On September 18, 2023, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal to cancel visa-free agreements with countries that have citizenship by investment programs. Should investment passport holders be worried that they won’t be able to take advantage of their benefits?
Nuri Katz, Founder and President of Apex Capital Partners, comments on the situation:
Unfortunately, the journalists who reported this seemingly misread or misunderstood what the EU wrote. Clearly for many years now the EU has expressed concern about the potential security risks that CIP (investment passports) creates. All these statements were based on simply the assumption that there was a risk to the EU and not actually based on facts. Today’s notice shows that the EU is now more interested in learning the facts of the matter and not just assume there are problems.
The report divides up the concerns of the EU with CIP of countries that are bordering the EU and those, like in the Eastern Caribbean that are far but also have CIP.
The report mentions the situation in Montenegro. As we know Montenegro had an investment passport program for four years only. The program was closed at the end of last year. As such even while Montenegro continues to process the applications of older applicants, now the EU statement clearly states that the EU is satisfied with the closure and the fact that good due diligence is being done on current applicants to make sure that no criminals or people under international sanctions will be awarded Citizenship (investment passport). This is all very positive as it means that Montenegro has the green light to continue processing citizenships and that the visa free regime with Europe is not at risk at all.
The EU report also mentions the Eastern Caribbean CIP. What is interesting is that they specifically are not saying they are canceling the visa free regime with those countries. They mention that they want to invoke what is in paragraph 6 of each of the bilateral agreements each country has with the EU. This paragraph calls for a technical committee to be created to between each country and the EU. This committee is created to negotiate issues related to the visa free agreements, not to cancel the agreements. This will give each country the ability to prove to the EU how tough the due diligence is on all the candidates that actually the due diligence process is probably the best due diligence known to man. It will allow the countries to force the EU to pay attention to facts that over the years there has never been brought to their attention. The facts are that these countries have accepted only the best applicants who in no way endanger the safety of the EU.
I have spoken to numerous high place government officials in the Caribbean and asked them to request a technical committee be set up as per Paragraph 6 of the visa free agreements. For various reasons this was not done yet, so it is very seeing that this will be done. As such I am actually not disappointed rather, I am optimistic that the EU will finally see the truth about how important these programs are for the countries that have them, and that they an arrangement will be made to keep all agreements in place.
Many of our clients are asking us what they can do personally in order to make sure that don’t lose their visa free right to the EU. The truth is actually not even related to the issue above of the EU report, as that report should not make any body be worried as I explained above. No matter what, Europe will be introducing an electronic visa registration system that is predicted to come into place in mid-2025. This system will require 1.4 billion people from 60 different countries including the Caribbean and the US, and Canada, to make an online visa application a few days before travelling to Europe. All citizens of all countries that currently are visa free will have to apply for such a visa authorization. The system is called ETIAS and it will require that applicants submit personal information such as their address, their parents’ names, or if they have ever been involved in criminal activity, and if they have ever been deported from a country. ETIAS is based on the same type of system that Europeans need to use to travel to Canada, USA, and even the UK. It will be a new system that will restrict some people who may have become a security risk for Europe to be excluded from traveling there, it will take a little bit of time to get used to it of course. But this is reality and it is again for all visa free countries. It is hard to know what criteria exactly this electronic system will use to deny applicants for this visa. We know the rejection rate will be very low and will only be related to issues of criminality and security.
However, having said that there may be some things that individuals should consider doing which is creating a certain type of substance in the countries where they are citizens. Obviously, the EU wants to see that citizens of visa free countries have a genuine connection to the countries where they have become citizens. We therefore suggest that those people who received citizenship in the countries of the Caribbean do create a connection to their country. This can include visiting those countries, purchasing real estate in those countries or making other investments. But to be clear, there really is no need for anyone to panic, as we know the world keeps changing, but not always for the worst, it can change for the better.
For investors we offer a wide range of Citizenship by Investment Programs to choose from. Please, contact Apex Capital Partners to get more information and ask personal questions. You can get free consultation from Apex Capital Partners on the program of Citizenship of Turkey, Portugal’s Golden Visa. As well as Cyprus, Caribbean (Citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua). Ask your question – firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
If you are a private banking specialist, a family lawyer, or work as a financial consultant in Middle East, Africa, China or any other region of the world, do not hesitate to contact Apex Capital Partners and become a partner, a part of our strong professional network. APEX has all the main local agent licenses to work with Citizenship by Investment Programs, including all key Caribbean CIPs. Please contact – Armand Tannous, firstname.lastname@example.org
Caribbean citizenship by investment is allowed in Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Kitts & Nevis. Acquiring a second passport in Caribbean countries has many benefits.
European Citizenship by Investment is becoming increasingly popular across the globe. We will answer the questions where can I get second passport EU and what countries would be interesting for EU citizenship through investment?
The experience of Apex Capital Partners with the real estate market allows us to find reliable developers around the world whose projects allow you to obtain citizenship for real estate.
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