The arrival of Covid-19 nearly two years ago triggered a range of global trends – some predicted and some unforeseen – as people radically re-evaluated their life plans.
One major trend was a rise in individuals exploring either investment or skills-based residency and second citizenship across the world.
Endless lockdowns, travel restrictions and the suspension of temporary visas by several countries during the pandemic motivated high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) in particular to seek out attractive Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes. Many are nervous about capital controls, higher taxation, and political disruption and these programmes help ensure security and mobility for them and their families.
The current global estimate is that there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6 percent of the global population, according to International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The investment migration market alone, which was estimated at $21.4 billion (Dh78.59 billion) in 2019, is projected to reach $100 billion in revenue by 2025, if the 23 per cent growth rate persists, according to Investment Migration Insider, a knowledge platform for the sector.
With CBI, the concept is simple: in return for a real estate investment or a contribution to the government, an investor is afforded the opportunity to apply for citizenship of a country. If successful, they become eligible for various benefits that follow, including visa free travel to many international destinations, access to a tax efficient jurisdiction, free healthcare, top tier education, and more.
All you need to know about GNICE
As the demand for second citizenship shows no sign of easing off, the upcoming Gulf News Immigration and Citizenship Exhibition (GNICE), taking place from November 18-20, brings together all stakeholders – including immigration lawyers, industry experts, spokespersons of leading nations offering citizenship, and residency by investments programmes – on one platform to help prospective immigrants make the right decisions for their future.
The exhibition comes at a timely moment, as Pej Mohyeddin, Managing Director & Senior Advisor at Bayat Legal Services points out.
“Attaining a residency or second citizenship – or even planning for migration – is more crucial than ever and we have encountered a significant increase of enquiries in the second stage of the pandemic. It is now a vital necessity.”
His company deals with all migration scenarios and focuses on finding programmes that best fit a client’s end goal for their family. The company also has a pro bono venture, assisting those interested in migrating to Canada.
Leading immigration firm CS Global Partners represents the countries of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis. Both programmes have stood the test of time. Despite growing competition from other programmes, these countries have remained popular amongst global investors.
The company will be attending this month’s GNICE to highlight the benefits of these two nations for investors – and to highlight a current incentive.
“St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme currently has a limited time offer in place for families of up to four,” says Paul Singh, Director, CS Global Partners. “Under the temporary discount, which will operate until the end of next month, a family can obtain citizenship for the same price as a single applicant.”
At this year’s GNICE , another leading industry name – RIF Trust – is planning to promote CBI in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Vanuatu, and Montenegro – as well as RBI (Residence By Investment) in the UK, Portugal, and Malta.
The company’s CEO, Mimoun A. Assraoui, extended an attractive offer to the Gulf News exhibition visitors: “They will get 50 percent off our professional fees if they sign-up before 31 November.”
The exhibition will also showcase lucrative immigration opportunities for professionals with specific skills and experience. “The frontrunners in the race for the brightest and the best from around the world are Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Germany,” says Clint Khan, Director at Y-Axis Middle East DMCC.
“With the introduction of the points based immigration system, the UK is now as accessible to a foreign worker from across the world as to someone from within the EU. Germany also has a high demand for skilled labour. Canada and Australia remain the most favourite destinations for migrate overseas.”
He adds: “Immigrants contribute to the economy. A country’s economy is partially calculated by the labour force and their payment of taxes. The more immigrants working, the stronger the labour force gets – especially when the national population is getting older, retiring, and not having as many children as before.
“Since the pandemic, as we gear up to build back better there is all the more reason to look for countries that have a high demand for skilled immigration.”
Y-Axis will be offering attendees free English language classes and immigration counselling sessions with expert consultants at GNICE.
Sanji A Caldera, Principal Migration Consultant, Sanji Caldera Associates, says demand for general skilled migration, business migration, student visa, family migration and employer migration schemes in Canada, Australia and New Zealand remain strong after the pandemic.
"Sanji Caldera Associates has a special promotion of a 10 per cent discount on the professional fees for potential clients visiting our booth and scheduling appointments with the consultants at GNICE."
Exhibitors will also showcase various study abroad opportunities - a popular pathway to obtain permanent residency after the completion of the programme.
GNICE's Platinum Sponsors are Y-Axis and Bayat Legal Services, Gold Sponsors are RIF Trust and CS Global and Silver Sponsor is PT Global.
Register now to meet expert immigration consultants face to face.