STAY AT HOME: INVESTMENT MIGRATION AND COVID -19
It is safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic, has affected the way in which global investors will henceforth choose to safeguard their families and fortunes against the potential of unforeseen events. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in exposure to life, market volatility and geopolitical instability. Therefore, having an additional residence or citizenship is becoming an imperative need because it provides high net-worth individuals and their families with greater physical and financial security and the flexibility to choose and avail themselves of favourable prevailing social and financial conditions during times of adversity. At the same time, an additional residency or citizenship provides access to better medical care, technology, access to better education for their children and the opportunity to expand their business operations and extend their market reach.
However, an unfortunate and indeed ironic by-product of the international financial crisis faced by the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the reduction in asset value and lack of liquidity. At the moment, when the need for investment migration is greater than ever, the assets of potential investors—in any form in which these may be—have either plummeted in value, or investors are simply unable to liquidate them in the foreseeable future because of the dire economic consequences of this crisis which will most likely have long term effects.
In addition, for the few months we have watched many countries closing their ports of entry in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has put the brakes on investment migration, bringing the investment migration industry to a grinding halt.
An example is the Republic of Cyprus which is one of the leading countries at the forefront of offering residency and citizenship programs to investors. In an attempt to curtail and stop the spread of COVID-19, the government of Cyprus had closed its borders to all non-nationals.
The Republic of Cyprus has now opened its borders allowing the citizens of a number of countries, whose epidemiological record is as good as the epidemiological record of Cyprus to enter freely while the citizens of other countries, (depending on whether they are arriving from countries listed in category B, i.e. low risk countries or countries in category C, i.e. high risk countries, may enter subject to the guidelines set by the government.
While the measures taken were imperative for the greater good of the country, one cannot help but wonder what the future holds for the investment migration industry for our country and the world in general.
We must be confident that investors will return having in mind the need for safe alternatives.