LIVESTREAM – Trends in Investment Migration – 23rd March 2022

05:00:05 That’s it. Let me try again.

05:00:07 Oh yeah, I can see it now.

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05:00:50 Yeah, and it’s live as well.

05:00:52 Alright.

05:00:55 So, with that, we are now live Welcome to live stream we’re going to talk about all things tax he did touch all show taxes our topic. So we do this for those seeing us with Chris and we do this every week if you ever look at Hej dot tax, you will see

05:01:11 what’s coming up next week but today we have the honor and privilege of speaking with Mr. Thomas, so just just as a quick kind of disclaimer, we we may be talking about things, legal and tax related but we’re not giving advice, so nothing here should

05:01:29 be construed as advice, we having a general conversation about general principles.

05:01:35 If it is that you want someone to advise on your specific situation, you can reach out to a tax advisor if it’s tax related or you can reach out online to talk about your options from an investment migration perspective.

05:01:49 for those joining us on zoom, this is being recorded, which means that if you do not want your image to be shown, you would need to keep your camera switched off.

05:02:00 And without further ado, please introduce yourself over to you.

05:02:06 Thank you very much, Darren I appreciate it and the honor is mine, to be quite honest, being in the presence of such professional and very well established experienced tax experts I mean the honor is mine, little introduction arm into new some vice presidents

05:02:25 for Apex Capital Partners, which is the global leader and and the investment migration industry.

05:02:31 Some, some of our viewers might ask what is investments migration. Well, very simply said that it’s a, you know, a package of all of the immigrant investor programs available and offered by nations by countries right so Tris in Canada, the US and other

05:02:50 European and Caribbean nations that offer immigrant investor programs. And so we’ve been we’ve been in the business I think Capital Partners since 1991 so the.

05:03:01 I could, I could confidently say the first first international firm that has worked with international clients in regards of investment migration products or immigrants investor programs and being able to market these programs to to the, to the International

05:03:21 scale, obviously, and we are the only, and I could probably say this, we are the only fully licensed and government mandated firm in the industry, which means that all of the programs of which we offer to our clients as solutions for their temporary location

05:03:44 or permanent three location needs.

05:03:47 We are the direct intermediaries between our clients, and the government’s. And so, just like anything. when you discuss stocks you want to be discussing tax for the tax experts.

05:04:01 When you discuss immigration you want to be discussing immigration but the immigration experts and a licensed individual as well. So that’s, that’s who we are and that’s what we do and we’ve been doing it for a very long time so I could, I could easily

05:04:16 say that I’m proud I’m proud for to work at Apex Capital, and being their Vice President for North America and Latin.

05:04:23 Maybe one one thing that I can add is that on top of being able to help private clients in regards of, you know, immigrants investor programs. We also have a very very very well established government advisory arm, which means that we’ve helped governments

05:04:41 structure plan and maintain citizenship by investment or residency by investment programs. So immigrant investor programs. And we’ve seen that, I mean, originally in 1989 to 1991 with Canada.

05:04:56 Our founder was part of the the advisory board in regards of being able to, to, you know, create and maintain instructor the both investment and immigration planning for the Canadian residency why investment program were immigrants investor program and

05:05:13 we’ve done this in a gala with the residency why investment program and then gala, which is obviously a permanent residency, or a tax residency, and as well as most recently Montenegro.

05:05:28 So we are one of one of three large firms within the consortium that has helped the Montenegrin government, create structure and maintain their, and promote their citizenship by investment program,

05:05:45 hard work and dedication that so yeah that is interesting because you know obviously we speak with people in the investment migration space quite often, but it is rare to speak with advisors who advise the government’s as opposed to just simply on the

05:06:00 client side. So in terms of the the jurisdictions are the, the destinations that that you would be able to advise on or not, not only you but your team.

05:06:13 So I’m guessing it will be the Caribbean.

05:06:16 Where else so so we are an all five jurisdictions in the Caribbean, that offered citizen job by investment so St Kitts and Nevis Antigua and Barbuda Dominica St Lucia and Grenada toward government licensed and government mandated and all five jurisdictions.

05:06:40 And so we offer.

05:06:43 What through our registered consultants for immigration.

05:06:48 We offer Canadian obviously an immigrant investor program as well, such as the most recent one the Canada startup pizza, which is really interesting. We are in Montenegro.

05:07:03 We provide assistance to our clients in Malta, in Portugal in Greece and Turkey.

05:07:13 So we’re almost every program that’s out there and available for immigrants investors. So we, we can assist our clients. Okay so okay so definitely you’re definitely the Caribbean.

05:07:29 To not with a very far from Final.

05:07:32 Okay. All right. No, so no Asia so like know Australia New Zealand.

05:07:38 No, no, no.

05:07:40 We have partners that we work with our trusted partners that we work with for, like, global common programs in Australia but besides that you know we we don’t really.

05:07:52 We don’t really have a direct connection or licensing in those countries so that’s why we we tend to, to not work with them directly.

05:08:02 Okay, understood no problem at all. Okay. So, for those who are not joining. Welcome.

05:08:08 If you are with us on zoom you can just type your questions in the box below we deal with them and the weather which we see them. Same with Facebook and other platforms, I’ll just have a look from time to time to see what is being commented on, but I’ll

05:08:21 go through the questions that were already submitted and, and the first one I guess would be the UK they’ve been some changes in the UK investment migration landscape.

05:08:34 Can you comment on that. Please.

05:08:36 Yeah, that was actually one of the, I would say, strategy strategies of the last year and investment migration is that the home office decided to halt the UK tier one investor visa, which was a very, very, very good program for all immigrants investors

05:08:56 looking to, You know, through their investment, be granted residency in in the UK.

05:09:08 Obviously through physical residency requirements when their math and so on and then a pathway to citizenship.

05:09:13 And so that was a great program, it gave it was one of the programs that was still open for the investors to be able to have a understanding, and

05:09:28 decision in regards of what type of investment can be made. Right.

05:09:34 Dealing with wealth management partners as well directly so it was very.

05:09:39 It was an open program, it was a very good program and granted, you know, British citizenship. Ultimately, which is a great passport to have. Right.

05:09:50 And so, and so it’s unfortunate that that doesn’t that program isn’t with us anymore.

05:10:13 It is unfortunate and it means that we have a lot less talk about because I know that for for yourself and your team dealing with that high net worth individual, that was really the vehicle of choice for French in the UK. Not that, not that there are other ways of doing it, but that was really

05:10:16 the preferred option was that.

05:10:19 Yeah, because we’re obviously focused on working on immigrants investor programs, right, rather than your regular immigration

05:10:29 pathways let’s say to that lead to residency or citizenship.

05:10:34 Given the fact that we are mainly focusing on immigrants investor programs that was really the only immigrant investor program that the UK had to offer.

05:10:43 the obviously other programs such as entrepreneur programs.

05:10:47 But, but, for immigrants investor programs the UK tier one investor visa.

05:10:52 Was that come the electron we said, okay, and if you can switch over to the other side of the Atlantic.

05:11:01 You want to just comment briefly on what are the main options for someone that higher net worth individual looking at Canada is an option.

05:11:10 Definitely so so there’s always the immigrants investor program, which is a provincial immigrants investor program in Canada based out of the beautiful province that I’m currently in Quebec.

05:11:23 So it’s called the Quebec immigrants investor program program still exists but it’s currently halted and, and the only reason why it’s halted is because there’s a very big overflow of applications and applicants to the program.

05:11:41 So, I mean, they need to be able to handle and manage the, the, the inflow or the the the immigrant investor applications that have been sent out right.

05:11:52 But we’re looking at getting it back in April of 2020 April 2023.

05:12:02 So that’s one immigrant investor program. The best immigrants investor program in my opinion in Canada.

05:12:07 That was originally in 1989 1990 was the federal immigrant investor program and then in the early 2000s came back as a province decided to create that immigrant investor program as well to attract, you know, ultra high net worth and a high net worth individuals,

05:12:24 and, you know, attract raise capital within the province to be able to bring you know very savvy investors or entrepreneurs to the, to the region. So that’s one.

05:12:41 Currently, the program in Canada that’s very exciting for, I would say both immigrants investors and entrepreneurs because most of the time, immigrant investors are entrepreneurs.

05:12:53 And so and so. That being said, the, the amazing program that currently is, you know, active and very much accepting applicants is the Canada startup Visa Program, which is a, which is an innovative program, you know, dedicated and focused on entrepreneurs,

05:13:15 coming to Canada, creating jobs.

05:13:20 Bringing innovative ideas to Canada.

05:13:22 If we can compare Canada to the rest of the world has a great

05:13:28 r&d tax credit program.

05:13:31 The government provides great tax credits on research and development and innovation in Canada, so we could see that there’s a lot of companies that have relocated to Canada or have opened up, you know, sister companies in Canada, to be able to conduct

05:13:49 the research and development so that they could benefit from these are the benefits that the government grants them right and so a very very Canada’s a very innovative and entrepreneurial country open to entrepreneurs and this is why the kind of the startup

05:14:07 visa is now the next big thing for Canada.

05:14:26 Gotcha. So, in terms of demographic, I know that the programs are, you know, in a state of transition right now but just generally speaking, what is the difference in terms of the demographic of the individual of the family that wants to move to the UK

05:14:28 vs wanted wants to move to Canada.

05:14:30 So, so that’s a very good question actually there and one thing that I’ve seen in my career, and the investment migration and industry.

05:14:43 Is that a lot of immigrants investors from, let’s say I would say the Middle East India, Pakistan, you know, even in Asia, or what to further down in East Asia.

05:15:01 What they do is that the DC the UK, Canada and the US, as you know, the best countries, right for immigration purposes so when they think about permanent relocation they think of all I, you know, I’m going to move to the UK or I’m going to move to Canada,

05:15:18 or to the US, you know, and, and they see this as a multigenerational permanent three location strategy right so they taken to consideration.

05:15:34 Children grandchildren’s education retirement. Healthcare opportunity. So, That being said, I would say that you know the the demographics for both nations kind of in the UK are similar.

05:15:48 The only thing that would differentiate is the fact that you know UK is normally closer to those to those areas of the world right those countries. So sometimes it’s easier for these individuals or families to make the decision okay let’s just go through

05:16:02 the UK. So that’s why we see very large communities.

05:16:06 Asian communities, in, in the UK specifically right and because it’s Canada as much further away you know we need to cross the Atlantic, it’s it’s more of a hospital when time comes for permanently location.

05:16:21 And there’s a lot more thoughts that has to be put into it when making this leap towards coming to Canada. But, to be quite honest living in Canada being in Canada myself I’ve seen that.

05:16:34 A lot of those, you know, immigrants have been coming to Canada, the communities have been growing, and there’s a lot of, they’re bringing their.

05:16:47 They’re running the economy in a way because it’s bringing they’re benefiting from the the country and the country stability, both politically, economically, but they’re also bringing them.

05:17:01 Labor workforce. I mean, to the country and, you know, feeding the economy, right with with their with their thriving nature and their their their excitement to to work and to come into to add value to the country right so that’s, that’s one thing that

05:17:18 I could say for both.

05:17:22 And I guess one of the takeaways even though we just briefly discuss to jurisdictions is the fact that rules change right it’s quite a dynamic landscape, and that the immigration rules, a moving target.

05:17:37 You know they keep changing and.

05:17:41 And as a result, a jurisdiction that may be available and popular at one point in time may not be so you know just a few weeks. A few months later, right.

05:17:52 So, having said that, you know, right now I know right now this is being recorded in March, 2022 like what what is the top three most popular jurisdictions for you and your clients right now just at this point in time, which of course you can change.

05:18:09 Yeah. So depending on on the needs of our clients we have clients that look for immediate acquisition of citizenship through that investment so for that I would say that St Kitts and Nevis is this today, being the most establish citizenship by investment

05:18:26 program in the world, 1984 where it started.

05:18:30 It is very highly in demand. And I would say that it was and will always be the best citizen to buy investment program. Besides that, what I’ve seen in the last I would say two to three years, regardless of a trend, and an increase of inquiries towards

05:18:50 as fortunate Portugal’s golden visa is an incredible program that’s attracted a lot of immigrants investors to Portugal.

05:19:10 And this is something that you could obviously comment on as a tax expert Portugal’s tax regime is very attractive as well. So a lot of individuals. Look to to have when they when they consider, you know, immigrants investor programs or citizenship investment

05:19:21 or residency by investment programs like I say, for Portugal being a residency by investment program they take into consideration, not only permanently location because that’s sometimes hard for all trying to individuals to do to permanent can relocate

05:19:35 because they have businesses they have an established lifestyle and their own country so they can just, you know, throw everything away and just relocate.

05:19:46 And that’s what we see a lot with immigrant investors, is that they can’t just leave everything behind and relocate. So, and Portugal makes it very simple for an attractive for the individuals that are not looking to, you know, physically reside in Portugal,

05:20:03 for six months plus one day out of the year to be considered residents. Right. And so it makes it really interesting and really beneficial for these immigrants investors to or ultra high net worth individuals and families to even consider Portugal as

05:20:27 an option because of of its accommodating. I would say, structure, right, as a program, and maybe I mean you can comment on the tax benefit that’s a very attractive tax regime with the non habitual tax residency program there, and so on it, it makes it

05:20:38 really interesting for individuals that are looking at a residency attacks residents even for a change of attacks residency to consider Portugal as their as their destination of choice.

05:20:50 So St Kitts Portugal in Europe. And, to be quite honest, we’re looking for a huge strength towards Canada would be kind of the startup visa.

05:21:03 So we see a lot of entrepreneurs looking into coming into Canada through the kind of the startup visa. And, you know, whoever comes to Canada is thinking about, okay, at some point in my life I’m going to permanently relocate to Canada, because that’s

05:21:17 what’s the best strategy multigenerational, if I look into healthcare, education, and retirement. So that was one that I would say very very confidently St Kitts and Portugal have been to great and very very increasing demand programs.

05:21:38 Yeah. You know, people from a tax perspective, there’s this misconception that it’s all about chasing low tax and no tax. When it’s actually the opposite right the some of the more popular jurisdictions in the world that people have means that they want

05:21:53 to move to actually relatively high tax jurisdictions, because I don’t think anyone would ever say Canada is low tax I mean, they asked him if you’re an entrepreneur, but it is relatively speaking, a higher tax jurisdiction, you know, yes, yes, higher

05:22:10 tax higher tax comes with the added benefits right you don’t pay tax for no reason you pay tax because you have free health care you pay tax.

05:22:33 have the safety the security of the country. So, yes, you know taxes high in Canada. But, I mean, it’s it.

05:22:40 There’s a reason for that.

05:22:43 You know I tell clients look at it like an investment, and you get a return on investment once is well calculated and there’s some structures.

05:22:52 But you know, yeah.

05:22:55 Unfortunately, in terms of the Caribbean, you know, we have, obviously our team we don’t get involved in migration really the experts like yourself but people do consult us when they’re considering like Caribbean is a misconception that you know just

05:23:09 getting a Caribbean possible to somehow save you taxes but you know I think we help them understand that that’s not necessarily the case because your tax is really also function, not just of your residency of citizenship, but where you physically always

05:23:24 your family. Where’s your interest was your center of life. And where’s your business and where your investments because that tends to drive it more often than not, Portugal, we get a, you know, for because we have an office in Portugal so we do get a

05:23:39 number of inquiries from a tax planning and tax strategy tax optimization perspective, particularly from Americans, the HR I mean the the Caribbean, relatively speaking of straightforward its territorial tax.

05:23:53 So once you’re not earning money from within you, generally speaking, you’re not going to be subject to tax generally. Exactly. Where’s portugal is a bit more nuanced than that they had a charm means that it particularly our clients who have a portfolio

05:24:11 and investment portfolio and have securities income.

05:24:15 That is subject to taxes, under the an HR so be taxed to 20%. So that kind of hits people as a surprise because the thing that you know, it’s probably in their mind I guess they look at other European programs like in Ireland, or the UK where there’s

05:24:34 a resin on Dom so basically all you’re here is sheltered but but not necessarily so what Portugal semi retirement income so if you have a private pension plan that’s going to be taxed at 10% securities or 28, but with some planning, because there’s an

05:24:50 opportunity to structure, but some planning, it can work to your advantage you can mitigate it probably not eliminated completely but there, there was a tax mitigation.

05:25:03 So okay so from a Caribbean perspective you said St Kitts is St Kitts. Is it because it’s it’s it was the first how this can St Kitts compared to the other for just general so.

05:25:17 So, generally what we do when we compare citizenship by investment programs as we look at two very important points. The first one is obviously because it’s a citizenship my investment so you get immediate citizenship and and passport, we look at what

05:25:33 you can do in regards of global mobility freedom with, with the citizenship or the passport itself. So St Kitts offers the most, these are free destinations access to the most beautiful destinations, when its passport.

05:25:49 And in addition to that, because it’s been operating for such a long time and it’s a very well. Very very well established program. The process in which the applet the applicants, go through.

05:26:03 It’s very straightforward and seamless.

05:26:06 Right. And so it makes it really interesting for the applicants because you know the cru the citizenship by investment unit that’s in charge of the, of the program is, you know, mature and has been doing this for a very long time, so they know there’s

05:26:27 a process, but timelines are met. Everything is really straightforward and simple. And that’s what’s important. You know when you come in and bust.

05:26:37 Hundred and 5200 $250,000 citizenship by investment program, you know, as an as an investor you normally say okay, I’m investing this much money into a program or into this you know opportunity for me to get the citizenship.

05:26:53 You know I want it to be done. Quite, quite fast and seamless.

05:26:59 I want, I want it to be smooth. I don’t want to. I don’t want it to create more chaos because normally.

05:27:06 I’m doing this so that I could minimize the the headaches that I have, in regards a problem let’s say for example or in regards of additional Private Client Services that normally clients request.

05:27:20 And so we, the last thing we want is for the actual process of the application to be, you know, not hassle free so so that’s why I say St Kitts compared to the others I mean don’t get me wrong, the other programs are are in regards of process are good

05:27:37 established and and very seamless as well seamless and simple, but think it is think it is the, the golden trophy program of the Caribbean three.

05:27:49 Okay. I remember before covered when we would be speaking to quite a few Asian clients because of the base that we have in Singapore. Yeah, we’re looking at the Caribbean they were drawn to the green native passport because you get the visa route into

05:28:07 the US, an E to visa correct right and then visa free into China as well so that correct attractive.

05:28:17 But you’re not you, you’re not seeing Grenada, so much as before is that your perspective or. No, not necessarily. The only thing is that obviously every program is different.

05:28:29 And so, so when we look at St Kitts we look at it, we look at a very perfectly packaged program. Okay, and in all aspects. When we look at other programs such as Dominica and St Lucia we look at a cost effective program because they are less expensive

05:28:47 in regards of the government fund donate. Right.

05:28:53 In regards of Grenada we look at a program that’s, that’s also very good but that gives the investors, access to the E to visa for the US, it’s not everyone that is looking to them further invest into the E to visa and have access to, to permanently relocate

05:29:10 to the US. So that’s why it’s not a program that’s that’s that we can say is, is the holistic approach to the perfect citizenship. By investment plan, because it’s not everyone that looks for that, but for the client that we speak to that.

05:29:28 That is really focused on relocating to the US.

05:29:34 on relocating to the US. And, you know, opening a business and being entrepreneurial and setting foot in the US and moving forward and living the American dream. Obviously, if we want to look at them getting a citizenship prior to doing so, he to for

05:29:47 Grenada, Montenegro, which is our, you know, our baby, I would say, also as an E to treaty with us so with the Montenegrin passport, you have access to, to moving to the US under the E to visa, which is really interesting as well.

05:30:04 Yeah.

05:30:06 Okay. And how does the the Montenegro program set price wise compared to Grenada, so it’s obviously more expensive, Montenegro being, you know, a Balkan state for now.

05:30:19 It’s expected to enter the EU and 2025.

05:30:23 So, whoever’s be whoever the idea of Montenegro is that if you’re investing together Montenegro and passport is because you’re ultimately looking at getting an EU passport.

05:30:33 At some point, so it’s an investment that you’re making in it, knowing that my Montenegrin passport is going to be a eu passport as well. When’s Montenegro enters the pride.

05:30:46 And so, cost wise I would say you have the option of going through. We have, you have to make a real estate investment plus a, obviously, a donation to the government.

05:30:57 That’s the structure.

05:31:00 On top of all the other fees obviously like government fees and due diligence fees and so on. But generally speaking to the real estate investors, 250,000, euros when it’s in the north of Montenegro.

05:31:13 So like them Mountain region, which is more catered to your ski resort type.

05:31:23 You know, tourism, and then you have south of Montenegro on the coastline, which is you know where it’s more established already and there’s more life and there’s more investments because prior to the citizens you’re buying Western program, their husband,

05:31:42 a lot of investments in Montenegro from you know from the Americans that have invested in Montenegro, to the Chinese to the Russians to the Gulf states that have all come to Montenegro and invested because it’s a, you know, very very it’s an infringement

05:32:02 a big, it’s a jewel in in the Balkans, stay within the Balkan states with, you know, Eastern Europe. And so, and so a lot of investments have been made there and if you ever have the opportunity to visit Montenegro, anyone, or if anyone that’s viewing

05:32:19 this has the opportunity to visit Montenegro, they’ll see that it’s, it’s, it’s beautiful. I would say I would call it the party Monaco, but you Monte Carlo.

05:32:29 Okay, so it’s it’s a it’s a great place, and it’s on it’s on the road to, it’s in the right direction to enter the EU, and it’s a perfect opportunity for individuals to get, you know, access to your citizenship at a very low cost.

05:32:48 Okay, that’s great. So you before before we actually went live you meant you talking a bit about your, your typical clients in Latin America can you comment on like, what’s your typical client.

05:33:01 In terms of demographic and geography country of origin.

05:33:07 Yeah, so, so I might add something to this immigrant investor or the investment migration industry was mainly catered to the emerging nations.

05:33:34 And the reason why is because these individuals needed a plan a strategy to be able to access to, you know, travel, top mobility freedom. You know, for them it was a plan B, which are which, you know, it was always presented as a plan B, but it was used

05:33:43 as a plan A because it was probably the most important thing for them to be able to expand their business grant access to their children to education and so forth and so on.

05:33:54 But in the last I would say, 24 to 36 months, we’ve seen that trend reverse.

05:34:02 So the emerging nations still are great.

05:34:08 You know, very big market for investment migration, but we’ve seen nations like Canada, the US, which are not necessarily considered emerging nations.

05:34:24 First of all nations, you know, that are looking into this and it’s a proper that are looking into immigrants invested programs or citizenship and residency by investment, planning, as a proper Plan B, you know, both for mobility, just like an example,

05:34:36 you know, for during the pandemic for the longest time US passport holders weren’t able to enter the EU.

05:34:42 Right. And so imagine I’m a ultra high net worth.

05:34:47 Picture, or a family office patriarch and I have my properties in Italy or South of France or London or Paris, or whatever it is, or even Portugal, and I’m used to going to my properties once, twice, three, four times, or on a monthly basis, and I can’t

05:35:06 do that because I mean the only passport that have as a US passport. Right.

05:35:11 And so a lot of our, a lot of clients, originally looked into getting a citizenship for travel freedom.

05:35:19 And then it’s great, and then it turned into a proper Plan B. It’s a, it’s a, an alternative asset

05:35:29 citizenship and residency by investment is and has become a very integral and important part of estate than legacy planning. Yeah.

05:35:40 You know, when you’re planning your estate planning or legacy planning, you need to. And if you don’t, then I’d suggest you start doing but you need to think about citizenship and residency why investment planning.

05:36:03 It’s very crucial because, you know, you never know what’s gonna happen and you never know when you need that second passport or when you need that residency somewhere else for you to be able to, you know, quickly pack up and and and and you know trigger

05:36:10 that that insurance chalets Yeah, in a way, it acts like an insurance right and so and so that’s very.

05:36:17 That’s what we’ll see is that and that’s why we’ve seen a few a trend but my ad from Canada, the US and in Latin Latin America, obviously,

05:36:29 countries where there’s a lot of alter and it’s worth and there’s a lot of new wealth.

05:36:37 Create being created in Latin America. And all of this well it meets security in only as much as in our lifetime I, I could to a certain level, say that you know there is somewhat stability, but at the same time there is a lot of instead and stability,

05:36:57 because you never know right, what can happen. for example, Ben as well.

05:37:04 Yeah. You know, I mean, it was, there’s a lot of finance words and all trying to Chris and Ben as well, that if they didn’t have a proper citizenship by investment plan, you know, they’re probably stuck right now or just take for example last time is

05:37:18 directly linked to Miami as a financial hub in Miami being a financial hub. So the individuals that need an alternative, they need a plan B, whether it’s for banking like moving assets, outside of their own country for security or for, you know, expansion

05:37:36 of business or investments or, or having an alternative assets and investment. Now they need to do that for, and they’ve been needing to do that for their citizenship or their residency those so that’s where we see the trend going.

05:37:52 I believe that yeah that’s that’s a great point that traditionally it investment migration space has targeted the emerging markets right, it was seen as a hedge.

05:38:02 It was seen as an education play. It was all for the you know because of the hassle of, you know, applying for visas every time you needed to go from point A to point B, of getting just a stronger travel document to get business done

05:38:19 an interview with john go to the wealthiest person in Africa, and Nigeria, and he’s going to. Yeah.

05:38:27 He has a passports, right, because he made he lives in Nigeria, but just the hassle of traveling with a Nigerian passport means that he collected seven other passports just to make it easier to get his business done right.

05:38:41 So, traditional right now, we’ve really seen that inversion that you spoken about that it has become an asset class and it’s cool. For people from developed markets, not just from developing markets, you know yeah and we saw that as you said during their

05:39:04 the height of their their health crisis.

05:38:58 You know people being blocked from moving around and that had severe consequences for you know not just personal look for business reasons, just having that portfolio of not necessarily possible, but residences, because at any point in time like in Portugal,

05:39:12 even though borders are closed. If you were a Portugal resident you will be allowed in, and a large extent, with the UK as well I mean borders maybe close but still you know and so on and so forth, similar to us.

05:39:24 So, so yeah it’s it’s definitely turn on its head and it’s something that everyone is is taking seriously right now. And for us, we will obviously being more international tax base with us international particular.

05:39:42 They, the flow of inquiries in terms of help with tax planning to enter the US resource spike during the health crisis and now we’re seeing, you know that demand pick up from from the US to look at Portugal and Spain we get, I get, I literally get dozens

05:40:03 of emails every day via website for people who want to help, we need help from the US tax planning for Portugal or they want to comparison, Portugal vs Spain, can you model my portfolio, if I end up in Portugal and Spain, that you know I need to have. Seeking advice on US tax services for expats in Spain? Contact our experts.

05:40:18 to have that comparison so so yeah I mean, but having said that, the investment migration space, unfortunately has been tarnished yes they’ve been bad actors on different fronts.

05:40:31 But still, you know, there has been a trend to painted unfortunately in a negative light and. And we’ve seen the EU in particular.

05:40:43 Generally speaking, not being in favor of it. So, given those, you know, those sentiments from from certain governments and especially in the developed world not in the emerging markets, but in the developed world.

05:40:57 What do you see to be the outcome what where a trends heading.

05:41:03 I think that one very important thing is that investment migration, or the the industry itself or citizenship by investment the residency by investment programs have to have a very good and strong regulatory body.

05:41:22 That’s what, you know, one once we have once we’re able to put the you know the top firms in the industry together and create a regulatory body, which is not based or biased by someone’s, you know, I don’t know, creativity, let’s say for example, and

05:41:44 the only purpose is to be able to properly regulate and help properly help governments properly structure and maintain their programs so that you know, everything is very straightforward due diligence is perfect.

05:42:02 And there’s no reason for the European Parliament commission or anyone else to come and say, Oh, we do not want to give citizenship by investment programs or have citizenship by investment programs, and our union.

05:42:15 Because of this, this, this, then, you know, then we’ll be able to come back and fight against the parliament. Be like, no, our regulatory body is here for one reason, and that reason is to be able to, you know, regulate the countries and the, not necessarily

05:42:31 the country’s bodies, but the firm’s that offer these programs, or that advise governments in regards of creating programs and so that’s what’s very important.

05:42:43 I think that’s what’s lacking in the industries, still have that, you know,

05:42:51 mutual regulatory like mutual sense of everyone, or the top layer is being able to, you know, help regulate the the industry.

05:43:03 Hmm.

05:43:16 Yeah, I wish I share your sentiments because it’s of course a very positive sentiment from my perspective, and again as an outsider looking in so I’m not an investment migration expert but I just look at it historically like the let’s say the past couple

05:43:17 engineers.

05:43:20 You could, there was a time you know and if you were in the 1800s you could go to the US and if you came across from Europe, maybe you didn’t even need a travel document, you, you just tell them what your name is where you are right.

05:43:33 Ellis Island, and they say they give you a rudimentary health check and welcome to America, you know, and over time, you know, they became a need for some sort of identification then you needed a passport and then there was a visa system and the visa

05:43:48 system to a large extent has been thrown out. With recent developments, understandably so but it’s put the traditional visa system on the stream, and now it’s to your advantage if you were if you do need to move between certain jurisdictions to get residency

05:44:04 so at least you show it to get in. So I see just generally movement of of human capital, being put under greater regulation, if you look at it in the past hundred and hundred and 50 years.

05:44:19 And then when you add to that, they the noise that’s coming from decision makers of the EU level which you know the EU is one of the more attractive jurisdictions for for those in.

05:44:37 Who would want a more powerful travel document, and it’s clear that they’re against it, and you know, so what happened to Cyprus, we know the pressure that mortars and, and even domestically in Portugal.

05:44:47 It’s brought, I mean it’s bringing a lot of challenges bringing a lot of resources into Portugal, but there are concerns that it does do certain things to the real estate market that locals feel disadvantaged if you priced out and there’s some pushback.

05:45:04 So, and we’ve seen that result in changes in the golden visa program in Portugal, so of course for people in Lisbon, are no longer, maybe not so much Algarve you need to go in.

05:45:22 In, you know inland to less attractive areas so you know I see that as all part of a trend and I, I wonder if to some extent the days of investment migration may be, maybe not but in terms of citizenship, baby residency, absolutely, you can get residency.

05:45:36 But in terms of a definite pathway to citizenship, without a residence requirements, which is what the visa, does the golden visa does offer as opposed to the paid.

05:45:50 So in the UK there’s a residency requirement. Of course.

05:45:52 So I think, you know, the EU, the US and North Americans they feel more comfortable with that we have no problem, where people can people have means can enter and they can enjoy those benefits, but there should be a residency requirement, so that that’s

05:46:06 that that those are my thoughts I think that the whole golden visa principle where someone can just, just have to just hang out for like a month per year, or, you know, or like in Malta with a year, year and a half to get a passport I think those those

05:46:23 days, may be numbered. And what I think what they what they want to do what they want to do is they want to remove that golden term to the to the programs.

05:46:36 You know, and and look, I’m not against I’m not against adding physical residency to such program so that you know, there could be justification for why someone would be granted citizenship or granted residency.

05:46:50 I’m not against that whatsoever. But I believe that we need to, you know, and the reason why nations such as, Portugal, have benefited from the golden visa program is because they’ve brought in millions and even maybe billions of euros over the span of

05:47:10 the life of the program which in return, benefited the economy of the country and in return benefit the locals and in return, you know, everyone was taking advantage of it.

05:47:26 The fact that the country was generating so much revenue from these programs. One thing is for sure is that we need to put a line in between traditional immigration programs and immigrant investor programs, just like we put a line and separate refugee

05:47:40 programs that are considered immigration programs and entrepreneurs entrepreneur immigrant entrepreneur programs, you know, at the end of the day, both the refugee and the entrepreneur are looking to get that this citizenship.

05:47:56 But there’s a reason, and there’s a, there is a reason why we differentiate these two paths that are ultimately to the same goal is because you know the the the current circumstance of the individuals that are applying or the applicant, shall we say,

05:48:13 are completely different, and that’s when I believe that when we’re able to draw that line between traditional immigration and immigrants investor or entrepreneur.

05:48:24 Immigrants on entrepreneurship programs that are obviously, such as immigrants investor programs were able to literally draw that line and be able to accept that there is two types of immigration.

05:48:38 Then we’re able to as countries, as unions, such as the EU understand the benefit of each route. You know we can’t just say oh no more immigrants investor programs no more citizen to buy investment, no more residency by investment.

05:48:54 You know, we’re going to stick to even the immigrant investor and the individual that’s bringing capital of the country is raising foreign direct investment or foreign direct capital and bringing the the investors bringing capital to the country know

05:49:08 they need to physically reside there, there’s there’s a reason and, you know, we need to be able to differentiate physical residency requirement or the program so that we can understand and appreciate it dropped.

05:49:24 That’s the thing is that we’re not.

05:49:26 I speak for the EU.

05:49:29 Sorry, I don’t speak for the EU Commission.

05:49:32 I speak for myself, on the basis of my comments towards not when I feel like they don’t appreciate immigrant investor programs, and this is why they’re the, they’re against it in a way, in regards of having citizenship and bus programs or resident to

05:50:09 investment programs in the EU that obviously our pathway to citizenship, with minimal physical residency, you know because because they’re not able to really draw that line and and separate that’s not, it’s immigration.

05:50:05 There’s a difference between one type, versus the other. And, you know, um, yeah, we can always wait for a for a world crisis to happen for us as a country for a country to accept immigrants in all these Yeah, exactly.

05:50:24 That would be unfortunately, that would be unfortunate, you know.

05:50:26 So once that drive that lon is that line is drawn that.

05:50:41 I think that there would be no issues in regards of maintaining these programs and the industry. They’re not numbered I hope they’re not. I hope the days are numbered.

05:50:46 Well you know I mean I guess you know we can touch base in a, in a year and we keep in touch and see how it goes. But at this point, that’s my sense that, you know, yes they, there’s no problem with investment migration, because everybody practices it,

05:50:59 you know, everybody does it. The issue is with his citizenship.

05:51:06 Without residency, and you know and I see some some of the Caribbean islands as well sometimes.

05:51:13 Some of the OECD nations do kind of give them the look.

05:51:18 When you know about their programs and then there’s the always the subtle threat of removing visa free access to country x country why so, but it that’s happening and but then when I look at it in the context of the offshore space in general because in

05:51:34 the whole offshore world is not just about citizenship and residency there’s also banking. They also corporate structures and yeah I mean a couple of decades ago.

05:51:44 Absolutely. You can set up a bank account anywhere you like more or less so you can incorporate wherever you want, more or less, but suddenly you know you can incorporate but now, the rules are on economic substance see just concept of shell companies,

05:51:59 anywhere and everywhere like you used to. You need to have actual boots on the ground. It needs to be a meaningful business reason, not just a task planning opportunity and, and I think that is, you know, in any country that is not practicing that right

05:52:14 now any jurisdiction. They probably on the blacklist. And yeah, and then similarly with the banking space, and you know a couple of decades ago maybe even just a decade ago, you can set up a bank account anywhere you know.

05:52:29 But now, again, banks are so hard to deal with. Even if you live in. If it’s your hometown bank, they’re giving you a hard time to set up a bank account, even though you’ve been with this band for generations.

05:52:42 Follow us if you want to set up an accountant and have the jurisdiction. They ammo the anti money laundering the KYC know your customer or the general on onboarding process and they’ll pretty rigorous, it basically is like a job interview.

05:52:54 And they, they want to see whether you know they want to do business with you and it definitely is not as easy as it once was to set up an a bank account or company where you really don’t have any residents and even if you have resonated that’s a problem

05:53:11 so I think we’re in the era when Europe of transparency and you know there’s a exchange of information, and you know, there’s data exchanges between jurisdictions and they they sort of privacy and the leniency that we saw in the past, seem to be definitely

05:53:33 the past, so I see the whole offshore world evolving, of which, of course, the investment migrations piece is an important and integral part but I think it’s there’s this is indeed a general shift.

05:53:51 But, uh, I think we’re coming up to an hour now so any any final comments, or any final perspective that you want to share with people who are online right now, maybe listening to this in the future.

05:54:05 What I want to share is that, you know, immigrant investor or the investment migration industry

05:54:12 is an industry that has been in the past, I would say, only available to the ultra high net worth. Right.

05:54:22 Today, we’ve seen the changes of the government’s and the investment budgets and the access to, to create to wealth creation to everyone. Right.

05:54:34 We’ve seen a very important change, and that is that today it’s not only the elite of our world that have access to investment migration, but it’s everyone that has access to it.

05:54:47 Okay. And if you need it, it’s there, it’s available. And so, investment migration is a tool that could be used for, whether it’s tax planning, whether it’s mobility planning, whether it’s mobility insurance, which is very important.

05:55:07 And and everyone that that has that or needs that sense of security. At some point, whether it’s for their personal security, including family obviously asset security, such as acid production and wealth, preservation, they need to consider citizenship

05:55:27 by investment in residency by investment. And I think that’s hand in hand with proper tax planning.

05:55:34 It could be the perfect holistic solution to, you know, checking all of those boxes that have to be checked for for someone to be good, you know, protect their assets preserve their wealth, as well as creating a sense of security and have access to the

05:55:56 world, you know, become global citizens and so that’s what’s very important.

05:56:03 And I hope, I hope our industry is good. I hope and I confident that we can speak in five years from now and will still be here.

05:56:12 I hope so.

05:56:15 If someone wants to reach out to you to discuss that that having that plan B having that security that you know education plan for the kids.

05:56:24 Global mobility, what’s the best way to reach you.

05:56:28 They could always reach me at my email.

05:56:33 It’s ATAATANNOUS at Apex

05:56:42 Or they could WhatsApp me.

05:56:53 Or they can just go on our website Apex Apex Capital dot partners, and submit an inquiry and I’ll have myself or someone from my team reach out immediately and be able to assist.

05:57:06 Okay, so that’s Apex Capital Partners. Correct.

05:57:11 All right. And it’s been a pleasure. It’s been a privilege I enjoy hearing, getting your perspective benefiting from your years of experience in this investment migration space, and hopefully everyone that listens to you will.

05:57:26 Well yeah, I’ll be better off for it and if they have not, you know, created that plan B, they would understand why it is super important to have that plan B in place even if you just have it, keep it in your back pocket.

05:57:40 It’s better to have it and don’t need it, than to need it and don’t have it. Exactly. I always say it’s better to be proactive than reactive.

05:57:50 Hmm.

05:57:51 Absolutely. Thank you very much. So, good day, good evening, good morning to everyone depending on what part of the world you’re in which he did our tax and if you have a look at our website at she did a task forward slash events you can see what we’re

05:58:04 going to be talking about and who we’re going to be interviewing next week. With that, thank you very much. Thank you.

Table of Contents: LIVESTREAM – Trends in Investment Migration – 23rd March 2022

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