Digest: The Bahamas is preparing to enter the investment citizenship market / Grenada has threatened unscrupulous investors to revoke citizenship / Family offices target the health insurance market

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  • Digest: The Bahamas is preparing to enter the investment citizenship market / Grenada has threatened unscrupulous investors to revoke citizenship / Family offices target the health insurance market
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Elena Smirnova 28.08.2020

Read our digest to learn the latest developments in migration programs. The Bahamas is preparing to enter the investment citizenship market, and Grenada has threatened unscrupulous investors to revoke citizenship; Latvia has amended the rules on residence permits and permanent residency for investors in the settings of quarantine, and Ukraine has reinforced its standing in the Basel AML Index.

The Bahamas targets to enter the investment citizenship market

According to The Tribune, a local newspaper, this island nation has been studying the successful experience of the Caribbean countries in attracting foreign investments to their economies.

With reference to one major player in the construction industry, the authorities are consulting on this issue with business figures. Representatives of companies believe that options for the investors should not be limited to investments in real estate only; they suggest to include donations into the infrastructure fund or for combating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to preliminary information, the investment threshold to participate in the program could be US$ 750,000. By contrast, Saint Kitts and Nevis recently announced a decrease in the investment threshold to US$ 150,000. The difference in cost is explained by such an advantage as the more developed banking system in the Bahamas.

The current program of the Bahamas golden visas where investments start from US$ 500,000 is not effective enough. Foreigners are discouraged by high cost and lack of transparency in the procedure for obtaining a residence permit.

Eight more countries are discussing the launch of their citizenship by investment programs. It is expected that the cost to obtain passports of Tuvalu, Samoa, Palau, Micronesia, Tonga, Kiribati, the Marshall and Solomon Islands will not exceed US$ 100,000.

Currently, there is one passport program only in the Pacific region. It is the Vanuatu CBI with a minimum contribution of US$ 100,000. Please contact the Migronis consultants for full information on terms and conditions to participate in it.

Grenada has threatened unscrupulous investors to revoke citizenship

As the WicNews portal reports referring to Percival Clouden, CEO of the Grenada Citizenship By Investment Office, authorities of this Caribbean country have issued a circular that further clarifies the rules of the program.

He explained that Grenada was taking steps to preserve integrity of its CBI program. It turned out that after approval of the application, one of the developers offered an investor a discounted buyback of the real estate. They have commenced investigation into violation of the terms of property sale, as well as intended under-estimation of the real estate value. The developer will face criminal liability, and the investor’s citizenship will be revoked.

The Grenada Law and Rules governing the CBI program stipulate that an investor undertakes to purchase a property worth at least US$ 220,000, which can be resold only five years later.

The WicNews portal also quoted its anonymous source from among senior officials who stated that that most Caribbean governments were going to issue similar circulars to put a stop to such corrupt practices within their countries’ programs.

Please contact the Migronis consultants for full and unbiased information on participation in the Grenada passport program.

Family offices target the health insurance market

Wealthy families around the world are actively renewing their health insurance policies. According to the SPEAR’S, a media portal about the lifestyle of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the millionaires’ demand for qualified medical care has triggered a new trend in the insurance market.

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in opening of specialized family offices. Clients seek guarantees of medical assistance in their countries of residence despite closed borders and setback in their personal mobility due to quarantine measures. 

Insurance family offices are designed to fully meet the medical needs of the client and his/her family, wherever they are. They provide a wide range of services – from simple on-call or video consulting to emergency evacuation.

The policy cost varies from 2.8 mln to 22.2 mln. Insurance coverage, extend of access to the doctors database and even the response time to a patient’s request will depend on the amount paid. Privileged clients will be provided with the advice in several languages within 24 hours; however, waiting time under the standard package can be up to 72 hours.

In the event of the double-dip pandemic, members of wealthy families prefer to stay in countries with a developed healthcare system, such as Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

European passports and residence permits enable you to take advantage of the healthcare system in the EU member states, and also provide their holders with insurance in case of illness. You can find out more about EU citizenship programs and residence permits by contacting us via the chat window.

Latvia has amended rules on its golden visas in the settings of quarantine

Latvia has experienced the slump in application for residence permits or permanent residency by foreigners. According to imidaily.com, only 5 investors obtained residency in the first half of 2020

The state’s revenue from the program during this period amounted to less than €9 mln. Officials estimate that interest of wealthy foreigners to Latvian residency is about 67% of values dated back to the same period in 2019. Furthermore, the appeal of the Latvian golden visa has been declining for several years now. In the period from July 2010 to July 2016 it brought €1.4 bln to the budget, whereas from 2017 to 2019 – €100 million only. 

The officials do not want to abandon the program yet, and even make efforts to adapt it to contemporary conditions of the pandemic. In particular, if a resident investor is out of the country from March 12 to December 31, 2020, his/her absence will not affect the registration, granting or cancellation of permanent residency. As to a residence permit, the above mentioned period will also not be taken into account when registering and issuing a document. However, a foreigner may not receive his/her status in case of violation of the lockdown, self-isolation or quarantine restrictions.

Such measures have not made the Latvian residence permit by investment program more appealing. It is still inferior to similar proposals by Portugal, Greece and Spain. The Migronis consultants will assist you in comparing terms and conditions of obtaining golden visas in these countries, as well as the prospects of their further use. Please contact them via the chat window.

Mark Zuckerberg joins the top-three richest people of the world

According to Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth crossed US$100 billion, so the Facebook founder and owner has joined founders of Amazon and Microsoft on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon owner, is still the leader (US$ 190 bln). He is followed by Bill Gates, Microsoft founder (US$ 120 bln). And Zuckerberg is ranked third. According to analysts, the social network founder’s net worth has increased due to the launch of Reels, an alternative service to TikTok (a Chinese application).

Bernard Arnault, the primary shareholder of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, is the fourth in the world financial standing. His assets are estimated at US$ 81.4 billion.

The companies keep up with their owners. According to Forbes, they have been the world’s most expensive brands since 2019.

Such American brands as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have maintained and even added in value. At the same time Facebook has come 21% down, but retained a stable position among the top 5. Its financial losses resulted from a boycott by human rights advocates and advertisers, who opposed the social network’s tolerant attitude towards hateful content.

The total value of brands included in the top 100 has grown to US$ 2.54 trillion. More than half of the top 100 companies are American; the most popular industry is IT.

The rating shows that the United States is still the most favorable country for high-tech business and investment in it. You can legally live and do business in this country with an investor visa, and EB-5 immigration visa provides an opportunity to apply for citizenship in 6 years. Please fill in Contact Form on our website to learn further details on business immigration to the USA.

Ukraine has improved its position in the Basel AML Index

Researchers from the Basel Institute on Governance insist that the lowest risk of money laundering is in Estonia, Andorra and Finland. They compiled the annual report on the ability of 141 countries to combat laundering of illegal capital.

The Index leader is Estonia. It sits the 141st position. Afghanistan, a country that has been engaged in a military conflict for many years, is ranked 1st among the most unreliable economies.

Estonia and other post-Soviet states have got good indices as a result of positive trends. Lithuania is 131st and among the top 10 counties. Georgia is 103rd followed by Latvia (93rd), then Armenia (79th) and Kazakhstan (73rd). Ukraine is 67th followed by Azerbaijan (66th); and the Russian Federation is 52nd.

By contrast, Ukraine was 37th in the 2019 AML Index , and it has improved its position by 30 points in just a year.

Switzerland and the United States, the two largest financial centers, are in the top 50. They hold 93rd and 100th positions, respectively.

The Basel experts came to these conclusions based on reports by the FATF, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the Transparency International, as well as the domestic statistics of the countries included in the Basel AML Index.

Nevertheless, the corporate sector of Canada, the 94th country in the anti-money laundering rating, actively makes use of tax havens. This trend is reflected in a report released by the Tax Fairness, an alliance of independent economists and researchers, together with the country’s authorities.

According to the report, in 2019 companies hid an unprecedented amount of US$ 381 bln in offshores. The most popular jurisdictions where businessmen used to save their capitals from taxes included Luxembourg, Bermuda, Barbados, Caymans and the Netherlands.

The tax burden can be reduced in an appropriate and legal way through low-tax treatment in other countries. Our experts in international tax law are ready to provide professional advice. Please contact us via the chat window or any of the available messengers to book the expert’s consultation.

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