About the show

Each episode on the investment Immigration Podcast by Uglobal.com, host Salman Siddiqui sits down with leading professionals, attorneys, thought leaders and government officials to discuss the latest developments impacting citizenship and residency by investment. Whether you´re someone who takes part in cross border transactions, 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 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 Siddiqui

Episode Transcript

Kevin Hosam: We're in the middle of the, or just on the edge, of the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Mexico. And we're not in the center of any war or conflict. So, they look at this as a place of safety. And North Americans do that. Europeans are doing that. The entire world is doing that.
Salman Siddiqui: Welcome to the Investment Immigration podcast by you Uglobal.com with weekly in-depth interviews with the world's leading investment immigration professionals.
Welcome to the Investment Immigration podcast by Uglobal.com. I'm your host, Salman Siddiqi, from Berlin. Today we are going to focus on the Antigua & Barbuda's program. There are many jurisdictions in the Caribbean, but Antigua usually comes out on top. It's considered one of the most popular ones. Now, why is that? Is it because of its many tax benefits? Is it because its donations options are considered cheaper? Or is it more of the same? It's just it has better marketing? So today I have a very special guest with me who's going to explain to us about the Antigua & Barbuda's program, what makes it special. And the good thing is, my guess is right now in Antigua & Barbuda. Kevin Hosam is the founder and director for EC Holdings. Welcome to the show.
Kevin Hosam: Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. I am indeed in Antigua today. Another beautiful sunny morning over here in the Tropics. It's indeed a pleasure.
Salman Siddiqui: Fantastic. So, are you there for business or you're just there for some off time? What's the latest buzz in Antigua? What can you share the latest developments from there?
Kevin Hosam: Well, to be honest, I am actually an Antiguan citizen. I grew up here in Antigua. My main office in Antigua. Our company’s headquarters are in Singapore. We do have a number of offices worldwide in holdings, notably in places like Dubai, Latvia, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Vietnam and a few other jurisdictions. But my main office is in Antigua and I've been working in this program for quite a while since 2014. Previously to that, I was working in other Caribbean CBI programs, notably through Saint Kitts with another company.
Antigua is buzzing right now because it's a very good program. It's very family oriented, very family welcoming, I should say. And I think Antigua is very proud of that, if you know it as a tourism destination. It's also known as a very family-friendly tourism vacation destination and even couples' destination. So, we deal predominantly with families even in that market. So, it's like a swing off that and it’s a great country, a very good country, and I'm excited to dive into it with you today.
Salman Siddiqui: Fantastic. So, Kevin, please share with our viewers firstly, if you could give us an overview of the Citizenship by Investment program there. And like you mentioned, it's been out there for a long time now. So, what has changed over the years in your experience and what kind of options are still there? I mean, we know there's the donation option and then the real estate option, right? And what are the nuances between those two? So, if you could just give us a general overview for our listeners.
Kevin Hosam: No problem. So, Antigua's program started in 2013. They introduced it 2013 and since then it has built a momentum. It has evolved into more of a family welcoming program. And I will get into that. Why I say that and why I will stress that. But Antigua has multiple options for persons to obtain a second citizenship. They can go through for particular options. The first one being, obviously, the most popula, would be the government donation, which is called the National Development Fund. This donation helps to build infrastructure on the island, much needed infrastructure. As you know, we're only 108mi², so not a huge population. It helps with assisting the government in the shortfalls in their budgetary constraints.
Then, we have the real estate option, which is also a very popular option. It was a lot more popular previously, and the reason for that is because a lot of the Antiguan properties that were built from 2013 have completed and sold out. So, they're not as much options as we would have seen a few years ago.
The other option that we have, quite popular and gaining momentum, which is a new option, would be the University of the West Indies. Now this option is really geared at larger families, and that comes back to what I've been saying, that it's a family-oriented program. The University of the West Indies option starts with six applicants.
So, you have to have a minimum of six applicants in your family to obtain this option, whereas the National Development Fund donation and the real estate can go from one up through five or whatever. But ultimately, the best option for larger families in Antigua would be through the University of the West Indies Fund.
And a very good spin off to this option is once they invest into this fund. Obviously, it is named after the University of the West Indies, which is one of the campuses for the University of the West Indies here in Antigua. Therefore, in total, one of your kids or someone in your family would be able to attend that school for one-year free tuition. So, it's like an investment that you're getting something back out of also for future, which is really fantastic. And then you have the business investment, the business investment is one of those that are of a larger investment amount where you're investing into already established businesses. So, there are four options, very unique options. The most obviously chosen option would be the National Development Fund, and families, like I said, are very much welcomed because Antigua has a very deep meaning of a dependent compared to the other CBI programs out there.
Salman Siddiqui: So, in terms of the families, all four options give that right to foreign applicants to bring their families. But let's talk about this new option that you just mentioned, the University of West Indies fund option. So why is this more attractive for families now? Is it because the number of families that one can bring under this fund is six and compared to other options, the number varies? Or is it the same?
Kevin Hosam: The uniqueness about the Antigua program is, for example, if we had a client that chose the National Development Fund, perhaps I wouldn't say the word chose, but if we consulted a client and we noticed his family was between 1 to 5, it will definitely go towards the National Development Fund. I would recommend that because in certain cases it will be cheaper than the University of the West Indies Fund. However, if you were to go and add a sixth person onto the National Development Fund, it actually gets more expensive than the university fund. The university fund starts at a $150,000 investment, it's capped at $150,000. What makes it very unique is the government processing fees for the first six people is included in that $150,000.
So, if we were to do the mathematics and the costing of and comparisons of family make up a family of four, the investment or 1 to 4, the investment in the donation would be 100,000. However, 1 to 4 persons must pay an additional $30,000 processing fees, whereas 1 to 6 are paying $150,000. And it includes the processing fees. If you were to add family members onto the National Development Fund, you will be adding $15,000 per dependent for the processing fees. So, it actually becomes using the University of the West Indies cheaper than going through the National Development Fund option. So, the larger families are actually getting more cost effective through this option.
One of the ways that I would always encourage applicants is to look at the costing of their application. Let's say they had three family members, and the total cost was $160,000. You divide that by three and you'll be able to see, okay, my citizenship is going to cost X amount. But then when you divide the family of six by the $100,000 and let's say $75,000, that it's going to cost total of $180,000, you would realize that the amount per person actually goes down. So, your citizenship is getting cheaper by the amount of persons that are actually applying. Som it becomes very attractive for larger families. Now I said for couples again, it's the same. If one person was applying through the National Development Fund, they will be paying $100,000 as the investment and they will be still paying the $30,000 for the government processing fees. If four persons or two persons or three persons were applying in that family, they're paying the same amount as the single applicant. Now, obviously, the more persons you have on the application, quite contrary to a lot of the other programs per individual, it doesn't get cheaper, but in Antigua it does. So that is quite interesting for larger families. The larger the family, the less cost it is per individual.
Salman Siddiqui: Indeed. And that is interesting for a lot of large families. But I want to also understand how Antigua defines a family. Are just direct descendants? For example, a couple and their children are considered family. Or can one bring, say, one's brother or sister or parents in that same application?
Kevin Hosam: Yeah, so that's very interesting. That is something that the Antigua Citizenship by Investment Unit got into place just about two years ago, or a little less. But one of the last islands to actually implement were able to bring siblings, your siblings, so the principal applicant of an application or even the spouse would be able to bring a sibling onto the application. And again, unlike a lot of the other programs bringing a sibling, there's no added fee because they're a sibling.
So, in other words, in Antigua I just explained the investment $100,000, the processing fees are $30,000. You can add your sibling to that application without any added cost because they're a sibling, whereas in other in other jurisdictions you would have to perhaps pay, some not all, you would have to pay an additional fee because they're a sibling no matter even if they fall within that, you know, range of the amount of persons in a family. Now what's interesting about the siblings is a sibling. Once they're not married, they could be of any age, and they do not have to show dependency on the principal applicant. So that is also very unique. Other programs would say, okay, they have to be under the age of 18 to be a sibling and can be included. Other programs will say, okay, they could be of any age. However, they have to be dependent on the principal applicant.
Again, totally opposite to Antigua. So, adding a sibling in Antigua is a very attractive proposition for persons who are looking for that type of application. Indeed, we are able to add dependents now these dependents. So, for example, the principal applicant can add his parents once they're over the age of 55 and they can show dependency and they are able to add their kids to the application. Once they can show dependency under the age of 30. Now it's once if, for example, a child, we get caught up in the whole realm of a dependency. When my son is living in his apartment in the city, he's making a small salary. I would always recommend persons to consult with us and then we will be able to give them the exact: yes, he is considered a dependent or, no, he's not considered a dependent. Just don't take it upon your own initiative. We've been doing it for a very long time and we're able to say, hey, yes, your son is indeed a dependent and or no. There are certain things that we could take into consideration to determine if they qualify over the age of 25. Gets a little bit funny. I mean, are they fully dependent or are they not? And we'll be able to consult them the best way and determine if they are indeed eligible.
Salman Siddiqui: Right. And tell us when this fund was actually launched. Is it recent or has it been around? It's just becoming more popular now?
Kevin Hosam: Are you speaking about the University of the West Indies? Yes, that was actually launched around the same time as when they implemented the siblings, which was just around 2020, end of 2020, mid 2020. So, it is somewhat of a new fund. The fund was implemented or introduced, I should say, into our citizenship program when Antigua was afforded the opportunity to house the fourth campus of the University of the West Indies. Now the good thing about it is the University of the West Indies is known to be a very good university. And also, it is usually only seen in the larger islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, has a campus in Barbados and Jamaica. Now these are the larger islands in the Caribbean. So, by Antigua having a campus, particularly the only island to have a campus, the only island to have a campus, is very impressive. And the government really pushed for it. The prime minister really pushed and ensured that Antiguans got the ability to get that higher education on soil and for that they created this investment option to help sustain it.
Salman Siddiqui: Right. But there's a key difference between these fund options and the National Endowment donation option. They are both donations based, isn't it? But most foreign applicants, also in many countries, they like to invest in property and buy real estate because then they can eventually sell those properties and maybe get their money back. So, let's talk about the other option that's there, which is the real estate option. And, from what I heard, a lot of Americans prefer to buy their vacation homes in Antigua as a second home and especially in recent years. So, could you also share with our listeners what you have observed over the years, especially from people? From North Americans who have come to Antigua to make the investments. Which route is their preferred route?
Kevin Hosam: Yeah. So actually, I'm really happy to hear you say that Antigua is well known for a large expat population, which are what some people would categorize as snowbirds coming down in the wintertime for 8 or 9 months per year to get away from the weather, perhaps work remotely, or something like that. And a lot of them actually make it their home even at retirement, these expats. Now, the Citizenship by Investment program got quite popular with North Americans and even Europeans around the time of COVID. Pre-COVID, very few persons were actually speaking about it in these jurisdictions. And what we have noticed is, yes, they do have a mix of requests. Yes, they want to do a donation because they feel like they would like to donate to the building of the island. And they do have persons who also say they would like to make an actual real estate investment. I will be honest and say, when I do speak with particularly North Americans or Europeans, because I do know they would look at the Caribbean as definitely a second home and a place that they want to reside for most of the year. I would definitely ask them, what is your intention? If your intention is to live here, perhaps you might want to think of buying something more permanent after you invest in the National Development Fund.
Some still go the route on the real estate aspect. I personally believe in the real estate aspect, and I believe in good properties. Obviously, we all do. We all believe in good real estate. Good real estate offers persons the opportunity to get returns on their investment, and it also offers them the opportunity to exit if they wish to exit. And if I do get clients who wish to invest in a real estate option, that is one of the things that I speak about with them. I want to ensure before they choose the real estate option, I want them to know what they're getting into, that they do have to hold it for five years. There's a holding period of five years, and I want them to know that the property that you're looking at now, if I did not introduce it to you, are you satisfied with the exit? If there is one, if you do decide to exit after the holding period? The good thing about Antigua is the real estate here is it's a good option. And the reason for that is because the government actually introduced the real estate option to enhance the tourism product, to build on the amount of nights or overnight stays that the island receives per year.
Before the Citizenship by Investment Program introduced this option, we had less rooms available for our tourist industry, so it was an encouragement for persons to build properties. Now, like I was saying in the beginning of the call, a lot of the real estate options have already been sold. We do have some new options on the market, and I do think quite a few of them are quite good. But I do encourage persons to do their research, particularly those who are looking to come and live here and live here full time, or at least an extended period, because that is not necessarily the unit that you might want to live in. Again, these are built for mostly tourism accommodation. They are few properties that will allow long-term living and they have properties for that. And that is why, again, it comes back to when I speak with my clients about the program and the real estate option in particular, I need to know what their goals are. And you tend to see, again, North Americans and Europeans wanting to come to Antigua. It is a beautiful island, and it has a history of being very welcoming to these persons to make it a second home.
Salman Siddiqui: Thank you for sharing that. That this option has become recently popular with North Americans and Europeans. But do you think this is pandemic the only reason because of which they are coming to Antigua? Or, I mean, I heard this, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but some people have shared that their clients also say it's because of the environment now in the US, that they just feel that having a second option in places like Antigua just makes them feel safer. Do you also hear that from your clients, especially those in the US?
Kevin Hosam: Absolutely. Every day, anytime we get a call. When I said we started to get interested because of the pandemic, it was like the pandemic 2020 was the opening, the reckoning for these persons to realize that a Plan B is absolutely necessary. It wasn't necessarily just the pandemic, because if it was just the pandemic, we would not have the persons contacting us today still, because that is basically behind us. The whole COVID issue is a lot of us have put it behind of us. So, we do hear about it. We hear and I don't want to just pick on the US, but Canadians, Europeans and even further afield, they talk about political issues. They talk about when we go back to the pandemic, they basically say there they were unable to move and because certain areas were hit harder in the pandemic, it opened up their eyes to their stock. And a lot of persons are not used to being stationed in one place for years. People want to be able to move and not every nationality was allowing you to go to certain countries. So having options with citizenship allowed them to do that. So, you that's why I said it opened up their eyes and it opened up their eyes to more issues, not only because of my movement, but also because of the political atmosphere. Some of them talk about war. We have a war going on right now in Ukraine, and we're seeing Eastern Europeans requesting citizenship by investment. And it's not because they would love to leave their home because they think it's not  good. It's just that they want to have an option for security. We're in the middle, of the or just on the edge, of the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, and we're not in the center of any war or conflict. So, they look at this as a place of safety. And North Americans do that. Europeans are doing that. The entire world is doing that.
Salman Siddiqui: That's so true. And also, I want to understand from your perspective, because you mentioned you're from Antigua and you've been observing the trends for so long. So, I'm also interested to know from you, as have you seen a shift in the age group of the applicants? Are you now seeing perhaps, is it just the retirees who are coming towards Antigua or do younger couples are also considering it as an option? And is this a recent trend?
Kevin Hosam: That's a really good question. Recently, I'm seeing younger persons, younger entrepreneurs looking at this. I think the mindset I want to think is: I'm young. The mindset has changed a little bit where we want to be free. We want to have that mobility. We want to, we don't want to be caught up in conflicts and wars. We're tired of it. And we're seeing younger persons right now. I would say the age range is from about 35, 33 up to 70, 75. We've had 80 plus year olds apply. I've actually done about a year ago an application for a person who is 90 years old who just said: I feel like I need to get something because they're living over in Europe. And I was actually quite surprised that his age he was thinking about that. And it's not that he wanted to leave his country, it's just that he wanted that safety and a safety net of having something in to migrate to a more stable, if that's the word I could use in a war time. So yeah, the applicants are younger now.
I think with education and podcasts like what we're doing, they're becoming more aware of the necessity. Twitter, social media. It has opened a lot of eyes. Younger people are using these modes of education like education opportunities that they get online, right? Taking it in and they're applying. And yes, it wasn't necessarily like that five years ago, but it has evolved into younger persons actually applying, and they're applying for themselves as single applicants or they're applying for their young family. But you see, we are getting the middle aged 50, 50+s who have a family. Applying and they're also applying for their kids because they're thinking about their future and they're saying, well, I'd like to get it for my kids. And I'm not sure if they're necessarily going to use it, but perhaps when the time comes and it is necessary, they have an option that they can just get through some sort of refuge or safety or some secure place outside of some war battle. So, you get a lot of persons saying different things and, yes, different ages now for sure. Absolutely.
Salman Siddiqui: Great to hear that. And, would like to hear from you. What options do digital nomads have in Antigua & Barbuda? I mean, this is also a recent trend world over where I mean, I think it's connected to the pandemic again, where many countries began to offer digital nomad visa. So, I think Antigua has that option. And what trend are you seeing in that particular category? Is that on the rise or has that stabilized or what are you observing there?
Kevin Hosam: Yeah. So ,Antigua does have a nomad visa. It introduced it about two years ago also, or a little bit more than that. It was actually one of the first countries to introduce a nomad visa and it has been doing quite well for. Again, you would see for the nomad visas, you're not seeing the younger persons. I will be honest; Antigua is not the cheapest area or place to live in. I mean, you can get a nomad visa in Southeast Asia and you could live quite easier on a less budget. But you are seeing families applying for this. Nomad visa did a family a few months ago for a nomad visa from New Zealand and they brought over their mother also, or the mother of the principal (applicant). He brought over his mother, his kids, and his wife. And that was the last one that I did. And the government just recently actually extended to continue doing the Nomad visa. So, it is out there. Persons are looking at it, who are considering. I would like to say, because a lot of them who do the nomad visa sometimes most of the time transition into a second citizenship to stay in the Caribbean because once they come here, the way of life here is fantastic. The Caribbean islands are well connected through their airports to Europe and North America, so it's easy for them to get home if in the event that they need to leave, it's easy for them to come and live here. It's not extremely expensive. However, it's not on the cheap side like some countries in Southeast Asia would be. So, you do see persons transition from the nomad visa into the Citizenship by Investment program, which is actually quite good, and the government just extended it. So, in my opinion, if they have extended it, then it must be doing pretty good and right. And it is a destination. The person's life, it's livable.
Salman Siddiqui: Right. And I also want to touch upon something that you said earlier, which was about the applicants that are now coming from Europe. So, let's talk a little bit more on that. So, we discussed the impact of the Ukraine war had on so many countries, programs where people are going from that region and seeking passports. So, what are you seeing there, the trends from Europe? Are you getting more applicants, you said, from Eastern Europe, but is there any particular country from where you're getting more applicants now? And are you facing any difficulties in getting their applications approved? Because I hear this from a lot of other programs that, for example, for Belarus or Russian applicants, they can't even open a bank account. So, it's just they don't bother. So, are you facing challenges and what trends have you observed over the years from that region?
Kevin Hosam: Currently, Russians and Belarusians are not permitted to apply in our program. We do see Eastern Europeans, Romanians, Moldovans, persons from that region requesting second citizenship. They're inquiring. Some of them have already started applications. When you speak with them again, it's not that they hate their country per se, it's just that they just want to have that comfort. Persons would say: yeah, but I can travel on my current passport. But how long can you stay in a country on your current passport? You're giving an allotted amount of time per year. If this thing really does escalate, they're looking at perhaps we would have to move for a year or two or whatever. The good thing about an Antiguan citizenship is, yes, you can come and live in Antigua, but also you can move through the OECS because you are part of the organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. So, you're able to go and make a residence within another one of the countries that's part of the OECS. Right. So you're not necessarily confined to one island.
Salman Siddiqui: But this trend is new, though, the one that you just mentioned, that people, for example, applicants from Moldova are coming to Antigua, as far away as Antigua to seek a second citizenship. This is something new, right? This didn't happen before.
Kevin Hosam: I mean, you did get some inquiries previously, but not as much as you would get today. Not as much. You're even getting persons who were living or who have moved out of Ukraine, who have a Ukrainian citizenship, actually inquiring because they have Ukrainian, they prefer to have something else. Also, most of them are not living in Ukraine at the moment. But you are seeing, let's say, for example, Romanian families asking, and it is an uptake previously to 2021 or 2022. When this conflict began, we would get inquiries, but now on a normal basis, we're hearing a lot more on a daily basis per se. We are getting inquiries, not necessarily everybody's following through which they inquire and then they make decisions. They speak it over with their family. But it is a trend upward. And again, it comes back to education also, when persons hear about it, at first, they may think, well, why do I need it? But after when they do understand the necessities of a plan B, they're definitely open minded to it and jump at the opportunity. They jump at the opportunity because it's citizenship within, let's say, five, six months. And it gives you those opportunities of living in a country that can assist you in rough times in terms of your security. It's a necessity right now.
Salman Siddiqui: Right. And I also want to know about what trends you're seeing from other parts of the world. For example, are you seeing traditionally applicants from Southeast Asia would come, to places like Canada? They would apply in so many other countries and especially in the Caribbean, too. Was there a focus of, for example, Chinese applicants coming to Antigua, or has that increased or stopped? Or what are you observing from that part of the world?
Kevin Hosam: When I first got into this investment migration industry, the majority of applicants were definitely from China. And I would say every region tends to fluctuate. China went down during the pandemic because it was very difficult to obtain documents for them to move, for them to get from the government. I do see an uptick with them. Again, Chinese are definitely making those inquiries. Again, I am a promoter of all Caribbean, and I do see Antigua being the predominant one being asked for. I think China will be one of the leading countries to be requesting second citizenship. Every citizen in the country has a reason for obtaining citizenship. The persons in China may not be thinking about a second citizenship like for the same reasons as a person in North America. They have totally different reasons. Some other jurisdictions, Southeast Asia, a few countries in there, Vietnam in particular, they're not requesting second citizenship for perhaps the same reason as Europeans also. So of course, I would say on a yearly basis, every year you see different trends. At the beginning of the year, you tend to see more of a more of one country requesting second citizenship then the other predominantly right now, because China is now getting out of that whole lockdown scenario, you're getting a lot more requests. You're still seeing quite a number of requests throughout Africa, West Africa. You're getting a lot of requests out of North America, Europe, Southeast Asia. I think, in my opinion, again, this year, every country that has been applying previously, it's going to increase. World is not getting stabilized. If that's a word. It's not as stable as it used to be. A lot more conflicts, a lot more hardships. And persons are looking for that second option. And Caribbean Antigua offers that option within a few months, and there is an uptick. And because Antigua is positioned as safe, well developed, kept decent health care, decent education, persons look at it and think, well, that is a very good option. It's a viable option for me and my family.
Salman Siddiqui: Kevin, I want to ask you, and this is also coming to the end of our show. Here’s the absolutely last question. I mean, I want you to take on the future of the Caribbean programs, including Antigua & Barbuda, in the context that we know that a lot of programs in the Caribbean are facing pressures from the European Commission, for example, they talk about due diligence processes and of course, a lot of countries programs for their visa access to Europe is being scrutinized and they're asking questions of whether this should continue or not. So, given that sort of context, how do you see it briefly, if you could share with our listeners the future of the Caribbean program and especially Antigua & Barbuda?
Kevin Hosam: There are a few ways we can answer that. This is a topic that people debate a lot, and not everybody sees it the same way. I see Caribbean (programs) here to stay at the moment. The governments look forward to the revenue. They need the revenue. They put the revenue into much needed projects to assist with the development of the country. The Caribbean islands are small. Islands that are very prone to natural disasters, I mean we will get the brunt of it. And we do when it comes to the environment, we pollute the lake the least. But we are also on the end of getting the most destruction. So, the Caribbean islands need these programs to combat climate change in terms of natural disasters, when we do have these things, the government has to step in and assist their population. These larger countries who want to scrutinize the programs, we could speak about due diligence on a daily basis. Due diligence is something that that I'm very, I speak about very, passionately because we do a due diligence, a rigorous due diligence process. And our applicants, I see it firsthand because I'm that bridge between the client and the unit. And these programs are being scrutinized. Are we’re being scrutinized because we are asking high-net-worth individuals or we're allowing high-net-worth individuals an easier pathway to get a second citizenship than persons looking to? No, I don't want to say this. Badly. But are we are scrutinizing the persons that are going through this rigorous process as opposed to persons who will be coming into a country through other means, other visa options that don't go through these due, diligent, rigorous due diligence processes? The due diligence is done by companies that have been in this industry and not just this industry, but in the banking industry, doing due diligence for banks and for governments.
Kevin Hosam: Why is it different for us as opposed it's different for these larger countries? We have to ask ourselves this. Most of these due diligence companies that we are employing and employing for these programs now, I'm not working in the government sector, but from my knowledge and experience, a lot of these due diligence companies are actually based in the US, in the UK, in Europe. Why? Why are we scrutinizing their due diligence when you're using them for your own good? That's a good point. It doesn't make any sense to me. And the governments need these programs, so I believe the programs would be here. And I believe these larger countries need to understand that we're on the receiving end of a lot of hardships when it comes to climate change. And we get scrutinized for our offshore banking sector, our online gaming sector. We get scrutinized and we get shut down. So, I mean, are we third class world citizens where, you know, where really we can't live. The countries need to live. We need to progress. And we're using the same the same means that these other countries are using these larger countries are using to process some of their applications.
Salman Siddiqui: Those are all valid points, Kevin.
Kevin Hosam: And, you know, what's very important is these companies that we're using. They're using them. They're based in your country. They're based. We have to honestly think that the Caribbean they're doing a very good job here, picking the persons that are eligible to proceed with obtaining a second citizenship. These Caribbean countries don't want to have persons that are not desirable. If they're not desirable and they have issues, that is not what they want. Now, out of a thousand, perhaps the first may get through because it did not show up on the due diligence because it was not done in the future. We can't predict what persons are going to do when they get it, but that is something that we look at. We dive deep into their past, their history to make sure that this is what the country wants. And it starts from persons like myself who are onboarding the clients. We do a background check on them to onboard them, and then from there the bank does a background check on them. And then from there the citizenship unit does a background check on them. At the end of it, we know their favorite color.
Salman Siddiqui: Right? So, you're saying the processes are robust enough and the future for the Caribbean programs, including Antigua & Barbuda, does look bright and will continue to look bright. And certainly, we all hope so, too. So, thank you so much for taking out the time for our episode. Kevin, I really enjoyed talking to you.
Kevin Hosam: Thank you. Thank you.
Salman Siddiqui: Thank you. And in the end, I would just want to shout out to our listeners that please stay tuned to our podcast. We'll be bringing you more guests from around the world to talk about more programs from all around the world. Thank you so much. Thank you.
You've been listening to the Investment Immigration podcast by you, Uglobal.com. Join us again soon for more in depth conversations exploring investment immigration opportunities from around the world.

Powered by Froala Editor


Magazine Sign Up

Sign up to receive a free copy of our industry leading global immigration magazine

Become a Verified Member

Join our the global immigration community

join for free