Could you highlight three major trends in the investment migration industry that you are noticing and explain what impact they are having on the industry?
The investment migration industry is a very lucrative business as it attracts direct and indirect investment to the countries promoting citizenship-by-investment (CBI) or residence-by-investment (RBI) programmes. There are many European and non-European nations promoting such programmes, however not all apply the same quality standards and screening of prospective investors.
The current trend is one in which through an RBI application certain countries are also offering citizenship. Investment in property and/or other private and/or governmental developments is very common. It is crystal clear that in the majority of instances RBIs and CBIs have played a direct role in boosting a country’s economy. Unlike others, applicants for the Maltese RBI Programme are requested to invest in Malta Government Stocks for a period of five years after which they can, at their discretion, opt to withdraw the investment. It is also at the client’s discretion to decide on whether to rent or purchase property to satisfy the programme requirements. Last but not least, it is a known fact that applicants for the Maltese RBI or CBI programmes are rigorously filtered through established and tested due diligence procedures, hence the time taken to approve an application.
What key piece of advice would you like to share with the industry at large?
It is a huge responsibility for the applicant and his/her family to select a second residency away from his/her country of origin. In this respect, countries offering CBI/RBI programmes should ensure that what they offer in terms of benefits is truly attainable. Business integrity and compliance to law is of the essence.
I must point out that it would be very unfair to put all current CBI/RBI programmes into one boat. My role entails the promotion of the local RBI programme in different non European countries. I make it a point to inform the audience about the real and true benefits of the Malta RBI. Amongst other things, they are immediately made aware that MRVP is not a path to Malta's Individual Investment Programme nor does it provide any form of tax incentives. People’s trust is acquired by providing tangible, objective facts.
Roderick Cutajar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Residency Visa Agency (MRVA) since 2016. Over the last two decades, Roderick occupied strategic leadership roles within various private entities, foundations as well as governmental boards. He holds a Masters of Science (MSc) in HRM & Development from the University of Leicester (UK), and he is a member of the Investment Migration Council (IMCM) and of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development in the UK.