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  • The importance of Residency and Citizenship programs in a post-pandemic world

COVID-19 or Coronavirus has taught us to seek answers to the following  questions –

  • Is being the resident or citizen of just one country beneficial?
  • Should we have a PLAN B in place?
  • How do multiple citizenships/passports and/or residencies benefit us in structuring our future?

 

It has taught us –

  • The importance of relationships
  • Not to be trapped in one country under laws that are hostile to your progress & to the well-being of your family
  • To move quickly to protect yourself, your assets & your family members from pandemics, dictators, political chaos, inequality, racial segregation, economic meltdown and/or harmful tax regimes
  • That in volatile situations it could prove invaluable to have access to safer countries whose borders are open, should the need arise

 

All of this cannot be done at the drop of a hat. It has to be well-planned over a period of time.

 

HNWIs, UHNWIs, business people and entrepreneurs are concerned about post-pandemic currency devaluations, inflation, increase in taxes on people who have money, more government controls, etc., and that is driving them to look at second citizenships and residency by investment.

 

Some recent events, such as those mentioned below in different parts of the world, only re-enforce the urgent need HNWIs must exercise in this regard –

Lebanon’s triple disaster of COVID-19, economic crisis & recent explosion has left its economy in tatters.

 

The US has struggled & is still struggling to control the pandemic. Added to this is the over-reaching nature of the US tax system which has unsettled many wealthy Americans. This has resulted in many Americans, including the wealthy, now moving to other jurisdictions around the world, and that trend has been recently confirmed to have significantly accelerated by investment migration firms around the world who are, perhaps for the first time, being inundated with enquiries from Americans.

 

The Chinese takeover of Hong Kong is another example which has seriously impaired the way of life of all Hong Kong citizens. The result has been Hong Kong citizens being granted preferential residency & citizenship pathways by countries around the world.

 

Indians have always been a one of the largest groups of migrants in the world. Post-COVID, the pace of migration from India has notably accelerated due to a myriad of reasons such as a contracting economy, a very difficult business environment, complex government regulations, depleting job opportunities & an out-dated education system. The recent visible trend of contraction in fresh investments in the economy, large scale migration of the wealthy and the migration of the very highly skilled professionals, are all together, indeed a worrying factor for policy makers in the country, who must move swiftly to arrest this flight of capital & skilled labour at the earliest.

 

 

A notable feature of this pandemic has been the ability of smaller countries with less population being very successful in efficiently controlling the pandemic, such as the island nations of the Caribbean. Though these nations have been battered economically (since they are primarily dependent on tourism), there is little doubt that they will bounce back in 2021. A notable feature is that even in these troubled times, the number of citizenship applications for the Caribbean countries has been increasing. Turkey received more citizenship applications, during the pandemic, than all other citizenship programs in the world combined, and the total number of applications received and approved were astounding.

 

Even though the European Union & Schengen countries have been closed to the outside world, travel within these nations is now possible. Due to very high quality of life & excellent healthcare systems these countries have now proven to have, demand for residency & citizenship programs in Europe has skyrocketed, as has demand for residency programs of countries like New Zealand and Australia (notably from citizens of USA, UK and France), both of which have dealt with the pandemic very efficiently and effectively.

 

A second residency or citizenship opens up infinite possibilities. Whether it is having the freedom of travel, the freedom to create a diverse portfolio of your wealth & protect that wealth through legal tax structures or give your family a better future (such as healthcare, education & very high living standards), residency & citizenship programs help you achieve all of those objectives, and many more.

 

The world has been through many crisis situations in the last 25 years, and has come out stronger from each crisis. Human perseverance shines in times of crisis. So will it again. As for the investment migration industry, little we feel will change over the medium term. On the contrary, offerings in the market will surely expand. The pandemic will probably enable many governments to justify the introduction of their own versions of residency or citizenship programs by arguing for access to debt-free capital.

 

As was witnessed post the 2008 global financial crisis and again in 2013-14, global financial crisis has always given rise to new investment migration programs. This dynamic will, in all probability, play out post this crisis too. Another factor that could come into prominence is the preference of many countries now being more accepting towards active migrants as opposed to passive migrants. Investor migration programs such as the UK Innovator visa, Canada Start-up visa and the Portugal Start-up visa were introduced even before the start of the pandemic. But they could now become more popular both with investors and governments.

 

Having a second passport is not a bad idea if one is a CIP passport. Your strategy should probably be to get some passport quickly & then get another passport over a period of time (by acquiring residency), in a ‘what you might call’ a more landed country. This way you can move swiftly to protect your family from any future eventuality.

 

Millions of people around the world are now searching for a better life & new opportunities abroad. The pandemic has changed our way of life & people around the world are now realizing how important it is to have a second residency or citizenship option.

 

Contact Us to know what your options are and provide your family with the security that they deserve.

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