RCBI outlook in 2023
8 minutes read
The pandemic has had a significant impact on global immigration, with many people rethinking their lives in their home country and considering relocation. Mary Tsiganou of the Greek office of Synergia SA argues that during the last few years and immediately after the pandemic, the demand for residence permits for investment has increased even among the most powerful passport holders in the world. She cites restrictions imposed by many countries because of the pandemic, turmoil in the political system of some states and climate change as reasons.
In addition, Mary Tsiganou says, people from America have begun to buy real estate in Europe and to look for opportunities to move to European countries. She says there are significant changes in the area of investment migration, and they will be brightest in 2023.
What changes are expected in the RCBI industry
The CEO of America EB5 Visa, LLC Marko Issever says that wealthy investors are often not satisfied with having only one passport - they are interested in the opportunity to live and work in regions with a better economic situation. According to him, due to the EB-5 investment program, the U.S. is still one of the most popular destinations.
However, investors are considering other options, given the delays in processing applications at all stages, the delay in the initial approval of the application I-526, as well as further conditional and final approval of the green card. That said, with the passage of the Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 and subsequent lawsuits that have ruled in favor of the EB-5 field, processing times are shortening and the system is expected to return to its former popularity in the coming months.
Marko Issever believes that many people prefer Canada and EU member states (Spain, Malta, Portugal, Greece) because of the relatively shorter processing times and better tax system.
Global immigration industry perspective
Ahead of 2023, new trends are emerging in the global immigration marketplace. Andy J. Semotiuk from the law firm Pace believes that the European Parliament's adoption of a resolution to phase out RCBI could be a sign that the field has an expiration date.
According to the Pace representative, major countries (e.g., USA, Germany and France) are concerned about the probability of rich people with shady pasts coming to them, who can get passports at not too high price. However, Andy J. Semotiuk says that this should not negatively affect those already in possession of such documents, nor should the likelihood of a deterioration in attitudes after any change be allowed. That said, there is currently no reason to delay issuing passports to current investors.
As the world slowly emerges from the pandemic, we should expect the economy and labor market to recover. Mary Tsiganou says that during more than two years of quarantine restrictions, there has been a noticeable increase in the movement of large companies that prefer remote work. The latter is also gaining popularity due to the introduction of modern digital technologies and the abandonment of the standard 9-to-5 schedule. Mary Tsiganou noted that business travelers and digital nomads are staying in other countries for weeks, months, or even years.
Increased employee enthusiasm for leisure and business travel is already resonating politically. Governments are attempting to create new visa and tax rules, while at the same time businesses are concerned about labor efficiency and corporate culture.
New RCBI trends in European countries
New trends are emerging in European RBI and CBI programs. Earlier, the European Union claimed that the RBI schemes posed a threat to the security of countries and the preservation of European values. It is expected that because of this more stringent requirements will be imposed on applicants for new types of visas (for example, on the issue of the minimum period of stay).
Andy J. Semotiuk asserts that the changes in the global immigration market will make it more dependent on the Internet and online services while processing requests. However, this will also be a positive signal that the industry is becoming more efficient.
In some cases, countries refuse to provide legal assistance to immigrants when they submit information through the websites. This may be influenced by the mistaken assumption that lawyers are not required to intervene in the immigration process, when in fact lawyers help speed up the case process through proper filing. Andy J. Semotiuk suggests that a new understanding of how the process works will become more apparent, with lawyers and immigration counselors improving the efficiency of the process.
EB-5 and E-2 visas to the US
Marko Issever says that citizens of states that have obtained the United States nonimmigrant E-2 visa have chosen it because of the shorter processing time compared to EB-5. It also benefits from having no minimum residence period requirements, paying taxes only on income attributable to America, and reduced source of funds verification.
Most of those who plan to invest in the U.S. economy are not citizens of countries which have signed an E-2 agreement with the U.S. They do not have the ability to pay for the EB-5 program, so they are interested in getting a Grenada, Montenegro or Turkey passport. Marko Issever says investors include citizens of Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Iran and China.
The reason for obtaining a second passport is often not because the applicants are interested in immigration or in using the documents to qualify for an E-2 visa - many are attracted specifically by visa-free travel. Marko Issever gives an example: Grenadian citizenship ensures the right to enter more than 140 countries without a visa or to obtain one upon crossing the border, while Turkish citizenship is granted to 110 countries. In turn, the status of Turkish citizenship has gained popularity among the natives of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
There is renewed interest in work visas, which are issued to the authors of innovative ideas. For example, for a Canadian startup visa, there is no need to look for sources of investment - the necessary funds are provided by the program. In America, the startup visa was approved by the Obama administration, but cancelled by the Trump administration before it was launched. Although this type of visa is not used during Biden's presidency, many have expressed hope for programs for entrepreneurs or innovators.
Marko Issever notes that the U.K. this summer offered a visa route designed for graduates of foreign universities with high rankings. It is these and other changes that will determine the global migration market until 2023.
In conclusion, Marko Issever says that the landscape of immigration is changing and there are more and more opportunities to move. The choice of destination depends on purpose, available capital, education, and professional experience in a particular area.
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