How to obtain dual citizenship or a residency permit, transfer or secure your capital, and declare assets and profits in a highly developed country? These issues are of increasing importance to high net worth individuals living in economically and politically unstable countries. Shortly before the Cannes International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo, we met its general manager, Ksenia Korzun to ask a couple of questions.
The Cannes International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo (CIELP Expo) is an exhibition dedicated to immigration, luxury real estate, and private financial consulting to be held between 26 and 27 October in Cannes. The event will bring together leading immigration companies, property developers, consultancies, and auditing firms from more than 30 countries.
Ksenia, could you briefly explain what business and investment immigration mean?
It’s very easy: These terms commonly refer to the process of obtaining temporary or permanent residency permits or citizenship in the country of your choice. Business immigration involves investing assets in a business, i.e.: acquiring an existing company or setting up your own. Investment immigration usually relates to purchasing real property or government securities. Each country has its own programs, which are constantly changing. The required investment amount varies from country to country as well, and ranges from EUR 200,000 to EUR 2 million or more. These programs primarily target wealthy, successful people who seek opportunities to improve their living conditions and change their business environment. Obtaining a temporary or permanent work permit through one of these programs is much easier than through student or employment programs: There is less paperwork, fewer formalities, language requirements are not as strict, and terms are different, too. This is a perfect option for well-off people.
Is the demand for this emigration really increasing? What are the top source countries for migrants?
People who have earned income and achieved success in their home countries tend to transfer a part of their capital to more developed countries (invest in real estate or business or deposit with a bank). Citizenship in those countries enables them to easily access these assets. In recent years, this type of emigration has seen growing demand by citizens of the CIS, including Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. This can be explained by the economic and political situation in these countries. Chinese, Indians, and Middle Easterners are also showing great interest in immigrant investor programs. Residency by investment in a highly developed country is an escape hatch in case of unforeseen life circumstances.
Which countries are the most popular countries for immigration and why?
The list of the most coveted countries hasn’t really changed over the few decades – we are principally talking about the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and the EU. These countries are distinguished by a high level of safety, democracy, and economic and political stability. Moreover, they are known to be quite loyal to immigrants. Malta, Cyprus, Portugal, and countries of the Caribbean also actively promote their investment programs. So, take your pick! Just make sure that you have thoroughly investigated the program details and possible pitfalls, and gained a deep understanding of the country’s laws, taxation, and cultural peculiarities.
Dual citizenship is not allowed in many countries. How can this problem be solved?
A change of citizenship is not the only option. A temporary or permanent residence permit entitles the person to reside in a country for years and enjoy the same rights as a citizen. Moreover, the permit can be continuously extended. In fact, this is the most popular way to move abroad. Should you wish to settle in your new country permanently, you may apply for citizenship. So, you can easily avoid problems with dual citizenship. The word ‘emigration’ has no negative connotations, Rather, our perception has been created by politicians.
How can a person benefit from a permanent residence permit?
As I said before, this status implies equal rights with citizens, except for the right to vote and probably some other minor issues, depending on the country. What’s important is that the person as well as his or her family members can stay in the country if they wish, acquire real estate, work, run a business, set up bank accounts, and take loans on the same terms and conditions as other citizens.
One of the highlights of your exhibition is luxury real estate. Why luxury?
We are primarily focused on luxury real estate developers from the countries that offer residency by investment, as well as from the most popular holiday destinations where properties can be purchased as a seasonal residence or to generate income through rental. Luxury real estate does not necessarily imply palaces or multi-million-euro estates. We use this word to describe upscale, high-end properties including penthouse apartments worth EUR 200,000 to EUR 300,000, villas and houses ranging from EUR 500,000 to several million euros.
Investing in real estate has become a popular way to secure assets compared with acquiring securities or funding someone’s business, which can be risky if you don’t have an insight into the country and its stock market. Besides, the problems some banks have recently faced made people more cautious and they are increasingly opting for a safer, more comfortable investment path.
What do you mean by private financial consulting?
Private financial consulting includes the entire scope of services relating to financial assets, or finance and tax management. Whether you’re interested in buying securities, starting a business, or acquiring real estate in a highly developed country, you must comply with strict rules that govern income and asset declaration, taxation, and legal paperwork. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to close a deal or open a bank account. Similarly, inappropriate, or inaccurate forms may give rise to many problems with immigration, taxation, or law enforcement agencies. To avoid nasty surprises, you nrf to rely on professionals qualified to assist. So, the importance of financial consulting services for potential investors and immigrants is obvious.
On 26-27 October, the Cannes International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo will be held. What do you expect from it?
We have quite extensive experience organizing events like this. The CIELP Expo is a leading international exhibition designed to bring together the B2B and B2C communities. I’m certain it will benefit participants and visitors alike, and will live up to the highest expectations. The list of exhibitors encompasses companies that are globally recognized leaders. It poses a perfect opportunity for private individuals and industry professionals to make useful contacts, and liaise with each other.
Since immigration programs and related processes are very complicated and involve government agencies, I strongly recommend prospective immigrants to employ professional companies to avoid problems and irreparable mistakes.