Demand for Alternate Residency and Citizenship Increases in MENA region

Diversification of both business and personal affairs through multiple residences can deliver increased quality of life, mobility, security, educational options, and improved tax and estate planning capabilities.

Global residency and citizenship is an increasingly important aspect of private and professional life of this new trend of global citizens. For entrepreneurs and investors from Middle East and North Africa (MENA), citizenship by investment is appealing because it presents the opportunity to build assets across two or more nations, and to thereby diversify their wealth. In addition, as investors become more global and travel the world visa-free, they often need to invest in a property or two at their destination of choice.

Citizenship by investment programmes are becoming increasingly popular among businesspersons and families because they truly are the insurance policy of the 21st century. Sam Bayat, Managing Director of Bayat Legal Services commented on the increasing demand for Residency and Citizenship in the MENA region, He said “The market in MENA is great. This is because of the large expats population. They want to move forward and want to migrate to a new country through another passport as an alternate citizenship or even buy a residency in a European country to feel secure.”

CS Global Partners focuses on promoting Caribbean Investments including St Kitts &Nevis, Granada and Dominica. “The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme, the world’s first-ever citizenship by investment programme, has a longstanding reputation for trustworthiness and excellence, and is a prime example of the Caribbean’s leadership role. The Programme underwent a period of recalibration over the past year, and now presents exclusive features, such as its 60-day accelerated application process” said Micha-Rose Emmet from CS Global.

Most certainly, the Middle East is prime market for CBI programs for multiple reasons. Armand Arton, President of Arton Capital explained about the concept of Global Citizenship, “We empower individuals and families to become Global Citizens by investing in second residency and citizenship around the world. On one hand, we have the concentration of successful businesses and the potential for growth that the region holds. On the other, unfortunately, there are still countries in distress and people are looking for possibilities to secure the future of their families. We believe that there is great development potential, and the collective efforts of global citizens can bring about hope and positive change” Arton said.

Romain Weinstein of Apex Capital said “More and more countries in the near future will offer citizenship and residency options and some new countries will also think about it due to the increasing demand. At the moment we have the UK (investor programs), Portugal Golden Residence Permit, Spain Residence program, Greece Residence and St.Lucia Citizenship programs. We are currently working on a new residency program in France requiring an investment of 300,000 euros in the French economy to obtain the residency card for foreign families. There is also discussion with the East European countries like Montenegro to promote its citizenship by investment programs”

On the migration offers, Dr. Florian Proell, Attorney at Law in Germany and Austria representing European Residence at the upcoming Citizenship Expo @ IREIS 2017 said, “The vast majority of European countries, subject to respective requirements and conditions, invite foreign individuals to take up residence just on the basis of sufficient financial assets as well as based on investments.”

Tiago Camara, COO of Top Investor Visa said, “Golden Visa have been a huge opportunity for high profile investors without the obligation of staying more than 7 days per year. The program allows investors and their families to freely move within the Schenghen countries and access Portuguese Passport after 6 years. So far, 97 per cent of Golden Visa program candidates are applying through investment in Portuguese real estate. Not only as the real estate route has one of the minimum investment requirements (€280.000), but also due to the great returns on investment investors are getting on properties in Portugal.”

The demand for Greek residency permit is rising with almost 100% annual growth. Panos Rozakis commented on Greek Residency, “According to our records, Chinese, Pakistani and Indians are the most keen to obtain nationality via investment. The entire process takes around 60 days and this includes the property purchase”

New Zealand’s two most popular programmes are ‘Investor One’ – where for NZ$10million (US$7million approx.) of investment in an approved NZ opportunity,  a family may obtain permanent residency without being required to pass the English competency test. The ‘Investor Two’ programme allows residency with an approved investment of not less than NZ$ 3million, but conditional upon competency in English, Chris Gollins from Phoenix International commented on opportunities from NZ. Western Samoa requires an approved investment of WST$4million (US$2million approx.) for a family to obtain residency. There is no English test.

To provide more opportunities for the MENA region investors, International Real Estate & Investment Show (IREIS 2017) is adding a dedicated segment Citizenship Expo to promote worldwide Immigration, Residency & Citizenship Programs and is set to run from 2 – 4 November 2017 at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi.

Mr. Antoine Georges, organizer of IREIS 2017said “We are helping thousands of people to get ahead in life across different countries. We expertise in getting the right candidates from the MENA region, to have face-to-face talk with potential representatives from Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Caribbean Islands, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, Panama, New Zealand, Thailand, Malta, USA and UK. Highly experienced immigration consultants will assist dual citizenship aspirants in the complex decision-making, documentation and application process for a second citizenship and residency options.  We also have designed an International Conference to provide knowledge on specific country investment programs and to discuss directly with the government entities on different programs.”

The upcoming 9thedition of the International Real Estate & Investment Show is expected to draw the participation of more than 125 exhibitors from 30 countries, as well as over 15,000 investors and real estate brokers. Drawing the participation of 92 exhibitors from 24 countries and 8,521 investors from 73 nationalities, IREIS 2016 edition created sales volumes of over US$180 million.

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