By Caribbean News Global
CANADA / DUBAI / TURKEY – In 1993, Sam Bayat set up a boutique law practice in Dubai to promote Canada as a destination of choice for investment and/or migration. The firm, then known as “Canadian Legal Services”, was the first Canadian law firm in the GCC.
Today, Bayat Legal Services has an international presence, working with a vast network of legal professionals and trade consultants. Our core expertise is corporate migration, economic citizenship, investments, and tax planning.
Our founder, who migrated from the Middle East to Canada in the early 70s, is a Quebec (Canadian) licensed attorney, a published author, and a lecturer experienced in international law. Bayat was the former president of the Canadian bar association’s international section in Quebec.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our everyday life. Travel restrictions and global lockdowns compelled many high-net-worth individuals to re-evaluate priorities and means to accomplish them. Turbulent social, economic, or political times force wealthy people to think again about those opportunities, which a second passport or a ‘golden visa’ creates.
In the heat of the pandemic, almost all major immigration and relocator companies reported about the increased inquiries about alternative residency and citizenship by investment programs. If before the pandemic, one of the major motives for applying to such programs was to enhance international mobility; now, the quality and accessibility of the healthcare system have become decisive factors.
The pandemic has made the process of acquiring a second passport easier and more affordable. Some Caribbean states have introduced limited-time offers and reduced the investment thresholds. For instance, the federation of St Kitts & Nevis slashed the minimum contribution fee under the Sustainable Growth Fund option for the family of four and couples by $45,000 and $25,000, respectively. This coveted offer had been in force for about a year and a half and expired on December 31, 2021. At the same time St Lucia has started to offer a special ‘Covid-19 Relief Bonds’ for $250,000, while the minimum investment amount for these interest-free bonds previously was $500,000. Unlike St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia has decided to extend the offer and ‘Covid-19 Relief Bonds’ will be available at least until the end of 2022.
But it is not just reduced cost that has changed. Once the global lockdowns had been imposed, administrations of Caribbean citizenship by investment programs started to accept applications remotely. Even before the pandemic, applicants to these programs were not required to travel to the Caribbean – all application job was done by the intermediary firms, Authorized Agents, selected by the applicant. Investors just need to provide the Agent with all required documentation and certificates, and in the end, second passports for the whole family can be delivered directly to their homes.
The most straightforward and easy application process of the citizenship by investment programs are in the Caribbean and the Oceanian island-nation of Vanuatu. Programs of St Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, St Lucia, and Vanuatu do not require any kind of special managerial experience, education, or language tests. Physical residing in those countries is not optional, neither prior nor after the citizenship is granted.
Read more on countries of the Caribbean where you can acquire a second passport or residency, and schedule a call with our advisors in addition to Vanuatu, Turkey, Malta, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, and Spain.