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"The Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allows international students to stay in Canada and work for up to three years"

Clint Khan, Director, Y-Axis

The efforts to come up with the right immigration programme for a family can be completely overwhelming. How does Y-Axis help clients make the right decision and the process seamless?

Y-Axis is a regulated Canadian immigration consultant registered with Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Canada has various immigration programmes and with the expertise of Y-Axis, you can identify the right programme where you will have good chances of success.

Our consultants are trained to help clients understand the immigration pathways that Canada offers as well as the immigration process. They are up to date on the latest immigration changes so that they can help the client take an informed decision and improve his chances of migrating to Canada. Everything is process-oriented at Y-Axis. Immigration consultants follow a set of rules and processes which makes the whole migration process easy to understand.

How can international students best explore the path to immigration to Canada through study abroad opportunities in order to obtain permanent residencies and citizenship later in life?

The Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allows international students to stay in Canada and work for up to three years after graduation. After working in Canada for one year, international graduates may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the federal government programmes or several provincial nomination programmes.

To apply for a PGWP, you need to prove that you have respected all the conditions of your study permit. Studying must have been your primary activity during your time in Canada.

Selecting the right immigration consultant is important to make sure they advise you on keeping the pathway to a permanent residency in mind post your studies.

"Studying abroad is a unique and highly rewarding experience”

Syed Jafar Sadiq, CEO, Cosmos Immigration

Covid-19 has created enormous uncertainties in the lives of people. Why do you think this is the time to explore study abroad opportunities for higher education?

Studying abroad is a unique and highly rewarding experience that benefits a student’s career and personal development along with offering top quality degrees. Indeed, Covid-19 has created enormous uncertainties, however, countries like Canada are still welcoming international students. The Canadian government has reiterated its support for international students coming to Canada and the role they can play in helping Canada meet its immigration targets. International students in Canada are still able to enter the country with a valid visa, despite the extension of its border closure until July 21. In the current situation where competition is high, studying abroad is one of the popular pathways applicants can consider to obtain permanent residence and citizenship after the completion of the course.

How could you help prospective students navigate the challenges of moving abroad during the health crisis?

We are in the middle of one of the biggest health crises in human history and things are now more complicated while choosing international study options. It is really important to know the pathway, especially when most of the international borders are closed, and courses are available online. Cosmos Immigration’s team is well trained and equipped to help students under the guidance of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants. We first counsel the student, evaluate their profile and then suggest the finest pathways including the right country to apply, college/ university fees, scholarship options, accommodation, post-study work permits etc. Team Cosmos Immigration is also equipped with accurate information and updates given by the relevant health authorities and can advise students on health-related requirements while travelling as well as post-landing quarantine options.

"European countries have become popular for migration during Covid-19”

David Regueiro, COO, RIF Trust

Are there any new focus countries that people are showing interest in for migration after the pandemic started?

European countries have increasingly become popular for migration since the outbreak of the pandemic. We have had many clients interested in Portugal and Ireland as both countries have residency by investment programmes that have a pathway to EU citizenship. The introduction of the UK Innovator Visa has given our active investor clients, who are interested in settling in the UK, a highly desirable option starting at £250,000.

The Montenegro citizenship programme is also quite popular as the scheme is closing by the end of this year and the country is expected to join the EU in 2025.

What are the key benefits that clients get from RIF Trust’s citizenship and residency by investment programmes (CBI/RBI)?

Our CBI and RBI programmes allow many expats, living in the UAE and GCC with weaker passports, to benefit from greater visa-free travel, access to low or no tax jurisdictions, and top-tier education and healthcare opportunities. They also have another country to reside in now or should the need ever arise.

"It is not an easy feat for a company to be an authorised agent”

Halena Savory, Managing Director, Savory & Partners

How critical is it for migration/ CBI/ RBI applicants to consult an authorised agent consultant?

It is crucial for the application to be submitted by an agent that owns a valid licence from each government. It is not an easy feat for a company to be an authorised agent. It’s a rigorous process of application review and government vetting of the agent’s integrity. Being an authorised agent not only guarantees a smooth process in place for applicants, but we ensure that there are no errors in your paperwork during the due diligence. This is how we have successfully achieved a zero per cent application rejection rate with all our clients.

What more can be done to improve current global mobility practices to benefit talents on the move?

We know the importance of providing our clients with uniquely tailored global mobility solutions that meet the needs of their families, business, and personal preferences. Continual maintenance of our relationship with various government bodies plays a huge role in ensuring this takes place. Additional to providing second passports and residency certificates, connecting the client with the needful consulates or embassies, offering advice on relocating their business and giving ongoing global mobility support will ensure a smooth process for the clients.

"The capital gain projections for properties in Portugal are pretty favourable”

David Machado, Partner, PTGoldenvisa

Is buying property for citizenship of good value? What are some of the best options currently available for residency and citizenship by investment in Portugal?

Buying a property in Portugal to obtain a residence permit and citizenship is definitely a good investment. The capital gain projections — 3-15 per cent/ year — are pretty favourable and the rental yield is around 4—6 per cent. Invest a minimum of €350,000 in an apartment in a prime location and you can easily lease it for short and long-term rental. You can also invest in a villa at a minimum investment of €500,000 in prime residential area for a good ROI. For those who would rather have financial assets instead of properties, it is possible to invest in mutual funds, capitalising Portuguese companies at a minimum investment of €350,000.

The efforts to come up with the right investment immigration programme can be challenging. How does PTGoldenVisa help investors make the right decision and the process seamless?

We are able to execute the full investment process remotely. We can now open bank accounts, create tax ID numbers, nominate legal representatives, arrange for videos and 3D viewings of real estate, and prepare cost simulation and rental analysis for our clients, allowing them to make a decision from the comfort and safety of home. PTGoldenVisa has the capability of providing a full service one-stop-shop solution, allowing investors to create a relationship on long-term basis on legal support, banking, immigration, tax filing, insurance, property management, investment analysis and exit strategy.

"The cornerstone of our service is customer satisfaction”

Imran Farooq, CEO, AAA Associate Immigration Services

How has AAA Associates achieved success milestones under your leadership, becoming one of the leading CBI consultancy firms in the Middle East?

When I took over the business back in 1997, it had a lean set-up. With new plans and business strategies, we overhauled the operations and picked up highly experienced immigration consultants from the UAE.

In a few years, AAA Associates earned the trust of thousands of clients due to high success rate of our citizenship by investment cases. This has positioned us among the top immigration and CBI companies in the Middle East.

The cornerstone of our service is customer satisfaction backed up by professional services and organising discussion sessions of government dignitaries with clients for awareness. In addition, we invest in staff training and technologies to empower our consultants and processing professionals. To ensure clients’ success, we pay attention to the minutest details, proper case preparation and submission, diligent representation of the cases and customised payment options.

Where do you see AAA in the next five years?

We plan to set up more international offices in the Caribbean and Europe for our clients’ convenience, better service, faster and effective submission, representation of the applicants and making the client’s second citizenship journey easy and enjoyable.

"Second citizenship is no longer a luxury”

Tony Ebraheem, Founder – Lawyer, 111 immigration

What are the key drivers of growth in the citizenship by investment sector?

Growth of the sector comes from the investors’ needs to gain the freedom to travel, secure children’s future, and explore better work opportunities. But what we have noticed lately is health security has become one of the most critical factors driving an investor to opt for a second passport. We all have seen how the pandemic hit some countries hard with travel bans and movement restrictions compared to some tax haven countries that ensured that lives remained unchanged during the pandemic. Investors have started to realise that second citizenship is no longer a luxury; it is an extremely important tool that can be used during unusual times for the safety of their loved ones. That is why we have received numerous enquiries about CBI/RBI schemes during the pandemic.

What are the key benefits that clients get from 111 Immigration’s citizenship and residency by investment programmes?

Our clients are our family and we take care of them during the entire journey of the programme — from helping them choose the best citizenship scheme from more than 16 programmes to facilitating their applications. We help them achieve their goals and much more than that based on their needs such as post-citizenship services, business advice, opening bank accounts and so on. Whatever our clients want, we are there for them.

"Applicants can take the advantage of the direct EB-5 programme at the lowered investment amount of $500,000”

Preeya Malik, Managing Director, Step Global

What are your thoughts on the reauthorisation of the US EB-5 programme?

As of now, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme (Regional Centre Programme) has not been reauthorised on June 30 as the Senate failed to make a call on the bill on time. Effectively, this means that only the Regional Centre programme would expire.

This, however, does not mean that the direct EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme has expired. Applicants can still take advantage of the direct programme at the lowered investment amount of $500,000 and we have several options for this. Negotiations are continuing behind the scenes, and it is hoped that the Regional Centre Programme will eventually come back to life perhaps with better terms.

How will these changes impact investors?

If the programme is not reauthorised, the area is still grey as to what will happen to Regional Centre applications. It is suspected that the government may continue to take applications but hold them in abeyance until there is some clarity on the programme. Another possibility is that USCIS will stop taking applications until there is more certainty on the fate of the programme. However, direct programme applications can continue to be submitted as before. Contact Step Global for further information on the direct EB-5 options.

"There has been an increase in enquiries from India and the Gulf region”

Vrinda Gupta, Brand Custodian, Vazir Group

How is your company handling migration and citizenship by investments during Covid times?

Vazir Group, a premium boutique firm for Canadian immigration, has assisted thousands of applicants choose tailor-made programmes, suitable to their profile.

There has been an increase in enquiries since June 2020 mostly from India and the Gulf regions. To make up for the shortfall of the pandemic, Vazir Group has been promoting the Canadian Flag Plan — this project aims to attract around 400,000 immigrants annually and grant them permanent residency.

What has been your most successful citizenship/ residency by investment programme and why?

The start-up visa has been our most successful programme in our residency by investment category. This particular strategy targets immigrant entrepreneurs who dream to set up an innovative business in Canada, leading to the creation of jobs for Canadians.

Due to Covid-19, many potential immigrants are willing to relocate for a better quality of life, resulting in a high number of successful cases. We have catered to many clients who have opted for the start-up visa.

"We have the legal expertise to develop strategic plans for safe investment migration for clients”

Dr Sadir Al Kherdaji, Managing Director, Al Kherdaji International

What are the key benefits that clients get from Al Kherdaji International’s citizenship and residency by investment programmes?

We have the legal expertise to develop strategic plans for safe investment migration for clients, while eliminating legal risks as much as possible.

Our distinguished approaches allow investors to mitigate legal risks associated with foreign direct investments, while protecting their best interests. These are also in full compliance with the law. We also try to help our clients to optimise their investment migration benefits by exploring new business opportunities as well as expand their operations by opening new doors.

Taxation is a concern for many investors residing in Asia. Can you tell us about tax benefits that people can avail by opting for an investment migration programme in the Caribbean countries?

Unlike majority of tax laws in Asia, investors in the Caribbean countries can enjoy various tax benefits that help them to optimise their revenues. Certain types of taxes such as inheritance tax and capital gains tax are not available in that region. On top of that revenues that are generated from overseas sources are not taxable either, which enables businessmen to conduct business elsewhere without worrying about these issues.

"We have seen a three-fold surge in queries on investment migration programmes”

Anwar Karim, Vice President, WWICS Group

Are there any new focus countries that people are showing interest in to migrate to after the pandemic started?

The pandemic has impacted people all across the globe. Governments worldwide are dealing with the unforeseen challenges and are imposing border restrictions — this has forced many high-net-worth-individuals and investors to think about their options to secure alternative residence or citizenship in a country that offers better facilities, particularly in healthcare, education and global mobility.

We, at WWICS, have seen a three-fold surge in queries on investment migration programmes in the past one year. Applicants are interested in immigrating to not just the usual immigrant destinations such as Canada, the UK and the US, but are also exploring options in leading European countries such as Portugal and Malta, along with CBI destinations like Grenada, St. Kitts, Dominica, Vanuatu and Turkey.

What are the key benefits that clients get from WWICS’ immigration programmes?

WWICS along with its esteemed associate, CBIS, help clients every step of the way, starting from the initial assessment of their profile to obtaining citizenship or residence permits. WWICS-CBIS work in close coordination with its partners across the globe, with a network of business associates, lawyers, consultants, corporations and other entities, providing clients with well-searched market intelligence, information, support and the connections they need to become a global citizen/resident. WWICS-CBIS also assist clients in their business expansion plans and invest in highly secured projects worldwide.

"The appeal for EU migration comes from gains in trading, high-quality education and a stable lifestyle”

Mahdi Mohammed, Founder, SchengenVisas.com

Have you seen traction for investment migration for countries in the EU in the past few months? How are the programmes in EU performing?

Investment migration to the EU has always received steady interest, which has definitely grown in the past one year during the global health crisis. While many clients request a range of EU countries, the nations offering the highest diversity of visa programmes, are the most sought-after. The appeal for EU migration comes primarily from marginal gains in trading, high-quality education options and a stable lifestyle. We highly recommend SchengenVisas.com for information on both short and long-term travel to the EU.

Could you tell us a bit on SchengenVisas.com?

As a subsidiary of Guide Consultants, SchengenVisas.com offers highly detailed information on the documentation and requirements to apply for any Schengen visa. Available in Arabic, English and French, the website ensures visa accessibility to hundreds of millions of people across the globe. It includes individual updates on a nation’s current entry restrictions and overstay protocols, as well as all the information necessary to plan future travel to the EU, such as the prerequisites to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation.