About the show
Each episode on the investment Immigration Podcast by Uglobal.com host Salman Siddiqui sits down with leading proffessionals, attorneys, thought leaders and government officials to discuss the latest developments impacting citizenship and residency by investment. Wether you´re someone who takes part in cross’border transactiones, works in the investment immigration community or are personally interested in participating in citizenship or residency investment, tune each week to the Investment Immigration podcast to stay up to date on what´s happening in the investment immigration world.
About the host
Salman Siddiqui is the host of Uglobal’s The Investment Immigration Podcast series. Siddiqui is a versatile storyteller and embodies the spirit of a true global citizen. His own immigration journey took him to many places around the world, including the UK, Cyprus, Turkey, and Qatar. He has written dozens of in-depth articles and features on global investment immigration programs for the Uglobal Immigration Magazine and website. He is a journalist and creative content editor by training. He earned his master’s in arts degree from SOAS, University of London. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany.
Salman: Welcome to the Investment Immigration Podcast by Uglobal.com, with weekly in-depth interviews with the world's leading investment immigration professionals.
Welcome to the Investment Immigration Podcast brought to you by Uglobal.com. I'm your host, Salman Siddiqui, and my guest today is Christopher Willis, who is the managing director at the Global Investment Immigration Firm Latitude. Christopher is currently based in Cayman Islands. He's an experienced professional, he's seen programs from all over the world. So, we're going to talk about how Americans especially are looking to find their second homes through investment immigration, and he's gonna give us his opinion and his insights into the industry.
So welcome to the show, Christopher.
Christopher: Hi, Salman, thanks so much for having me.
Salman: Thank you so much. And could you please introduce yourself, tell us about your experience all over the world, and just a brief about your company as well, Latitude.
Christopher: Yes, of course, I've been a practitioner myself for 26 years, started off doing inbound into the United Kingdom. And then outbound to Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, which is where I spent a lot of my professional career doing inbound to Canada. I've since been involved in the investment migration business for many years, assisting people looking for, you know, establishing false residency, or direct applications for citizenship around the world.
I'm also very involved with the Investment Migration Council, which is a nonprofit based in Geneva, that amongst many things, is involved in promoting best practices and code of ethics for the investment migration industry. On top of that, of course, it has a lobbying arm education and events. So my office in Cayman is also the regional representative office for the investment migration Council. And we're very proud of that designation. As a firm, Latitude, we're just over 100 employees in 22 countries. And so we have a very strong global footprint, assisting people both in the source countries or where they're coming from, as well as in the destination country, and where they're going to. So our clients have a full A to Z experience of being looked after every step of the way.
Salman: That's fantastic. So you mentioned that your company has a global footprint. So apart from the Cayman Islands, where exactly is your company currently focused on?
Christopher: Well, I mean, we have sort of key pistons, if you like. I mean, we have two offices in the United States and one in Canada, offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil, London is one of our key offices that looks after programs within Europe, as well as our Malta office, which is very busy, especially with inbound applications to Malta, and looking after the clients who are applying under that program. Our office in Dubai is extremely busy. It's definitely our biggest office. And we've centralized, a lot of our processing comes out of our Dubai office as well. We've recently opened an office in Nigeria, which has been very, very successful, it's really taken off there, also opening in Egypt, and in Morocco. Apart from that, we've also got our teams in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, to name a few. So we have a very strong representation in all the key areas around the world, as I mentioned, where people are looking to leave from, and also where they're looking to apply to.
Salman: Wow, so it seems like your company is growing in these post-pandemic times, most companies during the pandemic took a severe hit. So what happened with your company? And how did you deal with the challenges that came with the pandemic? And how did you continue to grow?
Christopher: Well, I mean, it's a bit harsh to say, but sometimes our business does well in a crisis and what the pandemic showed, you know, especially in the United States is that many people were not prepared. The travel ban in the US was very telling, Americans are typically not used to being told they can't do something. And when they couldn't travel to Canada, they couldn't travel to Europe, they couldn't travel to the UK, they couldn't travel to Singapore is a real wake up call for them. That was one area where we noticed growth in our business was the demand out of the United States. And we can talk a bit about that in a moment. But in terms of as a group, we definitely had to consolidate in some areas, and focus on our key markets to ensure that growth, but it also allowed us to expand into jurisdictions. I mentioned Morocco and Egypt, where we were able to develop those markets relatively quickly, just by you know, being able to allocate some resources there, and knowing there wasn't an established market already. So there wasn't a lot of competition, and people were hungry to learn about the types of products that we offer.
Salman: That's fantastic. Let's jump into the US market that you mentioned, what's happening there? Why are people leaving from the US, and what trends are you seeing there?
Christopher: There's a lot of different push factors at the moment coming out of the US but everything sort of started when the pandemic kicked in. As I mentioned, the travel ban meant that Americans well and truly had their wings clipped, right? And the almighty American passport didn't have the same travel mobility that it did in the past. So people like myself, I have three citizenships, so I'm very fortunate. But also like Americans, you're not used to having to apply for a visa unless you're going to a very specific part of the world.
So no matter your background, whether you're the wealthiest person or just the average Joe, it still applies to you because it's based purely on your citizenship. So when they couldn't travel, they realized, okay, I haven't planned properly for this. And what do I do in this eventuality if it happens again?
I'll give you an example. So in the citizenship by investment program in St. Kitts and Nevis, you know, St. Kitts and Nevis is a country of just over 50,000 people, one of the smallest countries in the Western Hemisphere, but it actually had more travel mobility power than the American passport during the pandemic, because they didn't have the travel bans. So if you were a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, for example, you can travel freely to 157 countries. By comparison, the US was at about 78 countries that they could still travel to, that they hadn't been banned from. So right away, there's an immediate benefit to having it, that if something like that happened, you could then rely on your second citizenship as a travel document.
The other thing was many people were looking to get out of the US because at the height of it, COVID situation was pretty dire. And people said, look, I wanna be somewhere else that's dealing with the pandemic a little bit better. So let's say you owned a house in Antigua, for example, and you wanted to go and hang out there for three or four months, unless you were a citizen, you wouldn't get access to the country, because they're only letting citizens in. So you might have the nicest house on the island. But unless you have the proper status, you're not gonna get admitted to the country. As a citizen, of course, you're protected by the state, and they will allow you in, but people hadn't planned that way. They just figured I can just turn up because I got a home there. But that wasn't the case.
And so these sort of real life experiences were making people realize, yeah, I've gotta add this tool to my toolbox if you like, you know, because especially when you're talking to people, and they're looking at their succession planning and opportunities for their kids, etc. You know, we often say, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, which has been very true in this case. And people often think what if or that will never happen, and so why should I do this, but then suddenly, bang, it happened, and people were worried and people were panicking. And so that's where we definitely saw that surge. Because before the pandemic, there would be some demand from the US, but it just wasn't in the public consciousness like it is now.
Because in the past, we have like, you know, senior business people maybe travel to sensitive parts of the world, and they don't wanna travel as an American, right? So they'll do it, they'll get a second citizenship just to stay under the radar a little bit. Because unfortunately, Americans around the world can sometimes be seen as a target, especially in some of these difficult places. And so they would use it for that purpose, sometimes for insurance reasons, for kidnapping and all that type of thing they wanna have that second citizenship to travel on. So the needle has shifted significantly in terms of why Americans are doing this. And there's been a lot of media around this, and discussions around it. And I think it's becoming a little bit more mainstream. But what you'll see is that, the smart money, the thought leaders have already done this, they're already a couple of steps ahead. And now people are starting to catch up and realize, oh, yeah, this is a good idea. This is something I should be doing, and therefore they're starting to make their own applications.
Salman: Right. And is there a particular kind of people who are really going for these options? Is it just the high net worth individuals that you're seeing? Or are you now seeing even people who have just a little bit of savings that they weren't thinking of before the pandemic investing in a second country, but now they too, are now using their savings for these purposes?
Christopher: That's a very good question. Typically, these programs are targeting the high net worth and ultra high net worth. But in the Caribbean, for example, where the price point's a little bit lower, it is accessible to the mass affluent. And so for some people, ultra-high net worth a few 100,000, US is a drop in the ocean for them, they don't care, they'll pay for it, it's done. But for somebody who's in the mass affluent, it's a much bigger deal. And so they're much more calculated in terms of understanding the value of this, as opposed to investing elsewhere. Because if you look at it purely as an investment, you're not getting a return like you would do if you invested in another vehicle. But the benefit is the peace of mind of having that second citizenship for yourself and your family, and what it affords you.
So to answer your question, it's still going to be reserved more for the high net worth ultra high net worth. But what we're also seeing is an increase in inquiries of citizenship by descent. So people who have ancestral claims, you know, in places like Italy, places like Ireland, Poland, which you know, just those three countries in the US, there's a huge population that potentially have those links. So we're getting inquiries down that route as well of people just trying to find another way. I mean, when Brexit kicked in, Ireland was inundated with Brits applying for Irish citizenship based on the heritage, because they wanted to get access back to the European Union. So these sort of political events, you know, always have a major impact in terms of where you see sudden surges and such.
But when you combine that, and then you have the issue with COVID, you know, the Irish system just collapsed. They just couldn't process the volume, and then they had to pause on these applications because of COVID and people couldn't get into the office to deal with paper files. So there's always different shifts in terms of what's happening in our industry. I mean, obviously, we can talk a bit about the conflict in Ukraine as well, you know, that's had an impact on not only Russians and Belarusians being excluded from many of these programs, you know, a pause has been put on them. But also Ukrainians because if a Ukrainian wanted to apply, because it's in a conflict zone, then you can't do verifiable due diligence on these applicants. So there's all different knock-on effects that can happen based on the nationality of the person. And it's very unfortunate that many people have this prejudice against them purely based on where they were born. Someone born in the US, or the UK or Canada has got an immediate advantage over someone born in Nigeria, or Venezuela, or South Africa, for example.
Salman: That's true. And you mentioned something very interesting, that people have options based on their descent. In Europe, for example, there's Italy, you mentioned and Ireland, but are there other options for them, for Americans, or for any individual who can avail those opportunities by descent?
Christopher: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, most countries have a version of that, for us, we're looking at where the greatest population is likely to have a claim such as Italy. But then, you know, we can also do Portugal or Spain, which we're finding is very popular in Latin America, for example. The UK also has its own policies as it relates to citizenship by descent. So we'll deal with the most popular programs. But if someone comes to us and says, hey, I'd like to explore something from Country X, then we'll definitely explore it. But in terms of the majority of our delivery channels, it'll be for the most popular programs.
Salman: I see. And in the Caribbean programs, which programs are really appeal to the Americans, do you think?
Christopher: Well, there's two elements to this Salman. So there's a distinction between residency and citizenship. So in the Eastern Caribbean, you've got the five citizenship via investment program, so St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and Dominica. Of those by virtue of your investment, you can get economic citizenship. So in three to four months, you have a new citizenship certificate, and you have a new passport. The advantage there is speed, and the access to a new citizenship. But if we're looking at the comparison to Europe, where you have Malta, which also has a citizenship by investment program, the price point is a lot higher. But you're getting what people would argue is a higher quality passport, because it's a European Union passport that gives you settlement rights in the EU, gives you visa-free travel to the US, gives you visa-free travel to Canada.
So we'd say without sounding too crass, it's you get what you pay for in many ways. So you're looking about a million euro, give or take for an application to Malta. But in the Caribbean, the investment level start at 100,000, US. Although there's still gonna be government fees, application fees, due diligence fees, professional fees, etc., the costs and the speed of the Caribbean passports are extremely attractive. But it's gonna be more at the top end of the high net worth, to the ultra-high net worth who will be participating in the multi program just because of the price point around it. And the due diligence in Malta is extremely thorough. So I mean, that's something that not everybody is gonna qualify, the selection process is very in-depth.
But the other thing to consider, not so much for Americans on a tax basis. But for people like Canadians, Brits, for example, that are in high-tax jurisdictions and maybe want to leave and set up in another jurisdiction, you've got places like Anguilla in the Eastern Caribbean, and the Cayman Islands. So the Cayman Islands is popular because it's geographically very close to the US. It's an hour's flight from Miami. So even taking private planes, it's easy to get down there. And it's familiar to many of the high net worth people from United States most have already visited and have a comfort level there. Plus the infrastructure in Cayman is higher than what you would see let's say in the Eastern Caribbean. I've lived in St. Kitts. I've lived in Grenada, and I'm currently living in Cayman so I can speak with authority on that in terms of what the day to day life is in those three jurisdictions.
So the thing with the Cayman is that it's essentially a real estate investment. So the price point is higher, starting at 1.2 million US, and that can go up, you know, upwards of 2.4 depending on what you want from your residency status and how much time you expect to stay in Cayman. But it's also that peace of mind saying, okay, I have a property in Cayman, I've got my resident status. So if I need to get out of the US quickly, boom, I'm there in about an hour. Right. So that gives a lot of comfort to people. And they know that once they're there, there's good telecoms, good health care, good infrastructure, good education, all of that is in place. Again, it's that peace of mind argument.
So longer term journey to citizenship in Cayman. But if they want the actual travel documents, so they wanna have a second citizenship, then the Eastern Caribbean could be the solution. But many also do a combination. So I'll give you an example. There's a program in Portugal, which is extremely popular with Americans, especially now that the euro is essentially on par with the US dollar. The Portugal program gives a longer term play. So you're not investing as much as Malta, but it's gonna take about seven years before you complete the full journey to get your citizenship in Portugal. But again, it's fully EU citizenship so many people will use one of the Eastern Caribbean programs to get the passport, and have something in their back pocket if they need it, but also have a long-term play to get the Portuguese citizenship and therefore EU further down the line.
Salman: Right. There are so many options in the Caribbean region, how does one make the right choice? Nobody wants to go wrong with that, because you spend a lot of money. So what would you say to an investor, how should they decide about, or which country to select in the Caribbean, for example?
Christopher: That's a great question. And you know, the programs, when you look at it, at a 30,000 foot level, they look very similar, but they do have their own unique differences. So in Grenada, for example, it's unique for two aspects. One, it's a treaty country with the US as it relates to the E-2 visa, and secondly, it also has visa-free travel to China. So it's one of the very few around the world that has that. So if you were coming, let's say from a non-treaty country, such as Brazil, which a lot of Brazilians wanna get to the US, they wanna use E-2, but they can't because they don't have an ancestral claim to Italy or Portugal, and therefore, they have to make themself a citizen of a treaty country. So they will use a programming grader, for example, make themself a citizen of Grenada, and then use that citizenship to make an application for E-2.
If that's the long term goal of the applicant, then that would be the logical program to use. It can also depend on if they have a specific country that they wanna have visa-free access to. So for example, Antigua, Barbuda is the only one of the five that has visa-free privileges to South Africa. So if the client says, "I do a lot of businesses in Africa, I wanna have that flexibility," then Antigua would be the natural solution. So we can do a comparison of what unique countries do you get in one, versus the other. And sometimes that's the determining factor.
Salman: And you also have to keep in mind, many want to mean, you know, they have their whole families to also consider they're not trying to get a solution for just for themselves. So somebody wants to have a better second residency option for the entire family, which country would you recommend that they should think about?
Christopher: Well, that's again a good question. Because again, they're very similar, but some have some unique differences. And this includes the definition of a dependent, so therefore, which family members can be included. So, for example, now, they're all getting quite close to each other in terms of who can be eligible, but essentially, parents, grandparents, in some cases siblings, so if you have a sibling who's unmarried and have no kids, then they can also be included on the application. But of course, the fees will go up because there's extra due diligence fees and government fees, etc. But it means you're still only making one investment, so it still works out less expensive.
And then you've got other programs like in Antigua and Barbuda they have for a family of six, the University of the West Indies program ends up being the most cost competitive for a family of six or more. So what we do, of course, is we sit with a client, when we better understand their needs, then we can make suggestions on what program would be most suitable. Once we understand the family size, their budget, their timescales and their overall objectives, then we can give them the right advice.
The other element to your question is, when they're looking at which jurisdiction, all of them have a donation, and they have a real estate option. So they may decide I prefer the sort of easier process of doing the donation, others would rather like to invest in real estate. So we will look at some of the real estate offerings in place. And then St. Lucia has a bond option as well, you know, so for some people, they may be more comfortable with that. So again, it goes down to sort of starting with that sort of funnel effect, starting at the top, which is nice and wider, then we start funneling it down. So then we can determine which jurisdictions will be the best solution for the family.
Salman: That's an important point. I mean, every client has a different set of requirements. You mentioned something earlier also that Portugal, for example, is becoming very popular with Americans. And this is a recent phenomenon. And now with the dollar and euro parity is almost the same. So are you seeing this trend continue, or Americans will find other countries in Europe more attractive, like Malta, maybe?
Christopher: Well, the thing is, with Portugal, their requirements changed in January of this year, which, as you know, so there was a big surge at the end of the year. And then you combine that with their immigration department, SEF, basically pausing processing, so a big backlog built up. And so that turned a few people off when they said, okay, it might take a year to 14 months for the residence card to be issued. So people were a bit like huh-huh. But when they look at what else is available, Malta, yes, but the price points, you know, nearly five times higher, so that's the key consideration. For some people, Malta is the solution, you know, it's what they want, the timeline, but the thing is, most of that is non-recoverable. But at least in Portugal, you're investing typically into real estate or into a fund. So there is an ability to get some return of your investment as well.
But I think people like Portugal, there's a comfort level. It's a bit of a hidden gem in Europe. Most people think of Spain or they think of other places, but Portugal occupies a really nice place within Europe and has a great quality of life. Now, even though they have to spend an average of seven days a year there for the five-year term, that's not a problem for people. They're quite happy to do it, and then they start discovering the country and getting more involved, so that when they do become naturalized, then they've already got a significant comfort zone with the country.
Salman: Right. But are you and your company a little bit concerned about what's happening in Europe, especially with how the European Commission is coming down hard on all the golden visa programs? Do you think the future of golden visas is under threat in Europe?
Christopher: Well, it's a pretty topical question for sure. And Malta being the only one in Europe currently that has a citizenship program, right, even though there's that 12-month of a residency that has to be completed prior to being eligible for citizenship. Montenegro is there, their program's ending at the end of this year, but they're not an EU country yet. So some people will hedge a bet of their ascension and use that program to have a longer term play like some are doing for Portugal. The narrative coming out of Brussels is, you know, they're concerned about bad actors getting through. And I touched on the due diligence in Malta, which is extremely thorough, and my views on it is I think that the concept that these residents or citizenship by investment programs are being used by bad actors for nefarious reasons, is being politicized. Because you had the issue with, you know, what's happening in Russia and Ukraine, you've got other factor, you know, they've had this bee in their bonnet in Brussels for a while thinking that just anyone can rock up and get it without any significant due diligence. Where if you look at the actual data, I mean, hundreds of thousands people get into Europe every year under different visa categories without being properly verified.
So for me, that argument doesn't hold water, and Malta have invited the EU to come and check their due diligence program, see what process they do. Because keep in mind, it's a four-layer due diligence people go through from initial public domain, and passport verifications, to the engagement of specialists, third party due diligence firms who will verify all the information that are provided on the documentation, and then, of course, the government to government. So Interpol, Europol, you know, watch lists, sanctions lists, all of those verifications are done. And, you know, Malta's refusal rate's around 25%. So you know, it's not just open door policy, it's a little bit different for places like Portugal or Ireland, for example, because their residency programs. So what the European Union wants to see, is that there's a greater commitment to residency before graduating to citizenship. So for that reason, I don't think Portugal is under threat, nor is Ireland or others, because they're not able to access citizenship quite as quickly as, say, someone like Malta.
Salman: Are there any options for the industry to push back, if you will, with the moves that are being made by the European Commission? Are there any options that you as an industry can take to counter the moves?
Christopher: Oh, absolutely. And many submissions have been made, certainly by the Investment Migration Council and other practitioners and such, have made submissions. With the European Union being relatively complex in terms of you have the Parliament, you have the commission, and you have the cabinet. So you've got these three different layers that all have to agree, and so whether consensus will happen, or whether it's just being politicized, hard to tell, but it seems like they want to flex their muscles a little bit here, specifically on this concept of citizenship by investment. You know, to the point, you know, they're also trying to threaten other third countries, you know, like the Caribbean, like, you know, Montenegro to a degree saying, you know, if you don't do this, you're not gonna ascend, you know, they're trying to really state the case around this. But there is enough data out there that shows that these programs are not being used for the nefarious means that they're claiming.
I mean, and if you're a bad person, and you wanted to get access to Europe, you're not gonna go through one of these programs, where you're gonna be put under a magnifying glass and examined every aspect of your life, right? I mean, it's just common sense. And there's plenty of other ways that people are able to get access, if that's what their ultimate aim is gonna be. So, you know, it's very much an ongoing discussion, my view certainly is that it's being extremely politicized, and it's based on rumor, as opposed to fact. In my view, I'll say, they haven't looked at data that would counter their argument, because I don't think it's in their interest to do so. And we recently held an event in Brussels where they were all invited, and none of them chose to show up, because they just didn't wanna hear verifiable data about the industry.
Salman: Oh, I see. Let's also talk about the impact of political events on the industry. You mentioned the war in Ukraine. So what trend are you seeing? Are you seeing high net-worth individuals from Ukraine, for example, moving or choosing to go for programs in maybe other parts of Europe or Caribbean? And what other options do they have? I mean, I read this report recently that you and many Russians are moving out from Russia, because they want to find second residences because of the political situation there, and many are moving to Turkey. So if you could tell from your experience and what you're seeing.
Christopher: Yeah, as I touched on the due diligence, when you look at sanctions and everything like that, Russians and Belarusians at the moment have been all grouped into the same barrel, and that doesn't help. Because there are certainly very good applicants and good people that shouldn't have to be tagged as being a bad person just because of their nationality. And the other element to this one is, when an application is made, we have to demonstrate source of wealth and source of funds. And so when you get into the banking, you know, a lot of the sanctions are against the Russian and Belarusian banks. So if the source of their money is coming from one of those sanctioned banks, they're not gonna be able to do anything.
But if you have a client, let's say, who's a Russian citizen, but living in the US maybe has a green card, or has their banking all done in the United States, then there's arguments to be made that this profile of applicants should be admissible. And there's been a lot of dialogue in particular in the Caribbean around this in terms of where concessions can be made. So it's an ongoing narrative. We're very conscious of this. And we don't want to prejudice people purely on their citizenship. But unfortunately, as I said, a lot of this has been politicized. And so there's much bigger narratives that have to happen, because even in the Caribbean, they rely on correspondent banking relationships. So if a US bank is receiving funds from a sanctioned bank is not gonna happen. So there's all these different elements that come into play.
Salman: I see. That's interesting. Now let's move out from the Caribbean and Europe. And now also talk about what's happening in the Middle East. You mentioned that your firm has expanded to the UAE what's happening there? I mean, in recent times the UAE has started to offer new visa and residency options. Do you think that's gonna be the next big market for investors and entrepreneurs? How are you looking at that region?
Christopher: Well, I mean, it's something that's definitely growing. But the Middle East or North Africa region has always typically been a source market. Because in Dubai, for example, you're not necessarily dealing with local Emirati, you're dealing with third-country nationals living in the UAE, so Indians, Pakistanis, etc., as you know, is just an example. So that profile, they're established in the UAE, their funds are coming from the UAE. And that segment of the market is always going to be quite large, certainly for our industry. But as I mentioned, expanding into places like Morocco, like Egypt and other North African countries just sort of helps expand our footprint and provide solutions to people from these jurisdictions. Because it's, you know, many people from the region will fly to Dubai to do business, that's not uncommon. But the more that we can be local, and provide that local support we found has been extremely well received by our client base.
Salman: I see. And the reason why I mentioned the UAE was also because, I read in a recent report somewhere that the Indian market, the millionaires from India, for example, they're keenly looking at the UAE to have a permanent second residency there. And of course, they're looking for options and firms who can offer them support. So it's interesting that your company is also expanding there. In the end, I would like you to talk about the state of the industry, and your outlook for it for the next five years. Recently, there has been a lot of pessimism around the industry, especially, you know, with the European Commission being down its neck, and the post-pandemic world, nobody is certain about what's gonna happen. What would you say to other people in the industry who are struggling, who are a bit daunted by the challenges coming ahead? And your message be to them? And how would you describe the future?
Christopher: I'll make one quick comment about the US. The next three months, I think we'll be telling three months with the midterm elections, and then the cycle of the presidential elections. And a lot of people are concerned at the comments coming out of the Supreme Court. And so the next three months to five years in the US, I think is going to be extremely interesting. Because there's so many push factors now, irrespective of which side of the fence you sit on, there's something that's upsetting you. And so, some people will get to that point where they say enough's enough, and they wanna find another option. So we're definitely keeping a very keen eye on the US, especially as I said, in as little as three months, there's gonna be some significant changes. And many people are anticipating that and making their applications now, they don't wanna wait for the fallout. They just said, I gotta have this, so I'm covered. You know, that's definitely one aspect in the US.
As it relates to the industry and the pressures from European Union, I think you're gonna see a greater push of these programs incorporating a residency phase to help alleviate the concerns that the EU we're talking about. So that way, it's not purely a transactional process, such as a donation in the Eastern Caribbean, but incorporating some residents components. And I think there may also be an increase in the tax residence program. So people who were looking to leave one jurisdiction for a more favorable tax jurisdiction and they will, you know, they can establish this. And these are again, people who have to physically move, so apart from Americans who are taxed on their citizenship, everyone else will be taxed based on their residency. So if they're happy to spend, you know, 183 days a year in the Cayman Islands, for example, they can then make that their tax residence and maybe enjoy a different quality of life and some tax advantages as well. So there'll be more people looking at that for those that are eligible. So not necessarily Americans, but for Brits and Canadians, for example.
So I think there is gonna be some shifts. One aspect that I'm very involved in is the government advisory side. So we work with governments to help them either tweak or adjust their existing programs, or in some cases build a program from scratch. So you're gonna see more programs coming into the space, which is always interesting, and also makes sure that the other programs are keeping themselves up to date and relevant as well. Because it's a growing industry, demand is surging, and, you know, the world's just most definitely a much smaller place now. And people wanna have these options so that they can make sure that, you know, themselves and their families have, you know, as best protected as possible.
Salman: So, the demand is surging, and you see the demand to continue in the future as well.
Thank you so much, Chris, for joining us in the podcast and giving us an overall picture of the entire industry and making us understand of what to expect in the coming days. Thank you.
Christopher: My pleasure, Salman, thanks so much for having me on with you today.
Salman: You've been listening to the Investment Immigration Podcast by Uglobal.com. Join us again soon for more in-depth conversations, exploring investment immigration opportunities from around the world.
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Great Conference! Having attended numerous Immigration related events, this easily ranks among the highest. Uglobal (or EB5 Investors Magazine) gave us a great opportunity to connect with local leaders in the industry, but also to strengthen the relationship with current associates and meet potential new clients. We will be back!
Demetris Demetriades of Andreas Demetriades &Co LLC
The Uglobal Vietnam is a welcome addition to the program of Investment Migration events in Asia, being both well organized and attended. We found it to be relevant and a good platform for developing the communication of our message to a new audience.
James Elcocke-Harris of Vanuatu Information Centre
The Uglobal conference held in Los Angeles provided a unique opportunity to have met many agents and to have had meaningful discussions on furthering the growth of the CIP. The social events organized around the conference was exceptional. The organizers of the conference must be congratulated for such a successful event.
Nestor Alfred - CEO CIP St. Lucia
The Uglobal platform is looking to capitalize on the success of their sister event - EB5 magazine - by branching out into the CBIosphere, with open, honest and frank discussions and panels and presentations from industry leaders. They are chartering a new path that I hope will make CBI more understood, more transparent and more accessible for all.
Richard Hallam of Grenada Citizenship by Investment
Uglobal distinguished itself by blending together knowledge, market trends, professionalism but also great networking opportunities. Undeniably, Uglobal conferences are the opportunity for both investors and professionals to exchange ideas and join forces toward a better, more sustainable market.
Tasos Stavrou of Cyprus-based aristo developers (Beijing)
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