St. Kitts and Nevis cuts real estate minimum investment amount
The Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which has the oldest citizenship-by-investment program in the world, has cut its minimum real estate investment amount in half. To obtain citizenship, the program now requires a $200,000 pre-approved real estate investment instead of the original $400,000. If bought at $200,000, the owner cannot resell the property for at least seven years.
African island nation starts CBI program
Mauritius, an African island off the coast of Madagascar, is working on establishing a citizenship-by-investment program. It starts at $500,000 for a passport, which grants visa-free access to 145 destinations. The spouse and dependents of the main applicant can each pay $50,000 per passport. For $1 million, Mauritius will offer full citizenship to an applicant, and $100,000 for the applicant’s spouse and each dependent. The funds are planned to go into a national sovereign fund used for new capital projects and public debt repayments.
Greece could expand Golden Visa options
Greece is considering expanding its Golden Visa investment options to include the purchase of shares and bonds, not just real estate. The country is hoping the new funds will aid its offers following a significant debt crisis and years of bailout loans. How much of an investment into shares or bonds will be needed to attain the visa has not been determined. Greece currently allows for a 250,000-euro real estate purchase to attain the Golden Visa, which allows coveted access into the Schengen Area.
Latitude merges with Dubai CBI firm
British investment firm Latitude Consultancy has announced a merger with RIF Trust Investments LLC, a Dubai-based citizenship-by-investment company. Eric Major, Latitude’s founding partner and CEO, predicted that the move will drive further consolidation of the CBI industry. “Beyond the market success witnessed by RIF Trust over the years, what excites me the most about this merger is the people we are bringing together,” he said in a news release.
UAE looking to attract investors, professionals
The United Arab Emirates is loosening its residency laws in a bid to attract investors and highly skilled professionals. The plan aims to give long-term visas for up to 10 years to specialists in science, medicine and research, as well as “exceptional students.” The program will also allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of their UAE-based companies, a change from the current law requiring that an Emirati owning 51 percent of shares, unless it’s in a free zone.
To meet labor demand, Japan looks to boost immigration
Facing a labor shortage and aging population, the Japanese government recently announced that it wants to ease immigration restrictions in a move to bring in more foreign labor. No target numbers have been announced, but the worker visas may be good for five years and allow a skilled worker's family members to come in the country as well.
St. Lucia to issue government bonds for its CBI program
This month, the government of St. Lucia is set to issue 50 million Eastern Caribbean dollars in treasury bonds, which is about 20 million American dollars, according to the Bank of St. Lucia. Bond amounts start at US $500,000 for an individual applicant and must be held for five years. St. Lucia suspended its bond option in 2016 but then reintroduced it the following year.