October 7, 2022

The Residences at Secret Bay, Dominica’s crown jewel development and only six-star, all-villa resort, announces it has paid out US$1 million in returns to investors and now has more than 100 Citizenship by Investment (CBI) owners from around the globe.

The globally-recognized CBI project, which is part of award-winning resort Secret Bay, just released year-over-year results between the fourth quarter of 2019 through the second quarter of 2022. During this period, The Residences at Secret Bay has outperformed expectations related to CBI investor growth, return on investment payout, total sales, ADR, occupancy rate, and resort employee growth.

Additionally, the team delivered on-scheduled new villas and new amenities. This success, along with The Financial Times’ subsidiary Professional Wealth Management naming Dominica the “Best Country for Citizenship by Investment in the World,” — for the sixth consecutive year — cements Secret Bay as the gold standard when it comes to CBI real estate investment opportunities.

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Year-over-year growth successes include:

  • Between Q2 of 2021 and Q2 of 2022, The Residences at Secret Bay grew from 41 investors to 103 – a 151% increase.
  • From Q4 of 2019 to Q2 of 2022 the total ROI was US $1 million, with the average ROI  being 3.6%, and when adjusted for operating days, exceeded 7%.
  • The villa count grew by 100% between 2019 and 2022, and will again more than double in size by the end of 2024, reaching 28 villas.
  • The operating occupancy rate jumped from an average of 58.9% in 2019 to 90% in 2022.
  • From 2019 to 2022, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) jumped from US $957 to over US $1,000.
  • From Q4 of 2019 to Q3 of 2022 the number of employees grew from 33 to 104 – a 215% increase.
  • Non-CBI transactions accounted for 36% of revenue and that includes The Residences setting a Dominica price record with the sale of a US $7.2M multi-villa compound in 2021.

“Our year-over-year results is a testament to Secret Bay’s value proposition from an investment perspective and sets the stage for future years of growth and profitability for our investors,” said Gregor Nassief, proprietor of Secret Bay and The Residences at Secret Bay, and CEO of GEMS Holdings Limited. “We’re grateful for our investors and for the commitment of our resort management and development team that have allowed Secret Bay to achieve this level of performance and growth in just under three years. We are hopeful and excited about the future.”

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In addition to having extraordinary performance and growth over the past three years, Secret Bay has introduced numerous state-of-the-art amenities, including a heralded restaurant, spa, a wellness pavilion, welcome house, lap pool & bar and more. Additionally, several new amenities are under construction including a second restaurant and bar, artbarn, boardwalk, floating platforms, funicular, chef’s table and EV charging stations, all of which will be unveiled over the next 12 months.

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Further, over the past decade, Secret Bay has been consistently recognised for its exceptional design, service and experience by such global travel and lifestyle publications as Architectural Digest, CNN, Fortune, National Geographic, Outside, the cover of Travel + Leisure, and The Telegraph. This year, for the second time in three years, it was named one of Travel + Leisure’s top 500 hotels in the world, and the #1 Resort Hotel in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas. The property is the first and only property in Dominica to be affiliated with the elite luxury brand, Relais & Châteaux. The Residences were recently showcased in global publications like Architectural Digest, Departures, Luxury Magazine, New York Post, Ocean Home Magazine, Robb Report, Wall Street Journal and Wealth Magazine, among others, recognised not only for their impressive offering, but their most coveted amenity — second citizenship.

The Residences’ CBI offering is priced at US $208k for fractional ownership and from US $1.5 million for whole ownership. To learn more about Citizenship by Investment in The Residences at Secret Bay, visit: https://secretbay.dm/cbi/. For a consultation, please email cbi@secretbay.dm.

Source: www.imidaily.com

October 7, 2022
October 7, 2022

In a memorandum circulated yesterday, Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Unit informed stakeholders that it had resumed the processing of applications from Iranian citizens.

“The Unit,” explained the circular, “has been able to secure relationships with due diligence service providers who are able to perform the usual thorough standard of due diligence on Iranians.”

Speaking to IMI today on the occasion of an interview on separate topics, Mc Claude Emmanuel, the CIU’s Chief Executive, provided additional context as to which changes had taken place with the program’s vetting parties that had enabled it to once more accept Iranian nationals.

“Due to instability [in previous years], our due diligence partners were not able to have their people on the ground [in Iran] to visit the requisite agencies to verify documents and conduct the necessary background checks,” says Mr. Emmanuel, adding that his CIU’s official due diligence providers have provided assurances as to their boots-on-the-ground presence and access in Iran.

With the re-opening to Iran, Saint Lucia now only imposes an outright ban on two nationalities: Russians and Belarusians. Saint Kitts & Nevis’ CIP now remains the sole Caribbean CIP that still does not accept Iranian applicants. Iranians also remain excluded from Malta’s MEIN policy.

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

October 7, 2022

On September 12th, IMI reported on Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ surprise announcement that he planned to double the required minimum investment necessary to qualify for the country’s golden visa under the program’s real estate option.

Mentioning the envisioned changes only briefly as part of a broader speech on policy plans, the PM offered little in the way of detail. This week, however, industry stakeholders with direct access are able to provide further nuance as to the details:

Alexander Varnavas, principal of Varnavas Law, reveals that the Minister of Development, during a telephone conversation with him last week, expressed a wish to convey the following details about the upcoming changes to the market:

First, the increase in the minimum real estate investment from EUR 250,000 to EUR 500,000 will only apply to the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as “a few upscale suburbs close to Athens”.

Second, the changes will take place no sooner than January 1st, 2023, and possibly later.

“The Minister of Development told me they were aiming to implement the changes on January 1st but that the Ministry of Migration prefers a longer transition period,” Varnavas tells IMI.

This, he says, could mean waiting to implement the new rules until March or April. The most recent information received from the Ministry of Migration, according to Varnavas, indicates the implementation is more likely to take place a few months into the new year, rather than from January.

Third, and crucially, “investors who pay their property investment deposits before the effective date will secure the right to submit applications under the old threshold,” Varnavas points out.

Alexander Risvas, of Risvas & Associates, corroborates Varnavas’ statements:

“So far, we don’t have anything official. However, the latest rumors from the Ministry of Migration indicate an adjustment period is planned,” says Risvas, “though the length of this period remains to be confirmed. We assume a duration of six months, starting from January 2023. Moreover, the same rumors indicate the minimum investment increase will apply only for specific areas and suburbs in and around Athens, as well as some islands, and not for all of Attica nor Greece generally.”

Both Varnavas and Risvas emphasize that nothing is set in stone yet and that the details of both implementation timelines and geographic limitations could still change.

When briefly announcing the planned price increases during a speech in Thessaloniki earlier this month, Prime Minister Mitsotakis indicated the changes were meant to improve affordability of real estate for Greek families. Risvas provides some additional context as to government’s rationale:

“In many cases, non-EU property investors who took advantage of the golden visa program bought properties in neighborhoods of Athens that, until a few years ago, had affordable housing, renovated them and re-sold them for double the price,” he illustrates, and also remarks that the sudden announcement had been unexpected and “shocked both the real estate and investment migration market.”

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

April 20, 2022

For the last year and a half, American participation in Portugal’s golden visa program and the share of applicants who choose fund investment have both risen sharply. That’s unlikely to be a coincidence.

In the first quarter of 2022, Portugal’s program raised some EUR 125 million (almost exactly the same amount as during the same quarter last year) from 261 main applicants, who invested an average of EUR 478,000 each, the lowest per-investor average investment figure on record. The average family size (2.06) has also reached a nadir in 2022.

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Americans have been the top investor nationality so far in the year, accounting for 53 main applicants (19.9% of the total), while the conventionally largest investor nationality, China, counted 43 investors (16.5%). Q1 2022 marks the first quarter of the Portuguese golden visa’s history in which Chinese were not the top applicant nationality.

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The American share of the program has risen inexorably since the start of the pandemic, roughly doubling from 2020 to 2021, and is on track to – at least – double once more this year.

Rising American interest in the program has coincided with a similarly precipitous rise in the share of investors who opt for the fund investment route to qualification. Already by the first quarter of 2022, fund investment has exceeded the 2020 total and nearly three-quarters of last year’s aggregate.

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Fund advisors with whom IMI has been in touch explain that Americans, more so than most of the other large applicant nationalities, favor the fund category over other qualifying options; US investors are generally more accustomed to investing in securities, thanks to the country’s long history of public trading and its high number of accredited investors. They appreciate the regulated nature of the CMVM-accredited funds and their relative tax efficiency as compared to the roundtrip transaction costs of real estate investment.

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Prior to 2022, we had referred to all qualifying investments beyond the historically most popular Subparagraph 3 real estate investment as “alternative investments”. Recent months’ developments, however, have rendered the term less meaningful; Subparagraph 3 real estate acquisitions now, for the first time, constitute a minority of investments and have themselves become “alternative”.

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If you like these charts and graphs, you will love the IMI Data Center, in which you’ll find 17 different graphs covering all angles of the Portuguese golden visa program, as well as more than 300 graphs on dozens of the world’s most popular investment migration programs.

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

April 20, 2022

Cyprus intends to cancel the passports of four sanctioned Russians that naturalized as Cypriots under the country’s now-defunct citizenship by investment program, the Cyprus Mail reports.

Though the government did not disclose the names of the individuals in question, government sources have confirmed that their names appeared on a list of the EU’s more than 800 sanctioned Russians and Belarusians. Another government source has confirmed to Cyprus Mail that, following a detailed review of Cypriot-Russian/Belarusian citizens, at least 21 individuals have been identified as either appearing on sanctions lists or being dependents of individuals who did. Cyprus is now moving to cancel the passports of all 21.

Note that the government is canceling the passports (a travel document that formally belongs to the state, not the individual), rather than the citizenships, a process that requires a more protracted, formal procedure.

International migration and tax lawyer David Lesperance explains that while governments can revoke a passport at a moment’s notice – a common practice in a variety of situations, such as when restricting the travel of individuals under investigation, individuals who owe taxes or child support payments, or to prevent travel to war zones – the revocation of a citizenship is an elaborate, time-consuming legal process where the government must prove a “revocable basis”.

Revocation of citizenship is no quick affair

“In short,” says Lesperance, “if Cyprus suspects that a given individual possibly did something that might be the basis of seeking to revoke Cypriot citizenship, then they can quickly and easily cancel the individual’s Cypriot passport. If, after investigation, they feel there are sufficient grounds under Cypriot law, then they can start a process of revoking the individual’s Cypriot citizenship.”

Also in such cases, though, Lesperance points out, the affected individual has legal recourse.

“Even the revocation of Cypriot Citizenship brings with it certain appeal rights to the individual whose passport is revoked. However, the passport remains voided if and until the applicant wins that appeal.”

Between 2007 and 2020, at least 2,886 Russians received Cypriot citizenships through the program. Only those now on the sanctions list will be affected by this government action.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Cypriot legislature via video-link, and called on lawmakers to revoke the passports of Russians naturalized under the CIP.

“Stop Russian golden passports, dual citizenship, except those where there is evidence they do not harm Ukraine,” Zelensky said, according to Greek Reporter.

The Cypriot government, however, is limiting their actions to those who are sanctioned. That is the only reasonable course of action, according to Lesperance.

“Despite calls to cancel the passports of all Russians who also have Cypriot citizenship, the government has recognized that this is neither defensible nor politically wise. By limiting discussion of possible revocation only to sanctioned individuals, the Cypriot government has avoided any question of potentially arbitrary passport revocation for the thousands of individuals who have legally obtained Cypriot citizenship.”

He also points out that the government of Cyprus is still in the process of legally revoking the citizenships of clearly transgressing individuals.

“Revocation of Cypriot Citizenship is much more complicated. In fact, Cyprus is already undertaking administrative procedures to potentially revoke the citizenship of some individuals who may have not been granted Cypriot citizenship according to Cypriot law. So far, six months have passed simply on the investigative process. Should ultimately the Cypriot government make a determination that revocation should be invoked, the individual also has significant appeal rights, consistent with the Cypriot constitution and basic rules of administrative law.”

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

April 20, 2022

Several national Turkish papers are today reporting that the country’s Cabinet has decided, during a recent meeting of ministers, to raise the minimum investment requirement for its citizenship by investment program‘s real estate option from US$250,000 to US$400,000.

Turkish paper Star reports that the government aims to amend the 20th article of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law’s paragraph 2, clause B to raise the minimum investment amount for the real estate option. The new rules will enter into force as soon as the changes are published in the Official Gazette, which is expected in the coming days.

The change would bring the real estate option’s capital requirement closer to the fixed capital, bank deposit, bond purchase, and fund investment options, all of which already mandate a US$500,000 investment. Official reports mention no expected changes to the minimum investment amounts for the non-real estate investment options.

Program specialists with whom IMI has been in touch say applicants and practitioners are still waiting to learn whether and to what degree the changes will affect investors who have already made their property purchase at prevailing minimums but who still await their deed transfer (which can take up to three weeks from completing the payment to the seller) or who are still in line to submit their citizenship applications.

IMI will be back with more as the story develops and more information becomes available.

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

January 4, 2022

2022 no doubt holds a long list of surprise developments in store for the investment migration market. Here are seven changes we already know are coming:

1 – Portugal’s golden visa reform takes effect

The minimum investments in several categories – from capital deposits to funds to science and research ventures – will rise significantly. The areas in which direct investment in residential property is eligible for the golden visa will be reduced; notably, the country’s hottest real estate markets will be excluded from contention. Read all about the coming changes to Portugal’s golden visa here.

2 – The limited-time offer on donation-based citizenship by investment for families of four in Saint Kitts and Nevis will expire.

Saint Kitts & Nevis’ CIP has had the world’s second-most affordable donation option for families of four since July 2020. That will change on January first as the price reverts to its pre-2020 level. Read more here.

3 – Panama’s golden visa will become more expensive

The real estate investment option for Panama’s Qualified Investor Permanent Residency program will see its minimum property acquisition amount rise from US$300,000 to US$500,000 in October next year.

4 – Russia is likely to finally open its new golden visa program.

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Earlier this month, the State Duma adopted, in the first reading, a bill that will set the stage for a new golden visa program in Russia next year. Different minimum investment amounts have been suggested at different times, but it seems likely that a minimum of 10 million rubles (about US$100,000) will apply for business investment and 30 million rubles for real estate. The Ministry of Economy recently indicated it expects about 3-400 people to sign up in the first year before stabilizing at 5-600 after a few years of operation.

“Those terms could prove interesting to citizens of Middle Eastern countries,” said Igor Nemtsov, head of Astons Russia, when speaking to IMI today about the planned program. He points out that the planned law looks to provide a three-year path to citizenship in Russia, and that a Russian passport, while not comparable to most European ones in terms of visa-free travel, is still considerably stronger than most Middle Eastern ones. “Compared to EU golden visas,” said Nemtsov, “the conditions of the Russian one are potentially more surmountable.”

5 – Montenegro’s CIP will expire

One of Europe’s youngest CIPs, unfortunately, will also be one of its shortest-lived. At the end of this month, the program will expire and there is little to indicate it will be revived in the near future. See: Montenegro CIP, We Hardly Knew Ye.

6 – Spain’s new Startup Law, which includes tax benefits for remote workers, will take effect

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Life is getting slightly easier for Entrepreneurs in Spain

Spain has historically been unwelcoming of entrepreneurs; taxes are high, labor laws are firmly anti-employer, political rhetoric is anti-capital, and the bureaucracy is preposterously lethargic and characterized by poor customer service.

The government now says it wants to change that by introducing its new Startup Law, which will give startups somewhat better terms: Startups will benefit from reduced corporate tax rates (15% instead of 25%) and remote workers in Spain will be eligible for reduce income taxes (a flat rate of 15% for incomes up to EUR 600,000). Read more about the Startup Law here.

The law will reportedly take effect some time during the summer of next year.

7 – New citizenship by investment programs coming online

We know of at least one citizenship by investment program on the European continent planned for launch in the first half of 2022. Professional discretion dictates that we not go into further detail, as this might jeopardize those very plans, but we have this on good authority. Another CIP is planned for Africa, though local political circumstances have made that program’s launch date less certain. We are also aware of at least two firms actively in discussions with a country in the Americas to create an affordable CIP out of what is currently just a residency program.

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

January 4, 2022

Investment migration, in 2021, is a $25 billion-plus global industry. That’s big enough to get you noticed. It’s big enough to get you on the radar of powerful people like Ursula von der Leyen. It’s big enough to earn you a target on your back from global regulators and clicks-addicted media outlets. 

While Brussels can’t dictate to individual EU countries whom they naturalize, and how they do it, they can make life difficult for the countries offering Golden Visa programs. 

Similarly, they can throttle CBI money flows via correspondent banking relationships. And, as a nuclear option, the EU could revoke the visa-free travel privileges of the CBI countries in the Caribbean and the South Pacific. But then who would pay for the reconstruction of Vanuatu and other island nations after every devastating tropical storm?

So, most of these threats and challenges ought to be surmountable. The IMC will keep on lobbying. Regulation will be introduced over time. Bad – and smaller – actors will be ousted, and the industry’s respectability should continue climbing over time. 

So, while disconcerting, none of these risks constitute an extinction-level risk for the industry. 

Here and there, a government acquiesces and shutters its CBI program over an embarrassing scandal, or a struggling former USSR satellite state cans its CIP in exchange for largesse from the EU. Elsewhere, EU accession hopefuls agree to discontinue their passport by investment offerings as a precondition for joining the Union.

But by and large, the RCBI train has kept chugging along.

The bad news?

The good times are not going to last. And the real trouble is approaching from another direction entirely.

Independent means visas are king in a world where applicants are willing to physically relocate

The ascent of the Portugal D7 Visa was merely a harbinger of the Golden Visa’s coming demise.

The D7 Visa has been in existence for a long time, and those of us promoting Golden Visas profited handsomely from its obscurity. Golden Visas, per definition, are backup plans, and they’re very much overkill for people actually seeking to emigrate.

In South Africa, at least, a large percentage of prospective GV applicants have been approaching retirement age for the past 5 to 10 years; they are well-heeled, and liked the idea of having a backup plan, in large part justified by also acquiring a holiday home in Europe. 

But with the Great Baby Boomer Retirement now gaining pace, those seeking to actually retire abroad could instead simply choose to obtain a D7 Visa, without any investment or hefty fees, and get on with their lives abroad once they’re ready to move.

And all of this was already coming into play by the time Brexit and Trump hit. The Covid pandemic and draconian government reactions worldwide turned this flame into a conflagration. 

Instead of wanting the option to move, masses of people from both the first and developing worlds started getting the hell out of dodge in 2020.

So, to recap:

  • Golden Visas have very much been a pricey vanity product for the rarified few.
  • As the pool of eligible buyers starts reaching retirement age, their need for the product is waning.
  • As the D7 Visa’s reputation grew during the pandemic, the number of people willing to buy a Golden Visa with a view to settling in Europe cratered – virtually overnight.

But it would be a mistake to attribute the D7 David slaying Golden Visa Goliath only to its vastly more affordable price point; the profile of the average D7 applicant is also changing fast. 

Instead of being retirees, today, many applicants are younger remote workers seeking a better quality of life. And it’s not just developing nations who are applying; in fact, at D7 Visa, the USA and UK account for the lion’s share of applicants in any given month.

And the reason the Portuguese government is allowing non-retirees to apply, even on the basis of non-pension income, relates to the talent supply-and-demand dynamics at play, both in Portugal and across mainland Europe.

Let’s look at the EU’s population age picture below:

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EU-WIDE LEGISLATIVE INTERVENTION: EU BLUE CARD PROGRAM FOR HIGHLY QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS
*Already enjoys significant traction in Germany.

For fairly tiresome, often ethno-nationalist reasons, EU immigration policies have sought to keep the Global South out of the continent for the past couple of decades.

But as the populations of Europe get older with every passing year, we’re watching a reversal of talent supply and demand dynamics in real-time. 

The EU needs young, skilled migrants to sustain its economic growth in the next decade and beyond. And there is already a global shortage of skilled tech talent.

So, to remain competitive in terms of human capital, more European nations are adopting immigration legislation that makes it far easier for skilled individuals to move to Europe. And as this trend accelerates, EU nations will find themselves under pressure to “sweeten the deal” with less onerous program requirements, tax incentives, and, critically, shorter minimum stay requirements.

All of this is already undermining the usage case for Golden Visas and providing viable settlement options for people who, a decade ago, would likely have had to opt for a Golden Visa in order to get in the European door. 

In combination, these developments, more than any regulation or threat from Brussels, poses a systemic threat to classic, real-estate-based Golden Visa programs going into 2022.

The key take-outs?

  • The aging – and, in some instances, shrinking – populations of Europe pose a major risk to sustainable economic growth on the continent.
  • Attracting highly skilled talent is going to be an area of competitive advantage – or disadvantage – in Europe during the next decade.
  • Whereas the ethno-nationalist emphasis has been on keeping third-country nationals out, there is an escalating urgency around getting foreign skilled workers and entrepreneurs into Europe.
  • As more and more competing “talent acquisition” visa programs launch in Europe, the tax deals will have to get sweeter. The timelines to permanent residency and citizenship will have to get shorter, and the program requirements less restrictive, in order for existing programs to remain competitive.(Portugal currently sets the benchmark for overall appeal, tax benefits, and accessibility, but Spain looks set to follow suit in the coming year with their recently announced plans to create a startup-type visa program for foreign entrepreneurs.)
  • Over the next decade, the governments that seize first-mover advantage to reinvent themselves within a “Government As A Service” context, including those already offering settlement visa programs, will be the biggest winners in the race for new talent and economic growth.
  • As the range of business immigration and settlement visa programs in Europe proliferates, the current commoditization of European residency will only accelerate as a trend.
  • And as investment requirements, earning requirements, and minimum stay requirements become less stringent over time, big-ticket legacy products like Golden Visas will increasingly become antiquated, outmoded, and impossible to sell.

First mover advantage is everything.

Firms such as Harvey Law Group were among the first to heed their sentinels and start taking Golden Visas off the shelf in April 2019. We, similarly, pivoted from Golden Visas to EU settlement visas and entrepreneurial visas in 2020.

Firms around the world are reporting a slowdown in Golden Visa sales, with many opting to start promoting Portugal’s D7 Visa with a view to stay afloat during the pandemic lockdowns.

So, if none of these emerging trends are impacting your firm’s bottom line yet, it’s only a matter of time. 

And If your firm is Golden Visa focused, and your team isn’t sitting down to seriously review your 5-year product strategy going into 2022, it may well be one of the last annual kickoff meetings you hold as a running concern.

Editor: Andre Bothma

Source: www.imidaily.com

January 4, 2022
January 4, 2022

Vijesti this evening reports that Montenegro’s citizenship by investment program, which by all accounts was set to expire tomorrow, has been extended for another year.

The Montenegrin Cabinet reportedly took the decision to extend during a meeting today, and also determined to implement some changes to the program’s terms:

There will be no new approvals of development projects during the period and the government will reportedly require additional bank guarantees for the projects.

“In this way, the government respects the economic activity of the investments and, on the other hand, the principles of the European Union regarding economic citizenship,” Vijesti cites an unnamed source as saying.

Contribution amount doubled

Citizenship applicants, moreover, will henceforth have to make a EUR 200,000 contribution to the government’s fund, rather than the EUR 100,000 required until now.

The same newspaper reports that the decision to extend took place despite the opposition of Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs.

Nuri Katz, President of licensee Apex Capital Partners, confirmed the extension, as well as the increase in contribution amount. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders to bring more FDI to Montenegro under the program,” he commented.

Katz indicates he doesn’t believe the raised contribution requirement will be much of a deterrent to applicants going forward.

“The people applying for Montenegro are a lot less price-sensitive than the people applying for most other programs. So, I think that while it might have an effect it will not be a major effect,” he postulated.

Questioned as to what might have been behind the last-minute extension of the program, Laszlo Kiss of Discus Holdings chalked it up to a desire on the part of the government to make sure the development projects could be completed.

“There’s been a huge increase in applications for the program in the last year, proving that there is enough demand to bring the projects to completion.”

Asked what he meant by a “huge increase” in applications, Kiss said that, while he did not have precise figures, he estimated it was somewhere around 700 in 2021.

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

December 1, 2021
December 1, 2021

Spain approved 232 golden visa applications (main applicants) in the first half of 2021, according to statistics released late last month. The figure represents a 43% increase on the preceding six months, during which 162 golden visas were issued. though still considerably below the same six months in 2020, when Spain was approving golden visas hand-over-fist thanks to its rule on “positive silence”.

Spanish law uniquely favors residency permit applicants by mandating that applications be either approved or rejected within a 20-day period, barring which an application is considered approved by default, or tacit assent (silencio positive). In the first half of 2020, as Spain was still reeling from the sudden onset of the pandemic and most government bureaus remained closed, a majority of applications went unaddressed and, consequently, ended up being approved by tacit assent.

Indeed, the government admitted as much in its biannual report issued some six months ago; the number of tacitly approved applications had been reduced by 55% thanks to an improvement in capacity. That sent approval volumes plummeting in the second half of 2020. In 2021, however, they have begun a steady rise once more, though they remain depressed compared to the pre-pandemic period.

On a cumulative basis since the program’s opening in 2014, Chinese investors account for the largest share of applicants: 32% of the total. Similar to what’s been observed in both Portugal and Greece, however, Chinese dominance has waned markedly in recent years. As late as in 2018, they accounted for some 40% of approvals.

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Russian applicants remain the second-largest investor group, making up a full quarter of all approvals since the program opened.

Editor: Christian Henrik Nesheim

Source: www.imidaily.com

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