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June 17, 2022
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Forum on Investment Immigration in 2022: Forecasts and Industry Challenges

Brussels hosted the 7th Investment Immigration Forum. The event lasted three days — from 6 to 9 June 2022. Government officials, representatives of international organizations, scientists and industry experts spoke at the forum.

They discussed how investment immigration has changed and what risks are present in the industry, as well as the reasons why investors obtain a residence permit or a second citizenship.

Lyle Julien
Lyle Julien

Investment programs expert

Investment Migration Forum

Forum on Investment Immigration in 2022: Forecasts and Industry Challenges

Immigrant Invest was represented at the forum by Tatiana Muntyan, investment programs expert, and Pavel Reshetnikov, consultant and Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer. They were among the first to learn the news, industry trends and discussed with colleagues on the sidelines the issues of the future of investment programs.

The forum was organized by the Investment Immigration Council, or IMC. This is the World Association for Immigration and Citizenship by Investment. The Council was created by leading industry experts and has five main functions:

  1. It brings together representatives of investment immigration: members of legislative authorities, licensed agents, program promoters, developers, fund shareholders, bankers.

  2. Sets the standard for investment immigration at the global level.

  3. Interacts with other professional associations, such as national governments and international organizations on industry issues.

  4. Informs the public about the problems faced by investors and representatives of countries with investment programs.

  5. Enhances the quality of industry expert education and business ethics among IMC members.

Pavel Reshetnikov

Pavel Reshetnikov,

Consultant, Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer

Colleagues held meetings and consultations with representatives of government agencies, legal structures and the private sector from the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Agreements were signed to strengthen and expand cooperation and partnerships in the citizenship by investment industry.

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IMC is hosting the Investment Immigration Forum for the seventh year in a row. In 2020 and 2021, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic

What awaits investment immigration in the next two years

5,000 people annually receive citizenship by investment, and even more receive residence permits, according to the IMC.

Visa-free travel around the world has always been the main reason for participating in investment programs. With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, people have become even more appreciative of freedom of movement. For many wealthy people, the opportunity to travel abroad has become a vital necessity.

In 2022, investors receive a second citizenship or residence permit in order to be able to travel abroad:

  • for treatment;

  • remote work;

  • on business matters.

More and more investors are choosing active investment programs, such as starting a business or creating jobs. States are also trying to attract promising entrepreneurs and skilled workers.

Portugal offers foreigners to obtain a D7 visa. It is available to those who have passive income, such as pensioners and investors. To obtain a visa, you need to rent or buy real estate in the country and confirm that the monthly income from abroad is at least the minimum salary of €705.

Investors wishing to relocate to the US can obtain EB‑5 or E‑2 business visas. The latter is available only to citizens of countries that have entered into an agreement on trade and navigation with the United States.

To obtain an EB‑5 visa, an investor invests in a new or existing US company. This can be done independently or through a regional center — a special organization that promotes the development of the economy of a particular state.

The E‑2 business visa is an alternative for investors with a second citizenship. It is non-immigrant and suitable for investors who do not plan to live in the US permanently. But with an E‑2 visa, you can run a business, study, and freely enter the States.

There is no minimum amount for obtaining an E‑2 visa. In practice, it is enough for an investor to invest from $100,000, for example, to buy a franchise business.

Risks in the Investment Immigration Industry

The European Union has always criticized investment immigration. On November 1, 2020, Cyprus closed the citizenship program. One of the reasons is the dispute with the European Commission.

Pavel Reshetnikov

Pavel Reshetnikov,

Consultant, Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer

Now Malta is the only EU country whose legislation allows obtaining citizenship for exceptional merit.

There is a legal dispute between Malta and the European Commission on granting citizenship to investors. The Government of Malta twice gave reasons for the legitimacy of the Citizenship Law, but no solution has yet been found.

If you want to get a Maltese passport, now is the time. According to the law, it is impossible to obtain citizenship on your own, the process must be accompanied by an agent with a state license. Immigrant Invest is licensed by the Government of Malta.

In February 2022, the European Parliament approved in the first reading a draft law that prohibits the issuance of citizenship for investment. The deputies propose to change the conditions and programs of residence permits: tighten the security check and introduce mandatory residence for all family members, and oblige states to report to the European Union.

Caribbean countries have also felt pressure from the United States: the country’s Congress is considering a similar law. States with investment programs cooperate with the European Union and the United States, for example, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda wrote a letter to the legislators of these countries and stressed that CBI programs are important for the Caribbean economy.

The European Council also suspended the agreement on visa-free travel to EU countries for Vanuatu citizens who received passports after May 25, 2015. The decision came into force on May 4, 2022.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent that helps investors obtain a residence permit or a second citizenship in Europe and the Caribbean. If you want to get a second passport or a residence permit, please contact investment program experts for advice.