EVENT: Presentations from Expert Briefing on Immigration and Citizenship
Eighty ABA members and their friends attended the Association's expert briefing on options for residency and citizenship in the UK and other territories. The briefing addressed the investment conditions attached to various types of residency, the time taken to achieve permanent residency status and/or citizenship, and the tax implications of residency/citizenship.
The event was sponsored by EdwinCoe, Henley & Partners and London & Capital.
Three slide presentations were given and these are attached below, along with some photographs of the event.
Dhruti Thakrar, a partner with EdwinCoe, described the application process for a UK Work Permit (known as a Tier 2 visa) and the process for applying for residency as an entreprenneur or as an investor in the UK (known as a Tier 1 visa). She also described the ways in which conditions for the Tier 1 investor visa may change in the near future as a result of a recent government review. Ms Thakrar's colleague, Frank Strachan, one of EdwinCoe's tax partners, then outlined steps which applicants should take to avoid adverse tax treatment resulting from a change of residency.
Mark Estcourt, Executive Director of London & Capital, went into greater detail about the investment conditions attached to the UK investor visa. He described how the amount invested can affect the time taken to receive a permanent residency visa (known as "Indefinite Leave to Remain" - ILR) and, in some cases, the time taken to receive citizenship. He also described ways in which applicants could structure an investment portfolio that would be acceptable to the UK authorities while also retaining growth potential.
Hakan Cortelek, Managing Partner of Henley & Partners, described the process and conditions for applying for residency and citizenship in the UK and nine other countries that are considered attractive to international investors in terms of lifestyle, tax efficiency and ease of access to other countries. The nine are: Canada , Belgium, Portugal, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, and Malta. He also summarised the tax regimes in these territories that apply after residency/citizenship has been obtained.
All the speakers had direct experience of helping investors manage their applications for residency and citizenship and they pointed out some aspects of the process that should not be overlooked:
Be aware of any requirement for English language competency: different types of UK Visa have different requirements. Several of the nine countries described by Mr. Cortelek also have language or other requirements attached to citizenship applications. For example, applicants for Australian citizenship must take an "Australian Citizenship Test" containing questions about the history, culture and national symbols of Australia. Applicants for Portguese citizenship must show basic competency in the Portuguese language.
When applying for a UK investment visa, be aware of the deadline for making the investment. Applicants have 90 days to complete the investment from the date they received the initial visa or from the day they arrived in the UK.
When applying for residency/citizenship based on investment, be aware of the the types of investment that are acceptable. For example, when applying for an UK investor's visa, only 25% of the sum invested may be placed in residential property.
Be aware of requirements to spend a minimum number of days in the country both during the application process and after a residency visa has been issued. For example, applicants for the UK investor visa may not spend more than 180 days per year out of the UK.
This seminar on immigration was one of several the the ABA holds on technical subjects during the course of each year. On 19 March, the Association held a briefing on Gold and Foreign Exchange Markets and on 22 May there was a seminar on recent changes to bank regulation. These seminars are followed by a buffet reception at which attendees can speak informally with the speakers.
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