. Kitts and Nevis

51

Saint Lucia

60

European Section

The Pandemic’s Five Silver Linings for the EB-5 Program

A client focused approach to Citizenship by Investment in St. Lucia

Country Spotlights Section Index Caribbean Section

Cyprus

66

Greece

70

Malta

74

Montenegro

78

Portugal

80

Turkey

84

UK

88

Australasian / North American Section

64

85

Australia

90

Canada

92

USA

95

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Citizenship By Investment 3


FEATURES: INTRODUCTION Welcome to the Summer 2020 issue of Citizenship by Investment, your one-stop resource for what’s new and topical in residency and investment migration around the globe. This is the 20th edition of our magazine, available both online and in print. Since our last issue, the business environment has changed radically, with the local limitations and worldwide travel restrictions caused by the social distancing measures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has forced changes in procedures and business and consumer demand in every industry, to a greater or lesser extent. An industry defining existential threat for some in business, a unique opportunity for others. The Citizenship by Investment industry has, like many others, has had different effects in different regions, and even in neighbouring jurisdictions. We cover this in detail throughout the magazine, and you can find the latest moves and legislative changes in each of our Country Spotlights. With the travel and immigration difficulties that the virus has caused for businesses and individuals globally, citizenship by investment has been viewed as a solution for many facing a new and altered landscape – just as it has been seen for decades. The danger of sitting still in one location, and being caught by changing, potentially sudden new restrictions, has been starkly exposed. The freedom gained by investors looking to react to business trends or expand their businesses is now a thing to be prized. At BLS, we move with the times, and with our usual live, in-person and faceto-face events currently not a possibility, we have moved onto the online space with our African Investment Immigration Virtual Expo, to be held on the 17 and 4 Citizenship By Investment

18 August. This will start at 9:00 British Summer Time, so please check that for your own time-zone. The African Investment Immigration Virtual Expo is a must attend for HNWIs and families who are interested in or want to learn about citizenship and residency programmes. Over the two days of the Expo you can meet CIUs and government officials, and immigration investment professionals, who can give you expert advice on how to migrate to locations like Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Europe, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the UAE and many more. Visit the exhibitors on their virtual stands, where you can chat in real time, ask questions, or just leave your details for later, as you wish. We will also running a full series of speaker and video presentations and live Q&As, all streaming in the Auditorium. (Just go to the back of the Hall and follow the arrows). On pages 6 to 8 you can find a draft programme and list of speakers and exhibitors. A full conference programme will be released closer to the Expo, and the event will be made accessible to attendees for 30 days to play on-demand. Potential investors can register for free at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ african-investment-immigration-virtualexpo-tickets-115049435960 and you always find the latest information on all our bespoke events on our regular event website www.giisummit.org. We hope you find this issue informative and interesting. As always, you will also be able to find these articles, and much more besides, on our website www.citizenshipinvestment.org where you can register for free regular updates. You can also follow us on social media on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

www.citizenshipinvestment.org www.bit.ly/bls-giis www.bit.ly/blsmedia www.bit.ly/blstweet


NEWS UPDATES... NEWS UPDATES... COVID-19 outbreak encourages interest in CBI programmes The pandemic has lead to leap in enquiries about citizenship in countries which have been seen as relatively successful in their handling of the virus, such as New Zealand. The South Pacific nation reported that there were 80,000 Americans seeking information about emigration in May 2020, a jump of 65% on the same period last year. Other areas that sparked interest were the Caribbean, Malta and Australia, which all offer beautiful beaches, options for more isolated living and other assorted benefits for Americans. "They now realise, Let’s really prepare an emergency plan. That is why we have seen a surge now, not only in the investigation but also in families who actually register and say, ‘Let’s start the process',” said Dominic Volek of Henley and Partners to Bloomberg. Nadine Goldfoot, Managing Partner at Fragomen, told Bloomberg that the pandemic has encouraged HNWis to take swift action. Other countries, such as Portugal, are also popular because the real estate market is fairly stable, and Americans are creating a safe zone where insecurities can be managed.

Will the UK pave way for a single immigration system? New legislation has been introduced by the UK government with intention of bill being to end free movement EEA post 2020. As the Brexit process works through, there are plans to change the immigration system completely to introduce a single immigration system for all, this is likely to take effect after 1 January 2021 when the UK will end involvement in European free movement. While the UK still has the variety of immigration options raging from Tier 1 visa to Tier 5, there could be changes to all the routes available to the UK. There are currently no details of what the new bill will entails for people looking to migrate to the UK. The new laws were scheduled to be introduced later this year, however the COVID-19 pandemic may cause a delay to the announcement.

Malaysia rejects 90% of applications and freezes MM2H The Malaysian government has temporarily frozen the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) visa. All new applications are now on hold and the government has announced it will revise the programme. This is the second time in two years the programme has been suspended, and representatives of the Malaysian My Second Home Consultants Association (MM2HCA) say 90% of the applications they submitted between September and November 2019 were rejected without any reasons or justifications. The current plan is to reopen the MM2H by December 2020, and the government have stressed the economic importance of the popular investment visa.

For further information on the news updates above and future news on the CBI programmes please visit www.citizenshipinvestment.org Citizenship By Investment 5


AFRICAN INVESTMENT IMMIGRATION VIRTUAL EXPO

2020

Organised by:

AUGUST 17 & 18 BST+ 9:00

SPEAKERS & EXHIBITORS INCLUDE… The Right Honourable Charles Peter David Minister of Foreign Affairs, Grenada

George Campanellas Chief Executive Officer, Invest Cyprus

Gaston Browne Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

H.E. Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan Head, Citizenship By Investment Unit, Commonwealth of Dominica

Mohammed Asaria Managing Director and Board Member, Range Developments

Anastasia Yianni Chief Executive Officer, Cyprus Sotheby’s International Realty

Les Khan Chief Executive Officer, St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit

Dr. Namukale Chintu, ACSI Senior Director, EFG Private Bank

Atiq Anjarwalla Managing Partner, ACH Legal

Percival E. Clouden Chief Executive Officer, Grenada Citizenship by Investment Unit

Ashraf Essop Director, Rossouws Leslie Inc

Nousrath Bhugeloo Independent Wealth Advisor

Linda Ochugbua Head Of Online and Digital Sales, BusinessDay Media Limited

Samuel Raphael Managing Director & Developer, Jungle Bay Dominica,

Martin Dubbey Managing Director, Harod Associates

PLATINUM SPONSORS

COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT & PRIZE SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS

COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT SPONSORS


For an up-to-date speakers list and the latest programme please visit www.giisummit.org

Kehinde Olatunji Nigerian journalist

Vince Lalonde Director of Immigration, Pace Immigration

Daniel Anazia Journalist, The Guardian Newspaper

Charmaine Quinland-Donovan CEO, Citizenship by Investment Unit, Antigua & Barbuda

Idowu Olumide Chief Executive Officer, Brandleys International Ltd

Mark Davies Managing Director, Davies and Associates LLC

Richard Moir International Strategic Advisor, Harod Associates

Paulo Silva Partner, Rax Boutique

Kirthley C.H. Maginley Chief Executive Officer, James & Maginley Ltd

Kurt Reuss Chief Executive Officer, EB5 Marketplace

Oswaldo Castellano Neto Individual Consultant / Lawyer

H. Ronald Klasko Managing Partner, Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP

Funmi Olaniyi Manager, Private Clients & Family Wealth Group, Andersen Tax, Nigeria

Acho Azuike Chief Operating Officer & Managing Director, Houston EB5

Gonzalo Lopez Jordan Managing Director, American Regional Center Group

Christian Wayne Economic AttachĂŠ, Embassies of Eastern Caribbean States to the Kingdom of Morocco

Christos Vardikos Attorney at Law / Tax Lawyer / Immigration Lawyer, Vardikos and Vardikos

Daniel D. Ryan Managing Director, Atlantic American Partners

EXHIBITOR SPONSORS

PANEL PARTICIPANTS

IN COLLABORATION WITH

MEDIA PARTNERS


AFRICAN INVESTMENT IMMIGRATION VIRTUAL EXPO

2020

Organised by:

AUGUST 17 & 18 BST+ 9:00

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME DAY ONE

WEDNESDAY – 22ND JULY (08:00 – 18:00) – BRITISH SUMMER TIME EVENT SCHEDULE: Please note that speakers and speeches are subject to last minute changes

08:00 – 09:45

REGISTRATION / NETWORKING / EXHIBITION VIEWING / CHATS

09:45 – 10:00

WELCOME ADDRESS: Nousrath Bhugeloo, Independent Investor Wealth Advisor

WHY SECOND CITIZENSHIP IS A NECESSITY AND NOT A LUXURY FOR AFRICAN HNW INVESTORS Mohammed Asaria, Managing Director & Board Member, Range Developments

10:00 – 11:00

INVESTMENT AND WEALTH PLANNING FOR AFRICAN HIGH-NET-WORTH INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES

PANEL 1: INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE WITH THE ADDED VALUE OF A SECOND PASSPORT

11:00 – 11:15

INVESTING IN GRENADA: The Right Honourable Charles Peter David, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Grenada.

11:15 – 11:30

GRENADA CITIZENSHIP AND E2 VISA TO USA Mr Percival E Clouden, Chief Executive Officer, Grenada Citizenship By Investment Unit

11:30 – 13:00

PANEL 2: ALTERNATIVE GATEWAY TO US – E2 VISA / EB1C / L1

13:00 – 13:45

HOW AFRICANS CAN MAKE A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION FOR A SECOND CITIZENSHIP

13:45 – 14:00

JAMES & MAGINLEY LTD – Kirthley C.H Maginley, Chief Executive Officer

14:00 – 15:00

PANEL 3: THE EB-5 EXPERT PANEL

15:00– 15:30

SECOND CITIZENSHIP OF DOMINICA POST-COVID-19

15:30 – 16:00

PANEL 4: INVESTMENT IMMIGRATION IN A POST PANDEMIC WORLD

16:00 – 16:40

THE FUTURE OF CBI IN ST KITTS AND NEVIS

16:40 – 17:10

EXPLORING CARIBBEAN SECOND CITIZENSHIP OPTIONS IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

17:10 – 19:00

NETWORKING / EXHIBITOR HALL INTERACTION

DAY TWO

THURSDAY – 23ND JULY (09:00 – 17:00) – DAY TWO – BRITISH SUMMER TIME

09:00 – 10:00

MONTENEGRO AND GREECE – “PROTECT YOUR FAMILY, PRESERVE YOUR WEALTH”

10:00 – 11:00

PANEL 5: WORK AND LIVE, OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MARKET, CYPRUS RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP INVESTMENT PROGRAMME

11:00 – 11:30

GROWING DEMAND FOR EU CITIZENSHIP WITH PORTUGAL’S “GOLDEN VISA”

11:30 – 12:10

HOW TO SET A BUSINESS OR EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS IN THE UK

12:10 – 12:40

PANEL 6: WHY WEALTHY AFRICANS ARE SHOPPING FOR SECOND CITIZENSHIP

17:10 – 19:00

NETWORKING / EXHIBITOR HALL INTERACTION

14:00 – 14:30

CANADA START-UP VISA PROGRAM

14:30 – 15:00

DONATION VS REAL ESTATE: DECIDING WHAT IS THE BEST OPTION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?

15:00 – 16:00

IMPORTANCE OF DUE DILIGENCE? DOS AND DON’TS AT THE DUE DILIGENCE STAGE

16:00 – 17:00

VIRTUAL AWARD WINNERS


COVID-19 SPARKS AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF AFRICANS SEEKING A SECOND PASSPORT

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emand for investment into property-linked second passport residency programmes has spiked despite the travel restrictions brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic, says Nadia Read Thaele, Managing Director of residency planning firm LIO Global.

Thaele stated that there are two reasons for this increase. “Firstly, the unexpected Covid-19 onset and then the consequent global economic slump. While it was expected that global growth would slow in 2020, no-one expected it to be so sudden and off the back of a global health emergency. It has caught many investors off guard.” “Secondly, for South Africa’s wealthy, the effect was compounded by Moody’s final downgrade on the 27th of March, just as the devastation on the local economy began to sink in and the length of the national lockdown became a reality.” During the lockdown, there has been a significant increase in the number of South Africans seeking to gain a second passport. Stock unpredictability and the oil crisis, which has seen the oil value fall drastically, means that people in South Africa as well as all around the world, are anxious and desperately seeking to diversify their citizenship and realign their investment portfolios.

She went on to say that residency and citizenship planning has become more important than ever as family’s look at diversifying their citizenship arrangements and realigning their investment portfolios. One one of the key ways that South Africans are looking at getting a second passport is through property, Thaele said. While the rand has lost just over 20% of its value, making these programmes more expensive, this is negated by the significant capital growth and many investors are using funds already offshore. “Had you for example invested in a residency programme with a property into a Caribbean island country such Grenada for $350,000 at the start of the year when the dollar/rand exchange rate was at around R14, you would have invested about R4.9 million. “This investment is equivalent to what an upper-middle-income house in South Africa would cost you and well below

what you would pay for an apartment in Clifton or Camps Bay.” By mid-April, the decline in the rand to around R18.80 to the US dollar means that your investment value now stands at around R6.58 million, a significant 34% growth in a matter of 4.5 months. “On top of that the Grenada Programme is one of the few with a fast, 4-6 month route to citizenship which will give you visa-free access to 140 countries including the UK, China and Schengen region, a significant benefit for any South African,” Thaele said. “It also has the added benefit of the E-2 Visa treaty with the USA, which allows citizens of Grenada the option to invest and reside there, should they want to.” She noted that Caribbean countries such as St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Antigua, and Barbuda offer particularly attractive opportunities, with investments of between $220,000 and $350,000 providing citizenship. Citizenship By Investment 9


C I T Y F O C U S:

JOHANNESBURG

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ocated on the eastern plateau area of South Africa, known as the Highveld, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. Despite its size, ‘Joburg’ as it is fondly called by locals, is one of the world’s youngest major cities. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa; the metropolis has a GDP of USD $76 billion. Johannesburg, is also named the “City of Gold”, as it is well known for the lucrative gold and diamond trade, which dates back to the 19th century.

Johannesburg is made up of seven regions, in which there are many attractive places to reside, for example the leafy suburban area of Randburg. Filled with spacious homes and gardens, Randburg is a large area that is much quieter and less opulent than Sandton, whilst still having its own assortment of businesses.The region of Soweto is also an upcoming area due to the improved and expanded public transport infrastructure and better roads. The education system has also been expanded and is home to the new University of Johannesburg Soweto campus. Property values have greatly increased in this area in recent years, resulting in the area having great investment potential. Soweto is also well known for being home to historical sites such as the Mandela House and the Nelson Mandela National Museum. It is also the location of the FNB Stadium which was redesigned and expanded in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It became the largest stadium in Africa, with a capacity of 94,736. For the event, South Africa invested 10 Citizenship By Investment

QUICK FACTS Area: 1,645 km² Location: 26.2041° S, 28.0473° E Altitude: 1,753m above sea level Average high °C: July: 18°; August: 21°C (Year: 16°C) Population: 5,635,127 (2019) Languages: English – 31.1% Zulu – 19.6% Afrikaans – 12.1% Xhosa – 5.2% Other – 31.9% City GDP: US $76 billion (2014) Time Zone: GMT +2

USD $3.12 billion on transportation, telecommunication and stadia. In return, the 2010 World Cup generated USD $509m to the 2010 GDP. It also created USD $769m in benefits for the households.

and coal, therefore, a concession was granted by the ZAR government to the Netherlands-South African Railway Company on 20 July 1888, to construct a 16 miles railway line from Johannesburg to Boksburg.

The Gold Rush

Within ten years of the discovery of gold in Johannesburg, over 100 000 people had flocked to this part of the ZuidAfrikaansche Republic in search of riches. From Colonials that were escaping the monotony of small-town life, to Artisans and miners from the gold and silver fields of the Americas and Australia. The foundations of this city were built by those that came to become a part of the mineral revolution. Although gold, diamonds, platinum and coal are the most well-known among the minerals and metals mined, South Africa also hosts chrome, vanadium, titanium and a number of other lesser minerals. South Africa’s political, social and economic landscape has been shaped by mining, given that, for so many years, the sector has been the mainstay of the South African economy.

Johannesburg was established as a small village controlled by a Health Committee in 1886, after the discovery of an outcrop of a gold reef on the farm Langlaagte in 1884. The word spread and an influx of people migrated to the area, triggering the Witwatersrand Gold Rush which propelled the village to progress to city status by 1928. The gold rush saw massive development of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand, and the area remains the prime metropolitan area of South Africa. One consequence of the gold rush was the construction of the first railway lines in this part of Africa. Due to the rapid growth of the goldfields on the Witwatersrand in the 1880s there was a significant demand for supplies and to export materials such as the gold


Although mining was the foundation of Johannesburg’s economy, its importance is gradually declining due to diminishing resources as well as the growing retail, service and manufacturing industries that have become more significant to the city’s economy. This being said however, according to the Minerals Council South Africa, in 2018, a total of 456,438 people were employed in the mining sector, and it contributed R351 billion to the South African gross domestic product (GDP), so clearly there remains many financial opportunities in the mining industry. Gold mining no longer occurs within the city limits, however, the majority of mining companies still have their headquarters in Johannesburg. The city’s manufacturing industries extend across a range of areas, from technological equipment such as phones, computers and televisions. To heavier industries,like making motor vehicle parts, equipment and engineering products. A City of Many Trades Johannesburg is considered to be the seat of the financial sector in South Africa as it is home to all the major banks and Africa’s largest stock exchange, located in Sandton. Founded in 1887, shortly after the discovery of Gold, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is a world class African exchange with an estimated Market Cap of USD $1,105 billion. Top global companies like MacDonald’s, Zurich

Re, Nokia, Toyota and Coca-Cola, also have their South African head offices in the city. As the economic powerhouse of South Africa, Johannesburg generates 17% of the country’s gross domestic product, it also accounts for 40% of Gauteng’s economic activity. Within South Africa, the service sector is fundamental to the economy, accounting for 65% of GDP, 63% of employment and 74% of capital formation. Since the 1990s, the tertiary (service) sector has been the main source of economic growth and Johannesburg plays a vital role in maintaining this prosperous industry, through wholesale and retail trade, tourism and communications. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual review of economic impact and social importance of the sector, South Africa is the top tourism economy in Africa, contributing 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy in 2018. Furthermore, Johannesburg has been the most popular city in Africa since 2013, welcoming around 4 million international overnight visitors annually. This metropolis also recorded the highest international overnight visitor expenditure among African cities, in 2017,on average, international visitors stayed 10.9 nights and spent USD $48 per day in Johannesburg. Mark Elliott, The Division President of Mastercard Southern Africa said that “The ranking is significant for

Joburg’s economic prospects as visitor expenditure contributes an important source of revenue to the retail, hospitality, restaurant and cultural sectors.” Popular tourist attractions in ‘Joburg’ include the historically important House of Mandela and the Apartheid Museum, as well as entertainment sites such as Gold Reef City and the Johannesburg Zoo, which is over 100 years old. Another attractive aspect of Johannesburg is the number of large retail precincts that the city has. As one of the least expensive cities in Africa, retailers from sub-Saharan countries, particularly South Africa’s neighbouring countries favour ‘The City of Gold’ as a retail destination. It is considered to be a shopper’s paradise, where there is something to satisfy every individual, from swanky designer brands to local flea markets. The inner city business district and the Sandton City precinct are two of the biggest areas in regards to retail, with Sandton boasting a shopping mall with over 300 shops. There is an excellent rail, road and air network in Johannesburg. The city has two major airports both a short distance away, with an ability to accommodate international air transport. Lanseria Airport (HLA) and OR Tambo Airport (JNB) are both less than 30 miles from the city centre and have non-stop flights to seven continents. This makes Johannesburg an extremely convenient city to reside in for frequent travellers. Citizenship By Investment 11


THE GLOBAL MOBILITY GAP AT ITS STARKEST: INSIGHTS FROM THE LATEST HENLEY PASSPORT INDEX

by Dominic Volek, Managing Partner, Member of the Management Board, & Head of Southeast Asia at Henley & Partners

As we enter a new decade that has seen a tumultuous start, much in keeping with the turbulence of the previous 10 years, comparing the results from the latest Henley Passport Index published in January with historical index data provides a compelling overview of the state of global mobility. 2020 commenced with Japan retaining 1st place, with passport holders able to access an impressive 191 destinations around the world without having to acquire a visa in advance. Ten years ago, the UK held the number-one spot on the index, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 166. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index with a score of just 26 in 2020, precisely where it was in 2010. While this may not come as much of a surprise, it is telling that Afghanistan’s score remains unchanged, 10 years on. These comparisons give a clear indication of a growing divide when it comes to travel freedom - a harsh truth when considered alongside the fact that in the same 10-year period, globalization has enabled countless individuals to be more mobile and better connected than ever before. 12 Citizenship By Investment

Vast disparity between developing and developed countries

global mobility index, and it continues to be the most widely referenced and cited.

Over the years there has been a substantial increase in the average number of countries that can be visited without requiring a prior visa. What the index shows, however, is that the improvement in the global average is driven predominantly by developed countries relaxing their visa requirements, while most developing countries remain fairly static in terms of global mobility. Put very simply, Japanese passport holders are able to access 165 more destinations around the globe, without the inconvenience and cost of obtaining a visa, than Afghan passport holders. An analysis of historical data reveals that the global mobility gap is the starkest it has ever been since the Henley Passport Index was invented by Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners. In 2004, Dr. Kaelin designed the first ranking of all the world’s countries according to how many destinations their citizens can travel to visa-free. Based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Henley Passport Index is thus the original, authoritative

Asia soars while the UK and the US take a back seat The growing global mobility disparity is one of many insights to be gleaned from the latest ranking. The January 2020 Henley Passport Index also highlights the continuing success of Asia, with Asian countries dominating the upper reaches of the ranking. 2020 is the third consecutive year in which Japan has enjoyed the top spot – a trend that seems likely to continue – Singapore takes 2nd place and South Korea is in joint-3rd position. By comparison, the top three spots were held by European countries in 2010: the UK was in 1st place, Denmark 2nd, and Sweden 3rd. In contrast to the steady ascendance of Asian countries are those countries whose prime positions once seemed immovable yet now are in retrograde. The UK has been falling in the rankings over the past 10 years and in 2020 shares joint-8th position with Belgium, Greece, Norway, and the US. While it is not yet possible to make any firm predictions about the effect that


Brexit will have on UK passport power, it seems increasingly unlikely that the UK will regain the 1st-place position it once held. The same is true of the US — a look at the historical data shows that in 2014, the country was ranked 1st when it came to travel freedom, but with the implementation of ever-stricter immigration policies and the constant extension of travel restrictions, the top spot is well out of reach for the foreseeable future. EU member states dominate the top 10 Overall, European countries continue to perform extremely well in the rankings. Of the 30 countries that occupy the index’s top 10 positions in January 2020, 21 are European: a clear testament to the value of holding an EU passport and the travel freedom it guarantees. Finland and Italy share joint-4th place, with scores of 188, while Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain hold joint-5th place, each with a score of 187. As with the UK, however, the impact of Brexit on the composition of the top 20 countries remains to be seen. Uncertainty surrounds the future of migration and mobility between the UK and the EU, as was the case at the beginning of 2019, and there are many questions yet to be answered. The decade’s highs and lows The index’s overriding success story remains the sustained ascendance of the UAE, which climbed four places over the past year and now sits well within the top 20 in 18th place, with a visa-free/visa -on-arrival score of 171. The historical data reveals that the rise of the UAE passport has been practically meteoric – it has climbed an extraordinary 47 places over the past decade, as the country has implemented a succession of mutually reciprocated visa waivers in a bid to attract tourism and trade. Taiwan’s ascent has also been impressive – it has moved up 37 places since 2010, with passport holders now able to access 146 destinations around the world without a prior visa. Other countries that have fared well over the past 10 years are those in the former Soviet space, Georgia and Ukraine in particular, which climbed up 19 and 22 places in the rankings, respectively, with notable increases in their scores. Western Balkan countries have also performed well over the past

decade as many have relaxed their formerly restrictive immigration policies and have implemented reciprocal visa waivers. Albania, for instance, is now in 54th place with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 114 compared with its 2010 score of just 49. It is worth pausing to consider the significance of such extraordinary increases in countries’ scores for their citizens – not only in terms of travel freedom, but also in terms of personal and professional opportunities, and improved prospects. In juxtaposition with the index’s top performers, somewhat bleaker narratives emerge. Globally, states affected by ongoing conflict or unrest have experienced heavy losses in their scores over the past decade. In the Middle East, Syria has dropped 18 places since 2010, from 87th to 105th place, with citizens able to access just 29 destinations without having to acquire a visa in advance, while Yemen has dropped 15 spots in the same period, from 88th to joint-103rd place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 33. In Africa, Libya has dropped 15 places, from 87th to 102nd place, while Mali has dropped 13 places, from 75th to 88th place.

Looking ahead We are living in an era of extremes – in terms of political volatility, inequality, and climate insecurity – and the latest results from the Henley Passport Index show us that the same is true of travel freedom. The start of the new decade heralds an inflection point of sorts. 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 present circumstances suggest the emergence of a set of policies and practices being adopted worldwide that take a less politicized and more structured approach to migration, and 2020 may prove decisive in determining whether important countries can shift migration from politics to policy” (Henley Passport Index and Global Mobility Report 2020). We are poised to see whether the forces of globalization have the power to bring countries and individuals closer together by removing obstructions to freedom of movement and closing up the mobility gap, or whether other, divisive forces will prevail, leaving us with an unbreachable chasm.

Visa openness correlates with other freedoms It is fascinating to consider the implications of these dynamics in conjunction with ongoing research regarding the connection between travel freedom and other kinds of liberties, be it economic, individual, or political. For instance, Uğur Altundal and Ömer Zarpli, Researchers in Political Science at Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively, conducted research using exclusive historical data from the Henley Passport Index that revealed a strongly positive connection between visa freedom and a variety of indicators of economic freedom, including foreign direct investment inflows, property rights, tax burdens, and investment freedom.

Dominic Volek, Managing Partner, Member of the Management Board, Head of Southeast Asia at Henley & Partners

Research also indicates a robustly positive connection between powerful passports that hold top positions in the ranking, and key socio-economic indicators such as government integrity and personal or political freedom. Citizenship By Investment 13


St Kitts and Nevis: Best for Families with New Limited-Time Offer by CS GLOBAL PARTNERS

S

ince 1984, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, a small dual-island nation in the Caribbean, has been operating the oldest Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme in the world. It is now commonly known as the Platinum Standard of CBI.

Over three decades later, St Kitts and Nevis’ Programme remains one of the most sought-after in the world, even in light of a global pandemic, if not more so. The government had the foresight to accurately estimate what investors may look for during these unprecedented times. While no other country can compete with the longevity of St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme, there are four lessons to be drawn from its unrivalled experience: adapt quickly, maintain solid due diligence, be straightforward, and do good. Adapt Quickly Early on, before most countries even started imposing lockdowns and shutting their borders, St Kitts and Nevis decided to accept CBI applications submitted through its online system. Several CBI 14 Citizenship By Investment

countries followed suit. St Kitts and Nevis was one of the last nations to be affected by COVID-19. The government acted swiftly to minimise its health and economic impact, registering only 17 cases and no related deaths (as of August 17th, 2020). A second major change to the CBI Programme came in July, when the Citizenship by Investment Unit announced a new, limited-time offer whereby families of up to four can obtain citizenship for a contribution of US$150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), instead of the previous US$195,000. Valid only through the fund option, the offer runs until January 15th, 2021.

Professional Wealth Management magazine, one of the reasons St Kitts and Nevis excels in the economic citizenship industry is its attention to due diligence. The islands’ vetting procedures received full scores in the independent study. Even the provisions for online submission of CBI applications did not tamper with St Kitts and Nevis’ strict security checks. “Our due diligence is one of the best in the world,” said Prime Minster Timothy Harris. “It is multi-layered and multifaceted, using international firms and agencies. We do not accept applicants from states labelled as uncooperative in the fight against terrorism or considered to be rogue nations.” Be Straightforward

Excel at Due Diligence According to the latest CBI Index, published by the Financial Times’

For decades, foreign investors and their families have been choosing St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme for its unrivalled


experience and longevity. Besides the optimal price in light of the new limitedtime offer, the Sustainable Growth Fund remains the most straightforward route for investors and families to acquire second citizenship, whereas locals benefit from the generated funds through various socio-economic initiatives. Investors prefer St Kitts and Nevis’ Programme because it offers unique benefits and has stood the test of time, demonstrating that it is reliable, efficient and rewarding. The distinctive Accelerated Application Process (AAP), for example, allows eligible applicants to receive their citizenship and accompanying passports – a separate procedure – within 60 days, without compromising on the quality of the checks. In normal times, this enables successful investors to travel visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival to over 150 destinations across the globe. Successful applicants can also benefit from a number of opportunities, including diversified business prospects,

access to better education and healthcare for their children and, importantly, the chance to pass the citizenship down, securing the future of many generations to come.

sustainable projects is ultimately why the CBI fund option exists.

Revenue generated from the CBI Programme aims to sponsor key public and private sectors, such as education, healthcare, sustainable growth policies, tourism and infrastructural development.

The CBI Programme also financially supported the construction of an international athletic track in Nevis, helped pay off the IMF debt, and sponsored the Skills Training Empowerment Programme. CBI also fully funds the Poverty Alleviation Programme that provides around 7% of the population with a monthly stipend for household expenses.

For example, last year, a new cruise pier was completed at Port Zante in St Kitts. The US$48-million project was financed via four local sources, of which US$5 million came from CBI. In December, St Kitts welcomed the first ever Coral Princess cruise ship to reach its shores, with 2,000 passengers on board. Shortly after, four cruise ships berthed simultaneously at Port Zante, for the first time ever, with a combined maximum capacity of over 12,000 guests. While the benefit to the tourism sector is yet to be fully felt, investing in long-term,

While no one could have prepared the world for what 2020 was to bring, it pays off to have had a head start in fiscal terms. The year 2019 ended on an overall positive note for St Kitts and Nevis. The twin islands had registered their fifth consecutive year of economic growth, had established diplomatic relations with even more countries and featured comfortably in the world’s top 30 countries for rule of law. St Kitts and Nevis also demonstrated sound industry acumen and, time and time again, was able to make the right decisions at the right time.

Do Good

Citizenship By Investment 15


INVESTMENT MIGRATION BRINGS A NEW DIMENSION TO ASSET ALLOCATION As we enter the 2020s, investment migration is increasingly being included as a core component of wealth management strategies around the world. The premise on which the investment migration industry is built — that sovereign states can leverage their residence and citizenship rights to attract crucial foreign direct investment (FDI) and experience improved economic prosperity — holds true for individual investors who are able to expand their business operations and extend market reach, secure greater global influence and opportunities, and shore up some of the risk inherent in traditional asset allocation. Introducing a new type of asset classs Residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs offer individuals the opportunity to invest a pre-set sum into the economy of a country of their choice. Historically they have been used to ensure enhanced global mobility and/or international status. These obvious benefits remain, but I believe we have entered a new phase of investment migration portfolio planning that belongs as much to wealth management strategy as equities, bonds, commodities, futures, or any other capital markets-based instrument. 16 Citizenship By Investment

Increasingly, strategic investors appreciate that investment migration represents a value proposition that is fundamentally different from traditional forms of investment, yet equally important. A diverse citizenship portfolio - the best hedge against global instability In the first few weeks of 2020 alone, the world has witnessed the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and the concomitant global sell-off of equities. The full effects of these events remain to be seen, but at the time of writing, 16 nations have banned Chinese travelers from entering through their borders, and the effect on the global economy has been significant. China, with an economy that is the fulcrum of contemporary global trade, and the largest trader of merchandise in the world, is already feeling the strain. Small and medium-sized businesses that operate on short-term contracts and have limited financial and physical reserves are particularly vulnerable, with credible sources suggesting that livestock farmers across China’s central belt are so low on cattle feed that they may be only days away from running out altogether. Last year, China’s economy grew by just 6%, which was the lowest rate in almost

by Dr. Juerg Steffen CEO, Henley & Partners

30 years and a significant drop-off from the 10.2% achieved in 2010. If the coronavirus is not brought under control quickly, there is a genuine risk China’s growth could fall below 5% – or even give way to economic contraction. The response to turbulence on the global markets is frequently to look towards safe-haven investments such as precious metals and defensive stocks – sound investment thinking, to be sure. However, while we saw many investors opt for gold to hedge their exposure to stock market volatility in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, wealth managers today are encouraging their clients to consider investing in alternative citizenship and/or residence as an even wider reaching fail-safe in the face of global volatility. Balancing Risk and Opportunity It is universally accepted that a solid investment portfolio aims to maximize returns while minimizing exposure to risk. In the realm of finance, this might mean spreading one’s available capital across a variety of financial products ranging from the low-risk/low-return potential of debt to the comparatively


high-risk/high-return potential of equities, or something similar. When it comes to citizenship, the machinery may be different, but the model is the same. We are all allocated a citizenship at birth, but it is truly a “birthright lottery” (to quote legal scholar Ayelet Shachar’s memorable phrase) as to whether that citizenship is going to be a help or a hindrance to us throughout the rest of our lives. Those of us fortunate enough to be born with a high-quality citizenship that enables us to access significant opportunities within and beyond our countries of birth are less exposed to risk than those who are born with citizenship of relatively low quality. However, the truth is that whatever passport one is entitled to at birth, having multiple citizenships dramatically reduces one’s exposure to political and economic risk, and significantly increases one’s access to both financial and personal opportunities. As global politics and economics become ever more imbricated, holding just one citizenship is increasingly disadvantageous, much like placing all of one’s capital in high-risk stocks and hoping for indefinite returns. Having options for alternative residence or citizenship in more desirable locations or regions not only enables individuals and their families to be mobile when circumstances call for it, but it also allows them to deploy their wealth far more effectively than if they were bound to a single jurisdiction. Like gold or AAA rated sovereign securities, alternative residence and/or citizenship is a safe-haven investment - with the additional benefit of providing choices for improved physical safety for high-net-worth individuals and

their families. Acquiring alternative residence or citizenship diversifies investor risk by providing optimal protection against global economic and political volatility. Beyond the wide-ranging financial benefits of alternative citizenship are the considerable add-ons of increased global mobility, enhanced lifestyle options, and access to first-class educational institutions. For instance, the acquisition of Cypriot or Maltese citizenship not only enables visa-free access to over 170 destinations, but also facilitates easy entry to the best of Europe’s premium cultural, educational, and lifestyle hubs. Freedom and independence – assets worth protecting Material benefits aside, investment migration safeguards individuals from being at the mercy of a single government. For instance, holding alternative citizenship of an EU member state guarantees the right to travel, trade, and settle anywhere in the EU without restriction, as well as granting access to all the benefits enjoyed by other citizens of that state. For business owners it can also foster business expansion and expedite overseeing international operations. Alternative citizenship, therefore, dilutes the power that a single state can exercise over individuals, enabling them to make autonomous decisions regarding the deployment of capital with fewer restraints. As we move firmly into the 21st century, those who thrive will be individuals who are best placed to adapt to a changing reality. Expanding our notions of value and investment are key. Just as we have

learnt to treat our health as an investment, we must come to consider our freedom as such too. An investment in freedom and independence today will yield dividends for decades to come in terms of financial reward, improved quality of life, and the privilege of choice, not only for individuals, but for their families and their legacies too. Risk management for life Holding additional citizenship in a more favorable jurisdiction is a unique means of insulating oneself against market precarity and potential geopolitical instability. Visa rules can and do change, as do governments, but citizenship is for life and can often be passed down to future generations. Investment migration programs are reliable mechanisms for reducing one’s exposure to risk while unlocking valuable opportunities. Whether one is motivated by risk reduction or value creation, the benefits that accrue from having multiple citizenship and/or residence options are an indispensable antidote to whatever unforeseen circumstances are thrown our way. Wealth planning and financial services providers who fail to embrace investment migration as an essential risk diversification tool for their clients will lose market share to those who do. Given the unequivocal value of citizenship planning for high-net-worth individuals, the justification for not including it alongside more traditional wealth management products is becoming increasingly weak.

Citizenship By Investment 17


MALTA TO LAUNCH NEW INVESTMENT MIGRATION PROGRAMME by Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti co-authored with Antoine Saliba Haig

A

s expected since the announcement of the Maltese Citizenship Quota being close to full take-up, the Ministry responsible for citizenship has announced its intention to repeal the current Malta Individual Investor Programme and to replace it with a completely new Residence by Investment Programme. A new Investment Migration Programme will be enacted introducing two investment routes to Maltese citizenship for international investor families who have been resident in Malta for one or three years. In this article, we review how these elements are being addressed by the recently proposed programme. Last applications under current Investment Migration Programme The current Maltese Citizenship Programme, the Individual Investor Programme, is currently accepting the final applications until the quota of 1,800 applications is reached. In June, the Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency (MIIPA) announced it would continue accepting applications for citizenship until the 30 September. This applies for applicants who applied for and have already obtained Maltese residency under the MIIP. Applicants who obtained a residence status in Malta prior to the 31 July, but do not submit a formal application for citizenship until the end of September, will be eligible under the new Maltese investment migration programme, that Malta will be launching soon. Malta’s New Investment Programme Malta’s new programme will provide a residence route to citizenship after three 18 Citizenship By Investment

years of residence upon the investor making an exceptional direct investment or for demonstrating exceptional talent in sports, science, research or culture. A higher direct investment reduces the residence route to citizenship to one year. Minimum Direct Investment Threshold Currently the one-time non-refundable contribution required is at €650,000 by the main investor and smaller amount of €25,000 by the spouse, and €25,000 or €50,000 for minor/adult dependent parents or children of the main investor and the spouse. The exceptional direct investment required for the three year residence route to citizenship is in the amount of €600,000. A higher direct investment of €750,000 reduces the residence route to citizenship to one year. The investment is in addition to the purchase or rental of property in Malta or a five year rental. An additional investment of €50,000 is to be paid for each dependant included in a family application.

Minimum Property Investment Threshold Six years on from the enactment of the Maltese Individual Investor Programme, the property investment threshold of €350,000 is regarded as out of tune with current market conditions in the property market and justifies a significant upward adjustment of this minimum investment. The programme does have a rental option which our investor clients have often found more suitable until they familiarise with the Maltese property market and before purchasing property in Malta. Despite past discussions on whether a rental option impacts the local property market, this consideration may have become irrelevant in a post-Covid economy and a proposed increase of the minimum annual rental from €16,000 to €18,000 is still uncertain. The proposed minimum investment value in real estate has been raised by 100% to €700,000.


Residence and Genuine Connection Requirement Investors successfully passing the 4 tier due diligence process required by the MIIP are required to demonstrate at least 12 months of residence in order to naturalised as a citizen. This becomes 36 months in the scheme. While this doesn’t require physical presence throughout the year, a residence card must be held for a minimum 12 months and a sufficient level of integration with Malta should be achieved in order to satisfy this requirement. In a paper I co-authored with fellow immigration lawyer Dr Antoine Saliba Haig, we call this minimum level of connection with Malta the “Genuine Link”, and it is in compliance with international jurisprudence in the area of citizenship law. As a Maltese law firm loyal to Malta and the Maltese identity and well-being, we have ensured that our clients commit genuinely to Malta. It would also help if the Malta Investment Programme issues some public even if generic guidelines as an official position on the practice described above. In the absence of that, public perception will remain that investors fly in, pick up their passports and fly back out in their private jets, never to set foot again on Malta. This couldn't be further from the truth. Publicly Listed Investment Holdings

experience of the Individual Investor Programme, we have worked to localise our investor clients by facilitating local business and investment opportunities. Our multi-disciplinary legal practice enables us to help our clients implement wealth management and business structures using Malta as their homebase. We have helped investors finance or acquire businesses in Malta as well as set up subsidiaries of their international businesses in Malta, creating new jobs in Malta in the process. The existing Individual Investor Programme does already factor in business investments in its genuine-link rating of applicants. We expect that the proposed residence route to citizenship will give more weighting to business investments and will encourage more business investments in Malta. Philanthropic Contributions to Malta Thanks to Malta’s 2014 Investor Migration Programme, a host of approved NGOs have raised €4.8 million in charitable donations under the first MIIP. Philanthropy forms a significant criterion in assessing the genuine link profile of an investor family in Malta in the residence period leading to citizenship. A minimum philanthropic donation of €10,000 to a local registered NGO will now be a mandatory requirement.

Due Diligence Safety Net The government has committed to continued enforcement of the already existing provisions of the Maltese Citizenship Act that require the revocation of citizenship to approved investors who are convicted of a serious criminal offence within seven years of their naturalisation. Also, a conviction of a new Maltese citizen after obtaining Maltese Citizenship will receive serious attention to ensure the authorities identify and remedy any flaws in the already tight due diligence standard. Administration of the Malta Investment Migration Programme Malta's Individual Investor Programme Agency (MIIPA) will be replaced by a new government agency tasked with the administration and processing of all routes leading to Maltese citizenship including naturalisation as Maltese citizens by birth, naturalisation and registration. Supervision The role of the Regulator of the Maltese citizenship programme (the Office of the Regulator of the IIP) is to be retained and strengthened to enable the meaningful supervision and oversight of all citizenship applications. Appeal Mechanism

MIIP Due Diligence The 2014 Malta Citizenship Programme requires a holding of Malta Government Bonds or other securities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. Feedback from investors represented by the firm suggests that this is not a popular investment largely because of the relatively small size of the investment in proportion with the administrative burden of acquiring, administering and disposing of this holding for the five year term imposed by the Malta Investment Programme. The €150,000 five-year investment requirement of the current MIIP is being removed. Doing Business in Malta We have long held that true citizenship requires a true commitment to the new country of citizenship even within an investment programme. Throughout our

The new citizenship agency to be set up to manage all of Malta’s routes to citizenship will conduct eligibility tests and will perform Malta’s famed due diligence process, scrutinising for sanctions and other restrictive measures, screening against EUROPOL and INTERPOL databases. The agency will cooperate with the FIAU, the MFSA and the Maltese tax authorities to ensure full compliance. There will be increased emphasis on reviewing the source of funds and the source of wealth of applicants and a risk evaluation will be performed for each investor family. The same agency will be responsible for verifying new Maltese citizens’ compliance with their postpassport obligations for five years after being naturalised as Maltese citizens. The exceptional discretion of the minister to override the Agency’s decision shall be removed.

As immigration lawyers, we are pleased to hear that an appeal remedy will be clearly laid down for all Maltese citizenship routes, in fairness to investors and other applicants. Quota The new programme will be limited to 400 successful applications per year and 1,500 for the duration of the programme. Seamless transition of Maltese Investment Migration In view of the critical importance of revenues generated from Malta Investment Migration Programmes, the changes in the residence by investment programmes leading to citizenship will be implemented seamlessly to ensure a continued flow of investment in Malta from investment migration programmes. Citizenship By Investment 19


GIIS 2019 BENGALURU:

A PICTORIAL REVIEW

Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru, India, 21 September

The Global Investment Immigration Summit Johannesburg 2019 was the first event of its kind to be held in the city and proved to be a great success for speakers, exhibitors and delegates alike. With the rate of economic migration from South Africa increasing since 2017, this was a timely event for high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and investors to meet and network with immigration investment experts, attorneys, wealth managers, government officials and business professionals. Following the welcome addresses, the conference commenced with a lively introduction and panel session on the American EB-5 Investor Program, moderated by Mark Davies of Davies & Associates LLC and joined by senior representatives from CMB Regional Centers, EB5 Capital and Fragomen. Next up were presentations on the Residency and Citizenship investment programmes in Malta and Cyprus. These were followed by the second panel discussion of the day, moderated by Batoulim Sebabe of the Integritas Group. The session finished with a presentation and panel discussion on Canada. The early evening session focused mainly on the Caribbean and included presentations by CS Global’s Alexander Bello and the Honourable E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. A packed day’s programme finished with an insightful panel discussion on why South Africans should consider applying for second passports.

www.giisummit.org 20 Citizenship By Investment


“It was a great event.” Dr. (h.c.) Kumar Visvanathan, Head – People Shared Services, Mindtree

“First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you. You are excellent in creating and organising such events. Congratulations.”

“The quality of the attendees was good, the team on site were very supportive and brought guests at the stand, overall good event.” Emilie Exty, Marketing Executive, Global Information Consulting Group (GICG)

Laszlo Gaal, Managing Director, Residency Citizenship Program

“I very much enjoyed it and I look forward to being involved in future events.” Ben Sheldrick, Managing Director, Magrath Sheldrick LLP

“The event was a success and we would like to thank you and your entire team for the support that we got.” Bharat Murthy, Manager – Corporate Relations, Xiphias Immigration

Citizenship By Investment 21


QUICK FACTS

C I T Y F O C U S:

AHMEDABAD

S

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. 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 22 Citizenship By Investment

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.

Area: 464 km² Location: 23.03oN, 72.58oE Altitude: 55 metres above sea level Average high °C: Feb 31°, Mar 35° (Year 34°) Population: 8.1 million (2017 estimate) Languages: Gujarati, Hindi & English Main industries: Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Construction City GDP: $68 billion (2017 estimate) Time Zone: GMT +5.30

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 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. 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 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.

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 km2 • Coastline of 1,600 km – the longest sea shore of all Indian states • Population: 67.2 million (2017) – the 9th most populous Indian state. • One of the most

prosperous Indian States

• Nominal State GDP $230 billion (2018 estimate) – the 3rd largest state economy of India’s 29 states • Average GDP growth rate of 14% (2010-2017) – 7th fastest growth • GRDP per capita of $2,200 (2017) • Lowest unemployment rate of all India’s states (2015-16 report) • Gujarat’s residents represent 5% of India’s total population but hold over 30% equity of all Indian stocks in the share market. Citizenship By Investment 23


GIIS 2020 AHMEDABAD:

A PICTORIAL REVIEW

Crowne Plaza City Centre, Ahmedabad, India, 22 February

The Global Investment Immigration Summit Johannesburg 2019 was the first event of its kind to be held in the city and proved to be a great success for speakers, exhibitors and delegates alike. With the rate of economic migration from South Africa increasing since 2017, this was a timely event for high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and investors to meet and network with immigration investment experts, attorneys, wealth managers, government officials and business professionals. Following the welcome addresses, the conference commenced with a lively introduction and panel session on the American EB-5 Investor Program, moderated by Mark Davies of Davies & Associates LLC and joined by senior representatives from CMB Regional Centers, EB5 Capital and Fragomen.

24 Citizenship By Investment

Next up were presentations on the Residency and Citizenship investment programmes in Malta and Cyprus. These were followed by the second panel discussion of the day, moderated by Batoulim Sebabe of the Integritas Group. The session finished with a presentation and panel discussion on Canada. The early evening session focused mainly on the Caribbean and included presentations by CS Global’s Alexander Bello and the Honourable E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. A packed day’s programme finished with an insightful panel discussion on why South Africans should consider applying for second passports.

www.giisummit.org


Citizenship By Investment 25


THE PANDEMIC’S FIVE SILVER LININGS FOR THE EB-5 PROGRAM by INVESTMENT MIGRATION INSIDER IMIDaily.com

T

he unprecedented toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken affected many lives throughout the globe. Lives lost, dreams shattered, economies crumbled and, unemployment has soared. The list goes on. There are, however, a few interesting occurrences related to the pandemic:

#1 – The possibility of a substantial one-time boost in EB-5 visa numbers during FY2021; #2 – The indirect benefit to mainland-China born EB-5 applicants as well as others; #3 – The Positive effect of Trump’s Visa Ban Proclamation on EB-5 applicants; #4 – The breakthrough in communication using tools such as smartphones, desktop applications, and webinars; #5 – The realisation of our interdependence – Global village

#1

– The possibility of a substantial one-time boost in EB-5 visa numbers during FY2021 Cletus Weber, Partner of Peng & Weber, in a recent article published by IIUSA entitled, “Member Perspective: ‘Highlights and Analysis of 16 June 2020, IIUSA Presentation on Visa Numbers, COVID-19, etc.’ ” makes the following observation: 26 Citizenship By Investment

“Despite the uncertainty and challenges caused by the implementation of the new regulations and the $900,000 minimum investment requirement, as well as the existing and expected challenges that COVID-19 is creating in the United States and worldwide, some positive elements may emerge from this challenging period, especially in the possibility of a substantial one-time boost in EB-5 visa numbers during FY2021.”

Last November, the minimum investment amounts for EB-5 increased from USD $500,000 and USD $1,000,000 to USD $900,000 and USD $1,800,000 for Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and non-TEA projects, respectively. This increase, and the redefinition of TEA, brought considerable uncertainty to the EB-5 market. Moreover, COVID-19 and a subsequent series of Presidential Proclamations-related restrictions on


travel to the US prohibited investors from evaluating the EB-5 projects in person, thereby discouraging them from filing I-526 petitions. These factors are certainly not positive developments for EB-5. That said, as Carolyn Lee states in her article, Top 10 Takeaways from Charlie Oppenheim’s IIUSA Talk, “The lost EB-5 visas will ‘fall up’ to EB-1 next fiscal year (FY 2021) by operation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).” According to the Visa Bulletin published by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, this should benefit Indian and Chinese nationals who are subject to retrogression in this category. The annual quota for EB-5 visas is 9,940 visas, subject to certain adjustments. Due to such adjustments this year, the estimated number of available EB-5 visas will be 11,000. EB-5 visa allocations work based on the principle of “use it or lose it”. According to Mr. Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State, “only 4,500 EB-5 visas have been used during the 2019 fiscal year”. If some of the remaining 6,500 visas could not be used by the end of the fiscal year, they would need to be allocated to non-EB-5 visa categories. That said, the slowdown in family-based immigrant visas this year is much higher. The unused family-based immigrant visas need to be allocated to employment-based visas such as EB-5 that will receive 7.1% of such unused visas. For every month that no family-based immigrant visa is issued, an additional 40,000 visas are freed up, making EB-5 the recipient of 2,840 visas, for that month. Given that US Consulates in charge of issuing such family-based immigrant visas have been shut down for months, it becomes much clearer as to why available EB-5 visas in 2021 will most likely be much higher than it has ever been in the past. In summary, the number of EB-5 visas lost due to inactivity in 2020, for the various reasons cited above, is significantly less than the number of EB-5 visas gained, from the inactivity, in family-based visa categories. Therefore, the possibility of a substantial one-time boost in EB-5 visa numbers during 2021 is very high.

#2

– The indirect benefit to mainland-China born EB-5 applicants as well as others Weber cites the primary Chinese effect as follows: “the smaller number of worldwide EB-5 visa petitions (in 2020) will increase the number of ‘leftover’ EB-5 visas available to the China-born visa applicants who have been waiting in line the longest.” Once these Chinese investors can proceed to file for permanent residency and are approved, at the end of their sustainment period of two years, their funds will not have to be redeployed anymore. As a result, they will have two major benefits. They will receive their green cards and their EB-5 capital much earlier than they had originally anticipated in the absence of COVID-19. As stated above in the introduction, the slowdown is no doubt partly due to the recent increase in the minimum required investment amounts, but it is also partly due to the pandemic.

“The smaller number of worldwide EB-5 visa petitions will increase the number of ‘leftover’ EB-5 visas available to the China-born visa applicants who have been waiting in line the longest.” Due to the difficult operating and construction environment COVID-19 has created, there is also another indirect benefit, for other applicants, from a redeployment perspective. Many projects needed to stop for months. While, normally, investors desire their projects to be completed expeditiously, this is not always to their benefit. As per the rules of EB-5, the EB-5 capital of the investors needs to be “at-risk” until their I-829 is filed, to remove the conditions of their conditional green card. This process of I-526 filing, approval, and the subsequent sustainment period of two years, until the investors are ready to file their I-829 form, typically lasts four to five years. Under a normal non-COVID-19 environment, this duration is longer than the time needed to pay back EB-5 capital. Upon completion, when a project is either

sold or refinanced, the freed-up funds must either be paid back to the investors or redeployed in other projects. If the investors have not filed their I-829 applications yet, they are not eligible to receive their funds back, as that would violate the “at-risk” requirement, which would, in turn, jeopardise their whole green card process. On the other hand, when the construction duration extends, and the gap between the I-829 filing dates and the EB-5 capital payback date closes, the need for a project to have to redeploy funds declines, as well. All other things constant, redeployment is not the desired activity by EB-5 investors. They all diligently analyse a project from a financial and immigration benefit standpoint. Even if they achieve the immigration benefit through the initial investment, none of them care to see their funds, primarily due to the redeployment requirement, going into a second and maybe a third investment they never had a chance to analyse. Therefore, if COVID-19 ends up delaying project completion times, this would result in better alignment with the time needed for immigration processing, resulting in huge benefits for the EB-5 investor.

#3

– The positive effect of Trump’s

Visa Ban Proclamation on EB-5 applicants

Due to the widespread effects of COVID-19, despite the announced series of Trump Presidential Proclamations restricting all sorts of visas including H-1B, L-1, J-1, H-2B, etc., EB-5 remains a viable option for US immigration. Among other essential categories, such as health-related and family-based immigration, Daniel Lundy, from Klasko Immigration, in a recent blog post states that EB-5 is the only broadly available employment-based visa category to receive a blanket exemption. He states, “While the EB-5 category is currently backlogged for nationals of China and Vietnam, the EB-5 category for India and the rest of the world will be current as of 1 July 2020. This means that those with an approved EB-5 visa petition may be in the unique position of being able to obtain an immigrant visa abroad, and may benefit from shorter wait times, Citizenship By Investment 27


as the US Consulates abroad will be able to process fewer types of visa applications for the next six months, and may have more availability to work on EB-5 visa applications.” Again, we see a direct benefit of COVID-19 in favour of existing EB-5 investors with approved I-526 petitions who will most likely be able to get a green card much faster than they were able to before the pandemic.

#4

– The breakthrough in

communication using tools such as smartphones, desktop applications, and webinars Most would argue that due to the virus, we have experienced unprecedented flight restrictions and cancellations. Therefore, we cannot meet clients face to face. They cannot come to the US and see the EB-5 projects for themselves. As a result, the business has suffered. Due to COVID-19, communication with clients has become much more costeffective. Clients do not expect or even desire face-to-face meetings anymore. Because they cannot easily travel, they are much more available and easily reachable as well. Live in-person seminars and symposiums are being replaced by webinars with unprecedented attendance. What would have been accomplished by flying for 12 hours from one end of the world to the other, to have a few local meetings, is now being accomplished, through various media tools, in the comfort of one’s home, or office. Many companies are finding out that they can run their businesses virtually while, most often, being just as effective.

28 Citizenship By Investment

As a result, they are considering giving up expensive office spaces to allow employees to work from home instead. This has already cut down the expense, time, and agony of the long commute to work. Moreover, companies save even more due to significantly reduced expensive air travel, a major component of the travel and entertainment budget. These cost savings sooner or later will be passed through to the EB-5 investors in the form of more efficient pricing. Because the business will need to be executed based on actual merits of the transactions, rather than through advertising campaigns and various forms of client entertainment, the EB-5 industry professionals will need to perform on a more even playing field. Only projects that have outstanding characteristics, offered in the best financial terms, will be able to compete in this new market environment. Intermediaries, who do not add any meaningful value, such as certain migration agents, will become obsolete. Regional Centers, working with licensed broker-dealers, will reach the ultimate investors directly, increasing transparency, and overall product quality.

#5

– The realisation of our interdependence – Global village

This last benefit is not necessarily a direct benefit to an EB-5 investor per se. Nevertheless, in the end, we will all gain from the realisation that we live in a world where we are all interdependent. We have united because we now have a common enemy – the virus. We have become aware that we all need each other. The global economic and political

competitive landscape has suddenly adopted the rhythm of an orchestra, whereby each nation is preoccupied with what they are good at, as opposed to which other nations they could colonise, conquer or eliminate. The virus has gotten us to think about the reason why we are here in the world, and what kind of legacy we can leave behind, before moving on. When we realise that the long-term existence of almost eight billion of us depends on finding some sort of a cure to fight this invisible lifeless object, our vulnerability also gains a new dimension. We begin accepting others as they are, rather than trying to clone them to behave like ourselves.

“Intermediaries, who do not add any meaningful value, such as certain migration agents, will become obsolete.” – Marko Issever What doesn’t kill us There is no question that history will record these days as dark days that have caused unrepairable damage, harm,and agony to many who have lost loved ones and/or livelihoods. That said, whether for technical reasons that have benefitted EB-5 investors or business reasons that have benefitted market participants, COVID-19 might be credited as the wake-up call the world badly needed in 2020.


COUNTRY SPOTLIGHTS Discover the benefits of the various countries that offer Residency and Citizenship by Investment programmes in our Country Spotlights section. Caribbean Section: Antigua and Barbuda Dominica Grenada St. Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia

30 38 44 51 60

European Section: Cyprus Greece Malta Montenegro Portugal Turkey United Kingdom

66 70 74 78 80 84 88

Australasian Section: Australia

90

North American Section: Canada United States of America

92 95

Citizenship By Investment 29


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

A

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 land, with a total land area of 281km² and a coastline of 87km. Barbuda – land area 160km² – 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 short-lived 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 November 1981. The country also 30 Citizenship By Investment

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 (XCD) as its currency. This has been pegged at 2.7 XCD to one United States dollar since 1976, contributing to long-term financial stability. Antigua and Barbuda’s political system is based on the British parliamentary system, with general parliamentary elections required to be held at least every five years. The House of Representatives has 19 members which comprise the President, the Speaker and 17 members elected in single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post electoral system. English is the official language, although Antiguan Creole is also spoken.

Capital city: St. John’s Population: 102,012 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $1.611 billion (2018) GDP growth: 5.3% (2018) Area: 440 km² Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Sir Rodney Williams Prime Minister: Gaston Browne Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 74th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 113th (2020) Time Zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 268 Economy The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is service-based and relies heavily on tourism. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting impact on the country’s economy, Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Charmaine QuinlandDonovan, has put measures in place to ensure that the Unit remained open for business during the “lockdown” that was put in place. Modifications have been made to the requirements for potential citizens to ensure that the process continues to be a smooth one given the closure of multiple business places globally. The ever dedicated staff of the Unit continues to assiduously process applications, completing applications in as little as six weeks. The Unit continues to encourage potential applicant to submit applications and has even made changes to its investment offerings to maintain its competitive edge.


Its real GDP growth has tended to fluctuate over the past three decades as the country 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 programme (CIP) in October 2013, raising $33m in its first year alone. Since 2013, the economy has enjoyed a steady return to real GDP growth, with 2017 up by 3.6% and 2018 up by 5.3% to a nominal figure of $1.626 billion (source: IMF). Currently, Antigua and Barbuda’s economy ranks a lowly 174th in the world, but 50th in terms of GDP per capita. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) forecasts a more modest economic growth of 3% for 2019.

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. Tourism and trade After falling from 265,187 in 2016 to 247,320 in 2017 (having previously shown steady growth since 2010), the number of stayover international tourist arrivals coming in to V. C. Bird International Airport on Antigua’s northern coast rose by 8.75% to 268,949. Two-thirds of tourists come from the US or the UK – 39% and 26% respectively of all visitors in 2018 – with Canada next (14%) and showing the highest year-on-year increase. Emphasising how important the US is to Antigua and Barbuda, the net figures from 2015 to 2018 show that arrival numbers from the US grew by 10.0% while numbers from the UK declined by 9.4%. Additional figures from the Ministry of Tourism showed that a record 813,459 visitors came by sea (794,604 by cruise ship and 18,855 by yacht) during 2018, helping to raise the overall number of visitors to Antigua and Barbuda to 1,081,365 compared with 1,059,924 in 2017 and 891,427 in 2016.

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 185mph 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 $200m 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 towards aiding recovery.

For more details visit www.cip.gov.ag

Citizenship By Investment 31


CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT The ABCIP Act allows anyone 18 years or above, in good health and with no criminal record, to apply through one of four 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, 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. Antigua currently remains the cheapest CIP for families. The following important changes have been announced by the Citizenship by Investment Unit, effective from 1 April 2020, aimed at making the programme more attractive to clients.

3. Iraqi nationals Antigua has lifted a ban on Iraqi nationals. From 1 April 2020, these nationals irrespective of where they live will be allowed to apply for citizenship by investment. 4. Restricted countries softened Previously, nationals of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan were only allowed to apply for Antigua CIP if they were permanent residents of the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UAE and have lived more than ten years and have no economic ties to their previous countries. In April 2020 these restrictions have been softened, meaning these nationals living in any country can apply. 5. Stateless people

1. The donation route is slightly slightly expensive Processing fees for the NDF donation have increased to $30,000 (up from $25,000). This means the CIP became slightly more expensive by $5000 for families choosing the donation option.

Antigua will soon allow stateless people from four countries – Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE – to apply for the citizenship by investment programme. 6. Limited Time Offer (LTO) for Children

2. Real estate became cheaper To make the real estate investment attractive, Antigua has cut the processing fee to $30,000 (from $50,000). You can buy equity shares or even a full title property, provided you commit $200,000 jointly with other investors . Another important change was real estate resold after five years will be eligible for citizenship (when resale is permitted)

The Cabinet also an approved Limited Offer for dependent children of approved applicants on 12 February 2020, allowing them to be added subject to the following fees: Dependents aged 0–5 years – USD $10,000 Dependents aged 6–17 years – USD $20,000 The LTO was made effective immediately and will expire on the 31 October 2020.

The National Development Fund (NDF)

Business Investment The two business investment options are:

Processing fees

Contribution Due Diligence

$30,000

$30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons

Dependents aged 0–5 – $10,000, Dependents aged 6–17 – $20,000 for each additional dependent.

$100,000

$100,000

$125,000 (for a family of 5 or more)

$7,500

$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

Real Estate Investment

Processing fees

Contribution Due Diligence

$30,000

$30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons

Dependents aged 0–5 – $10,000, Dependents aged 6–17 – $20,000 for each additional dependent.

$400,000

$400,000

$400,000

$7,500

$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

* Other fees payable include passport fees. These fees are subject to change. * All fees quoted are in US dollars (USD).

34 Citizenship By Investment

• A principal applicant making an investment in an approved business of at least $1.5m. • A minimum of 2 persons making a joint investment in an approved business totalling at least $5m. Each person is required to contribute at least $400,000 to the joint investment. To qualify under the real estate option, the government requires an officially approved real estate with a value of at least $400,000 plus fees. Two applications can make a joint investment, with each applicant investing a minimum of $200,000 in order to qualify. Two or more applicants who have executed a binding sale and purchase agreement may apply jointly provided that each applicant contributes the minimum investment of $400,000.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Fund Applicants will be required to make an investment of $150,000 for a family of six or more, and participation in the option will entitle one member of the family to a one year, tuition only, scholarship at the University of the West Indies. The application process is fairly straightforward and application forms can be obtained from a local, and CIU-approved, Licensed Agent.


You’ll find what you are looking for in Antigua. Spectacular beauty, low crime, freedom, and a growing economy. This is our bit of Paradise - Antigua and Barbuda. And you too, could call this place home. CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Antigua and Barbuda accepts applications for citizenship from qualified investors. You can have a passport from Antigua. A second passport will give you visa free access to those countries that you need to travel to visa-free; whether for business or pleasure. And an Antigua and Barbuda Passport gives you visa free access to 165 countries.

CIVES MUNDI INC – AGENT OF CHOICE FOR THE CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROCESS

strongest in the OECS sub-region in the Caribbean, offering visa free access to 165 jurisdictions across the world.”

Cives Mundi Inc offers the full suite of services that you will need to become a citizen. We will help you to prepare your application, submit it, and we’ll update you on its progress. We have experts on hand to help with more complicated cases. At the end of the process you will receive your new passport. Call us now for more information.

For a contribution of US$100,000 to national development, or the purchase of prime real estate you can enjoy citizenship benefits and access to 165 countries visa free. Call us now to learn more about the real estate options.

On November 4th, 2019, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda issued a press release. That press release stated, “The Antigua and Barbuda Passport is now the

Why not hold the strongest passport in the OECS subregion today? Why not own a piece of prime real estate in stunning Antigua and Barbuda? Call or email us today for a free consultation on citizenship.

Citizenship By Investment 35


KNOWING BEST THE ANTIGUA & BARBUDA CITIZENSHIP BUSINESS www.jamesandmaginley.com


REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS INVESTMENT CONSULTANTS

Company Overview

James & Maginley Limited, a locally incorporated and registered

company, was founded by E. Casroy James and Kirthley C. H. Maginley. The company has earned the reputation for being the leading provider of citizenship services under the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP). Through its competent staff, their many years of experience and knowledge of the local landscape and business culture, the company continues to leverage its professional expertise to the benefit of its clientele, many of whom are ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals.

The group of companies include: • James & Maginley Limited • J & M Capital Limited (268) 562-8774/5 (268) 720-3800/7284 #51 Church Street and Hard Castle Avenue, St. John’s, Antigua

Our Services:

Citizenship by Investment Real Estate and Development Investment Management

• James & Maginley Estates Limited • James & Maginley Charity and Care Foundation Incorporated

Wealth Advisors Corporate Formations Financial & Banking Consultants


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

DOMINICA

D

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. The island is about 29 miles (47 km) long and 16 miles (26 km) wide. 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. 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 was also the location for filming much of the 2006 blockbuster movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’. History Dominica was given its name by Christopher Columbus in November 1493, the name derived by the Latin for ‘Sunday’ on which day he is said to have sighted the island. However, very few Spanish settlers stayed on Dominica and 38 Citizenship By Investment

Full name: Commonwealth of Dominica Capital city: Roseau Population: 73,925 (2017) GDP in current prices: USD $485 million (2018) GDP growth: -12.0% (2018) Area: 750 km² Government: Unitary parliamentary republic President: Charles Savarin Prime Minister: Roosevelt Skerrit Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 98th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 111th (2020) Time Zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 767

it wasn’t until well into the 17th century that French settlements began to grow, attracted by the island’s natural forestry resources. Dominica formally became a French colony in 1727, but was ceded to the British by treaty after the Seven Years’ War of 1756-1763. By 1805, the British had established a small trading colony with cotton, sugar and coffee plantations. Following the Slavery Abolition Act of 1831, Dominica became the first colony within the British West Indies to have an elected legislature assembly controlled by ethnic majority. In 1871, Dominica joined the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands but was transferred to the British Windward islands in 1940 and later joined the West Indies Federation. However, internal politics on how the intended Caribbean state should be governed led to its dissolution on 31 May 1962 and Dominica formally became an associated state of the UK in 1967. Dominica gained national independence as a republic on 3 November 1978 and joined the Commonwealth of Nations on the same day. Dominica has since flourished as a democracy, modelled 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. Although English is Dominica’s official language and widely used, Dominica has been a member of the International Organisation of the Francophonie since 1979, as the majority of locals speak Dominican Creole which is based on French. 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). An eco-tourism paradise The climate is tropical and the terrain spectacular. Its breathtaking landscape reveals rainforests, waterfalls and over 360 rivers. The Morne Trois Pitons Natural Park (meaning ‘Mountain of three peaks’) is in the southern central highlands of the island and encompasses five volcanoes, three freshwater lakes and several fumaroles and hot springs, including the world’s second-largest hot spring at Boiling Lake, where its renowned healing properties are considered legendary. The park was designated a UNESCO Heritage site in 1997, being the first in the Eastern Caribbean.


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. Looking out onto the Caribbean Sea, the mountainous green slopes are dotted with exotic tropical flowers, banana plantations and coconut trees. Dominica is also known for its spectacular reefs which visitors can explore while diving or snorkelling. Keen divers should certainly visit the signature Champagne Reef. For the less active visitor, there is the always the option to join a boating tour. From a catamaran, visitors can enjoy whale and dolphin watching. Economy and trade Historically, Dominica’s economy had been dependent on agriculture but it has increasingly turned towards eco-tourism and offshore financial services. Services currently account for approximately 71% of GDP compared with 16% by agriculture and 13% by industry. Dominica’s main exports are agricultural and include coffee, cocoa, bananas, citrus fruits, and tropical fruits. Its main exported manufactured products are rum, timber, and soap. However, the economy is highly vulnerable to weather conditions and the last two years have seen a significant decline in real GDP after Hurricane Maria struck the island in September 2017 and wreaked over $900m worth of havoc. Citizenship by Investment The government launched its Citizenship by Investment programme in 1993 – one of the first countries to do so – and has raised over $300m in revenue, becoming the main source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Dominica. The investment funds have helped Dominica to rebuild its infrastructure and build climate resilient housing to help its local communities better manage and overcome adverse weather conditions. Citizenship By Investment 39


CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Benefits Dominica’s is one of the most affordable citizenship programmes and has fast processing times of between four to six months, with no interview requirement to visit the country. A Dominican passport allows visa-free travel to over 130 countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK and the EU Schengen zone. Dominica allows dual nationality and citizenship is for life and may be passed on to future generations by descent. 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. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, with good health and a clean criminal record. Family members may be included and applications must be made through an authorised agent rather than directly with the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU). Investment options Dominica offers two options for applying for citizenship in return for a qualifying investment, which can be either a donation to Dominica’s Economic Diversification Fund, or the purchase of pre-approved real estate.

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 contribution amounts, based on the number of dependents included in the application, which are as follows:

40 Citizenship By Investment

• USD $35,000 for a family of up to 4 • USD $50,000 for a family of up to 6 • USD $70,000 for a family of 7+ • USD $50,000 for a sibling of the main applicant or spouse aged 18-25 • USD $25,000 for a sibling of the main applicant or spouse below 18 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. Applicable Fees

• Single applicant: USD $100,000

The following fees are also payable:

• Spouse of the main applicant: USD $50,000

Processing fees USD $1,000 per application

• Sibling of the main applicant or spouse aged 18-25: USD $50,000

Due diligence fees Main applicant – USD $7,500 Spouse – USD $4,000

• Any other dependant aged 18-25: USD $25,000 each

Dependant aged 16 years or above – USD $4,000

• Family of four: USD $175,000 2. Real estate

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.

• USD $25,000 for a single applicant

To qualify for citizenship of Dominica under the real estate option, an applicant must purchase authorised real estate to the minimum value of USD $200,000. Following approval of a real estate investment application, the following government fees are payable:

(In some cases, an enhanced due diligence may be required, depending on the citizenship the applicant holds and other personal circumstances.) Other fees Certificate of Naturalisation Fee – USD $250 per person Expedited Passport Issuance Fee – US $1,200 per person


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Country Spotlight

GRENADA

QUICK FACTS

G

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 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 sunkissed 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, 44 Citizenship By Investment

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. Economy and trade Grenada has a largely tourism-based, small, open economy, which has gradually shifted from agriculture to services. Since 2008, the Services sector has grown from 69% share of GDP to 77%, while Industry has dipped from 20% to 14% and Agriculture from 11% to 9%. The country was badly hit by two devastating hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2009 by the global recession, but since 2013 the economy has been growing at an average rate of 5% a year. With 5.1% real GDP growth in 2017 and an estimated 4.8% in 2018, Grenada is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the Caribbean. 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

Capital city: St. George’s Population: 111,454 (2018) GDP in current prices: USD $1.801 billion (2019) GDP growth: 3.14% (2019) Area: 340 km² Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Cécile La Grenade Prime Minister: Keith Mitchell Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 78th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 146th (2020) Time Zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 473 finished bars. Since 2014, Grenada has been hosting an annual Pure Chocolate Festival, which takes place around the end of May. The country’s principal export crops are nutmeg and mace, with nutmeg represented on the national flag. 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. The Grenada Carnival, which takes place every summer, culminates in two official days of ‘Spicemas’ on the second Monday and Tuesday of August to the sound and pageantry of the local Jab Jab music.


Tourism Large-scale tourism is a recent phenomenon, and Grenada is largely undiscovered, unspoilt and full of opportunity. 2018 saw a 12.9% increase in tourist arrivals with 528,077 visitors; of these, 160,790 (30.4%) were stayover visitors compared with 146,375 in 2017. Beach and water-sports 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 also growing in significance. Most small ecofriendly guesthouses are located in the Saint David and Saint John parishes. Well-preserved places of interest abound in Grenada. In the lovely capital of St. George’s, pastel buildings and redtiled 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 centuriesold 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 one 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, Toronto and London as well as to other Caribbean islands. There is also a fast ferry service between St. George’s and Hillsborough on the island of Carriacou, famous for its white sand beaches, natural harbours and coral reefs and home of the annual Carriacou Regatta Festival. Citizenship by Investment The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Committee (CIBC) is the main government-appointed 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: 1. A payment into the National Transformation Fund; or 2. 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 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. Following changes announced in March 2019, dependent children are defined as up to the age of 30 (previously 26), and dependent parents or grandparents aged 55+ are also included. 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 East Caribbean dollar (XCD), is pegged to the US dollar (USD). Citizenship By Investment 45


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Grenadian citizens can travel without visa restrictions to more than 115 countries. These include the UK and 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 National Transformation Fund.

It is important to note that applicants may not contribute to the NTF in person, but rather 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 USD $150,000 to the Fund, plus fees, as per the following table:

Table 1: NFT DONATION

Individual Application

Main Applicant + Spouse

Family of four members

Family of over four members

Required Contribution Amount

USD 150,000

USD 200,000

USD 200,000

USD 200,000 plus USD 25,000 per additional dependant after the third dependant

Application Fee

USD 1,500

USD 1,500 per person

USD 1,500 per person

USD 1,500 per person

Due Diligence Fee

USD 5,000

USD 5,000 per person

Dependant child 0-16 nil Dependant 17+ USD 5,000

Processing Fee

USD 1,500

USD 1,500 per person

USD 1,500 per person aged 17+ USD 500 for persons under 17

2. Approved Project (Real Estate) option One of the options available to applicants seeking to obtain citizenship by investment in Grenada is to invest in a Government-approved project. Currently, these projects encompass real estate developments such as hotels, villas, and resorts. Because of the growth of the tourism industry, there is rising

demand for tourist housing facilities. Real estate developments are thus fantastic opportunities for investors looking for high returns. Applicants opting for the approved project (real estate) route must invest at least USD $350,000. They must keep the real estate for at least three years following the grant of citizenship. The

USD 1,500 per person aged 17+ USD 500 for persons under 17

following chart highlights the costs and fees associated with this route The CIBC reviews 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.

Table 2: REAL ESTATE OPTIONS

Individual Application

Main Applicant + Spouse

Family of four members

Family of over four members

Minimum contribution

USD 350,000

USD 350,000

USD 350,000

USD 350,000

Government Fee

USD 50,000

USD 50,000

USD 50,000

USD 50,000 plus USD 25,000 per additional dependant after the third dependant

Application Fee

USD 1,500

USD 1,500 per person

USD 1,500 per person

USD 1,500 per person

Due Diligence Fee

USD 5,000

USD 5,000 per person

Dependant child 0-16 nil Dependants age 17+ USD 5,000

Precessing Fee

USD 1,500

USD 1,500 per person

USD 1,500 per dependant aged 17+, USD 500 for persons under 17

USD 1,500 per dependant aged 17+ USD 500 for persons under 17


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The Grenada Citizenship Programme has become increasingly popular for investors, partly due to the E2 visa. What would you say differentiates Grenada from the other countries which provide the E-2 Visa? Grenada is the only Caribbean country with a CBI programme that has a commercial treaty with the United States. Unlike other countries with this E2 agreement, Grenada’s golden passport provides access to over 148 destinations, including China, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, the UK and Schengen states. It has the only programme that allows unmarried, childless siblings of the main applicant who are over 18 years and parents/grandparents of any age to be included on an application. Additionally, there is no interview process, residency or travel requirement to Grenada; and the grant of Citizenship remains for life and can be inherited by future generations. What other services does Just InterContinental Services Inc. provide for investors seeking to migrate to Grenada? We provide guidance on the incorporation of companies, registration of business names, assist with citizenship through the constitutional process, the purchase or sale of real estate, tax registration for newly incorporated companies, and opening of bank accounts. What investment options are available to investors and what are the benefits of each route? There are essentially three ways an individual can become a citizen of Grenada through the CBI Programme. This includes a donation to the Government’s National Transformation Fund, an investment in a Government Approved Project (at 350K or 220K) and a Significant Investment. 50 Citizenship By Investment

Just Inter-Continental Services Inc. is a results-driven local agent for Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. Through a carefully curated multi-touch system, the company trains its partners about Grenada’s programme, assists clients with compiling and accurately completing required forms and documents; monitors and troubleshoots application challenges with the Citizenship Unit;

and advocates for process improvements with key industry stakeholders, such as the Escrow Bank and the Ministry of Home Affairs. This fluid approach to supporting client applications and managing expectations has earned the company an approval rate of 95% and has helped several individuals gain greater global access by becoming citizens of Grenada.

The National Transformation Fund Grenada has established a National Transformation Fund which finances capital investments within the Tri-island state. To become a citizen, an individual is required to contribute $150K or 200K for a family of four (4) plus fees and disbursements. This contribution is a non-recoverable expense and is paid in full following an official approval notice from the Government.

Within 48 hours of receiving the digital file, an official audit of the file is returned to the representative stating the application’s readiness for submission. Once the digital application is cleared for submission, the file is submitted to the Bank. Upon clearance by the bank for funds transfer, a request is made for the original file to be couriered to our office.

Approved Project Grenada affords individuals the potential to invest in Government Approved Projects. These projects include real estate such as five-star resorts and condominium facilities that either offer an investment in freehold property (single ownership) or in fractional freehold (shared ownership). Investors are able to recover a significant return on their investment including a share of room revenue and/or guaranteed buy backs. Significant Investment The third path is based on a “significant investment” as determined by the Minister, this includes inter alia, the purchase of real estate, the purchase of a registered business, the purchase of shares in a company or consortium of companies, or any other investment as may be determined by the Minister from time to time. The minimum investment sum is USD $2 million.

Upon receipt of the file and payment of all required fees, the application is prepared and submitted to the CBI Unit. An official application receipt from the CBI Unit is shared with the client. If a client’s application is approved, the company submits the approval notice and requests the balance of all outstanding payments to be made in the required 30-day period, and the executed Oath of Allegiance. Once in place, the company submits to the Unit for processing of the Certificates of Registration. On receipt of the Certificates, the company submits the passport applications to the immigration department and arranges for courier delivery to the client or his/her representative after issuance of same.

Please explain in detail the road map you provide to investors from inception all the way through to completion of their application. A partnership agreement is established either with the client or his/her representative and an application kit is shared, inclusive of the official checklist of documents, the guidelines for completion, together with a statement of fees

Leslie-Ann Seon Director Just Inter-Continental Services Inc. www.jicsgrenadacbi.com


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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? PRIM E M I N I ST E R O F T H E F E D E RAT IO N OF ST K I T T S A N D NE V IS

“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.”

WELCOM E TO

Citizenship within 3-4 months of application submission, or guaranteed processing 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 150 countries and territories worldwide Learn more on the offcial website:

CITI Z E N SHI P BY IN V ESTM E NT PRO G RA MM E

www.ciu.gov.kn


W W W. C I U. G O V. K N

ST K IT T S A N D NE V IS, P O RT RA IT OF A PRESTIGIO US CI T I ZEN SHI P BY I NVEST MENT P RO G RA M ME

The St Kitts and Nevis Programme is the most well-established in the world, as it has been running for 35 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 ‘Platinum Standard’ of CBI, 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 processed in 60 days or less.

SU STA IN A B L E GROWTH F UND (SGF) The SUSTAINABLE GROWTH FUND (SGF) is 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, healthcare, infrastructure and tourism in St Kitts and Nevis.


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 P RI M E M I N I ST E R O F T H E COM M O N W E A LT H O F D O M INICA

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.”

WELCOM 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 approximately 140 countries and territories

CITI Z E N SHI P BY INV EST M E NT PRO G RA M ME

Learn more on the offcial website: www.cbiu.gov.dm


W W W. C B I U. G O V. D M

D O M IN ICA’ S G LO BAL COMMUNI T Y, R E LIA B LE INV ESTME NT C H ANN ELS AN D A W EALT H OF OPPORT UN I T Y

When looking for a solution 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 in the CBI Index – a comprehensive study into economic citizenship, published by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine. Busy investors need not 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 a non-refundable contribution to the ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION FUND (EDF), 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.


W ELCOM E TO

St Lucia

When opting to be a citizen of St 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. St Lucia’s motto captures all of our combined treasures - the land, the people, the light.

CIT I Z E N SHI P BY INV EST M E NT PRO G RA MM E

Citizenship for life, including the right to work, reside and study in St Lucia

No interview or language proficiency requirements

Visa-free travel to approximately 140 countries and territories

St Lucia allows dual citizenship

Ability to include family members on the application

Option to invest in the St 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


W W W. C I P S A I N T LU C I A . CO M

ST LU CIA , A YO U T H FU L AND ATTRACTIV E ECONOMY

St Lucia is a strong player 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 stays. The island’s workforce – youthful, energetic and welleducated – has propelled St Lucia into new, less traditional industries, including technology and financial services. There are four paths to achieve economic citizenship in St Lucia.

OPTION 1: The first option is a non-refundable contribution to the NATIONAL ECONOMIC FUND (NEF), starting from USD 100,000. It is the most efficient option to obtain citizenship.

OPTION 2: The second option to obtain the St Lucia citizenship is to invest in an APPROVED REAL ESTATE PROJECT, starting from USD 300,000.

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 fourth option is to invest in an APPROVED ENTERPRISE PROJECT, starting from a minimum investment of USD 3,500,000.


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Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

S

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. St. 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 independence day in 1983. 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. 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, 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.

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. Today the island lives by tourism, a transformation achieved with record speed. St. Kitts 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).

Full name: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis Capital city: Basseterre Population: 52,441 (2019) GDP in current prices: USD $1.758 billion (2019) GDP growth: 3.5% (2019) 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: 73rd (2018) Ease of doing business index: 139th (2019) Time Zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 869 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 smallscale, export-oriented industrialisation and off-shore 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. 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 Citizenship By Investment 51


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, accounting for 56% of the total exports and 31.7% of imports. Citizenship by Investment The local 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 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 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 programme under which citizenship is granted to persons who qualify under criteria set by cabinet decision.

REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES 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

52 Citizenship By Investment

Upon submission of an application, non-refundable due diligence and processing fees must be also paid. These fees are US $7,500 for the main applicant, and US $4,000 for each dependent who is over the age of 16 years. The Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) is the newest investment channel under St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme, introduced by Prime Minister Timothy Harris in March 2018. It is the most secure and straightforward route to second citizenship. Via SGF, a contribution is made directly to a government-held fund, with the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) being able to check receipt immediately and speed up the application. The


SGF represents the ongoing advancement of St Kitts and Nevis to realise their potential as a prospering small-island nation with an accelerating economy.

the purchase and may not qualify the next buyer for citizenship. A list of approved real-estate developments is published under Approved Real Estate

• The SGF offers the most straightforward route to citizenship. • It’s a discrete channel where your privacy is ensured. • Your second citizenship is for life, meaning that it can be passed down to future generations. • No mandatory travel or language requirements. • Increased global mobility with visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to over 150 countries. • You will gain citizenship of a country with a low tax regime including no income, inheritance or gift tax

Acquisition of citizenship under the SIDF option requires a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.

Real Estate Investment Applicants may qualify for citizenship through an investment in a pre-approved real estate project. The minimum real estate investment required by law is US $200,000 (resalable after seven years) or US $400,000 (resalable after five years) for each main applicant. On approval in principle of an application made through a real estate investment, a Government fee applies, as follows: • Main applicant: US $35,050 • Spouse of the main applicant: US $20,050 • Any other qualified dependent of the main applicant regardless of age: US $10,050 In addition to these fees, real estate buyers should be aware of purchase costs (mainly compulsory insurance fund contributions and conveyance fees). For listed of approved real estate click here https://ciu.gov.kn/investment-options/approved-real-estate/ The value of the real estate should be at least US $400,000, plus the payment of government fees and other fees and taxes. As the application procedure under this option involves the purchase of real estate, this can lengthen the processing time depending on the chosen property. Real estate can be re-sold five years after

Applications for Citizenship cannot be lodged directly at the Citizenship -by-Investment Unit, instead it can only be handled by registered Authorised Persons. St. Kitts And Nevis 60 Day Accelerated Process The Accelerated Application Process (AAP) approved by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in October 2016 allows applications to be accelerated to a 60 day processing period. Persons applying will still be required to meet all mandatory criteria and submit the necessary supporting documents. Applications will be given an accelerated treatment from the Citizenship by Investment Unit, Due Diligence Providers and the St. Kitts and Nevis Passport Office. As a bonus this process also includes the application and processing of the St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis passport. Applying using the AAP can see an application completed within 60 days with some applications completed in as early as 45 days. The AAP Process Fees are as follows (and include Due Diligence Fees) • Main Applicant: US $25,000 • Dependent above 16 years: US $20,000 In addition to the US $25,000 and US $20,000 AAP processing fees, an additional fee of US $500 per person will be applicable for the processing of the St. Kitts and Nevis Passport for any dependents under the age of 16 years. Owing to the extended turnaround time of third party due diligence contributor’s applicants from Iraq, Yemen and Nigeria, are not be eligible for the AAP.

Citizenship By Investment 53


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 country’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.

Priority Sectors Tourism Information Technology Agriculture Light Manufacturing Financial Services International Education Renewable Energy Tel: 869-465-1153 www.investstkitts.kn office@investstkitts.kn


ST. KITTS AND NEVIS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME by the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency St. 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 for CBI prohrammes. 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).

each dependant of the main application who is over the age of 16 years.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH FUND (SGF) CONTRIBUTION

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$400,000 (resaleble after 5 years) for each main applicant.

Applicants may qualify for citizenship through a contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). • Single applicant: a non-refundable con tribution of US $150,000 is required • Main applicant with up to three dependants (for example a spouse and two children): a non-refundable contribution of US$195,000 is required • Additional dependants, regardless of age: US$10,000 Upon submission of an applicant due diligence and processing fees must be also paid. These fees amount to US$7,500 for each main applicant, and US$4,000 for

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Upon submission of an application, non-refundable due diligence and processing fees must also be paid. These fees amount to US$7,500 for each main applicant who is over the age of 16 years. • Main applicant: US$35,047 • Spouse of the main applicant: US$20,047 • Any other qualified dependant of the main applicant regardless of age: US$10,047 Citizenship By Investment 55


In addition to those 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, prioritesed sectors. These include tourism, offshore financial services, international education, renewable energy and manifacturing. 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 the refurbishment or construction of a hotel and tax holidays of 10 years for 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 or death tax. St. Kitts is attractive as an international financial centre because its services cater to small closely held companies with an easy applications process and reasonable rates. In addition, the Financial Services sector is equipped

Contact: St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency 2nd Floor KOI Building, #1 Airport Road Golden Rock St. Kitts

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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, dividents 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.

Tel. (869) 465-1153 Fax. (869) 465-1154 www.investstkitts.kn office@investstkitts.kn


THE CARIBBEAN BET ON THEIR STRENGTHS AND WON by CS GLOBAL PARTNERS

2019 was a stellar year for several countries offering Citizenship by Investment, especially from the Caribbean. From resounding CBI hotels inaugurations to international headlines, the Caribbean continued to lead by example. So when 2020 came in all its viral glory, the Caribbean did what they do best — they rose to the challenge head on and thrived. With tourism coming to a screeching halt, Citizenship by Investment (CBI) became an even more important economic pillar. The government of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis shifted its fiscal focus towards its unwavering strengths, making CBI process adjustments to facilitate remote application and more family appeal. Ripe with opportunities for investors, the spectacular Caribbean islands uncovered the hidden depths beyond their popular sandy beaches. One Canadian investor, John Zuliani, told the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine in a documentary about how he plans on capitalising on the Federation’s strengths, such as the potential for medical tourism. He says that the country’s CBI Programme provides economic stimulus for the islands to the end benefit of the native population. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth of Dominica — the best country for CBI, according to the FT’s PWM CBI Index — also allowed CBI applications to be temporarily submitted online. Later on, Dominica expanded the definition of eligible CBI dependants

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and post-citizenship additions. After it became an industry poster child for the sheer number and scale of CBIfunded projects, Dominica continued to build on its strength as a peaceful, resilient nation, that promotes family reunification in a nature-immersed and safe environment. Last year, Dominica catapulted into the centre of attention of the ecotourism industry. This is widely attributed to the CBI resorts opening throughout the year. Kempinski CBI shares sold out fast, but five other new hotels are still available for investment under the CBI Programme. This includes already operational Jungle Bay and Secret Bay, as well as upcoming Tranquility Beach from Hilton, Anichi resort from Marriott, and boutique Sanctuary resort and spa. Besides the modernised infrastructure and mass rehabilitation efforts across the island, we saw countless new projects coming to life, some of which were detailed in a thorough PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report especially devised to assess how

Dominica used its CBI reserves over the past few years. PwC concluded that CBI “has generated tangible impacts on almost every aspect of life in Dominica.� Hundreds more Dominican families have been handed the keys to their brand-new, hurricane-proof homes, built in specially designed clusterprojects across the entire island. At this pace, thousands of families should benefit in the upcoming years, as many projects from the so-called Housing Revolution reach completion swiftly. This is sponsored entirely by the CBI Programme and, importantly, includes at least a dozen new health centres and a state-of-the-art hospital. With only 18 COVID-19 cases, no related deaths, and two months free of the virus, as of August 18th, 2020, Dominica was confident enough to reopen its borders to nationals and typically eco-conscious tourists, following strict travel protocols. In fact, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis were among the safest places to be

during a pandemic. Early on, England established special travel corridors with both countries, exempting their travellers from having to self-isolate for two weeks. Faced with an unprecedented economic crisis, many countries that might have been skeptical about adopting a CBI programme may well reconsider their stance. These two Caribbean countries should serve as examples for anyone searching for the a balanced CBI framework. With decades worth of experience on its side, the Caribbean region continues to find new innovative ways to remain on top. This includes increased transparency of where CBI funds are utilised, further regional collaboration in the form of standardised applications forms and the introduction of an oversight committee. With increased global scrutiny of citizenship programmes, the Caribbean demonstrates the right way to run a successful, efficient and reputable CBI programme.

Citizenship By Investment 59


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

SAINT LUCIA

S

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. 60 Citizenship By Investment

English is the official language of Saint Lucia, although Saint Lucian Creole French is also used. 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 771m high and Petit Piton 743m high. This area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004 and is located near the town of Soufriere, formerly the French capital of St. Lucia. Many tourists visit Soufriere for the tranquillity of the St. 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

Capital city: Castries Population: 179,667 (2018) GDP in current prices: USD $1.87 billion (2018) GDP growth: 1.0% (2018) Area: 617 km² Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac Prime Minister: Allen Chastanet Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD) HDI: 89th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 93rd (2020) Time Zone: GMT -4 Dialling code: 1 758 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 Governor-General. 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 3.7% in real terms during 2017 but contracted to just 1.0% real growth in 2018, due principally due to a downturn in both the public and private construction sectors. Nevertheless, the Caribbean Development Bank are forecasting an improvement in 2019. Saint Lucia’s 2018 nominal GDP figure of $1.874 billion ranked 170th on the World Bank listings, but in terms of nominal GDP per capita rankings, Saint Lucia’s figure of $10,610 placed as high as 68th. The services sector accounted for approximately 82.8% of GDP, with industry 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 businessfriendly 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 whom were stopping off as part of a cruise. However, after 2017 registered an all-time record of 1,105,541 inbound tourist arrivals, 2018 saw a further 10.2% increase with 1,218,294 visitor arrivals. Of these, 760,306 (62.4%) came by cruise ship as the Caribbean cruise sector enjoyed its best ever performance. The number of stay-over visitors arriving by air improved from 386,127 in 2017 to 394,780 in 2018. As with other Caribbean destinations, the USA, the UK and Canada are the major tourism revenue markets, accounting for 44.3%, 19.3% and 10.2% of stopover visitors respectively. 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. Citizenship By Investment 61


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 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 three months. In order to qualify for citizenship, applicants must choose one of the following four options: 1. National Economic Fund 2. Real Estate Projects 3. Enterprise Projects 4. Government Bonds

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). The following minimum investment is required: • A sole applicant: A minimum investment of USD $3,500,000 • More than one applicant (joint venture): A minimum investment of USD $6,000,000 with each applicant contributing no less than USD $1,000,000 4. Government bonds The fourth option is through the purchase of non-interestbearing 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: USD $500,000 • Couple (applicant and spouse): USD $535,000 • Applicant applying with spouse and up to two dependants: USD $550,000 • Each extra dependant: USD $25,000.

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.

To signify that Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is still open for business, and in order to attract foreign investors through to the end of 2020, the Government introduced some significant changes to the programme in May.

Once an application for citizenship through investment in the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund has been approved, an investment is required as follows:

Nestor Alfred, head of the CIU, and Prime Minister Chastanet of Saint Lucia, announced the changes, which include halving the minimum investment required to qualify for citizenship through bond acquisitions.

• Single applicant: USD $100,000 • Main applicant plus spouse: USD $140,000 • Applicant applying with spouse and up to two other qualifying dependants: USD $150,000 • Each extra qualifying dependant, of any age: USD $25,000 • Each qualifying dependent in addition to a family of four (family includes a spouse): USD $15,000 2. Real Estate Projects Approved real estate projects may be luxury branded hotels and resorts or high-end boutique properties. The minimum investment is USD $300,000 per application.

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The new COVID-19 Relief Bond option in brief (Offer valid until 31st December 2020): • Candidates can qualify through the purchase of a new, non-interest-bearing investment in Government Bond starts at USD $250,000 (a discount of 50%) for a single applicant. • The investment amount in the Bond is refunded in full at the end of the holding period • Processing fees are waived • Holding period is 5-7 years • Investment is to be made only after approval is granted • The administrative fee has been reduced from $50,000 to $30,000 and is now only payable upon approval.


A CLIENT FOCUSED APPROACH TO CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT by Cindy Emmanuel-Mclean consulting partner at TM ANTOINE Partners

TM

ANTOINE Partners Advisory has carved out a special place in the citizenship by investment landscape of Saint Lucia, the Caribbean and the globe. As an authorised agent, registered in Saint Lucia, we do not just help clients submit their applications for citizenship of Saint Lucia – our work is much more specific and detailed than that. We specialise in creating targeted solutions for each client. This includes helping clients choose the best Caribbean citizenship programme for their circumstances. The individualised approach to citizenship by investment was a result of a conscious effort to make the clients and their solutions the first and only focus for our citizenship advisory. Our inspiration Before launching the citizenship advisory as part of the law firm of TM ANTOINE Partners, Thaddeus M. Antoine, the managing partner, travelled extensively attending citizenship by investment conferences and educating himself about the industry. He played a pivotal role in helping shape Saint Lucia’s programme as a Senator of Government in 2015/2016. During his many fact-finding missions, he met extensively with marketing agents, promoters, agents and government officials. The conferences did not cater to the individuals who would be applying for citizenship. Everything to be learnt about the needs of the clients was offered by third, fourth- and fifth-party service providers. Thirty months ago, in March of 2016, TM ANTOINE Partners Advisory submitted the first application for citizenship by investment. Today, the process used by the company to assess clients, prepare applications for submission and communicate with clients has completely evolved. Everything we do is aimed at making our assertion that we provide fivestar service, offering a tailored approach for the unique circumstances of each of our clients from enquiry to citizenship, the reality that the client experiences when working with us. This is first evidenced by the free Pre-Application Assessment that is offered by TM ANTOINE Partners Advisory to each of the clients who express an interest in applying for citizenship of Saint Lucia.

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Finding the perfect fit The free Pre-Application Assessment involves conducting an initial due diligence background check on the prospective applicant. Any areas of concern are immediately pointed out to the client and discussed as to how it would affect their application for citizenship. Where the due diligence background check reveals issues that legislatively would prohibit the prospective applicant from obtaining citizenship of Saint Lucia, TM ANTOINE Partners Advisory advises the client that the application cannot proceed. This is a clear example of putting the interests of the client ahead of those of the company. Another key feature of the Pre-Application Assessment is providing clients with a comprehensive estimate of the costs of obtaining citizenship of Saint Lucia as well as the other four countries offering citizenship by investment in the Caribbean. Cost is perhaps the most significant factor for some clients and there is value in giving the clients the full range of options available to them. The result of that practice is that each client gets to apply for the Caribbean programme that is the best fit for them. That is important to TM ANTOINE Partners Advisory, more critical than persuading every client to subscribe to any single programme. We are always happy to meet the clients’ needs either on our own or through our trusted partners throughout the Caribbean. TM ANTOINE Partners is committed to guiding prospective applicants who, after the completion of the Free Pre-Applicant Assessment, have determined that they will proceed with their application. We design a customised checklist for each applicant detailing the documents and forms that they will need. Clients who follow the TMA checklist save time by focusing their efforts on only what is needed to complete their application. We will often include a request for additional supporting documents not ordinarily required by the Citizenship by Investment Unit. We do so because a complete application should answer all questions that are likely to arise about our clients. This approach has resulted in an almost 100% success rate for the applications we submit to the Unit. Our TMA Online Tool is used to provide Assessment Feedback to clients who can provide corrections, additional information and explanations online in real time. This has reduced the time it takes to get a file ready for submission by over 65%. Our Assessment Feedback is detailed and lets each client know exactly what must be done to bring their application into compliance with the requirements of the Citizenship by Investment Unit. Meeting client expectations TM ANTOINE Partners Advisory would love to boast 100% satisfaction among our clients but at this time it is not possible to do so. Of most concern to clients is what they see as the inordinate amount of time it takes for their applications to be processed. Other than costs, the processing time is the second most quoted reason for our clients choosing other Caribbean islands. It is clear that Saint Lucia

values its reputation and therefore puts a premium on due diligence background check on all applicants. This accounts for the longest part of the application process and sometimes takes the delivery of decisions on applications way beyond the desired 90 days.

application process needs to be streamlined by reducing the number of forms to be completed, widening the range of supporting documents that can be used to bolster one’s case for obtaining citizenship and presenting options for applicants to engage with the Programme.

As new options for obtaining a second citizenship are being offered to global citizens, it is critical that the Caribbean become more responsive to the needs of the clients. Governments processes are often clogged with bureaucracy and political interests but that should not dissuade them from building an elasticity into their citizenship by investment programmes that allows them to change to meet the ever-changing expectations of prospective investment citizens. Other Caribbean islands, most recently Grenada, and especially Dominica and St. Kitts have managed this process relatively well. In recent times, these countries have made changes to their offerings, which we believe make them more attractive to the global market.

Saint Lucia – Let her inspire you

Based on the requests that we are getting from our clients Saint Lucia is lagging in significant ways. Our clients want the option to add new members of their family to their applications after approval. They want to apply for their dependent children who are past the age of 25. They need to include their children between the ages of 18 and 25 who are not currently enrolled in schools. All these are options which they have in the other Caribbean countries and are willing to pay a premium to get them. We must strive the find the balance between our need to protect our reputation and the desired longevity and viability of our Programme.

Given all the changes that TM ANTOINE Partners Advisory would like to see in the Programme we are always ready to answer the question – why Saint Lucia? We are unashamed to provide you with the most biased answer that we can provide – Saint Lucia is simply good. Saint Lucia is simply good for business with a diversified economy, diversified and skilled labour force and a diversified investment portfolio. Saint Lucia is simply good for life. Our life expectancy is 74.5 years for men and 79 for women. We have a rich and vibrant culture that caters to every lifestyle. Saint Lucia is simply good for fantasy. Oprah Winfrey described Saint Lucia as the number one location to see before you die. That is further endorsed by the numerous couples that have made Saint Lucia consistently rank as the number one wedding and honeymoon destination in the world, most recently in 2018.

Contact us TM ANTOINE Partners wants to give you your passport to Saint Lucia, to freedom. Please contact me to discuss your options.

The desired future At TM ANTOINE Partners we still concur with the findings of the Task Force on Citizenship by Investment who proffered that there are five important decision-making factors for persons considering investment in a CIP programme. • Cost – measuring the costs pertinent to the application and the net investment that the applicant is required to make • Speed – the time it takes to citizenship • Global Mobility – the total number of countries accessible visa-free on a passport as well as access to the most desirable places to visit • Simplicity – clarity and seamlessness of the application process • Quality of Life – based on external quality of life indices. For at least three of the five factors, there are simple, easy and painless steps that Saint Lucia can take to increase the unique selling point of its Programme. We must find ways to effectively reduce the time it takes to get to a decision. An aggressive campaign of increasing the number of countries with which we have visa-free access must be pursued while working diligently to protect those existing visa-free relationships. The

Cindy Emmanuel-McLean consulting partner TM ANTOINE Partners Tel: 1 (416) 727 1648 1 (758) 519 2917 1 (758) 453 2000 cmclean@tmantoinelaw.com https://cip.tmantoinelaw.com

Citizenship By Investment 65


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS Full name: Republic of Cyprus Capital city: Nicosia Population: 1,189,265 (2018) GDP in current prices: USD $35.970 billion (2019) GDP real growth: 3.9% (2018) Area: 9,253 km² Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic President: Nicos Anastasiades President of Parliament: Demetris Syllouris Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 31st (2018) Ease of doing business index: 54th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +2 Dialling code: 357

CYPRUS

C

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, 105km west of Syria, 207km northwest of Lebanon and 390km north of Egypt. Although the Greek island of Crete lies 785km west of Cyprus, historically and culturally Cyprus is definitely in Europe.

The island is 225km long at its largest point and 97km at its widest, with a coastline that measures 648km, 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°C along its coast and over 340 days of sunshine a year.

The earliest known settlers date back to around 10,000 BC, with archaeological discoveries pre-dating ancient Egyptian civilisation. One of the most important finds is that of a remarkably wellpreserved Neolithic settlement at Khirokitia which was discovered in 1934 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

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.

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 part of the Byzantine Empire after the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD between west and east. In 1489, Cyprus was annexed by the Republic of Venice, however the island endured frequent attacks from the Ottoman Empire and fell under Ottoman rule from 1570.

History Its strategic location has meant that Cyprus has had turbulent history and been a major trade hub between Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East. 66 Citizenship By Investment

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, after Turkey had relinquished any claim to Cyprus in 1923, continued to hold the island as a crown colony. By the 1950s, the Cypriot Turks were increasingly uneasy at the attempts by the Greek Cypriot population to align the country directly with Greece. After talks held in London and Zurich between the UK, Greece and Turkey in February 1959, agreements were reached on a draft constitution and Cyprus was officially proclaimed an independent state on 16 August 1960. Modern Cyprus 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 Greekled 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, 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 bail-out 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’.

Citizenship By Investment 67


The economic recovery was helped by a resurgent tourist trade and real estate market after the government relaunched 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%. Cyprus imports

more products than it exports, but a 27% growth in exports during 2018 helped reduce the annual trade deficit by over 13%. 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 come 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. 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 relaunched 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.

• Not have been refused for citizenship by another EU member state

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.

(The option to invest in government bonds has now been abolished)

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 €500,000+ • Possess a valid passport and have a valid Schengen Visa 68 Citizenship By Investment

• Invest €2,000,000 in real estate property development, infrastructure projects or in businesses recognised under the Registered Alternative Investments Organisations (UCITS) including investment made within the Cyprus shipping industry.

• Furthermore, the investment is required to be maintained for a period of at least five years from the date of naturalisation, 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 €75,000 donation must be made to the ‘Research Promotion Foundation’ • A €75,000 donation must also be made to the ‘Cyprus Land Development Corporation’.

Residency Visas One of the fastest ways of securing residency is via the family residency visa, also known as a ‘golden visa’. The minimum investment level for non-EU citizens is just €300,000 in brand new real estate and the residency visa is usually granted within just two months. This covers all the family including parents of both the main applicant and spouse and dependent children up to the age of 25. Benefits of Cyprus permanent residency • Visa-free entry to 173 countries including EU freedom of movement • There are no language requirements and no requirement to live in Cyprus, although a visit to Cyprus once every two years is required to maintain residence status • Cyprus allows dual nationality • Citizenship is also passed on to dependents and future generations subject to basic documentation • Advantageous tax system for businesses; corporate tax rate in Cyprus is 12.5%.


Tel: +357 26 221 868 / Email: e.almanova@gmail.com

Elina Almanova LEGAL EXPERTS AT YOUR SERVICE

Our office: We are a Cyprus-based family-owned law firm, located in Paphos, specialising in immigration law, property law, taxation law, as well as corporate law. We have represented many international clients and assisted them in applying for permanent residency and citizenship with a 100% success rate. Our firm adheres to the highest professional standards of practice to a large and diverse clientele and pays special attention to the importance of confidentiality. Our office has a wide network of legal contacts and associates in Greece and the United Kingdom, thus enabling to offer a full range of quality services. Currently, we have our main office in Paphos, while we operate via our affiliate offices law firms in Limassol, Thessaloniki and London. Our team comprises of dynamic and highly specialised professionals who speak Greek, English and Russian fluently. We offer high-level services, accessibility and high professional standards. Why do we recommend investing in Cyprus? With time Cyprus has now become increasingly popular among foreign investors and resultantly the country’s investment potential has risen exponentially. The most important factor that investors take into consideration is the unique location of the island and the exceptional climate. Top reasons to invest in Cyprus are as follows: • Cyprus / EU Citizenship or Permanent Residency, which can lead to a subsequent Cyprus Citizenship • Attractive and transparent tax regime • High quality of life and low crime rate • Low cost of doing business • Access to EU markets • Stable economy What are the benefits of the Cyprus Investment Programme? Cyprus Investment Programme established a number of incentives to attract foreign direct investment into the country. Cyprus citizenship is equivalent to EU citizenship and it offers a number of important benefits to its holders, such as: • The right of free movement, freedom to work and study in the European Union • Provides opportunity to receive citizenship for the main applicant, his/ her spouse, children and parents. Citizenship is passed down to future generations • Visa-free travel to 174 destinations, including Canada, Hong Kong and the UK • Simple and straightforward application process • Cyprus allows dual-citizenship • No requirement for Greek language knowledge What advice do we have for our Clients? The best option is to schedule an initial free consultation with one of our specialists and discuss the main client’s requirements. We offer Skype consultation and phone call consultation for convenience. During the consultation we will discuss the particulars of our client’s case, such as the budget, details of the applicants, any issues or details that may influence the application process, etc. We will provide a briefing of the main aspect of the investment programme and explain all the important details. In cases where the client is interested in investing in Property, we will advise him/her on the important aspect of the purchase process.

We cooperate with a number of prestigious local real-estate agents and will refer the client to the appropriate agency, which will assist and accommodate the client’s search for investment opportunities. We are always a part of the process to advise and make sure that the investment opportunity is free from any incumbrances and is suitable for the investment programme. Please note that you are allowed to sell the property after the period of 5 years, with the exception of the main residence which must exceed € 500.000, thus it is important to invest in an asset that will not depreciate in value. Cyprus provides various investment opportunities, which offer a stable return ranging from 5% to 12%; we provide our clients with the legal assistance through the whole process and offer independent due diligence checks. What is the process for obtaining the Cypriot Citizenship? The process of obtaining the Cypriot citizenship consists of a series of important steps that need to be implemented professionally and carefully. The usual process, simplified, is as follows: 1. Initial consultation with the client. 2. Review of the case from our specialists and preparation and preparation and legalisation of the necessary documents. 3. Selection and implementation of the chosen investment option. 4. Visit to Cyprus for viewings and finalisation of the investment. We provide full legal assistance with the purchase process and preparation of the necessary documentation. 5. Preparation of the necessary documentation, forms and their submission to the Ministry of Interior. The client’s presence is required for the signing of the forms and submission of biometrics for the permanent residence permit, which can be done simultaneously during the first visit. 6. After 6 months from the receipt of the permanent residence permit, considering that the application has been approved, the naturalisation certificates are issued for the main applicant and his/her spouse. The average timeframe is from 6 to 11 months. 7. Citizenship application for the dependents of the applicants can be submitted, (together). Website: www.almanovalaw.eu Paphos Office: Office 108, 1st Floor,                     20 Charalampou Mouskou Str,                                  Athinodorou Business Centre (A.B.C.)                   Office tel:  +357 26 221 868                                     Fax: +357 26 950 122


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

GREECE

G

reece is one of the oldest countries in Europe and is generally considered to be the cradle of Western civilisation. Situated in Southeast Europe on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, the country shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The rest of the mainland is washed by the Aegean Sea to the east, the Mediterranean and the Cretan Sea to the south, and the Ionian Sea to the west.

Geography and administrative regions Greece is basically a peninsular country with an archipelago of several thousand islands and has three main geographical constituents: • The northern mainland, which is mostly mountainous, has a total land area of 96,733 km² and contains eight of the 13 regions that Greece was divided into with effect from 1 January 2011 following a major administrative reform. These include Attica, the capital of which is also the national capital of Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world with a recorded history of 3,500 years. • The Peloponnese peninsula to the south is separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal and is an individual region with a land area of 15,511 km². The canal stretches for 6.3 kilometres across the Isthmus of Corinth linking the Corinthian of 15,511 km². The canal stretches for 6.3 kilometres across the Isthmus of Corinth linking the Corinthian Gulf with the Saronic Gulf. Several rulers including the Roman emperors Caligula and Nero had commissioned studies into digging a canal, but it wasn’t until 1881 that work actually commenced and it formally 70 Citizenship By Investment

opened in July 1893. The canal has a water depth of 8 metres and a width of between 21-25 metres and is mainly used now by tourist ships. • The rest of Greece is made up of around 6,000 islands and islets that between them make up around 19.805 km² (15% of Greece’s total land area) and are divided into the remaining four administrative regions: - Ionian Islands, with Corfu as its capital - North Aegean, including the islands of Lesbos and Samos - South Aegean, including the Cyclades and Dodecanese island groups - Crete, which includes the island of Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and the island of Gavdos, which is the southernmost point, not just of Greece, but of the whole of Europe. According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, 227 islands are inhabited and account for 13% of the country’s total population of 10.74 million.

Full name: Hellenic Republic Capital city: Athens Population: 10,724,599 (Est 2019) GDP in current prices: USD $218.06 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 1.9% (2018) Area: 132,049 km² Government: Unitary parliamentary republic President: Katerina Sakellaropoulou Prime Minister: Kyriakos Mitsotakis Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 32nd (2018) Ease of doing business index: 79th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +2 Dialling code: 30 Classical History There were several advanced civilisations evident in Greece during the 3rd and 4th millennia BC before the rise of the Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland around 1900 BC. By the end of the Bronze Age, following a period of considerable regional upheaval, Greece was a conglomerate of city states which also spread into Southern Italy and Asia Minor. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held at Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula and it was around this time that Homer composed his classical works the Iliad and the Odyssey as part of a great cultural boom. In 508 BC, the world’s first democratic system of government was instigated in Athens. But several city states in Macedonia and Asia Minor were falling victim to raids by the Persian Empire and in 481 BC, the Hellenic League was formed to repel the Persians. Led by Sparta and Athens, the Greek victories heralded a period of stability referred to as The Golden Age of Athens, during which time many of the foundations of western civilisation were established. Philip II of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland before his assassination


in 336 BC, and his son Alexander the Great expanded the empire into northeast Africa and Asia, helping to spread Greek culture, language and technology. Greece later fell under Roman rule from 146 BC and was absorbed into the Roman Empire by the emperor Augustus in 27 BC. However, the Romans admired and protected Hellenistic culture and Greece continued to flourish for the most part into the middle ages. During the 14th and 15th centuries, much of the Greek peninsula fell into the hands of the Turkish Ottomans, prompting waves of Byzantine Greek scholars to flee to the west, taking with them (and thereby preserving) great hoards of Classical Greek and Latin literature. By 1460, the whole of the Greek mainland had been conquered by the Ottomans with most of the island groups falling during the 16th century. Only the Ionian islands escaped long-term Ottoman rule, as the Republic of Venice retained control until the islands were captured by the French Republic in 1797 and later ceded to the UK in 1809. The early nineteenth century saw a rise in what was termed the Modern Greek Enlightenment, as dispersed Greek merchants gained wealth through commerce and shipping. A series of separate revolts against the Ottomans and their Egyptian allies brought brutal response on some islands, which in turn led to the French, Russian and British sending fleets to aid the Greeks in what

later became known as the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829). Following a decisive victory at the Battle of Navarino and subsequent negotiations, Greece secured its independence and the new state was formally recognised by the major powers in an agreement signed on 3 February 1830. Greek Independence Day is celebrated as a national holiday on every 25th of March, this being the traditional anniversary date of the declaration of independence in 1821. Modern Greece Over the next few decades, Greece became embroiled in several more conflicts with the Ottomans, including the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, which saw Greece consolidate and expand its territory into Macedonia and Thrace. The onset of World War II saw much of Greece occupied by Nazi forces during 1941-1944 while its government was in exile, during which time the Greek resistance was regarded as one of the bravest and most effective resistance movements in Europe, despite the brutal reprisals meted out by the occupation forces. However, Greece’s liberation by the Allied troops in October 1944 did not alleviate the social hardships for long, as the country descended into a violent civil war between the government’s national army (backed by the USA and the UK) and the communist forces of the DSE (backed principally by Yugoslavia) lasting until October 1949.

With increased aid from the USA, the Greek government won through and the country joined NATO in 1952 to strengthen the Western bloc during the early days of the Cold War. But political tensions during the 1960s culminated in another coup d’etat on 21 April 1967. For the next seven years, the country was ruled by far-right military juntas in what was commonly referred to as the ‘Regime of the Colonels’. During this period, civil liberties were brutally suppressed and the repercussions of the regime continued to reverberate for many years afterwards, with the leading junta members later arrested and sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) for high treason. Parliamentary democracy was restored in November 1974 and a referendum held the following month voted against the restoration of the monarchy. This created what is generally referred to as the Third Hellenic Republic and a new democratic constitution was drawn up and adopted on 11 June 1975. In 1980, Greece rejoined NATO, having previously suspended its membership in 1974 in protest at the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. On 1 January 1981, Greece became the tenth country to join the European Economic Community, heralding a sustained period of economic growth. Greece joined the Eurozone in 2001, having successfully satisfied the criteria for acceptance, and in August 2004, Athens successfully hosted the summer Olympic Games, using the motto ‘Welcome Home’. Citizenship By Investment 71


Politics Officially, although starting as a republic, Greece was a constitutional monarchy from 1844 and a crowned republic from 1864 until 1924. The monarchy was restored in 1935 but finally abolished in 1974. The 1975 Greek constitution describes Greece as a ‘presidential parliamentary republic’. The head of state is the President, who is elected by the parliament for a five-year term with a maximum of two terms. The Greek parliament is a unicameral legislature which is elected for a maximum four-year term using a complicated form of proportional representation to determine who fills the 300 seats. All voters are automatically registered and voting is mandatory. In 2016, the voting age was recuced from 18 to 17, taking effect from the 2019 elections. The Prime Minister is formally appointed by the President and is usually the leader of whichever political party polls the most votes and is able to form a majority or coalition government. The parliament is located at the Old Royal Palace which overlooks Syntagma Square in Athens. The latest parliamentary election was held on 7 July 2019 and was the sixth legislative election in less than ten years. The previous Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had taken the left-wing political party Syriza to power in the January 2015

72 Citizenship By Investment

elections with an anti-austerity manifesto and he was re-elected in the September 2015 snap election at the height of the Greek bail-out crisis (see below). But following defeats in the 2019 local elections and European elections, Tsipras called a snap election and ultimately paid the price for under-delivering on his campaign promises, losing 59 seats as the New Democracy party returned to power with an outright majority of 158 seats. Economy and trade Greece has an advanced high-income developed economy with a high standard of living. The country went through a period of rapid economic growth after joining the EU, averaging over 2.5% real year-on-year growth between 1984 and 2007, by which time Greece had climbed into the World Bank’s list of top 30 largest economies by nominal GDP. However, the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 affected Greece more severely than most countries as the country’s public debt rose to unsustainable levels. In 2010, the other Eurozone members together with the IMF agreed an initial €110 billion euros rescue package, followed by a second bail-out in 2012, but on condition that the Greek government implemented strict austerity measures. Unfortunately, the crisis was to get worse before it got better; the country suffered a 25% drop in its GDP between 2009 and

2012, for which, in June 2013, the IMF acknowledged and apologised to Greece for mistakes in underestimating the impact of the austerity conditions. Unemployment rose from 7.8% in 2008 to 27.5% in 2013, with youth (age 15-24) unemployment rising from 21.7% to 58.2% over the same period, leading to social unrest and targeted strikes by public service workers. But in 2014, after six consecutive years of recession and restructuring of the national debt, the economy grew by 0.7% and a third bailout was finally agreed after several months of negotiation in July 2015, payable in tranches until August 2018. Slight contractions of -0.4% and -0.2% followed in 2015 and 2016 respectively, but 2017 saw a real growth rate of 1.5% and the latest figures for 2018 show an improved real growth of 1.9%. Unemployment has also improved, down to 19.6% across 2018 with youth unemployment hovering just under 40%, although Greece still has one of the highest levels of unemployment in Europe. The economy, which now ranks 50th in terms of nominal GDP, is largely based on services, tourism and shipping. The agricultural sector contributes about 4% to GDP, industry 16% and services 80%. Exports rose by 15.7% in 2018 to achieve a record high of €33.4 billion (including oil products), while the value of imports rose by 9.5% to €55.1 billion. This gave


a trade deficit for 2018 of around €21.7 billion, which is a significant improvement on the €44.3 billion negative balance of trade in 2008. The Panhellenic Exporters’ Association are expecting 2019 to be another record year for exports which, with sustained investment, they hope will help to boost local jobs. Travel and tourism 2018 was also a very good year for the tourism industry, which has been a key driver in the recovery of the Greek economy. Tourism has always been important to Greece, with its cultural heritage, extensive beaches and Mediterranean climate making Greece one of the most visited countries not just

with 4.4 million coming from Germany, followed by 2.9m from the UK and 1.5m from France. The number of international air arrivals grew by 12.9% to a record 20.7 million, with Athens International Airport – the largest of 15 international airports in Greece – seeing a 19.4% yearon-year increase in international arrivals to 5.7 million.

in Europe, but globally. Greece has no fewer than 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its island Santorini – a favourite destination for cruise passengers as well as direct holiday-makers – was voted the world’s best island in 2011 by ‘Travel + Leisure’ and was the most visited island in Greece last year with close to two million visitors. The total number of international tourists to Greece reached 30.12 million during 2018, 10.8% higher than 2017’s total of 27.19 million and more than double the number of arrivals in 2009.

Figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) show that the total Travel and Tourism sector in Greece grew by 6.9% in 2018 – well over three times the national economy growth rate – and contributed the equivalent of $44.6 billion to GDP. This represents a record 20.6% of Greek GDP, compared with a global average of 10.4%.

The Bank of Greece reported that the revenues generated by the tourists amounted to €16.11 billion ($18.30 billion). 71% of the tourists were nationals from other EU member states,

RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Requirements

Advantages of the Greece Golden Visa Program include:

A minimum of just €250,000 must be invested in real estate, making this one of the most accessible investment immigration policies in Europe. Note that this excludes legal fees and taxes; new property purchases are subject to 24% VAT. Any number of properties may be combined to make up the minimum required investment and joint buyers may also combine their investments into one higher-priced property. Applicants must have a clean criminal record and have medical insurance covering their stay in Greece. Residency can be obtained within 60 days and is valid for five years, which can be renewed every five years thereafter provided the applicant still owns the property.

• No requirement to actually reside in Greece

Citizenship and a Greek passport may subsequently be applied for, but only after seven years of actually living in Greece, whereas to qualify for a residency card does not require the holder to live in Greece.

• Residence permits can be acquired within 30–60 days • Visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen Area • Unlimited expiry date of residence permit, subject to continued property ownership • Opportunity to rent out the investment property • Residence applies to the whole family (married spouse, children under 21 years old, and parents of the main applicant and spouse) • Permit holders may hold shares and receive income from the dividends of a company registered in Greece; however, they are not allowed to be employed in Greece.

Chart 1: Golden Visa Approvals in Greece by Year Number of approved applications

Chart 2: Greece’s Approved Residency Permits by Country of Origin

5000

2%

China (2,757)

8%

Russia (428)

2% 2% 2%

Turkey (413)

3%

3750

Egypt (132)

3%

Lebanon (125)

3020

9%

2500

61%

Iran (92) Ukraine (85)

1549

1250

1397

968 1399

751 423

505

583

2015

2016

961

61%

Iraq (85) Jordan (69) Others (349)

645

423

0 2013

2014

Main applicants

2017

2018

Family members

2019 H1

Data from July 2013 to 4th June 2019 Source: Enterprise Greece /Ministry for Migration Policy

Citizenship By Investment 73


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

MALTA

T

he Republic of Malta is a small South European island country that lies approximately 130 kilometres south of Italy and 333 kilometres 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. History 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. 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 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 74 Citizenship By Investment

Full name: Republic of Malta Capital city: Valletta Population: 514,564 (Est 2019) GDP in current prices: USD $14.54 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 6.6% (2018) Area: 316 km2 Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic President: George Vella Prime Minister: Robert Abela Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 29th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 88th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +1 Dialling code: 356

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.

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.

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.

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.

Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom on the 21 September

Politics

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 five-year 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 is George Vella, who was sworn in on 4 April 2019. The current Prime Minister is Joseph Muscat, leader of the Labour Party, who was reelected on 3 June 2017, with the main opposition leader being Adrian Delia, leader of the Nationalist Party. The next general elections are scheduled to be held by 2022. Economy Malta is a highly industrialised, highincome, advance service-based economy and is listed within the top 30 countries by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Malta’s real GDP growth in 2018 of 6.6%, compared with 6.7% in 2017, was one of the highest growth rates in the EU and was mainly attributable to domestic demand. 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. 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.

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.

accounting for 24.7% and 16.0% of total visitors, respectively, with Germany and France the next most important markets. The total tourist expenditure was estimated at nearly €2.1 billion, an increase of 8.0% year-on-year. In 2017, travel and tourism contributed 27.1% of Malta’s GDP compared with 21.6% in 2009.

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. 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.

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.

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. 2018 brought 2.634 million inbound visitors to the country, 13.8% higher than in 2017 and more than twice the 2008 total of 1.291 million. The United Kingdom and Italy remain Malta’s most important source markets,

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. Transport The main mode of public transport in Malta is bus, offering a cheap, 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. Malta has just the one airport, located approximately 8 kilometres southwest of Valletta, through which 96.9% of its international visitors arrived last year. 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.

Citizenship By Investment 75


CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Malta currently has two investment migration programmes: • The Malta Individual Investment Programme (MIIP) for citizenship • The Malta Residence Visa Programme (MRVP) for permanent 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. Citizenship 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). 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. To be eligible applicants must: • Be over 18 • Be in good health • Have a clean criminal record • Not been refused a visa for a country with which Malta has visa-free arrangements.

76 Citizenship By Investment

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 a five year contract. Applicants are also required to invest €150,000 in bonds or shares. The investments must be in stock sanctioned by the Maltese government. Applications can be supported by a genuine link to Malta through residence. MRVP for residency 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. Applicants must be nationals of a nonEU/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, they 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 of five years • Purchase or rent a property for a minimum 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 non-refundable 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 gives the right to live, work and study in any country in the EU and Switzerland, plus visa-free travel to over 180 countries. The 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. Potential changes Because of its popularity, The Malta Individual Investor Programme is reaching its cap. MIIPA will continue accepting applications for citizenship under the current regulations until 30 September 2020. Applications for residence under this programme will continue to be accepted until 31 July 2020. Those individuals who obtain a residence permit, but do not manage to submit a citizenship application by 30 September 2020, may be considered under new regulations that the Government is considering.


Professionalism | Reliability | Trust |

With over 1,600 High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth families covered, it’s easy to see why Laferla is considered to be the reliable insurance partner of choice for Malta’s IIP and MRVP accredited agents.

Contact our HNW solutions team: Keith Laferla ACII, IMCM T: +356 2093 9342 | E: klaferla@laferla.com.mt Mark Laferla Jr ACII, IMCM T: +356 2093 9372 | E: mlj@laferla.com.mt

35th

ANNIVERSARY

Agents for:

1984 - 2019

Laferla Insurance Agency Ltd. 204A, Vincenti Buildings, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT1453. Malta.

Laferla Insurance Agency Ltd. is enrolled under the Insurance Distribution Act, Cap 487 to act as an Insurance Agent for MAPFRE Middlesea plc (MMS). MMS is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) under the Insurance Business Act, Cap 403 of the Laws of Malta. Both entities are regulated by the MFSA.


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

MONTENEGRO

M

ontenegro is a small but proud country in Southeastern Europe, located on the Adriatic coast. A former member of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, Montenegro is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, the disputed country of Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the south. The country has a picturesque coastline stretching for 295 kilometres, including 75 kilometres of popular beaches and many well-preserved ancient towns and fishing villages. By contrast, the north of the country features some of the most rugged terrain in Europe, with mountain peaks averaging more than 2,000 metres above sea level. Montenegro enjoys a Mediterranean climate and averages 240 days of sunshine a year. The country’s name actually means ‘Black Mountain’ and is reputed to derive from the appearance of Mount Lovcen (elevation 1,749m) when covered in dark dense forests.

History Montenegro has seen many diverse cultures and political regimes. Between 1496 and 1878, large parts of the modernday country were under the control of the Ottoman Empire, while the Republic of Venice controlled much of the coastal region until 1797. After the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in April 1992, Montenegro joined with Serbia in establishing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and applied to take over Yugoslavia’s membership of the United Nations as the sole legal successor. However this claim was opposed by the other former Yugoslav states and the request was officially denied. Political relations between Serbia and Montenegro soured during the mid1990s but were restored after the 2000 presidential elections, following which 78 Citizenship By Investment

the FRY reapplied for, and was granted, membership of the United Nations on 1 November 2000. Montenegro’s parliament declared its independence on 3 June 2006 and, with no objections from Serbia, the independence of Montenegro was ratified and, three weeks later, Montenegro was admitted to the UN in its own right. Montenegro has been negotiating with the European Union since 2012 to become a full member of the EU, having been granted candidate status in 2010. Following the decision to drop the Yugoslav dinar as its official currency in 1999, Montenegro has been unilaterally using the euro since 2002, despite concerns raised by the European Central Bank. However, it looks likely that these and other issues will be resolved by 2025 when Montenegro is expected to be granted full membership of the EU.

Capital city: Podgorica Population: 622,359 (Est 2018) GDP in current prices: USD $5.4 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 4.5% (2018) Area: 13,812 km² (land 13,452 km²) Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic President: Milo Dukanovic Prime Minister: Dusko Markovic Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 52nd (2018) Ease of doing business index: 50th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +1 Dialling code: 382

Infrastructure The country is divided into three regions and 24 municipalities, following the transition of Tuzi into an independent municipality from 1 September 2018. The Central region is the most populous region and now has five municipalities including Podgorica, which is not just the administrative centre of Montenegro, but also the main economic hub. The biggest region by area is the Northern region with 13 municipalities, while the Coastal region has six municipalities including Bar, which is a major tourist destination with its 20 beaches stretching over 9 kilometres, mostly surrounded by pine forests and olive groves. Although the country has an extensive rail and road network, Montenegro lacks a proper motorway network and the construction of new motorways is a stated


priority of the government. One of its biggest and most ambitious projects is the construction of a 165km highway with a permanent supply of electricity linking the seaport of Bar to Boljare, Serbia, through the imposing mountains north of Podgorica. The government hopes that the new highway, the first phase of which has been funded by China, will provide an economic boost to the northern region and bolster trade with Serbia. In addition, the EU has contributed millions of Euros in aid for transport and environmental projects as part of its pre-accession assistance programme for EU candidate countries. Economy and tourism Since gaining independence, Montenegro’s economy has been transitioning to a market economy and has been growing steadily for the most part. The World Bank classifies Montenegro as an upper middle-income country. By 2015, around 90% of Montenegrin state-owned companies had been privatised, including all its banking, telecommunications, mining and oil distribution. Montenegro’s economy grew by 4.5% during 2018,

following 4.7% growth in 2017, giving a nominal GDP of $5.4 billion. The economy is mostly service-based, with Services comprising 71% of GDP, Industry 21% and Agriculture 8%. Foreign Direct investment accounted for 11.7% of GDP in 2017, with tourism, real estate, energy, telecommunications, banking and construction attracting most of the FDI inflow. However, the Central Bank in Podgorica recently reported that the net inflow of FDI into Montenegro dipped from €484.3 million euros in 2017 to €327.6 million in 2018. The biggest foreign investors in Montenegro are Russia, Italy, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary and Serbia. Tourism, having been hit severely by the Balkan Wars, started recovering in 2003 and has been a key driver of the Montenegrin economy. In 2009, Montenegro – ‘the pearl of the Balkans’ – was cited as one of the top places to go to in 2010 by the New York Times and Yahoo Travel.

foreign arrivals – up by 12.9% over the previous year. Figures just released by the Montenegro Statistical Office reveal a further 10.6% year-on-year increase in 2018 to pass the two million mark. Of the 2,076,803 foreign visitors, approximately 90% were from Europe, with 19.7% coming from Serbia, 16.3% from Russia and 9.3% from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Having breached the one million mark in 2008, the number of international tourists arriving into Montenegro has continued to rise each year, with 2017 setting a new record of 1,877,212

Montenegro has one of the lowest corporate tax rates at just 9% and foreign companies receive equal treatment to domestic companies, making Montenegro an attractive proposition for investors.

The total contribution of Travel & Tourism represented 23.7% share of GDP in 2017 and is forecast by the World Travel & Tourism Council to rise to 27.9% share of GDP by 2028. The sector is also a major employment contributor, directly supporting 14,500 jobs in 2017 (equating to 7.6% of total employment) plus a further 22,000 jobs indirectly supported by Travel & Tourism. By 2028, the WTTC forecast that the contribution will rise from 19.3% in 2017 to 21.5% of total employment.

RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT In July 2018, the government of Montenegro announced that it would be launching its own special citizenship by investment programme (SCIP) for non-EU citizens. The window for applications opened on 1 January 2019 and is designed to last for a limited period of three years. A statement issued by the government said that “the programme aims to further accelerate Montenegro’s economic development by creating new tourist, agricultural and processing capacities and creating new jobs.”

€100,000 to a government fund for the development of poor communities. In addition, all applicants are required to invest in approved real estate projects with a choice of two levels: • €450,000 for projects in the coastal region or in the capital Podgorica • €250,000 for projects in the north or central Montenegro.

The government has applied a cap of 2,000 applications and applicants must provide documents supporting the source and origin of invested funds.

There are also government fees of €15,000 for single applicants, and €10,000 for each family member up to a maximum of four. Thereafter, each next family member must pay €50,000.

To qualify for citizenship, applicants must make a non-refundable contribution of

The procedure is fast, in that permanent residency may be granted within three

weeks. Citizenship and a Montenegrin passport is granted within six months for approved qualified investors after due diligence checks and the names of successful applicants will be published in a gazette. The benefits for Asians of having a passport from Montenegro are that, apart from its strategic location between Europe and Asia with direct access to the Adriatic Sea, there is no obligation to relinquish current nationality and there are no language requirements. A Montenegrin passport gives enhanced global mobility with access to 123 countries including the EU Schengen states. In addition, the country already uses the Euro as its currency and has applied for membership of the European Union.

Citizenship By Investment 79


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

PORTUGAL

Full name: Portuguese Republic Capital city: Lisbon Population: 10,276,617 (2018) GDP in current prices: USD $238.5 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 2.1% (2018) Area: 92,212 km² Government: Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic President: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Prime Minister: Antonio Costa Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) HDI: 40th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 39th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +0 Dialling code: 351

P

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. Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. It overtook Austria to rank as the 3rd most peaceful country in the world behind Iceland and New Zealand on the 2019 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.

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

History Portugal has a rich history dating back to Roman times. Throughout the 15th 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. The dawn of the 20th century brought state bankruptcy, 80 Citizenship By Investment

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 EU 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 currently ranks as the 88th most populous country in the world, but its GDP of $238 billion (2018) is the 49th highest and ranks 40th highest by GDP


per capita ($23,186 nominal). Portugal saw real GDP growth of 2.1% in 2018, which is lower than the 2.8% growth in 2017 but still ahead of the EU average. 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 still continuing. There is now more focus on exports, private investment and developing a high technology sector. 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-os-Montes, 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 indusrty dates back to the Roman Empire. Its wineproducing 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, with investment 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 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. 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. 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 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 81


CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Routes to CBI in Portugal • 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.

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: • Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs.

• Capital Investments:

- Keep the investment for a minimum period of five years

- Transfer of funds above €1,000,000.

- Funds for investment should come from abroad

- Transfer of funds above €350,000 for research activities.

- Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa

- Transfer of funds above €250,000 for artistic or cultural activities.

- Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services

- Transfer of funds above €500,000 for capitalisation of small and medium-sized companies.

- Absence of conviction of a relevant crime

• 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

82 Citizenship By Investment

- Minimum stay in Portugal: seven days during the first year and 14 days during each subsequent period of two years. Stipulations to the Golden Visa have been discussed, which may take effect in 2021. It is likely that this will limit the regions in which properties would qualify as investments under the scheme. This will probably be designed to transfer buyers away from Lisbon city centre and give other regions a greater share of inward investment, but at present nothing is decided, and the COVID-19 pandemic could delay any decisions.


Big & Small Business The German Business Investor Residence Program Citizen Lane advises clients depending on their personal situation with the choice

The Program

of a residence solution or aiding with the selection of the right citizenship program. Together with our clients we identify the best-possible investment category and

The German Business Investor Residence

efficiently execute the application process from A to Z. The focused consulting

Program enables investors and entrepre-

approach of Citizen Lane, our sound knowledge of the various residence and

neurs investing in a company to receive a

citizenship programs and our expertise on the local situation makes it possible

residence permit in Germany. As a sought-af-

for us to provide a personal, lean service fulfilling all requirements for quality –

ter migration destination, Germany offers not

the German Business Investor Residence program is one of many options that

only outstanding quality of life, but even bet-

Citizen Lane offers.

ter investment opportunities in Europe’s biggest economy. The basic requirement under this program is that your business is beneficial to the German economy, also there is no defined investment threshold. Citizen Lane prepares a detailed business plan together with the investor and competent business consultants, this is the fundament of our negotiation rounds with the involved German authorities. Our experienced team of lawyers assembles the application meticulously – which is the reason for our high success rate. As every case is individual, we’re looking “to discussing” the details of your business venture in Germany with you.

We look forward to getting to know you.

Citizen Lane LLC Zentrum Staldenbach 15

8808 Pfäffikon SZ

Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Malta info@citizenlane.ch

www.citizenlane.ch

Switzerland

+41 55 511 54 00


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS Full name: Republic of Turkey Capital city: Ankara Population: 82,003,882 (2018) GDP in current prices: USD $713.51 billion (2018) GDP real growth: 2.6% (2018) Area: 783,356 km² Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic President: Recep Tayyip Erdogan Vice President: Fuat Oktay Currency: Turkish Lira (₺) (TRY) HDI: 59th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 33rd (2020) Time Zone: GMT +3 Dialling code: 90

TURKEY

T

he Republic of Turkey is a transcontinental country based mainly in West Asia. The total area of Turkey is 783,356 km² (which makes it the 36th largest country in the world), of which just over 3% (roughly the same size as the US state of New Hampshire) lies on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. This European area is bordered by Bulgaria to the northwest and Greece to the west. It is separated from the rest of Turkey by the Sea of Marmara and the Turkish Straits – which include the Dardanelles and the Bosporus Strait – connecting the Aegean Sea in the south to the Black Sea, Turkey’s northern shoreline. The rest of Turkey is bordered by Georgia to the northeast, Armenia and Iran to the east, and Iraq and Syria to the south.

The population of Turkey is nearing 83 million, of whom approximately 71 million live in Asia and 11.7 million in Europe. 15 million live in the Istanbul metropolitan area that straddles the Bosporus Strait across which three suspension bridges link the European and Asian sides. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world. 65% 84 Citizenship By Investment

of its metropolitan population live on the European side (Eastern Thrace) and 35% on the Asian side (Anatolia). 92.3% of Turkey’s population live in cities and district centres compared with 7.7% in towns and villages (source: Turkish Statistical Institute 2018). History The Republic of Turkey was proclaimed on 29 October 1923 following the Turkish War of Independence (19191923) in the aftermath of World War I which saw the Ottoman Empire defeated and its capital, Constantinople, occupied by Allied French, British, Italian and Greek troops. The Ottomans had entered WWI by launching a surprise attack on Russian Black Sea coastal ports on 29 October 1914. Russia responded by declaring war against the Ottomans on 1 November and was joined by its allies Britain and France four days later. Prior to the rise of The Ottoman Empire, much of the Anatolian Peninsula had been inhabited by various settlements and civilisations including Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians. The region became predominantly Hellenised after Alexander the Great defeated the Persian rulers in 334 BC and liberated much of Asia Minor. This became the Roman province of Asia in 129 BC and, as Rome began its transition from Republic to Empire, the

region’s cities, including the provincial capital of Ephesus, flourished under Roman rule. In AD 324, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great chose the city of Byzantium – founded as Byzantion on the shores of the Bosporus Strait in around 660 BC – to be the new Christian capital of the Roman Empire and renamed it Nova Roma in AD 330. Following his death in 337, the city was renamed Constantinople and it became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire after the permanent sub-division of the Roman Empire in 395. After the fall of Rome in 476, the Roman Empire continued in the east with Constantinople as its capital and enjoyed a golden age under the reign of Justinian I (Roman Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565). The magnificent Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was built between 532-537 as a church and remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years.The domed building subsquently became an Ottoman mosque, then a museum, and in July 2020 it was reclassified as a mosque. The Ottoman state arose at the end of the 13th century in northwest Anatolia and crossed into Europe around 1354, conquering much of the Balkans. In 1453, they captured Constantinople, bringing the Byzantine Empire to a close. At its peak during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire extended


well into central and southeast Europe, across north Africa and much of west Asia. But by the late 17th and 18th centuries, Ottoman power was waning and beset with internal rebellions while the Russian Empire expanded and asserted itself as a protector of Christians in Ottoman territories. Having lost much of its Balkan territories during the Ottoman Great Eastern economic crisis and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, many Balkan Muslims migrated to Anatolia and ethnic tensions increased. The Armenians in particular suffered huge losses in genocidal attacks shortly before, during and immediately after World War I. The Ottoman Empire joined WWI with the German, AustroHungarian and Bulgarian side which ultimately was defeated. In 1916, the British engineered an Arab Revolt within Anatolia and this helped to destabilise the Ottoman government. Unhappy with the terms of the Armistice signed on 30 October 1918 which allowed the Allies to occupy Constantinople and other key ports and garrisons, a Turkish National Movement sprung up in Ankara and declared itself the legitimate government of Turkey on 23 April 1920. The Turkish Parliament formally abolished the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, finally bringing the Ottoman Empire

to an end after 623 years, and the Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923 gave international recognition to the new Republic of Turkey with Ankara as its capital. On 6 October 1923 – two days after the last of the allied British, French and Italian troops had left Constantinople – the troops of the Ankara government marched ceremoniously into the city and declared Liberation Day, the anniversary of which is celebrated every year. The Republic was officially proclaimed on 23 October 1923 and the city of Constantinople was renamed Istanbul. Foreign relations Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, before joining the side of the Allies in February 1945. Turkey is a founder charter member of the United Nations and a founder member of the G20. In 1949, Turkey was one of the first countries to join the Council of Europe and in February 1952 Turkey was one of the first two countries to join the founding 12 members of NATO as it sided with the US and Western Europe during the Cold War. In 1961, Turkey was one of the founder members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and two years later became an associate member of the EEC. Turkey applied for full membership of the European Community in 1987 but a decision was deferred partly due

to events in Cyprus. Turkey had invaded Cyprus in July 1974 in response to a Greek-led military coup and this led to the UN-organised partition of the island. In 1983, the Turkish part of the island declared its independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but Turkey is the only country to recognise it. In 1996, a customs union between the European Union and Turkey came into effect and a free trade area was established for certain industrial products. This gave a significant boost to Turkey’s trade and helped increase its GDP per capita. In December 1999, Turkey was officially given candidate membership status. However, UN efforts to resolve the Cyprus situation failed to win enough Cypriot approval in a referendum, with the result that, while the Republic of Cyprus was accepted as a full member on 1 May 2004, the rights of EU membership were (and still are) suspended for Northern Cyprus, and Turkey has still not achieved the criteria for full membership. Turkey historically has good relations with the US and has assisted international missions under NATO and the UN. It has the second largest standing military force in NATO and has been involved in trying to find a resolution to the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Syria. Citizenship By Investment 85


Politics and administration

Economics and trade

Tourism

Turkey was a parliamentary representative democracy from 1923 until a referendum, held under a state of emergency in April 2017 following a failed military coup attempt in July 2016, narrowly approved 18 amendments to the Turkish constitution. The new rules came into effect with the presidential election of 24 June 2018, abolishing the office of prime minister, increasing the number of seats in parliament from 550 to 600 and giving complete control of the executive to the President, who is head of state. Parliamentary and presidential terms are extended from four to five-year terms with the elections being held on the same day, allowing for a presidential run-off if no candidate wins an outright majority in the first round.

Turkey’s economy has tended to fluctuate in recent years, rising by 7.4% in 2017 in real terms, but going into recession at the end of 2018 (Q3 down by 1.6% and Q4 down by 2.4%). The annual real growth rate for 2018 was +2.6% which is the lowest figure since the global downturn of 2009. The full year’s nominal GDP of US $713.5 billion ranked 19th largest globally, having slipped from 17th in 2017. On the GDP by PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) tables, Turkey still ranks 13th largest. Turkey’s currency dropped by 30% against the US dollar as a result of a trade war with the US, making imports a third more expensive on average and prompting the central bank to raise interest rates while annual inflation peaked at over 25% in October 2018.

Tourism is an important part of Turkey’s economy and had been growing rapidly since 2000, with the country becoming the 6th biggest tourist destination in the world in terms of numbers of international arrivals (source: UN World Tourism Organisation). However, the numbers took a big dip during 2016 due to a spate of terrorist attacks, the attempted military coup and heightened political tension with Russia.

Turkey is divided into 81 administrative provinces The most populous is Istanbul, which lies in both Europe and Asia. Three other provinces lie fully on the European side. The second most populous province is Ankara, which includes the country’s capital city of the same name, and is effectively at the heart of the country. Turkey is a unitary state and each of the provinces is run by governors and senior city officials appointed by the central government in Ankara rather than by locally elected mayors. Officially, Turkey is a secular state with no official religion. Freedom of religion and conscience is provided for within the Turkish Constitution and there are no questions relating to religion or ethnicity within the Turkish censuses. However, around 96% of the population are Muslims, most of whom are Sunni Muslims.

86 Citizenship By Investment

Turkey is a net exporter of agricultural products and has been self-sufficient in food production since the 1980s. Around 11% of Turkey’s land is used for agriculture with wheat as its main crop. The country is also the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, figs, cherries and various other fruits. Much of the produce still comes from small farms. In 2018, 18.75% of the employed population worked in agriculture (compared with 29.5% in 2009) and contributed 6.1% of the GDP. Industry accounted for 29.2% of GDP with automobile manufacturing and textiles being the main sectors. The services sector grew rapidly in the 2000s, peaking at 59% of GDP in 2009, but slipped back to 53.3% of GDP in 2018.

The Russian tourists – who are usually the number one tourism market for Turkey – started returning in 2017 after the restoration of bilateral relations and heavy advertising campaigns, and 2018 saw an 18.1% increase in visitor numbers to 45.6 million. Of these, 85.4% were foreign – with Russia (15% of foreign tourists), Germany (11%), Bulgaria (6%), UK (6%) and Georgia (5%) being the top five countries of origin – and 14.6% being Turkish citizens residing abroad. According to Turkey’s statistical authority, tourism revenue during 2018 reached $29.5 billion compared with $26.3 billion in 2017. Turkey is famous for its historical sites and has 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Turkish Riviera has many excellent beach resorts along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines. The country is also renowned for its cultural experiences and excellent local food.


RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT Turkey was the first Middle East country to introduce a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, launching it in January 2017. Originally, the scheme had required investments of US $3 million in government bonds or deposited into a Turkish bank for three years, or purchasing real estate valued at US $1 million, but after a relatively slow takeup, the government reduced the charges in their Citizenship Act amendment published on 19 September 2018. Having received just over 250 applications for citizenship by investment worth slightly less than $100m by the end of 2018, the number of applications is expected to boom during 2019. The options available for anyone aged 18 or over applying for Turkish citizenship are as follows: 1. Real Estate – invest a minimum of US $250,000 (or the equivalent in Turkish Lira or other convertible currency as in all options) on the stipulation that the immovable property is not sold within the next three years.

TURKEY’S CIP NUMBERS

2. Bank deposit – that $500,000 (or equivalent) be deposited for at least three years in one of the Turkish banks. 3. Fixed capital investment – that a minimum of $500,000 (or equivalent) be made in fixed capital investment and confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Technology; previously the minimum required investment was US $2 million. 4. Government bonds – that a minimum of $500,000 (or equivalent) be used to purchase government bonds and bills on condition that they be held for at least three years and that the investment shall be confirmed by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. 5. Job creation – it is also possible under the new regulation to gain Turkish citizenship by employing a minimum of 50 new personnel; previously the requirement was for 100 personnel. Benefits of Turkish Citizenship

In March, April and May 2020, despite COVID-related slowdowns in effect elsewhere, 4,000 investors were processed, at least double that achieved by all other CIPs combined during the same period. 9,011 foreign investors had received Turkish citizenship by the start of June, 4,000 than had at the end of February.

• Citizenship is granted within 3-6 months after receipt of the application and investment • No requirement to reside in Turkey or to learn Turkish language • No military service requirements for applicants • Citizenship covers spouse and children under 18 years of age • Access to full free medical assistance for life, including all direct family members • Turkey offers a democratic and safe environment for the whole family with high quality education facilities and social healthcare reforms • Prospective visa-free travel facilities to EU Schengen Zone in near-term future.

• Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 115 countries including Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan

Nationality of applicants

By June 2019, the number of approved main applicants had reached 981, according to figures from the Turkish Interior Ministry, generating over $1 billion since the start of the programme. Most of the applications for Turkey’s CIP have been from Middle Eastern countries, although 21 Chinese applicants and several Russians are included within the ‘others’ on this chart.

• Dual nationality is allowed

22%

26%

6% 6%

15%

6% 10%

10%

Iran - Iraq - Yemen - Afghanistan Syria - Palestine - Jordan - Others Source: Ministry of Interior, Republic of Turkey

Citizenship By Investment 87


Country Spotlight

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UNITED KINGDOM

T

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. 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 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. It is a founder member of the UN and a permanent member of the Security Council, and was a member of the EU/EEC from 1973 until 1 January 2020. A transition period is set to end on 31 December 2020, and the UK and EU are currently negotiating their future relationship. 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. Wales was formally annexed into the Kingdom of England in 1535. The Kingdom of Ireland was officially created in 1542 by an Act of the Irish Parliament recognising the English monarchy, although the two countries remained separate. Following a union of crowns in 1603, Scotland and England joined together in a Treaty of Union in 1707 to create the 88 Citizenship By Investment

Kingdom of Great Britain. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was officially enacted on 1 January 1801 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 creation of the Irish Free State on 5 December 1922, while the six historical counties of Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom. Administration 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. 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

Full name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Capital city: London Population: 67,545,757 (2019) England: 55,977,178 Scotland: 5,438,100 Wales: 3,138,631 N. Ireland: 1,881,641 GDP in current prices: USD $3,131 trillion (2019) GDP real growth: 1.3% (2019) Area: 242,495 km² Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Prime Minister: Boris Johnson Currency: Pound Sterling (£) (GBP) HDI: 15th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 8th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +0 Dialling code: 44 English monarch, having reigned since 6 February 1952. Economy  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. Services account for 79% of GDP, Industry 21% and Agriculture less than 1%. The UK has a rich cultural and historic heritage. 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).


NEW HONG KONG BN(O) VISA DETAILS RELEASED FOR BRITISH NATIONAL (OVERSEAS) CITIZENS

O

n 22 July 2020, the UK Government announced details of the new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa, which will create a bespoke immigration route to enable British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, and their immediate family members, to move to the UK to work and study.

the UK, building a new life for them and their family. We look forward to welcoming BN(O) citizens to the UK.”

The government committed to this new immigration route following the Chinese government’s decision to impose a new National Security Law on Hong Kong.

“BN(O) citizens coming to the UK will have access to the job market at any skill level and without salary threshold but will not have access to public funds under this route. This will enable those who want to live in the UK to do so and become valued members of our society.”

The new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa is a significant change to the UK immigration system and will allow BN(O) citizens to apply for two periods of 30 months’ leave or five years’ leave. This new immigration route will afford citizens the right to live and work or study in the UK and gives them a path to full British citizenship.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “(The) announcement shows the UK is keeping its word: we will not look the other way on Hong Kong, and we will not duck our historic responsibilities to its people.”

In order for BN(O)s citizens to be eligible they do not need to have a valid Hong Kong BN(O) passport. They’ll need a valid passport to show proof of identity, but this can be any applicable nationality passport. They can use a valid or expired BN(O) passport to show proof of BN(O) status, however, if they do not have a BN(O) passport the Home Office may be able to check status without one. Those born after 1 July 1997 were not eligible to become BN(O)s having been born after the UK’s handover. From January 2021 eligible BN(O) citizens are able to apply for this route both inside and outside the UK.

In addition to providing a pathway for BN(O)s, this route will also enable those born after 1 July 1997 to a British National (Overseas) registered parent to apply to come to the UK. Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The UK has a strong historic relationship with the people of Hong Kong and we are keeping our promise to them to uphold their freedoms.” “BN(O) citizens will now have a choice to come and live, work and study in

“Those who come to the UK through this route will be able to apply to settle in the UK with indefinite leave to remain once they have lived in the UK for five years. After 12 months with this status they will then be able to apply for British citizenship.”

The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, UK Home Secretary

For those who wish to travel before the route opens, the UK will ensure that BN(O) citizens who wish to come to the UK are able to do so, subject to standard immigration checks. A BN(O) citizen can come to the UK as a visitor for up to six months without a visa, or apply for an existing visa route. Eligible BN(O) citizens unable to meet the Immigration Rules may be granted Leave Outside the Rules at the border. Eligible BN(O) citizens will be able to switch to the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa route once it is open, from within the UK. Citizenship By Investment 89


Country Spotlight

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AUSTRALIA

A

ustralia ranks as one of the best countries to live in the world by international comparisons of wealth, education, health and quality of life. Australia is the largest country in the Southern hemisphere, with a landmass of 7,617,930 km2 (2,941,300 sq mi). It is the biggest country without land borders, and is one of the only countries that is referred to as both a country and a continent. There is a population of 26 million, which is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. The capital is Canberra, though its largest city is Sydney. The country’s other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Within Australia, there are six states: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and three internal territories: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Northern Territory, and Jervis Bay Territory. In total, there are ten territories of Australia, with internal territories being on the Australian mainland, and external territories being sovereign territory offshore. Every state and internal territory, excluding Jervis Bay, has its own executive government, legislative branch, and judicial system. New South Wales is the most populous state of Australia, 65% of the country’s population live in New South Wales. Australia is the second largest economy in the world in terms of median wealth owned per adult, after Switzerland. Australia has a mixed market economy, and it is the largest mixed market economy having a total GDP of around AUD$1.69 trillion. There are several major industries in Australia, with the service industry comprising over 67% of the GDP. It dominates the economy, which employs over 78% of the labour force. However, this is a reflection of the services sector’s diversity of employment, 90 Citizenship By Investment

as it ranges from high pay full-time employment to lower pay part-time employment. Skills in the services sector also range from high skilled, requiring beyond secondary school education, to lower skilled positions. The metal and mining industries have long been a foundation of the Australian economy. The sector remains the largest by number of companies, with over 700 firms involved in mineral exploration, development and production across 100 countries. However, while the government has marked 2018 as the end of the mining boom of the past decade, the industry will continue to play an important role in the growing economy. A continent apart Australia is the flattest, driest continent, with the most infertile soil. Over 70% of Australia is covered in an area of exquisite beauty and wildness, known as the ‘Outback’. This was the foundation of Australia’s rich culture; this environment supports people, jobs, and economies, as well as hosting some of the world’s most diverse and unusual plants and animals. Some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles,

Capital city: Canberra Largest city: Sydney Population: 25,601,986 (2020) GDP in current prices: $1.376 trillion GDP real growth: 0.40% (2019) Area: 7,692,0243 km² Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II Governor-General: David Hudley Prime Minister: Scott Morrison Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD) HDI: 6th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 14th (2020) Time Zone: GMT +11 Dialling code: +61

90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia. This is due to the country’s geographical location; the continent’s long geographic isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time have been major factors in making Australia’s fauna unique. Amongst some of the most common animals in Australia is the Kangaroo. There are about 50 million kangaroos living in Australia, more than the entire population, and there are 55 different species of this marsupial. Another well known marsupial is the Koala, this small mammal has been a mascot of Australia for the ‘Gold Coast Commonwealth Games’ which delivered a $2.5 billion economic boost, during their games in 2018. The first written reference of the koala was recorded by John Price, servant of John Hunter, the Governor of New South Wales. Price encountered the “cullawine” on 26 January 1798, during an expedition to the Blue Mountains, although his account was not published until nearly a century later in Historical Records of Australia.


The outstanding variety and abundance in Australia helps to drive tourism, which is an important component of the Australian economy. In the financial year 2014/15, tourism represented 3.0% of Australia’s GDP contributing AUD$47.5 billion to the national economy. In 2019, the contribution was a record $44.6 billion. Domestic tourism is a significant part of the tourism industry, representing 73% of the total direct tourism GDP. In 2015, there were 7.4 million international visitors in Australia, and 8.6 million in the year to June 2019, an increase of 3%. Tourism employed 580,800 people in 2014-15, 5% of the workforce. About 43.7% of the people employed were part-time. Tourism also contributed 8.0% of Australia’s total export earnings in 2010-11. Popular Australian destinations include the coastal cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, as well as other highprofile destinations including regional Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef. The Great Barrier Reef in Eastern Australia is the biggest coral reef system in the world. The reef consists of more than 3,000 reefs and 900 islands. The Barrier Reef is home to over 350 species of corals and over 1,500 species of fish. Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Australian outback are other popular locations, as is the Tasmanian wilderness. Its natural environments support people, jobs, and economies, as well as some of the world’s most diverse and unusual plants and animals. Managing threats to this indigeous ecosystem more effectively, or removing them entirely, is part of the Government’s ongoig agenda. Stress factors linked to human activity, changes in land use, or climate change are an ongoing challenge for large areas of the country. These have presented themselves in different ways – the unprecented bush fires in late 2019–early 2020, the loss of 20% of the Great Coral Reef ’s coral due to bleaching, or the contentious debate over water use in the Murray-Darling Basin. Certain traditional uses of the land, such as for cattle farming, now can be uneconomic for many locals.

capitalisation. Australia is home to some of the largest companies in the world, including but not limited to: Wesfarmers (Coles Group), Woolworths, BHP Billiton, National Australia Bank, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Rio Tinto Group, Telstra & Caltex – which are the 10 largest companies in Australia. The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island. It is also the official currency of the independent Pacific Island nations of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu. Australia is a member of the APEC, G20, OECD and WTO. The country has also entered into free trade agreements with ASEAN, Canada, Chile, China, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the US. The ANZCERTA agreement with New Zealand has greatly increased integration with the economy of New Zealand.. Economic Indicators From 1991-92 to 2018-19 Australia’s economy grew by an average rate of around 3% per year, 29 years of uninterrupted annual economic growth, unmatched by any other developed nation over this period. It was the only country of the OECD that did not enter into recession during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The economy continues to be driven by business and government spending, while households and the consumer sector struggle amid low wages growth (generally, consumer spending represents almost 60% of the economy). The country also benefits from large-scale exports of agricultural products and a vigorous financial sector. Over the past few decades the economy has been increasing influenced by its AsiaPacific neighbours. Australia is increasing its economic integration with the region – it has a free-trade deal with China –

and Europe, with which it has signed trade agreements while maintaining preferential relations with the USA. Traditionally, Australia is an importer of finished goods. Its industrialisation is fairly recent, a fact which explains the small scale of its manufacturing sector. Nevertheless, the sector is characterised by high productivity levels, with 75% of the industries rating above the global average. The industrial sector employs 19.3% of the workforce and contributes to almost a quarter of the GDP (24.1%). The manufacturing industry is built around the food industry (approximately 40% of the workforce), machinery and equipment (around 20%), metal processing and metal goods (nearly 20%) and the chemical and petrochemical industries (slightly more than 10%). Agriculture employs 2.5% of the workforce and contributes 2.5% to the GDP. However, the agricultural and mining sectors are the most important for exports: Australia is one of the main exporters of wool, meat, wheat and cotton. The country is overflowing with mineral and energy raw materials, which secure substantial revenues when exported (Australia is the world’s largest producer of iron ore, gold and uranium, and will soon become the world’s largest LNG exporter). In fact, iron ore exports alone account for 24% of the country’s total annual exports. Australia also has the world’s largest reserves of numerous strategic resources, such as uranium, of which it holds 40% of the world’s confirmed reserves. The biggest growth in the services sector has down to business and financial services (holding the world’s sixth largest pool of managed fund assets). Healthcare and social assistance have also contributed to growth. Travel services, such as education-related travel, recreational travel and business travel services have also been growing significantly.

The Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney is the largest stock exchange in Australia and the South Pacific and ranks 14th in the world in terms of market Citizenship By Investment 91


Country Spotlight

QUICK FACTS

CANADA

C

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 multi-cultural heritage.

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.

Canada is a highly advanced country with the 10th 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 in the world with extremely high degrees of civil liberties and quality of life. A founder member of

Each of Canada’s 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 provinces and territories

Capital city: Ottawa Population: 37,797,496 (2019) GDP in current prices: USD $1,900 trillion (2019) GDP real growth: 2% (2019) 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: 13th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 23rd (2019) Time Zones: Ontario and Quebec GMT -4 Alberta GMT -6, British Columbia GMT -7 Dialling code: 1 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 Nunavit 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.

Table 1. List of administrative provinces and territories of Canada

Province

Population (Apr 1, 2019)

% of pop’n.

Capital

Largest City

Year joined Confederation

Share of Nat. GDP

Ontario

14,490,207

38.73%

Toronto

Toronto

1867

37.7%

Quebec

8,452,209

22.59%

Quebec

Montreal

1867

18.9%

British Columbia

5,034,482

13.46%

Victoria

Vancouver

1871

12.7%

Alberta

4,362,503

11.66%

Edmonton

Calgary

1905

17.3%

Manitoba

1,362,789

3.64%

Winnipeg

Winnipeg

1870

3.2%

Saskatchewan

1,169,131

3.13%

Regina

Saskatoon

1905

4.3%

Nova Scotia

966,858

2.58%

Halifax

Halifax

1867

1.9%

New Brunswick

773,020

2.07%

Fredericton

Moncton

1867

1.9%

Newfoundland and Labrador

522,537

1.40%

St. John’s

St. John’s

1949

1.6%

Prince Edward Island

155,318

0.41%

Charlottetown

Charlottetown

1873

0.3%

Northwest Territories

44,420

0.12%

Yellowknife

Yellowknife

1870

0.26%

Yukon

40,208

0.11%

Whitehorse

Whitehorse

1898

0.14%

Nunavut

39,170

0.10%

Iqaluit

Iqaluit

1999

0.15%

National Total

37,412,852

100%

Ottawa

Territories

92 Citizenship By Investment

Source: Statistics Canada (2018 GDP data)


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. Since then, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) has been a very popular scheme for business owners and company directors. However, the intake of permanent selection applications under the Investor Program has been suspended from 1 November 2019 to 31 March 2021 while the program is reviewed. Entrepreneur Program Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses locally. This is designed for job creation and to help build global businesses, so projects will be judged on that basis by The Province of Québec, which is in charge of its own business immigration program. The maximum number of permanent selection applications that will be accepted under the Entrepreneur Program is 60 for the period from 1 November 2019 to 30 September 2020, including a maximum of 25 applications in Stream 1 and 35 applications in Stream 2. Applications exceeding this number will be returned to the candidates. All Entrepreneur candidates must demonstrate an advanced intermediate knowledge of the French language. To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following conditions: Stream 1 • You must settle in Québec to create and operate a business for which you have already received a service offer from a business accelerator or incubator or a university entrepreneurship centre. You can carry out your project alone or with others, up to a maximum of three other foreign nationals who have submitted applications for permanent selection as entrepreneurs for the same project.

• You must present your business project in the form of a business plan, as well as a service offer. • As of January 2020, you must also obtain an attestation of learning about democratic Québec values. The members of your family accompanying you (spouse and dependent children of 18 years of age or older) must also go through the same process. • Under the Entrepreneur Program, Stream 1, there is no specific list of organisations authorised to support applicants, however the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation does hold a list of organisatons it approves, such as: “Business accelerators” – organisations based in Québec that offer support services, particularly in regards to finding financing, to people whose business projects are aimed at the growth of innovative companies; “University entrepreneurship centres” – organisations managed by or affiliated with an academic institution that provide mentoring services; “Business incubators” – organisations with an establishment in Québec that offer mentoring services, including hosting, to, people whose business projects are aimed at the creation of innovative businesses. • These organisations must demonstrate the ability to support the applicant and project, and present as support plan, an operation plan, and evidence of expertise as a business accelerator, business incubator or university entrepreneurship centre (particularly in relation to the entrepreneur’s project). • Even if you have already launched your business project in Québec, you may still be eligible for the Entrepreneur Program, as long as the project is not yet fully implemented. However, you will still have to observe all of the Program’s rules, including presenting a business plan and meeting the financial requirements.

Stream 2 • You must follow some of the same stipulations as Stream 1, including settling in Québec, having an approved business plan, and learning about local democratic values. • You must make a startup and security deposit at a financial institution with an establishment in Québec. • You must use the startup deposit to set up your business. The required amount is lower (CAD $200,000) if you set up your business outside the Montréal metropolitan area (CMM). A startup deposit of CAD $300,000 is required if the business is located in the CMM. The security deposit will be refunded when you demonstrate that your business plan has been carried out. • You must also have a minimum net worth of CAD $900,000, alone or with your spouse, and demonstrate that this money has been legally acquired. • If you create a business, you must own and control at least 25% of its equity capital. If you choose to acquire a business, you must own and control at least 51% of its equity capital. • The business must not be involved in certain listed activities, including real estate development or real estate or insurance brokerage, and must have been in operation for five years. • Applications are assessed on factors like: the candidate’s age; education; French and English language skills; financial selfsufficiency; and ties to Québec. The fees, unchanged from 2002, were increased for most economic immigration programs, by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on 30 April, with the intension that fees will then be automatically adjusted for inflation. Despite this, Canada’s fees are much less expensive than countries with similar migration systems, such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

Citizenship By Investment 93


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Get free access today at EB5Marketplace.com AN EB-5 OFFERING IS AN INVESTMENT IN A PRIVATE PLACEMENT OF SECURITIES CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR APPLICANTS TO THE UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (“USCIS”) FIFTH PERMANENT WORKER VISA PREFERENCE (“EB-5 PROGRAM”) AND ARE SPECULATIVE INVESTMENTS INVOLVING A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK. INVESTORS MUST BE PREPARED TO BEAR THE ECONOMIC RISK OF SUCH AN ILLIQUID INVESTMENT FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME AND BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND A TOTAL LOSS OF THEIR INVESTMENT. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT AN INVESTOR’S EB-5 APPLICATION WILL BE APPROVED BY THE USCIS. SEE OFFERING DOCUMENTS FOR COMPLETE DETAILS. Investment products are offered through Dalmore Group, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC (“Dalmore”). The USCIS, EB5 Marketplace and their respective affiliates are independent from and not corporate affiliates of Dalmore. All investment services offered by EB5 Marketplace and associated persons are conducted in their capacities as registered representatives of Dalmore.


Country Spotlight

USA

T

he United States of America (USA), also commonly known simply as the US, is primarily a country within the continent of North America. The area known as the contiguous United States, which consists of 48 of the 50 states plus the federal district of Columbia, has a total area of 8,081,867 km² and is bordered to the north by Canada, to the south by Mexico and by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The 49th state, Alaska, is situated to the northeast of Canada and is the largest state by area, while the 50th state, Hawaii, is a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean within the continent of Oceania. The District of Columbia is more commonly referred to as Washington D.C. and is the capital of the United States, named after the country’s first president George Washington, one of the country’s Founding Fathers and president from 1789 to 1787. The Constitution of the original thirteen states – created and presented during September 1787, ratified on 21 June 1788 and effective from 4 March 1789 – allowed for a federal district to be created along the Potomac River on the East Coast between the states of Maryland and Virginia that would be under the direct jurisdiction of the US Congress. In total, the US is the fourth largest country by total area and the third most populous country in the world after China and India, with over 327 million

people from various ethnic backgrounds. There is no official national language as such, but English is spoken as a first language at home by around 79% of the population aged 5+, compared with Spanish by 13% and Chinese dialects by 1%. Alaska and Hawaii also recognise their native languages, while French is widely used in Louisiana.

development since the start of the last century and is home to many of the top global companies, particularly within the financial and IT sectors. The US also ranked first last year for the breadth and quality of its universities and higher education facilities, attracting international students particularly from Asia.

Economy and trade The US has been the largest economy in the world for several decades, growing by about 4% each year since 1999 on average (an average of 2.0% in real growth). In 2018, the nominal GDP exceeded USD $20 trillion, of which Services accounted for an estimated 80%, Industry 19% and Agriculture just under 1%. However, comparing GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, the US ranks second behind China, having been overtaken in 2014. On a GDP per capita basis, the US currently ranks 8th highest according to IMF 2018 figures (USD $62,606). The country is rich in natural resources and is one of the world’s producers of oil and natural gas. It is also one of the world’s largest industrial manufacturing markets. In this regard, the US has attracted immigrants from all over the globe and continues to attract skilled workers. Its biggest trading partners are China (15.7% of 2018 imports and exports), Mexico (14.7%), Canada (14.5%), Japan (5.2%), Germany (4.4%), South Korea (3.1%) and the UK (3.0%). The USA has been at the forefront of scientific research and technological

QUICK FACTS Full name: United States of America Capital city: Washington D.C. Population: 328,239,523 (1 July 2019) GDP in current prices: USD $21.439 trillion (2019) GDP real growth: 2.9% (2018) Area: 9,833,520 km² (land 9,531,905 km²) Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic President: Donald Trump Vice President: Mike Pence Currency: United States Dollar ($) (USD) HDI: 15th (2018) Ease of doing business index: 6th (2020) 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 switch to Daylight Saving Time from March to November) Dialling code: 1 Citizenship By Investment 95


PLANNING A GREEN CARD FOR THE USA When is the right time to apply for temporary work visas? The short answer is to plan ahead, because visa availability varies each year. Some visa applications can be filed at any time during the year. This visa categories include: family sponsored green cards; work sponsored green cards, L visas for the transfer of workers or TN visas for professionals from Canada or Mexico. By contrast, the H-1B temporary skilled worker visa program has an annual lottery for new visas for private employers that is held the first week of April of each year (unless the worker already has an H-1B visa). Similarly, H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural seasonal workers employers, used by hospitality workers and landscapers, begin the application at least 120 days before the start date of employment, and new visas are offered on a semi-annual basis: from Oct. 1 – March 31 and from April 1 – Sept. 30. What are the best ways of obtaining a green card for an employee? I always advise clients to take a flexible approach to visa planning because a particular visa program that is helpful today may become unavailable a few years from now. Green cards for employees require careful planning and depends entirely on the type of job under consideration. The visa requirements 96 Citizenship By Investment

are different, for example, for a valuable production worker compared to a high-skilled researcher with dozens of publications. Two green card programs that are usually quite helpful are the EB-2 and EB-3 programs. Both usually require first an application to the federal Department of Labor followed by a visa application to USCIS. Can I self-sponsor my own green card? There are a limited number of green card categories that allow a person to selfsponsor their green card. Two categories, the EB-1A and EB-2 National Interest Waiver are reserved for people with extraordinary achievements in sciences, arts or business. The EB-1A category is also available to athletes. Another green card category that allows self-sponsorship is the EB-5 investors visa, which requires a significant investment of lawfully earned capital and creation of at least 10 new jobs for US workers.

they should be taken seriously. The SSA provides 60 days to use an online registration to obtain information about the mismatch. Sometimes, the mismatch is simply due to typographical errors or name changes, but can also indicate that the employee has not used an accurate social security number. Generally, the SSA cautions that a no-match letter does not make conclusions about a person’s immigration status, and recommended employers not to terminate any employee simply because their name was indicated in a no-match letter. We recommend employers should contact an attorney if they receive a no-match letter. Donoso & Associates is nationally recognized as a leading business immigration law firm with particular expertise in visas for professionals, researchers, investors, professional athletes and families who seek experienced guidance on how to obtain appropriate work visas or green card status in the United States.

What to do if you receive a Social Security No-Match Letter? The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently started sending letters to employers when they detect that an employee has a social security record that does not match the SSA’s records. These are called “no-match” letters. Although these letters appear innocuous,

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EB-5 INVESTOR MARKET TRENDS IN 2018: THE LARGEST MARKETS AND THE RISING STARS FOR RAISING EB-5 CAPITAL by Lee Y. Li Director of Policy Research & Data Analytics, IIUSA

Using the statistics that IIUSA obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for I-526 filings by investor’s country of, this data analysis explores seven trends in the EB-5 investor markets across the globe. Additionally, by comparing the year-over-year changes of I-526 filings between fiscal year (FY) 2017 and FY2018, this report also identifies the rising stars of the EB-5 investor markets where we saw the fastest growth of the demand for EB-5 visas during that time. 1) A shifting landscape of market shares among top investor markets The most significant changes of the I-526 filings trends in FY2018 could be the fact that Chinese investors no longer accounted for the majority of the I-526 filings. The market share of the EB-5 investors from China was down by almost 50% year-over-year, from 77% in FY2017 to 39% in FY2018.

Figure 1: Number and Percentage of I‐526 Filings by EB‐5  Figure 1: Number and percentage of I-526 filings Investor Market (FY2018) by EB-5 Investor Market (FY2018) Canada: 49 (1%) Macau: 56 (1%) Mexico: 69 (1%) Venezuela: 80 (1%)

Other Countries:  807 (9%)

Russia: 91 (1%) Brazil: 167 (3%)

In contrast, the market shares of I-526 filings from India and Vietnam jumped significantly, from 5% in FY2017 to 18% and 12% respectively in FY2018. Additionally, South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil also doubled their market shares in I-526 filings between FY2017 and FY2018. Overall, the three largest EB-5 investor markets (China, India, and Vietnam) accounted for about 70% of all I-526 filings in FY2018, while the six biggest markets (the top three countries plus South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil) produced more than 83% of all EB-5 investors who filed their petitions between October 2017 and September 2018.

Taiwan: 247 (4%)

Top three (3) EB‐5  investor markets  accounted for 70% of the 

South Korea:  405 (6%)

China: 2,442 (39%)

total I‐526 filings in FY2018

Vietnam: 768 (12%) India:  1,121 (18%) Data Note: Margin of error: +/‐ 6.4%.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Citizenship By Investment 99


2) 72% decline of China market and 91% growth of the demand from Indian investors In FY2018, 2,442 I-526 petitions were submitted by Chinese investors, down by 72% from FY2017 when the number was more than 8,700. I-526 filings from China in FY2018 had the most significant year-over-year decline since FY2015 when the visa backlog issue began. However, as Table 1 summarises, the demand for EB-5 visas in India, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil all demonstrated a double-digit growth in FY2018. In particular, more than 1,100 India investors filed their I-526 petitions in FY2018, a year-over-year increase of 91%. Although investors from Vietnam started facing the visa backlog problem in May 2018, the market continued to grow by 47% in FY2018. Furthermore, the EB-5 market in Russia bounced back from the decline in FY2017, with 91 new investors filing their I-526 petitions in FY2018, a 160% growth year-over-year. Additionally, for the first time in its history, Macau made it to the list of the top-ten EB-5 investor markets, producing 56 new EB-5 investors in FY2018 with an increase of 331% from FY2017. 3) $2.3 billion+ EB-5 capital was raised from 11 largest investor markets Based on the I-526 filing statistics, we estimate that more than $476m EB-5 capital was invested by Indian EB-5 investors in FY2018, while at least $326m was generated by qualified EB-5 investors from Vietnam. Despite the

Table 1: Number of I-526 filings and year-over-year change by investor’s country Table 1: Number of I‐526 Filings & Year‐over‐Year Change by Investor's Country of  of origin (FY2018 & FY2017) Origin (FY2018 & FY2017) FY2018  Ranking

Country of Visa  Chargeability (COC)

FY2018 I‐526 Filing Count

YoY Change

FY2017 I‐526 Filing Count

YoY Change

1

China

2,442

‐72.2%

8,771

2

India

1,121

91.0%

587

‐19.9% 65.8%

3

Vietnam

768

46.8%

523

29.5%

4

South Korea

405

88.4%

215

37.8%

5

Taiwan

247

35.7%

182

27.3%

6

Brazil

167

22.8%

136

‐9.9%

7

Russia

91

160.0%

35

‐44.4%

8

Venezuela

80

‐13.0%

92

‐3.2%

9

Mexico

69

7.8%

64

‐17.9% 550.0%

10

Macau

56

330.8%

13

11

Canada

49

19.5%

41

7.9%

Other Countries

837

3.2%

811

‐4.6%

Worldwide Total

6,332

‐45.0%

11,464

‐13.6%

Data Note: Margin of error: +/‐ 1.9%. Data Note: Margin of error: +/- 1.9%. Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA

EB-5 investment estimates by investor’s country of origin (FY2018) Map: EB‐5 Investment Estimates by Investor's Country of Origin (FY2018)

EB-5 capital investment estimates are based on $500,000 per I-526 filing in FY2018 with a 85% approval rate. EB‐5 capital investment estimates are based on $500,000 per I‐526 filing in FY2018 with a 85% approval rate.

EB‐5 Capital (FY2018) Less than $5 million $6 ‐ $25 million $26 ‐ $50 million $51 ‐ $100 million $101 million or higher

Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA

annual decline in I-526 filings, investors from China still accounted for over $1 billion EB-5 investment in FY2018. The 11 largest EB-5 investor markets (China, India, Vietnam, South Korea,

Taiwan, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Macau, and Canada) contributed at least $2.3 billion of new capital in FY2018 that has been invested in a variety of American businesses.


Figure 2: I-526 filings by fiscal year, China vs OTC Countries* (FY2009-FY2018)

Figure 2: I‐526 Filings by Fiscal Year, China vs. OTC Countries* (FY2009‐FY2018) 14,000

13,530

China

OTC Countries Total

12,000

10,948 9,722 

10,000

8,771

I‐526 Filings

8,000 6,000

5,251

5,480 3,860 

4,000

2,965

2,000

1,294 600  462 

0

FY2009

1,013

987

680

FY2010

2,423

FY2011

FY2012

1,103

FY2013

2,325

2,693

2,442

FY2014

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

*OTC Countries: All countries of chargeability other than China. Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Prepared by: IIUSA

Figure 3: I-526 filings by fiscal year, India and Vietnam (FY2009-FY2018)

Figure 3: I‐526 Filings by Fiscal Year, India & Vietnam (FY2009‐ FY2018)

EB‐5 Visa Backlog (China)

2,000 1,800

India

1,600

Vietnam

1,200

768

1,000 800 523

600 404

400 289

200

FY2009

FY2010

On the contrary, the rest of the world (other than China, or “OTC” countries) experienced a growth of 43% during the same time period. With 3,860 I-526 filings from OTC countries in FY2018, non-Chinese investors represented the majority of the new investors participating in the EB-5 Program for the first time in the last 10 years. 5. EB-5 markets in India and Vietnam continued their exponential growth

1,400

0

As the visa backlog issue becomes increasingly severe, the demand for EB-5 in the China market tanked in FY2018. As Figure 2 illustrates, the number of I-526 filings by Chinese investors started to decrease in FY2015 when the EB-5 visa backlog started and reached its 8-year low in FY2018 with a stunning year-overyear decline of 72%.

1,335

* OTC Countries: All countries of chargeability other than China. 

I‐526 Filings

4) The majority of EB-5 investors were from OTC countries

FY2011

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA

FY2012

FY2013

127 99 

239

354

587

1,121

FY2014

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Among all OTC countries, India and Vietnam show an exponential growth since FY2009. In FY2018, as Figure 3 illuminates, these two EB-5 investor markets together accounted for nearly 1,900 I-526 filings, which represents at least $800m in new EB-5 investment. Furthermore, the growth of the EB-5 markets in India and Vietnam have been even more robust in recent years. In fact, the annual increase of the number of I-526 filings by Indian investors was merely 25% between FY2009 and FY2014, but its annual growth was 87% between FY2015 and FY2018.


6) 73% of the I-526 filings in FY2018 came from Asian countries

Figure 4: I-526 filings by region and

Figure 4: I‐526 Filings by Region & Regional Top Markets (FY2018) Figure 4: I‐526 Filings by Region & Regional Top Markets (FY2018) regional top markets (FY2018)

Figure 4 visualises the trends of new EB-5 investors by region as well as the largest investor markets in each region (excluding China) in terms of I-526 filings in FY2018. Asia remained the largest region in producing new EB-5 capital, accounting for 2,753 I-526 petitions that were submitted in FY2018, 73% of all I-526 filings during that year. In addition, 384 (or 10%) I-526 petitions were filed by investors from Latin American countries, led by Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia. While the top regional EB-5 investors markets in Europe were Russia, Falkland Islands, the United Kingdom, the other European countries in total also represented a fair share of new EB-5 investors in FY2018. The list of the biggest markets in MENA (Middle Eastern and East African) countries included Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Egypt. 7) Rising Stars: Macau, Russia, Nigeria, Malaysia, the Falkland Islands, Colombia…

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA

With an annual growth of 331% from FY2017, Macau was leading the list of the fastest-growing EB-5 investor markets in FY2018. Falkland Islands was also a rising star in the EB-5 marketplace – the country did not have any EB-5 investors until FY2017, but produced 48 investors in FY2018 with an outstanding growth of 167% year-over-year. The EB-5 market in Russia also experienced a triple-digit growth between FY2017 and FY2018 at 160%. Additionally, new members of the FY2018 EB-5 rising starts list also included Malaysia and Colombia, the two fast-growing EB-5 investor markets with an annual growth in I-526 filings of 62% and 47% respectively.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA

FY2018 has proven to be a year of changes. While the largest EB-5 investor market experienced a year-over-year decline, the demand for EB-5 visas grew consistently in other markets across the world. In particular, not only have alternative investor markets such as India, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil and Taiwan all demonstrated encouraging annual growth, but also new markets such as Macau and the Falkland Islands presented new opportunities for raising EB-5 capital.

Figure 5: Ten EB‐5 Investor Markets with the Biggest Growth, FY2017 ‐ FY2018 Figure 5: Ten EB-5 investor markets with the biggest growth, FY2017 - FY2018 I‐526 Filings YoY Growth Rate: FY2017‐FY2018

I‐526 Filings Investor Markets

FY2018

FY2017

YoY Growth

0%

50%

100%

56

13

331%

Macau

Falkland Islands

48

18

167%

Falkland Islands

Russia

91

35

160%

Russia

1121

587

91%

India

91%

405

215

88%

South Korea

88%

Nigeria

32

19

68%

Nigeria

Malaysia

21

13

62%

Malaysia

Colombia

25

17

47%

Colombia

47%

Vietnam

768

523

47%

Vietnam

47%

Taiwan

247

182

36%

Taiwan

South Korea

167% 160%

68%

36%

Data Note: Margin of error: +/‐ 1.9%. Data Note: Margin of error: +/- 1.9%. Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Prepared by: IIUSA For more information, visit IIUSA website at www.iiusa.org or contact IIUSA (info@iiusa.org)

102 Citizenship By Investment

200%

250%

300%

350%

331%

Macau

India

150%


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E-2 VISAS STAND: REMAINING ROUTES TO LAWFUL US RESIDENCY While emerging markets and low-income countries continue to battle growing debt distress, the world’s elites continue to vie for US access to live, work, invest, and gain higher education. The US continues to remain the world’s largest economy and tops The Reuters list of The World’s Most Innovative Universities with eight out of the top ten schools.

by Robert W. Kraft President of IIUSA Board of Directors and Chairman / CEO of FirstPathway Partners LLC.

With the Trump Administration suspending yet another round of United States visa categories in late June, few options remain to gain that access. Would be immigrants have found themselves looking at narrowed access to the number one destination in the world. It all began back in April of this year, when a presidential proclamation seeking to reduce the admission of workers

who pose a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers limited most issuance of new immigrant visas. That now extends to EB-2, EB-3, and popular nonimmigrant categories like H-1B, H-2B, J, and L-1 visas. These changes have left those seeking US residency, who are not immediate relatives of US citizens, providing the food supply chain, or medical professionals combating the spread of COVID-19, with few remaining options. Conversely, the Trump Administration has protected programs such as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor and the E-2 Treaty Investor, which are vital to the economy and the national interest. Both programs create jobs and spur investment into the US Economy, stated priorities of the administration. Citizenship By Investment 105


US RESIDENCY: GRENADA AND E-2 VISA UNISON CREATE AN UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY Under the E-2 program, in addition to the main applicant, the applicant’s spouse and children under 21 years of age enjoy E-2 dependent visas. The dependent spouse can obtain authorisation to work anywhere in the United States while E-2 dependent children study in the US free of charge through high school and even have the opportunity to enjoy in-state tuition fees at public colleges and universities. In addition, the E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa, so the investor may not automatically fall into the remit of the US worldwide taxation system. The E-2 program requires that the investor be at least a 50% owner of the US enterprise, but many investors, while savvy in their own countries, often don’t understand how to go about obtaining permits and dealing with other complications such as US HR obligations. FirstPathway Partners, who has specialised in securing US visas for over a decade, assists investors in owning a popular franchise restaurant chain called Teriyaki Madness, facilitating their necessity to invest in a business in the US without the operational nuisances of launching an independent venture. Instead of making 106 Citizenship By Investment

a lot of expensive mistakes, our company takes care of all the details, freeing you up to develop and direct the business from an ownership level and get your family settled in the USA. While some countries, like Chinese and Indian, nationals are excluded from the list of treaty countries eligible for participation in the E-2 program, alternate E-2 eligible citizenships such as Grenada, which currently ranks number one in CBI investment programmes worldwide, remains available to almost all countries, amid the pandemic. In addition to the ability to participate in the E-2 program, investors taking part in the Grenada CBI programme enjoy the widest visa-free travel benefits among like-options, comprising more than 130 countries including the UK, Schengen, China, and Russia. All this is available with expeditious processing, reasonable fees, and passport security through thorough due diligence on applicants. Mohammed Asaria, the Managing Director of Range Developments, who has assisted over 1,600 families from across the globe with their citizenship by

investment journeys finds that “Those who are seeking a safe haven are waking up to the idea that it [Grenada] is an affordable option, with an arrangement where you can get an E-2 visa and start a new life,” Asaria continues. “I could open a business in San Diego and move my family there within six to nine months.” This combination of Grenada citizenship through the CBI programme in unison with the E-2 visa allots for expedited processing times and therefore a faster entry into the United States, as well as potential conversion into an EB-5 visa, all while residing in the US.

FirstPathway Partners 311 East Chicago Street Suite 510 Milwaukee, WI 53202 Office: +1 (414) 431-0742 www.firstpathway.com


A Safe and Proven Path to Permanent U.S. Green Card A Diversified Fund Approach to EB-5 Investment

100% I-526 AND I-829 PROJECT APPROVALS

$275 MILLION+ OF EB-5 CAPITAL INVESTMENT

CAPITAL AND PROFITS RETURNED ON MULTIPLE OFFERINGS

Benefits of the EB-5 Visa U.S. green card to applicant, spouse and children under the age of 21 years old. Live and work anywhere in the U.S.

A LEADER IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY FOR OVER 9 YEARS

28 SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED EB-5 PROJECTS

550+ FAMILIES HELPED WITH IMMIGRATION PROCESS

www.atlanticamericanpartners.com

FIRST EVER INDIAN HAS THEIR USA E-2 VISA APPLICATION GRANTED THROUGH THE GRENADA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME by BLS Media

Option to become a U.S. citizen after five years. Ability to sponsor Green Cards for relatives.

Daniel D. Ryan (Managing Director: Emerging Markets- Africa) Cell/USA/WhatsApp +1 813 455 0973 | dryan@atlanticamericanpartners.com

BLS Global are pleased to announce that a USA E-2 visa has been successfully granted for the first time ever to an Indian citizen via the US Embassy Barbados. The breakthrough application will likely be the first of many as more and more Indian citizens are becoming aware of the path available to them to live and work in the USA through the USA’s E2 visa. This route can be accessed through avenues such as applying for a Grenada citizenship through investing in governmentapproved projects and then using the Grenada citizenship to apply for the USA’s E-2 visa. The number of Indian citizens interested in investing for overseas citizenships and

residency’s that grant them freedom to live and work overseas has seen a huge increase in recent years. A popular option for Indian citizens to gain access to the USA has been the EB-5 investor program, which allows an Indian citizen to invest in a manner that will lead to the creation of new jobs in return for an US EB-5 green card. However, from the 21st of November the minimum investment required to file an application will be increasing from $500,000 USD to $900,000 USD, meaning that many potential investors will be excluded from consideration. There is also a longer waiting period for applications to be approved for the EB-5 program than the E-2 visa.


Peace of mind. Piece of paradise. We’ve got you covered. For 35 years, Global Bank of Commerce, Antigua’s oldest institution providing international financial services, has offered its clients the perfect balance of world class banking, security and convenience. Antigua is an independent and sovereign jurisdiction since 1981, and GBC is well positioned to manage the portfolios of the more selective investor, who may also qualify to obtain citizenship via a regulated process. Contact us and learn how we can support your financial goals, today and tomorrow.

Wholesale Banking Global Commerce Centre Old Parham Road P.O. Box W1803 St. John’s, Antigua, West Indies Tel: (268) 480-2240 Fax: (268) 462-1831 email: customer.service@gbc.ag www.globalbankofcommerce.com

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CBI Summer 2020  

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is the publication for HNWIs and UHNWIs looking to find out the latest developments in economic citizenship,...

CBI Summer 2020  

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is the publication for HNWIs and UHNWIs looking to find out the latest developments in economic citizenship,...

Profile for bls-media
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