An Overview of Residency by Investment Programs: The Transcript

An Overview of Residency by Investment Programs: The Transcript

We’re excited to announce that the transcript for our Residency by Investment Programs webinar held on Friday, December 15th, is now available for your perusal.

Once again, a heartfelt thank you to our panelists for taking the time to talk to our community about Residency by Investment programs throughout the globe.

Our panelists were:

- Laszlo Kiss, Managing Director, Discus Holdings Ltd., Malta
- Imad Elbitar, Middle East Regional Manager, NTL Trust Ltd., UAE
- Yiannos Trisokkas, Managing Partner, Henley & Partners Cyprus Ltd., Cyprus
- João Gil Figueira, Country Manager, Lugna, Portugal

Please feel free to download the full transcript below and make sure to share it with your network.


Here are some of our event’s main highlights!

What leads an individual to pick a Residency by Investment Program over a Citizenship by Investment one?

Yiannos TrisokkasYiannos Trisokkas: “From our experience, what we see is that…the financial aspect [is] very important in a decision. Take into consideration the Cypriot citizenship: its entry investment is at 2 million [Euros], whereas the residency is 300,000 [Euros]. So there is a big gap between the two…Another reason could be that the country of origin of the specific client might not allow dual citizenship, and we have clients that are a bit sensitive and they try to avoid contradicting the rules and regulations of their own country…Plus, if the potential client is seriously thinking [about relocating to] the country, he might choose…residency rather than the citizenship because he's going to be spending less money…Also, if his passport already allows him to travel visa-free to many countries, he doesn't really need the passport as a travelling document, then the residency could be an option.”

Which solutions do clients prefer, property or government bond investments?

Laszlo KissLaszlo Kiss: “I think the answer is simply based on human psychology. There are many people who love to hold their wealth in their hands and they prefer property and they want property and they want only property. They are not interested in any kind of government promises like governmental bond investments. No, they want to use the money for something, which is theirs, under their own name and that can be liquidated anytime. This is the type of client who is interested in Residency by Investment Programs based or partly based on property. Many times, I try to convince people that, maybe compared to what they want to achieve, there is a more cost effective solution by not using property…but I had to realize after a certain time that it's not really worthwhile to argue if they believe in property, then I think we should offer them a property-based solution.”

Question: What are the guarantees for a successful Residency by Investment application?

João Gil FigueiraJoão Gil Figueira: “One thing that I have been seeing with other residency programs worldwide…is that there is some degree of power of the authorities to decide against or for the applicant. So they can have a discretionary decision. In Portugal, this is not the case. As long as you complied with all the legal requirements of the so-called Golden Visa…it's yours. It is a clear legal provision that entitles someone to get residency if, for instance, they have no criminal convictions, you fulfill the investment required, you stay [in Portugal] for seven days in the first year, you signed all the paperwork and you paid the government fees. You just have to wait and it's yours.”

Question: The German passport is one of the strongest in the world. What options are available for investors to get a residence permit in Germany?

Imad ElbitarImad Elbitar: “Germany has an excellent infrastructure and educational and social benefit system. Usually, while getting the permit residency in Germany, the person will have the same rights as a German citizen…They will have access to public university, which is almost free of charge. To get the residency, people will have to bring significant benefit to the region and the amount should start at around 200,000 to 250,000 Euros in a new or existing company. And if this requirement is met, they will get the residency in four-to-six months and usually there is no physical residency required. The only condition is that they have to visit the country once every six months. After six years, if the applicant has basic knowledge of German language and has successfully run a company, paid tax in Germany, he's eligible to apply for citizenship. Usually, the application for citizenship in Germany is eight years. Seven years if the person has a little knowledge of the German language and six years if they are active in the society, pay tax and run a good business there.”

You can download the full transcript HERE.

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