Investment Migration Trends – Conversation with Andres Gutierrez (8th February 2023)

VOICEOVER:

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DERREN JOSEPH:

All right, fantastic, welcome to our HTJ.tax podcast. So we do this every week. Well, we try to do it every week. So, we talked to a thought leader like yourself in the whole international tax and investment migration cross-border movement space, right? We tried to demystify the whole area and importantly look for trends that will help people who listen, who watch what we put out, put themselves in a position to take advantage of what’s going on, right?

So that’s pretty much for if it is that we do touch on any tax issues. I just want to make the point that we are not here to give advice. We’re just having a general conversation about general principles and whether it’s tax or investment migration, you’d probably want to speak to a qualified advisor if you want to work on a plan that is tailor-made for you. So again, this is not guidance, this is just general conversation, general principles. So on our website HTJ.tax, we have over 2000 articles that are completely free of charge on, you know, various jurisdictions from both primarily from a tax point of view, because we are tax practitioners.

But every once in a while, we do touch on the physical movement of people because that has implications as well. We also do this podcast, as I said, every week, and we put out content every day on over 20 podcast platforms including YouTube, Soundcloud, and Spotify. Basically, wherever you get your podcast, you’ll probably hear from us as well. So without further ado, Andres, welcome, can you please introduce yourself to those who do not already know who you are?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Derren, thanks very much for the invitation. A pleasure to be here. My name is Andres, I’m a Senior Consultant at Henley & Partners. I’m based in Barcelona. I’m formerly a lawyer back in Argentina where I am from and, and here in Spain. Been a few years in West Migration and right now and with Henley since over a year and very much enjoying all this industry and everything that it has to, to give, to be honest with you. Okay, fantastic. And of course for those who don’t know, handling partners is, and, and, and again, I have no, it’s just that I have respect for your firm because it, it’s basically the wild, wild west when it comes to the investor Migration space and you guys have set yourself apart as being, you know, just completely above board, completely transparent and advisor.

Not just the net-worth individuals, but to governments as well. So I think that’s one era in which you, you kind of definitely different from, from the average. You, you are accredited and recognized on the government websites, so you, you’re not, yeah. So, I think that’s important to make that It’s quiet, the practice that we have at the power is quite interesting and unique basically because, as you correctly pointed out, I mean focus on advising high net individuals in their citizenship and residents planning moves worldwide, you know, through 40 offices in more than 35 different jurisdictions. But also we have a very, very successful government advisor practice. At end of the day our chairman, pre-scaling has been the architect of this industry and that has put us in a very special niche with honestly great in-depth information and, and advice and very clear in, in a very clear and transparent and compliant manner at the end of the day. As you said, in this industry and nowadays it is something that is extraordinarily important.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, fantastic. So, you know, there’s a lot going on. Basically, the world is open now, more or less from, from a movement mobility perspective. So in terms of the investment Migration space, which jurisdictions are popular? So like if you had to call out five jurisdictions that, that you see renewed interest post covid, what would those five be?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

That’s a good question. I believe that it would be basically on the top of the charts will be and Portugal, it’s just basically they are wide top of the charts on, on our ranks os Austrias destination, which is very interesting as well. And then obviously have all the Caribbean plus Spains in, in Europe, which makes very interesting combinations in this part of the world. So at the end of the day, what we are seeing is clients that are diversifying not only in one single jurisdiction, but normally right now, since quite some time, they’re getting basically one or two options.

The Caribbean passport plus a European residency or just directly normal, you know, a European passport, multi citizenship plus residency somewhere in Southeast Asia, Malaysia or, or basically around, just in case also Latin America is quite interesting from that site because at the end of the day and given, you know, the, the pandemic, the Russian Ukraine war, et cetera, Clancy are looking to diversify the end of the day the, their geopolitical insurances, what an investment Migration plan is. So if anything happens in Europe where I can go, I can go to Central America, to South America where I go, which is safe and I don’t have to rely on a three-month visa. That is something that certainly we are, we are looking, we’re looking at clients to indeed.

We specialize in US tax services for Americans in Spain. Reach out for comprehensive support.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. So you, but you call out above the rest of Europe and the Caribbean, right? Is that, but isn’t that the same as it was before Covid? I mean it was always really about the Caribbean passports and golden visas in Europe, right? Or is it, is there a nuance, is this something different now post covid?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

So I mean, what we are seeing is, I would say still a very, quiet amount of interest in what is Europe. Portugal remains two of the charters. It was before. Yeah, I would say that with the pandemic, which is something very interesting that happened here in Spain, it is a very portion there on the Spanish option, not necessarily for clients interested to move into Spain, but to have a plan B because of the different options that you have at the end of the day in Spain, you can invest not only in real estate, but also you can invest 1 million euros in a structured deposit or investment funds, which are registered here in Spain.

So it makes the diverse fine financial portfolio much simpler and easier and very, very straightforward. So that is certainly something that we are seeing in terms of Spain in terms of those nuances. And, and yeah, just, just basically then the ultimate solution as we would like to call it this small citizenship, but obviously, you know, it has a long process, it has very strict due diligence, very compliant procedure. So, there’s something always, always there for the right person, the right time.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. So in my mind as a layperson, the golden visa for Spain and Portugal, seem to be almost the same. Obviously you’re closer to this, what distinguishes the, the golden visa for each of these two countries? Or are they ide identical more or less?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

It is quite interesting. Yes, they are very similar in the way that they work, in the way that the civil law actually works in, in Spain, in Portugal, they have, as you said, certain nuances. And I think that on the side of Portugal it ,is quite interesting the different options that you have in terms of investment. Depending if you invest in certain areas, you cannot invest in least from the Porto or the Algarve, whereas if you invest, you know, in whole development projects the investment is lower. It is quite interesting because after those five years of passing language tests, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship, provide that you have a state in the country those couple of weeks per year and so on for a couple of years.

But one thing that it is unique, on the other hand, for the Spanish program, it is, as we said before, that that ability to invest in over 4,000 Spanish registered investment funds, which are, you know, entirely to, to the disposal of the, of the investor qualify for the golden visa. There is no need at the end of the day to be, to win the country. And the process itself is very fast.

I mean, once the application has been some minute, it usually would take around 20 working days if the government didn’t say anything. But it’s very, very fast. It’s very, very effective. And also the last feature, which is extraordinarily interesting, it is not for Spain. I mean it is not for Latin for either American citizens, or citizens from America, including Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, and the South Equa and the Philippines.

After two years of effective residency in Spain, they can opt for Spanish nationality. So it, what we are seeing it is many applicants that they are thinking at the end of the difficult thing, know their children having the opportunity to be study, to study here in a, in a Spain instead of with a student visa, with a golden visa, with a residence permit. And after two years they can apply for Spanish citizenship whilst basically mom and dad keep on running the business, you know, whatever.

In the Philippines when South America, that is something that we are seeing pretty much is quite, quite interesting. Also, then the main difference I would say, besides the financial aspects, this the real estate market, I mean the real estate market in Spain, that’s a bigger country. It is bigger. I mean you have Madrid, you have south of Spain, basically interest for yields basically on the, on the, on the properties.

They’re quite interesting. This is still a healthy, a healthy market, which is driven by local, not by foreigners only. So there is a huge demand basically as well. Local actors obviously then you have your European buyers and your golden visa buyers, but it is not the other way around. You don’t have your golden visa buyers and then your local buyers. So it is a very, very, very interesting option. Very interesting way to, to look into, into European. Indeed.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. So, so definitely the fund option and the real estate option for Spain is arguably more attractive than Portugal. But at the same time, if you don’t come from a fam, a former Spanish colony, so Central South America, the Spanish Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, apparently as well as the Philippines, you would have to wait 10 years. Am I, you need to wait. So you need to wait a bit longer for Spain.

Yeah, but so therefore it’s more attractive to that, that Spanish speaking, that Spanish history, historically Spanish colonies, it’ll be more attractive. However, from a, the Portugal point of view for, you know, generally speaking, if you don’t come from a, a former Spanish colony, Portugal may be a bit more attractive because you get it after five years rather than 10. But the downside is the, if it is you go for the real estate of the fund option is, it’s perhaps less interesting than Spain. So neither is perfect, but you know, they would fit different personalities or different family objectives. I, I would imagine. Yeah,

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Exactly. I mean, it, it is, it is the questions that we get off that we ask very, very often, just basically like clients normally from, from the uk lots of times, you know, they, they have, they’re host in Europe, some of them, they’re used to being Portugal and Spain. They want to invest, they want to get this and that, which one is based. And to be honest with you, it depends on the, there are certain things, yes, I mean Portugal sometimes is slower than Spain, but at the end of the day we have clients that they’re happy to wait. That’s fine. So it all depends on what the client want, aim to have the correct, the correct, the correct advice.

I mean, sometimes clients that just basically they are not so much worried about the five, six years timeline to, to citizenship cause they’re bored. It is with Spain and actually they want to move to Spain, American citizens, UK citizens, they actually want to relocate and they need the tax planning to do that. So I’m gonna do the tax lawyers, et cetera, et cetera. Some of them just say, no, that’s fine. I mean I want my citizenship in five, six years. Okay, so let’s talk about Portugal. It all depends basically on the mid long term goals of the, of the client. So it is, it is difficult to say what is best because both options are great.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Yeah. What about, as you mentioned Americans, so I, I know Portugal gets hyped a lot in the media in the us but does that hype and at least the percentage of media headlines, does resonate with the reality? So more Americans opting for Portugal over less, say Spain or Malta?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Yeah, I would say yes. There are more Americans opting for, for Portugal than for Spain. Although there is a lot of interest from US citizens in Spain as well. I guess that it is due to a lot of different factors. And we just mentioned, you know, at the end of the day, you know, the ability to get the citizenship, but it’s just basically lower investment. Some of them, they’re looking at the NHR as well, you know, for future possibilities, you know, and sometimes they do that combination of Portugal and Caribbean. Yeah. And they, they do know all their things, so they’re citizenship planning a little bit more complex, let’s put it that way, you know, in terms of their US passport, you know, signing in and all that stuff. But that it is not my ring that is, that is yours there. That’s just, I don’t know about, about that.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, fantastic. Well, just kind of stepping back from Spain versus Portugal versus Malta, the EU appears to be, let’s say, uncomfortable with investment Migration in general. You know, I guess you get that impression how they’ve treated certain islands in the Pacific or you know, the way they’ve been dealing with Cypress or the situation with motel.

What is your perception, like what is the outlook from an EU perspective? Do you think that at some point in time they’ll come to some sort of compromise or do you think the clock is ticking and in who knows when, but in x number of years it may not that golden visas or investment Migration will disappear, but perhaps it will have a different fall. What, what are your thoughts?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

My thoughts are basically that the investment Migration market brings a lot to the table, basically to, to all jurisdictions. I mean it benefits everyone. It benefits the, the countries that receive the investment to receive serves their people. It serves the applicant’s important thing. It is something that we have seen over the years. It is the increase in due diligence and in compliance. That is something that has been seen, I would say, in all the programs.

And it is a very good sign, very, very important. Also very important the job that the, the IMC does invest Migration council on that regard as well. So I think that’s, it is true that for whichever reasons, you know, the European Union looks into this, these sort of regulations and programs very, very close. At the same time, I think that there’s going to be a moment that there’s going to be a, an understanding, let’s put it that way, because at the end of the day, on the matter of the European Union and citizenship by investment within the European Union, citizenship is a matter of every particular state.

So basically that is a very important point. But also the, the checks due diligence checks the compliance there on each programs. There are compliance that the bank do when they have a, a client, when a client open a bank account, when they invest in a fund, et cetera, et cetera, they’re very high as well. And this, at the end of the day, it is a win-win situation for, for all. And it is a, an industry that has a state has come to stay at the end of the day.

And I don’t see, you know, going anywhere. But to be honest with you, improving that improvement will come with conversations with the different stakeholders and improving, you know, the compliance checks, the transparency, the options, and so on and so forth. That is the most important thing, I believe.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Ok, okay, fair enough. And what about another popular jurisdiction? Definitely, I mean, it was always on the radar, but I think during COVID and out post covid, it seems to have a momentum of its own. It’s United Arab Emirates, Dubai in particular. Have you seen any Trends or any movement to in, in that direction? I know it’s not tech, there’s, I mean technically it’s not a popular investment Migration product, but it’s a, it seems to be a popular jurisdiction or destination generally. What are your thoughts on that?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

It has been a very interesting jurisdiction over Covid, as you said lately as well. We have very successful office as well, led by, by Phillip, our managing partner. They, it has been basically has driven a lot of investment, not only from the Middle East but also from from abroad. Different options to, to set up residency as well. Same movement I would say from Europe. There it is more difficult, it is more tricky at the end of the day because European national European residents, for the sake of it, it is used to to be here, it is normally somewhere that is sitting on the southern or basically on the eastern part of the world, Southeast Asia, Russia, that would normally have to structure something there and then perhaps make the come to Europe basically, you know, for, I mean we have a client which is based in Australia, that’s, you know, stays in Dubai for some time and then comes, comes here to Europe.

But yes, it is certain that it has attracted load, foreign, indirect investment. And I think that from the region. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s a good sign indeed. So yeah, it’s just basically those, those that is what I can tell you from this optic, basically from the, from the Spanish side is spread that way. Okay, gotcha. What we have as well, sorry, what we see is on the other side as well, you know, people basically from the Middle East, Dubai, United, Arab, rerate, which are obviously looking into south of Spain for many different reasons because they like it because it’s lifestyle similar and so forth. But that is the other way around, another way that you asking.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Yeah, yeah. And, and you touched on Ukraine and, and Russia of course there’s an unfortunate situation which, which we won’t comment too much on, but I, I guess that means that for, for from an investment Migration point of view, perhaps Europe, perhaps a Caribbean is not an attractive destination for them because of the sanctions and stuff like that. But the Emirates has remained open, right. So do you, do you see any in do or are you aware of any Trends in that space of, of course aside from the Emirates that people who have been impacted by that whole situation, where they going and how is that affected the landscape?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

So basically if the people affected by the body, the military conflict in Ukraine and Russia have gone a little bit more farther towards down Dubai or what they have been doing. So basically there are, there are a few, few options they have. Certainly some of them certainly have gone into, into Dubai. Indeed there are some options where, which are still open.

Basically Montenegro for example, was open until the program was open for Russians. There are some options in terms of Antigua, I’m sorry, in terms of the, of the Caribbean, there is also the option of Grenada. There are certain options that they can be looked into on a case by case basis. Sometimes there are options around, around there, but certainly they are in a very tricky situation, very unfortunate situation, especially those individuals that they weren’t thinking about, you know, that something like this.

And most of us, including myself, couldn’t even see it, you know, that it was gonna happen. Some families that they were thinking five years ago having a plan B, they have been able, because they are a lot of Russian families that they had they Russian cards, Portugal multi in Spain because they actually have made the investments for Visa, they have their second passport. They have been able to, to move to have that mobility. Some of them, they’re in a much more trickier situation and then they’re much more scrutiny.

And I think that for, for difficult and for sad that that that reason with all the empathy in the world, it is important that we look into these sort of things as they are, which are geopolitical insurances for our families. So in case something happens once needs to be ready, I think that this, the take, I see that with the, with with clients that they have been able to obtain their residences many years ago. And in the case of, you know, any particular problem that’s that, that that appeared, they need to move, they moved, you know, with a much more peace of mind.

For others it was much more difficult. There’s always a way that, that it can be found because there’s always a way legally speaking, I mean, but it certainly gets tricker and tricker.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Yeah, you, you mentioned in passing Grenada, so Grenada’s still an option for Russians, but people, okay, I wasn’t aware of that, so, so that’s interesting to know that it’s not the entire all five Caribbean investment, my gold, oh, passport or citizenship by investment, sorry, that’s the term. So not all five have turned their back on people with who were born in Russia, just one F one is available. Okay. So that, that is interesting to know.

I wanna go back to Dubai. I know you’re not based there, but of course it comes up in conversation a lot. There’s a, I’ve heard people question as to whether their economic, you know, their model is sustainable or is it just, you know, so the pattern of movement to the Emirates, is it a long-term pattern or do you think it’s a blip on the radar right now and eventually it’ll go back to where it was pre covid in terms of popularity?

What do you, do you think it’ll return to that or do you think this upswing in interest in the Emirates is part of a long-term trend towards the, the Gulf area?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

That’s a very good question, Derren, and honestly speaking from these optics sitting from here, it’s difficult to, to look into that without seeing much macroeconomic Trends. But what I’ve been seeing indeed it is that, as you said, there is, there is, there is a growth in the region. The divide is getting more and more importance. The real estate market, it is basically bigger and bigger. We have a very, very important office in, in Dubai as well.

It is the, the hub, the business hub of the Middle East at the end of day. So I don’t think that this is just basically a blip and then it’s going to go back. I think that is just basically a growth, basically a steady growth. I mean, one thing that, and it happens, I will believe in most of the jurisdictions when you talk about real estate and when it’s growing and building and growing and building, is this a bubble or not? Yeah, that is just basically the, the questions that I’ve been reading and it’s just like, what is going to happen?

But to be honest with you, you have the same question in sur areas or in Spain here as well, sur Spain, it’s just like up to when the price are going to go up in the city center of Madrid or in Barcelo up to when is it the bubble? Is it, no, it is very difficult to, to approach and to answer that. But what I’ve been seeing is just basically that there is a study and I think it is good because in Nucleates and brings in wealth and Entrepreneurs and good business minds to the area and you know, when one flourishes, that is a contagious effect and that’s, that’s good.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Ok, fair enough. Moving from Emirate, another popular jurisdiction, we, we know that there’s legal matter being, I guess litigated right now. What is your sense, I know you, nobody has a crystal ball, but you know, given that you are European and you have a legal background, what, what are your initial thoughts? And again, nobody’s holding you to any predictions, but what are your thoughts as to how this matter would unfold?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

It is, I mean, it is a very, very interesting case and it’s a very interesting thing. I mean, I believe that basically on one side, every country has its own right to decide who is going to be a citizen on, on, on legal grounds. It is understandable as well that the European Union on some way wants to make sure that, you know, the people that are going to be granted citizenship of are of, of good standards, which is actually what the the authorities do.

They have, I would believe it is, and I believe it is the, strictest compliance process in terms of, of citizenship. But it is very, very hard to be honest with you. I, not trying, but, but in another maldi company as well. It is very, very hard. It’s very, very strict and it is the most successful, if not one of the most successful citizenship by investment regulations worldwide. But coming to, to your questions, at the end of the day, what I believe is that there is going to be, in terms of the result, Malta has a very strong case under, under its arm for certain the result of that, who knows what can happen, but we always expect they, they are positive for the whole market, not, not only for Malta, for the whole investment Migration market and for that, I mean all the stakeholders including the European Union, because at the end of the day, these programs, they bring a huge load of foreign direct investments.

They bring, you know, just basically prosperity in terms of the manage the contributions give to national funds that allows to build roles, to build schools, to build shelters or different NGOs activities that they can do. It helps us well to bring nationals from another jurisdiction which are already successful Entrepreneurs and they can fell in love with the country and then move there and pay their taxes. So I mean, I think that it is a win-win situation, important thing. It is compliance procedures, I think that, you know, we all hope that it is going to come into a, into a good decision for everyone, but right now we have to wait and see.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, understood. Wait and see. So yes, there, there are definitely benefits. But on the flip side, I mean the EU has made it clear they don’t like it. The, the, the grab the, any excuse available, like what we saw in Cypress, Martin Negro, and there’s a, there’s an argument that you are, you know, people are being, yes, they get citizenship for let’s say mal Portugal, but they don’t stay there. Malta’s pretty tiny, right? So they use it as a, like a gateway into, to the European Union and parti, particularly if they come through the, like a golden visa route where there’s minimum or no residency requirement, they don’t necessarily have that connection to the country, to Europe.

So, I guess I can see the different perspectives. And on the back of that, in December, one of the senior government officials in Portugal, he made some comments that were, I mean, they were suitably vague about reviewing the golden visa program, but people somehow interpreted that in a, in a negative rather than a positive way. So I’m asking two things. What are, what are your interpretations of, of the sentiment coming from Portugal and whether there are, there are similar reflections on the part of the government in Spain as well.

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Perfect. Excellent. I mean on that, basically we would like to, to go back into something that, that you touch base in terms of the genuine links, you know, with the future citizen and the country at the end of day, those genuine links, you know, in terms of more that they are basically given because not only the applicant is making his contribution to the, to the government, to the then donations to NGOs, but also he has his resonance there, his stay stay in Malta for, for some time.

And also once he’s given citizens, he’s subject to compliance during the next five years, which is something that no other jurisdiction does it, the next five years has to be subject to compliance that is revised by community before the agency. And, and yes, it’s just basically it’s very, all those sort of things are checks and balances that, that helps, that helps in that. So

DERREN JOSEPH:

Going, sorry, that, that’s an interesting point. I wasn’t aware that, could you talk a bit about the compliance that you have to abide by for five years? What exactly does one need to do?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

No, it’s, it’s fine. I mean, at the end of the day, once you get, once you’re a citizen of multi, you have, every year you have to submit a compliance pack, which is basically a couple of forms decline to the, to the government where you’re a tax resident and that you still have, you know, or you’re in compliance with the multi regulations that give you the right, the citizen basically, you know, having the property either purchase of over the minimum threshold of 750,000 or rented for over 18 or whatever it is, it is in, in the particular case, okay, that needs to be done basically on, on a yearly basis.

The government does its own compliance, you know, on the, on the applicants. And that is done for five years. So there is this a regular, you know, follow up on the applicants to ensure that they are, you know, proper, proper. They don’t do it just basically for, for anything. Anything happens at the end of the day, never know what is going to happen in the future. So that is a safe code at the end of the day. Which, which is also important. It’s also interesting. That’s why, I mean in terms of compliance from multi is the country that has the highest level of compliance and helps, you know, to balance out, you know, that’s that sort of thing.

So also there are complaints, procedures, top top knowledge in the sense that the client needs to disclose absolutely everything, you know, in terms of his assets and so from different things. But, so it’s very clear in transparent program in terms of, of Portugal and Spain, I mean you mentioned that back in December. Yes, that’s that’s correct. But after that, there were no, no changes of heart, let’s put it that way, you know, I mean the, the Portuguese program remains open, remains strong, remains steady.

It was a little bit of, yeah, just basically, how would you call it? Fear, let’s put it that way, suddenly from one way to the other. Yeah. But, but no, it’s basically that stays there remains, remains there as well. The same thing that in Spain. In Spain there are no news that it is going to close or not right? It’s just basically, in fact right now in December, there are few things that have been modified for the goods. So basically the first residents card last year was issued for two years, this year for three years.

And there is renewal for five years. So they have very little things that actually they, they show that, you know, the government is looking to, to keep on it, to keep with it. The Spanish program works very, very well. The Spanish government is very efficient. Once the application has been submitted, you have decisions very quick, very fast. So, so, so yes, I mean they don’t see those, those two programs going, going anywhere.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, understood. Now I’m gonna shift a little bit to, to the East Cypress, I, I saw someone in the headlines, I think it was last month. So we, we, for those who are listening, we are having this conversation in February, 2023. So when I say last month, I mean January, there was some headline about over 200 passports were, or citizenships were revoked from Cyprus. I think it was. Do you have any insight or any comments on that and should that be, should, should one be concerned about that?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Well, I mean I don’t have much to comment there on, to be honest with you. If the Cypress authorities basically decided to, to revoke those passports, it was basically because probably some rule of law wasn’t followed at the time. Yeah. That was there was issued. So I mean it is, if that’s the case, which should be the case, it is something that one would say why, but at the same time, if the rule of law wasn’t followed, they are doing the right thing.

So it is writing a wrong at the end of the day, but it is it, it is perhaps it’s sad about a good notice for the, for the, for the, for the audience in general. I would, I would say.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, good. Earlier we, you touched on just in passing Latin America. So Latin America isn’t really known for any golden visa, any investment Migration programs. But what’s going on there? What are the options? What are the opportunities to look at there?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Latin America is very interesting jurisdictions, the has very interesting jurisdictions. I mean I’m originally from there, originally from Argentina. It is for certain, for certain things it is interesting. For certain things it is not interesting. Okay. It is, but it is good. I mean there are certain places which are safe, which are political stable, which are interesting in need. UWA is one. At the end of the day, UWA has an interesting tax residence program. It’s more than likely Euro aware.

Uua as a country is a very good and safe harbor. It is always being reputed as the the Switzerland of, of Latin America or the monarch of Latin America since, since I’m a child, basically because being, being safe, being politically stable, it was basically where normally, you know, how would you call it? Wealth from the region would go not only for for holidays but also for investment. So it is good, a good place to to go, a good place to be basically after that, south America is not recognized for having many different options in terms of residency by investment.

Panama has couple of, actually has quite a few options need, but for certain things that have happened in the past Panama that has best name out there, you know, it is, it is still still tricky. So, so yeah, I mean it is a very interesting jurisdiction to, to explore Latin America. What we see it is basically, you know, typically Brazilians, you know, that they want to acquire residence per and Portugal and apply for the golden visa because they cannot do it by ancestry.

Same thing that happens with the rest of Latin America, with Spain, you know, and it’s just basically that is the type of movement that we see seeing historically. Latin America, I always said, said in an interview, I remember a few years ago, I mean, well, well Argentina, Latin Americans, they used to look up basically to Miami and to America. Now Americans are looking into Europe basically.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Yeah. Okay.

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

It is, it’s a very common trend in Latin America. You know, that Latins, you look into make an investment in Miami, New York, studying in Harvard et say always north, even though basically we have, you know, citizenship by descents from, from Europe because 40 40%, you know, we have European inheritance, but then it’s just like we end up looking there and then Americans, they’re just basically looking the other way around. But, but you also have your good share of Latin Americans, which are just basically making the diagonal and crossing the Atlantic.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Right? And so let’s, let’s go back to Panama, Uruguay. So Panama, I guess it’s an interesting case study in a jurisdiction and, and the idea that a jurisdiction can have its moment in the sun and then not be as popular going forward, right? So you know, that would be an interesting case study. As you mentioned, there’ve been some, you know, some issues which we probably don’t need to get into, but Uruguay, it’s it, is it, is it on the up, is it on the ascent? Is it up and coming or is it, it’s been pretty steady as you said since you were a kid.

It was a popular jurisdiction and it’s just been consistent. So is it consistency or is it growth? And regardless of which one it is, could you tell us like how do you get to Uruguay? What, how does the program work?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Yeah, so basically, I mean what I will say about u I is consistency, it is, it always had that, that feeling and that always be like that political, stable, good economy, small country, et cetera, et cetera. So basically, I mean, very briefly speaking details, we can, we can discuss ’em later, but end of day, what UI has is a tax resident program rather than, rather than anything and it really, it needs a real estate investment of around 350,000 euros approximately.

So the stock number will need to double check and then it requires the applicant to stay around 60 days in the country. Then it has quite a lot of different tax benefits that from a tax structure and perspective can be quite interesting too. And it is, it’s quite, quite an interesting jurisdiction and to be honest with you, with all the turmoil that has been in the neighboring countries, call it Argentina, call it Brazil, call it Peru, lot of different, you know, high different individuals from the regions, they go there because they don’t have to go to Spain and run their business from Spain.

No, they just, they go to Y and they’ll run their business from your way and hour and a half by plane somewhere else, you know. So it is, it has attracted a lot of attention in the past two or three years from there, from the region.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, understood. Okay. So it’s more of a tax residency play as opposed to an investment. So an investment Migration, so I want to get a passport, I want citizenship, so, okay, I gotcha. Yeah,

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Correct. Great. You would look at it like perhaps you look into Alta or perhaps you look into another brand that has a very strong component and yes, I, I’m happy to stay there for 60, 80, 90 days and I want to have a taxation effect apart from having, you know, the possibility of having your residents in the country and eventually citizenship after X amount of years if, if they qualify. But there is no formal citizenship investment program or anything like that.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, understood. So I’m just picking up another question from the chat box below. Someone is asking, I’m sorry if you’re already touched on the Caribbean, but I’d like to hear your opinion on Trends and the possible future of investment Migration programs from the Dominican Republic. Any, any comments?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Interesting. So I mean in terms of the Caribbean, these as we know we have the five different, five different countries. They are always evolving and which I think it is good and always improving. So basically trust in the possible future of investment Migration the in the region, Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic has a very interesting, or has an interesting nce, my investment program basically by which you invest $200,000 in, in property and after, you know, passing your checks and so on, you can be granted with, with residency.

In terms of, of Trends on the region, I think that I going to keep and maintain to be stable. I think that perhaps 10 years ago it was something that people will go just for that and right now have a lot of people that they do it in combination with something. It has been a very interesting tool to have in your belt combined with another program basically combined with European residency who are including multi citizenship. At the end of the day there are many families, wealthy families that what they are looking into this chair diversify their possibilities in case something happens.

I mean I always remember a client that I had in the past that basically he had his second or third re resident in the, in the Caribbean, he was in the Caribbean National, but he had second or third resident in the Caribbean and during the pandemic he spent two or three months there. Well, it’s just basically better to be there than, you know, better to be somewhere else. You know, your house, even if it is, even if it is nice just outside, you can be outside, you know, and so on and so forth. So I think that people are starting to look into that way, that sort of diversification and when you have a, at the budget of one or 2 million euros to invest in property in Europe or in citizenship in Malta or whatever it is, the, the end cost for a year for a Caribbean citizenship compared to the European residency or citizenship, it is fractional and the benefits that they can give, they are much higher because it gives you the possibility of if something happens, you go there, you have the alternative passport citizenship.

I mean, having two or three passports is, you know, it, it is always good. I mean when you are traveling you have to apply for visas, you want to go to certain countries, you need to apply for a visa for certain nationals, it takes longer nationals, it takes shorter sometimes. Sometimes it is that sort of thing, you know, it is, it is that, so I think it is is something that is a really good combination for many, many, many clients. Yeah, for other ones it is a first asset to to have.

DERREN JOSEPH:

So that’s a great pairing Caribbean citizenship plus European residency because yeah, gotcha.

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Yeah, it is, it is something that I always, I always like because at the end of the day for someone that has been born, you know, in a country with, has no many visa free access, call it North Africa, call it Nigeria, call it Pakistan, basically what could just basically first apply for a Caribbean citizenship in 3, 4, 6 months have his passport be able to travel visa free.

In the meantime he can look at trend investment in Europe, whatever country he chooses can be Portugal, Spain, green, it doesn’t really matter at the end of day it matters that it fits his goals and that way he can diversify the investment within Europe and then just basically have a safe harbor to be in Europe with his family and at the same time during that time that he does not have the resting car being able to, to travel freely or doing one after the other. So it is a great tool to have in combination, but it also, is a great tool for those people that they don’t want, who are not able to make this sort of diversification.

Someone that is from North Africa, from Nigeria, from Africa in general, from Pakistan, from many different jurisdictions, that they do not have that visa-free access mobility and they actually, they need to travel for business basically and they need to keep on requesting visas here and there. That is complicated to run a business like that, a global business. So sometimes for those clients, it will be just one solution. It all depends on the, on the background, but what I’m seeing certainly is that diversification in terms of the package basically.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, understood. And the last question is about another island Vanuatu. I, I know they’ve had some challenges recently, but I think they may be on the road to addressing some of it. Could you comment on what’s going on with Vanuatu just generally?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Yeah, I mean the last news that I have about Vanuatu is that obviously they have the, how do you call it? The European Union basically took out all the visa free and stuff. And right now the last news that I have about that country is that when what was, was going to involve, how on, I don’t know. And, and that is, not part of my role to know it was going to involve the European Union, you know, to, to see the improvements in that.

But more than that, to be honest with you, I, I don’t know. One thing that I do know is that any sort of improvement to down, to any investment Migration program that become, that makes it to be robust, that makes it to be compliant, that makes it to be transparent, that makes it to be just basically fully on board with all the regular compliance requirements that we have in any other industry. It is in our industry. Of course it is something that is very good and welcome because when one is strong, the rest we’re strong as well.

So I mean, we have to wait and see anything that European Union gave 18 months to Vanuatu, 12, 18 months, cannot remember right now and then have to wait and see what, what happens there.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay.

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

It’s just basically that.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, fantastic. Thank you very much Andres. Appreciate you sharing your time and your insight as to what’s going on now. If someone wants to follow up on any of these programs, what’s the best way to reach you?

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Best way to reach me, it is normally on my email. My email is name and surname, AndresGutierrez@global.com or on my mobile that we can share it later. But normally email it is the best way to do it. LinkedIn as well. You can find me there as well.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, fantastic. Thank you very much. Appreciate it and we will see you next time. Bye-Bye.

ANDRES GUTIERREZ:

Thank you very much, everyone. Thanks for the time. I appreciate it. Thank you.

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