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Investment Migration Worldwide Trends in 2022

The investment migration industry will definitely boom in 2022. Its unprecedented upsurge is a hallmark of our time. The world is stricken by the pandemic, climate change, political unrest, and even military conflicts that are likely to remap the globe. You can hardly predict the forthcoming changes, but there is no time to lose. By and large, even simple-minded individuals cannot but understand today that the unfolding drama is brewing up more clashes, inflation, price rally, unemployment, new grievances in different parts of the world.  

The growing number of HNWIs seek safer destinations and passports granting their freedom to travel, work, study, feel at home wherever they choose to go. You still have the opportunity to relocate to a safer region, contribute to its development, and congratulate yourself on your timely proactive strategy.  This article discusses the key market trends in 2021 shaping the current and future dynamics of the investment migration industry. If you need updates, advice, and help, please refer to our experts.

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Trend #1. The worst-case scenario is imminent. Immigrant investors now recognize the deadly hazards

The escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on February 24, 2022, and the events that followed have shocked many residents of the ex-Soviet territories and even the prosperous western regions. The immediate response of HNWIs across many countries was to propel their plans B and rush to “reserve airfields” in the destinations of their investment abroad for relocation/migration purposes. That day was the moment of truth for all of us. Everyone realized that the most unthinkable and dreadful of all scenarios could roll out.

For years, our InternationalWealth team had been alerting readers to the risks of a sudden heartbreaking course of events of any sort. Those who listened and heard us have prepared in advance by obtaining a second citizenship and taking care of the geographical diversification of assets/investments in gold and cryptocurrencies. We’ve been sharing, again and again, our experts’ advice on what you should do to prepare for the likely adversities. The authors of the portal have been sharing useful tips since 2011. We are glad that many readers/clients have taken all recommendations seriously and now feel safe, grateful, and relaxed.  

Trend #2. Russians and Belarusians are turning into personas non grata

The snowballing series of dire events part of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is followed by sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus. Many jurisdictions that offer citizenship/residency by investment have stopped serving applicants from these countries. For example, as of March 10, 2022, only St. Lucia, Turkey, and Vanuatu are ready to issue golden passports to Russians.

There are two main reasons for this dramatic change. First, it’s become impossible for officers in the host destination to conduct security checks of applicants from these countries of origin. Second, there is no feasible way for applicants from Russia and Belarus to transfer their funds abroad to pay for immigration services.

Trend #3. The pandemic-driven investment migration. Covid-19 disrupts our lives, but not everywhere

Many hospitable countries that issue residence permits/passports to foreign investors have been severely deprived of revenues as soon as the pandemic-driven economic and political disaster rolled out all over the world. For developing states, the global lockdown, termination of flights, and the collapse of international tourism had a ripple effect on other sectors. The direct and indirect damage was more pronounced in some regions than others. However, all governments had to seek flexible solutions that could replenish the Treasury and fuel their economies. That’s how a number of very attractive time-limited special offers were launched across the globe to attract foreigners wishing to obtain second passports, temporary and permanent residence permits by investments in the local promising projects and property. Several of such promotional programs expired in January 2022. However, not all of them are over. Let’s look at some examples.

St. Kitts: the limited-time special offer “4 Passports for the Price of 1” expired

The limited-time special offer was run in St. Kitts under the Citizenship by Investment program in 2021. Beginning July 2020, families of four could enjoy the opportunity to obtain a set of 4 passports for a donation of $150,000. This was by 25% less than the standard family package price of $195,000 and was 4 times cheaper than the contribution required from single applicants ($150,000). The local government had warned that it was a time-limited option and did not extend its deadline. The program expired on January 1, 2022.

St.  Lucia: citizenship available to investors at a discount until 2023

St. Lucia authorities also provided a solid discount on their CBI products till Jan. 1, 2022. However, they have recently extended this promotional offer for 12 months. Applicants can apply for passports by making refundable investments in government bonds at a 50% discount.

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Don’t linger, even when deadlines are postponed. Attractive offers expire too quickly to put them off. 

Trend #4. The growing demand for investment migration 

Why is it that the global investment immigration industry has survived and even boomed since the pandemic? The reasons range from innovations in digital document management to new products tailored to the needs of wealthy individuals.

The main driver of demand was the mounting awareness of the risks of the pandemic and the side effects of the relevant response measures. The target group rushed to diversify their Plan B scenarios based on long-headed RBI/CBI strategies. In some jurisdictions and regions, the demand has spiked above the pre-crisis level.

Turkey: the booming demand for inbound investment migration 

Turkey features the unparalleled high demand for Turkish citizenship by investment in local real estate. Professionals explain this by a mix of triggers: from the lira devaluation propelling the liquidity of real estate investments for foreigners to the vast menu of opportunities for investments in the residential / business property. Please note that while Turkey’s rivals in this market lag behind by obliging applicants to invest only in pre-approved development projects, their assets’ liquidity is less attractive than in Turkey.

Experts forecast the upward trend in the Turkish migration investment market to continue in 2022. The option to invest at least $250,000 in real estate in Turkey keeps attracting HNWIs. The number of real estate Sale/Purchase agreements with foreign buyers in Turkey exceeded 50,000 transactions in 2021 due to the continued depreciation of the Turkish lira. This number is expected to increase at least to 75,000 transactions in 2022.

Renowned migration agents expect a 15% business growth in 2022. International investors choose Turkey because of its quality health care, proximity to the Old World, a developed network of high-class resorts, and food security, which are critical in times of crisis.

Italy: the booming demand for inbound investment migration

The EU investment migration solutions remain in high demand nowadays. For example, even the Italian Investor Visa program that used to be less popular than the more competitive offers of Portugal, Greece, Spain until recently, has won high interest from wealthy individuals.

Agents emphasize that the key driver of demand is the Golden Visa programs, granting the right to qualify for tax allowances provided to new wealthy residents.

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The Caribbean: the expected booming demand for inbound investment migration in 2022

Caribbean offers are also in high demand. They include the Golden Visa programs of St. Kitts, Grenada, Antigua, Dominica, and St. Lucia. Residency by foreign investment, such as the one operating in the Cayman Islands, is also a very popular option.

Investment migration consultants in the Cayman Islands expect a steady surge of inquiries and requests in 2022 from wealthy and ultra-wealthy families eager to buy a new residence (and in some cases – permanent residence/citizenship) in places that offer tax benefits and guarantee a safer/more comfortable lifestyle.  For example, in the Cayman Islands.

Experts in different parts of the world have witnessed a shift in the target audience. In particular, there is an influx of young applicants who have made their fortunes on transactions with non-traditional assets, including cryptocurrency.

In the neighboring state of Antigua and Barbuda, where investors qualify for full citizenship, migration agents report the growing demand for CBI after the program’s application process was fully digitalized. The scope of web-based and video consultations has increased, much to our clients’ appreciation, as they are used to online communication with partners. This trend is particularly relevant to those involved in crypto-business.

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Please note: high demand prompts longer queues and more waiting time for application documents processing! We recommend that you hurry to choose and start the investor residence/citizenship application process. Always remember that you can refer to our experts for professional advice and assistance.

Trend № 5. The tightening terms and higher costs of investment migration 

Having observed the surging demand for investment migration products, many countries are raising their fees/tightening the terms of their respective programs.

Portugal: investment migration rules revised, new rules in force

Portugal’s authorities have cut the list of areas where it is allowed to buy property under the new Portugal Golden Visa provisions, obliging applicants to invest in low-populated areas. Lisbon, Porto, and the popular tourist region of the Algarve have disappeared from the list of eligible regions where investors can buy real estate qualifying for investment migration.

The changes, introduced by Portugal on January 1, 2022, were prompted by the negative effects of the overheated real estate market by foreign investors in major cities – the trend that made it more difficult for the locals to meet their housing needs.

Officials have raised even higher the minimum qualifying investment value in several financial categories: from deposits into funds to assets in Portuguese bank accounts.

Panama: Golden Visas to become more expensive

The minimum real estate investment threshold for the registration of Panama permanent residence permits will step up from $300,000 to $500,000 in October 2022. Panama authorities, recognizing the spiking demand for this product, focus on attracting the wealthiest foreigners. At the same time, they install stricter control over illegal migration/migrants with criminal records.

Local investment migration agents anticipate the steadily growing demand despite the rising entry threshold. They make stakes on the target client group’s desire for investment diversification, more attractive tax rates and asset protection options, and pandemic-driven fears. In particular, an influx of wealthy retirees and high-paying expats is expected.

Montenegro: the Golden Passports program shifted, donation threshold raised

Montenegro maintains one of the youngest economic citizenship programs in Europe and the world. It may as well be one of the most short-lived ones. The Montenegrin program expired in 2021, but local authorities decided to extend the application window to December 31, 2022. This is because they recognize that the pandemic postponed the targets set at the launch of the scheme

The news about the Montenegro program extension was overshadowed by the news about tougher requirements. In particular, the Montenegrin authorities reported a double increase of the minimum eligible amount of donation (up to €200, 000). Besides, candidates are required to buy only the local real estate pre-approved by the government.

The eligible minimum investment value of the real estate transaction has not changed (€250,000), but officials have pledged to stop approving new development projects. In other words, the range of attractive property for sale to investors is thinning. Hurry up!

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The rules are getting stricter, and prices are on the rise. Apply today, so you don’t regret missing out on the best opportunities.

Trend № 6. Long queues lining up for verified investment migration packages

When choosing the best economic citizenship/residency product, HNWIs often prefer well-established, reputable products. Their demand for products of such jurisdictions as the Caribbean region and Canada is swelling. 

The Caribbean:  investment citizenship programs as the gold standard of the industry sustained

The Caribbean economic citizenship has long been the ‘gold standard’ of the industry. The passport of the Caribbean countries (St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, etc.) provides the holder with the right to visa-free access to 150 jurisdictions, including Schengen and Great Britain, as well as China (only for citizens of Dominica and Grenada).

Visa-free travel available to holders of Caribbean passports allows them to avoid bureaucratic hurdles when arranging business and personal travel. Other bonuses include the low tax rates, the lack of taxes on gifts, capital gains, and inheritance, the income tax relief for tax residents (only for citizens of Antigua and St. Kitts).

The passport can be obtained remotely – the candidate does not have to visit or reside in the host state (except for Antigua, which requires 5-day-stays during the five-year period after obtaining the passport).

HNWIs often enjoy holidays on these stunning islands after obtaining a local passport, because such places are much safer in terms of the pandemic situation than, for example, megalopolises. The islands are not densely populated. The local environment and pleasant climate are very good for your health.

Caribbean passports can be obtained by purchasing some property. Experts see great potential for the development of hospitality business in the Caribbean region. At the moment, it is difficult to make forecasts about the timeframe of tourism recovery after the pandemic, but the postponed demand will certainly return and boom as soon as the pandemic is defeated.

Property buyers should invest from $200,000 for a 3/5/7-year period (depending on the country and a number of other circumstances) in a prestigious resort like Anichi Resort and SPA (part of the Marriott Autograph Collection) in Dominica / Six Senses La Sagesse in Grenada.

The eligible amount can be reduced for investors who make non-refundable donations to the public funds when applying for a passport. The fee in this case will be $100,000. Please note the benefit of this option: the investor has the right to include many dependents in the application: spouse, children, siblings, parents.

Canada: still high on the investment migration destinations   

Canadian migration lawyers expect the continuously growing international demand for permanent residency in their country. The Canadian Start-up Business visa and Business program enjoys great popularity with clients wishing to register a company and obtain a permanent residence permit in Canada.

The popularity of local migration schemes is quite consistent, given the liberal rules for granting foreigners permanent residency and, subsequently, citizenship. Besides, Canada is one of the world’s leading economies. But the rather long processing/waiting time for residency applications remains a serious problem. As the number of applicants grows, the application process is getting tougher.

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If you choose a bestselling product, you should double your efforts and act twice as fast. Contact us for a free session with our experts to take the first step to your better future.

Trend № 7. Pressure on European investment migration programs, the risk of their shutdown

Under threat of sanctions by the European Commission and other influential structures, many European countries have closed their RBI/CBI programs. For example, Cyprus stopped issuing citizenship to foreign investors in November 2020 under pressure from official Brussels. The same fate befell the Hungarian and Moldovan investment migration programs. The list of products that have disappeared from the market can soon expand.

Bulgaria: the risk of the investment migration program closure

Bulgarian investment migration consultants hope that in 2022 the country will receive more foreign investors willing to take part in the local hybrid program. It involves a two-step investment approach: the first to obtain permanent residence, the second – citizenship.

At the same time, experts recommend hurrying because of the international pressure on the government to terminate the Bulgarian program. This pressure comes from the EU and the U.S.A. They claim that this economic citizenship program is ‘a source of potential risks’, and they promise to grant the Bulgarians visa-free travel right only after this program is shut down.

Malta: ready to sue the European Commission

Malta’s CBI program has also come under attack. The government officials are advised to follow the suit of Cyprus and stop accepting applications. But the Maltese authorities say they are ready to sue official Brussels for this pressure and defend their sovereign right to grant foreigners a citizenship status according to self-designed (and not externally dictated) conditions.

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Hurry up! Many investment migration programs are likely to be shut down before 2023! 

Trend № 8. Customers becoming more sophisticated

Independent analysts note that the pandemic has prompted, among other things, the potential investors’ greater awareness of the opportunities offered by the global market. This trend is particularly clear in North America and Europe, where many wealthy individuals had not previously understood the critical importance and value of having more than one passport.

While high-income Americans are just beginning their probe of the market, people from many countries suffering from or prone to calamities are actively pursuing market opportunities. They rely on experienced CBI agents and RBI experts like our team.

Sophisticated clients can spot interesting investment opportunities for making profitable investments, relocation, and improving their lifestyles. The mix of the pandemic and economic hardships has become the powerful trigger for the soaring demand from potential investors to buy property in resort regions that can be their safe ‘emergency airfield’ in case of adversities.  

However, many more people have been for years postponing the decision to apply for a second passport. It was only after the closure of borders, cancellation of flights to most destinations, and the suspension of routine tourist visa services, that they finally realized the real value of second/multiple passports or residency permits. They wished they had obtained the citizenship of jurisdictions securing their freedom to travel and stay as long as they wish in the countries of their choice in the event of any crisis.

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Sophisticated investors are buying up the best RBI/CBI products right now. Do you prefer to just wait and then join the growing queue of other eager applicants? You can imagine what this strategy will mean in case of an emergency.

Trend № 9. The light at the end of the tunnel? New players and new products in the investment migration market

Experts predict the current expansion of the investment migration market will continue in 2022. They expect new products and new players, as the host destinations actively seek new sources of revenues to offset the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recession, and the current political crisis.

Spain: the new startup law to come into force with tax breaks to remote employees and the launch of a digital nomad visa

Spain has been perceived for years by international entrepreneurs as a business-unfriendly jurisdiction: high taxes, anti-employer labor laws, political rhetoric set against capitalism, ludicrously sluggish bureaucracy, and poor customer service.

As of today, the local government intends to pass a new law on startups (Ley de Startups) by the summer of 2022. It will provide some interesting incentives to agile entrepreneurs. For example, startups will enjoy preferential corporate tax rates of 15% instead of 25%.

The provisional document introduces digital nomad visas to Spain. Online employees who take advantage of this visa and relocate to Spain will be entitled to the reduced income tax rate. 

Vanuatu: eager to introduce citizenship by investment in real estate

In summer 2021, Vanuatu de jure endorsed a new CBI program for investors in the local property. This product has been launched so far only on paper and is expected to be finalized and will eventually appear on the market in 2022.

Those who are in the know say that the new product is intended to upgrade the security provisions and thus mitigate reputational risks for Vanuatu. Besides, the country will continue to maintain the fastest in the world economic citizenship programs unrolled in 2016 – Vanuatu Contribution Program (VCP) and the Vanuatu Development Support Program (VDSP). In both cases, passports are available only in exchange for a gratuitous donation.  However, the new product is expected to become the main driver of economic activity, tourism, and the service sector in Vanuatu.  

Pakistan: bound to grant citizenship status to foreign investors

Pakistani authorities are considering the idea of launching a citizenship by investment product. They are intending to take advantage of the HNWI exodus from neighboring Afghanistan and thus attract additional capital from abroad. The cultural similarities in the two countries are likely to be the magnet and the key sales pitch. 

In particular, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has already instructed officials to study the possibility of making appropriate amendments to the legislation. In the case of launching the new program, it will welcome nationals of any country. It is expected that the minimum eligible investment amount will be $1 million.

The prospective holders of Pakistan passports will have visa-free access to only 31 jurisdictions. That is why the program can hardly be very competitive in the international investment migration market. Caribbean passports, for example, can be obtained for 1/10 of this price and yet provide far more benefits.

It is more likely that the Pakistani product will accelerate the naturalization of foreigners who have previously made substantial investments in Pakistan’s economy. Jordan authorities have taken a similar approach when launching their own investment citizenship product available to investors for a similar price.

Please note that a quasi-program of investment migration is already running in Pakistan. But the product is available only to citizens of member countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. According to the Directorate General of Immigration & Passports, the Commonwealth citizens who transfer 5 million Pakistani rupees (about $30,000) to the State Bank of Pakistan receive citizenship immediately upon arrival in the country.

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In theory, the entry of new players into the market could intensify competition for migrant investors. But our experts say that this will hardly dump prices and will not drive the liberalization of rival RBI/CBI programs.  For example, Montenegro and Turkey entered the market with quite expensive products in 2019 and 2016, respectively. In other words, you should not expect prices to go down! If you linger any further, you will run the risk of missing out on the current attractive offers.

Expert help and services: where and how to obtain a Golden Visa/passport by investment

Being aware of the above trends, many would-be migrant investors understand that if they linger any longer, they will miss the current advantageous opportunities.  In 2022, they will have to decide what to choose from the many programs of Golden Visas, residence, and passports by investment. The right time for the right decision is NOW, and you can take advantage of our professional expert services TODAY!

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Please note that new trends and critical changes in the global migration investment market are very likely in 2022! To order a free private consultation on updates and details of the RBI/CBI programs across the world, just use the clickable feedback form or contact us at the e-mail address/messengers given on this page above.

The EU or the Caribbean? Which region is best for investment migration?

If you want to get a second passport as soon as possible, at reasonable costs, you should consider jurisdictions in the Caribbean. Despite claims in many misleading online resources, the procedure of acquiring residence by investment in the European Union is not faster. In fact, it takes even longer than to obtain Caribbean citizenship or, for example, the investor passport in Montenegro. There is no such thing as the fast track to economic citizenship in the EU: the process takes at least a year. You can get the Caribbean Golden Visa in 1.5 – 3 months. However, EU Golden Visas remain very attractive for investors planning a relocation to Europe.

Why Hurry to Invest in economic residence / Golden Visas / citizenship?

There are many trends forcing migrant investors to act as quickly as possible. For example, several host states are closing promotional offers introduced after the pandemic. The growing demand for investment migration products prompts them to tighten regulations and boost prices. Queues line up for verified products, so the wait/ processing time is getting longer. Many European programs may be shut down yet in 2022 under the pressure from official Brussels.

Who can help me select and obtain a Golden Visa/citizenship by investment?

The global economic citizenship and investment migration market is based on programs of dozens of host countries, many of them offering 2+ products. It is quite difficult to make the right choice, given their variety. It also takes a lot of effort to obtain a specific product. Our experts can help you expedite the selection and simplify the application/investment processes. You are welcome to book a FREE one-on-one session with our consultant to discuss the requirements, challenges, and solutions.

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