Unlocking Travel with Residence by Investment feat. Dominic Volek | Aspen Funds
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Unlocking Travel with Residence by Investment feat. Dominic Volek

Discover how to secure a second residence while investing abroad with Dominic Volek. From exploring diverse travel opportunities to legacy planning, learn about the myriad options available in investment programs across the world, including insights on the EB-5 program for accessing the U.S.

Connect with Dominic Volek on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-volek-50045824/
Connect with Ben Fraser on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/benwfraser/

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Introduction and Overview

Ben Fraser: Hello, Future Billionaires. Welcome back to another episode of the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. Today’s guest I bought on is Dominic Volek and a very cool topic. 

Understanding Residency by Investment

Ben Fraser: This is residents by investment. So if you have a travel bug, if you like to travel. If you want to, in this interview, he talks about how a plan B is right to have residents in a different country.

There’s a myriad of programs available that you can actually invest into these different countries in a whole range of options from as low as 20, 000 all the way up to a million plus dollars and get access to these countries with pretty cool benefits. So Dominic is an expert in this firm. He represents the leading global firm in this area and very cool stuff.

I was really unaware of most of the options available. And so definitely encourage you to check it out. If you have any interest in different countries, you can travel to and have a residence. He talks about how you can use this in your legacy planning. And then at the end, he talks about the EB 5 program, which is an investment visa into the U. S. for those that are foreigners and want to come to the U. S. and have more access. 

Benefits of Residency by Investment

Ben Fraser: So it’s lots of cool options. So definitely check it out. And if you’re enjoying the show, always appreciate you leaving a review, a rating on any platform that you’re listening to this on. And share with a friend and help us get the word out.

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Hello, welcome back to another episode of the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. 

Interview with Dominic Volek

Ben Fraser: I am your host, Ben Fraser, and joined today by Dominic Volek.

He is the Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, and very excited for this interview. You’re going to get the inside scoop on, you’re going to correct me on the exact title, but how to get residency in different countries by investment. And so Henley & Partners is the global leader in this, and this is a space that has evolved over time.

And has really created some pretty cool things to do as a high net worth individual. And so Dominic, welcome to the show. We’re really excited to have you. 

Dominic Volek: Thanks Ben and appreciate the opportunity. 

Ben Fraser: Yes. So you’re actually currently in Dubai. And so we had to find a time that worked for both of us here, but very cool.

And share a little bit of your background, how you came to the role that you’re in right now, and then share a little bit about Henley & Partners and what you guys do. 

Dominic Volek: Yeah, perfect. So originally I was a chartered accountant by qualification. So I grew up in South Africa and then made my way through one of the big four tax and accounting firms.

In Johannesburg, I had a small stint in the U S with them. And that ultimately took me to Singapore, I was based out of Singapore for about six and a half years. And it was during that time that I came across Henley and partners. And to be honest, like I think probably some of your listeners, the whole concept of the ability for wealthy individuals to acquire citizenship or residence by investments around the world was also quite new to me at that time.

But it was a very interesting opportunity and part of that was to really expand our operations in the Asia Pacific area. And so that’s what I spent the first four or five years doing with Henley and partners and then subsequently moved into a much larger global role where I hit up our private client practice.

45 offices around the world now. And I pretty much spend my time across our major offices in all sorts of big financial centers, which is where most of our clients come to us. So that’s everything from the Americas, London , Europe, Africa here in the Middle East, where I’m currently all the way through to Singapore and Hong Kong.

And so I specialize in advising these high net worth individuals. With all the different options that are available. 

Exploring Residency Options in Different Countries

Dominic Volek: So there’s about 40 odd countries where you can acquire citizenship and residence by investment. If you have the financial capacity and of course that you pass each government’s due diligence checks.

And this is a phenomenon now that is really global, not just for emerging markets, but also very much for first world countries as well. 

Ben Fraser: Yeah. So cool. Break down a little bit of what you mean by acquiring residence by investment. For someone that likes to travel or wants to have that kind of dual citizenship or just some of the cool benefits of this, you talk about what that actually means and you’re talking about what it is now, but then talk about how it’s evolved over time. I think that’s pretty interesting as well. 

Understanding the Investment Migration Industry

Dominic Volek: Yeah so the industry is known as investment migration and there’s really two sides to it. There are those countries that offer citizenship by investment without the need to physically relocate or learn a new language. And then there’s those countries that offer residence by investment.

And so the principle behind residence by investment is I invest into a country. And in return, I get rights or the right to reside in that country. These are often known, often called golden visas as well. Very popular in places like Portugal and Spain and Greece and Italy. There’s a lot more countries that offer residence by investment.

And at the moment, probably only 10 countries where you can acquire citizenship through a government regulated TBI program as we refer to them in terms of what’s happened over the last sort of five to 10 years, if we look at those countries offering citizenship by investment. The real attraction there next to citizenship is that I have the right to get a passport of that country. Historically, the industry is largely being driven by emerging markets.

So Places like China and the Philippines, India, South Africa where you’re born in a country where your passport is not very good from a travel perspective. If you’re an American and you want to go on holiday, you pretty much worry about the plane ticket. You don’t have to worry about whether I actually need a visa to enter that country, but there’s a huge part of the world, like those, some of those countries I mentioned.

That’s the first thing I think about, right? If my family and I want to go on holiday somewhere, the first thing we think about is, how do we get, do we need a visa? What does that cost? And what’s the process? We spent the last 18 months, just as an example, quite aggressively expanding our presence in the U.

S. And as part of my role there, I of course need to travel to the U. S. to do that. And from Dubai, it took me about 10 or 11 months Just to get my visa on my South African passport to be able to travel to the U. S. So it’s quite a restrictive thing. Exactly. So it’s quite a restrictive thing, right? So if I’m a successful international businessman entrepreneur, and I need to travel to lots of countries on short term notice, It’s not that easy if you’re from certain countries.

The Appeal of European Citizenship

Dominic Volek: And so that’s where the demand for the industry originally came from, was those nations that had passports that didn’t have great travel freedom, that were interested in acquiring a second passport or citizenship, that gave them visa free access to Europe, to UK, to Singapore and other jurisdictions.

So that’s what started the industry. 

The Shift in Demand for Second Citizenship

Dominic Volek: But we’ve seen quite a shift now, probably most notably since COVID, where this is now, the topic at the forefront of wealthy individuals’ minds, even in the emerging, even in the developed market. So the U. S., as an example, is now our single biggest market for new clients.

And so that’s been quite a shift in the industry because, Americans live in a great country, they have a very good passport from a travel perspective, it’s in the top 10 globally from a visa pre travel but they still realize the benefit of having a second citizenship, a plan B or a, an insurance policy as we see it.

And as these geopolitical events have happened around the world, whether it’s Brexit for you, for Brits the Russia Ukraine conflict in Europe for Europeans, more and more individuals that are, a bit more savvy in terms of their risk mitigation are looking at having alternative residents and citizenship around the world in order to better protect themselves and their family.

Ben Fraser: Yeah, makes sense. In the U. S., obviously we’re very privileged in our ability to travel freely, but this offers another level of freedom to, like you said, have a plan B. There’s also benefits, I’m sure, too, right? If you want to acquire a residence in another country to get financing or other forms of capital, it can be difficult if you’re not a citizen. Is that accurate? Or what are some other things that it creates a benefit for? 

Dominic Volek: Yeah. Yeah. Very true. So if we look at the pandemic, what happened in the pandemic and particularly our business in the U S took off in that initial lockdown period, Europe said, if you’re an American, you cannot enter Europe.

And so it didn’t matter if you were a billionaire and you had a number of private jets at your disposal. You were not allowed to enter Europe, but if you had a golden visa from Portugal or citizenship in Malta, you could still enter. And so I think that fragility, I think that made people feel a bit more exposed, especially in the U S.

Benefits of Diversifying Residency and Citizenship

Dominic Volek: And if you look at how wealthy people generally think they like to diversify, right? So if I’m wealthy, I don’t have all my investments in one asset class. I have bonds, I have real estate, I have equities. Nowadays, I have cryptocurrencies and all sorts of other alternative investments. Then it actually makes no sense to have one country of residence and citizenship that I can live in.

Why would I limit myself like that when I completely understand the diversification idea in terms of my assets, but then I only have one country that I can live in. And that’s what I think has awoken a lot of the demand, especially in the U. S. And then in terms of other benefits, these individuals also do buy real estate all over the world.

And so why not do it in those countries where with the real estate investment, I also get residents of that country. And so I think it’s a lot, it’s quite a clever way to expand your portfolio on the asset side and at the same time develop a portfolio of domiciles of residents and citizenship around the world.

Ben Fraser: Yeah. Yeah. Very interesting. So I’d be thinking, Oh man, the, I’m sure the barrier to entry is extremely high and I gotta be, ultra, ultra high net worth. 

Investment Options for Residency and Citizenship

Ben Fraser: And there is a barrier to entry, obviously, but talk a little bit about. This is some of the range, right? Because there’s a range of entry points for different countries and different types of selection, golden visas versus residency, among other things. So break down some of the options available to individuals. 

Dominic Volek: Yeah. So one of the good things is there are a lot of options. So if you look globally, there’s actually about a hundred countries that have some form of legislation or regulation in place that allows for investment migration.

In reality, as I said at the start, there’s about 40 countries that have attractive, successful programs in which we assist our clients and that does come at quite a range, so you have options in Thailand, as an example, that started about 20, 000 for long term residents in Thailand all the way up to citizenship in Europe that can come in at about a million euros.

So there is quite a large spectrum of affordability depending on an individual’s net worth and appetite. We generally say our clients, as a sort of very broad benchmark, wouldn’t invest more than sort of 20 percent of their net worth in order to participate in one of these programs.

A lot of our clients, the vast majority of them, don’t physically move. So this is probably one of the misconceptions about the work that we do is that it’s not actually about relocation. It’s about having the option to relocate if I want to, or if I need to. So the vast majority of clients don’t relocate.

However, those that do, and historically there’s been a significant inflow from China, Vietnam, India, that participate in the U. S. EB 5 program. And so they come into the U. S. There, sometimes they would invest significantly more of their net worth in order to make that move. But in most cases, it is an investment that I should get a return on and ultimately.

Recoup my capital, the programs are different as well. So it’s not always a sunk cost, although sometimes it does consist of a non refundable contribution in order to get that residence or citizenship. 

Ben Fraser: So the range again is on the low end. What was the number you set up to set a million?

Dominic Volek: Yeah, probably, you know, in Southeast Asia, if you’re looking for residents in Malaysia or Thailand, you can probably get in anywhere between 20, 000 to a hundred thousand dollars. If I look at the U S particularly, the most popular option for the families that we assist in the U S is usually citizenship in the Caribbean.

In the Caribbean, you have five of these independent Commonwealth countries that offer citizenship by investment. You can either donate anywhere from a hundred to 200, 000 U S dollars, or you can invest into real estate anywhere from 200 to 400, 000. And in return within about a six months processing time, you become a citizen of that country and you get access to their passports.

And these passports are very good travel documents. These are free access to the all of the European Schengen area to the UK in most cases and about on average about 140, 150 countries around the world. Now that’s not as strong as a U. S. Passport, but We do also have clients that travel to certain parts of the world where they prefer to travel on a more politically benign passport.

And so entering as a citizen of Grenada or Antigua and Barbuda might be a bit easier than going into certain countries where, you know, for whatever political reasons, maybe Americans are not always that favorably looked upon. So is that element to it as well? That’s the Caribbean for a lot of American high net worth individuals.

Europe, of course, is very much at the top of the list as well. And so there you have Portugal, which has been probably the most popular program over the last few years. That’s a golden visa. It’s a residence in Portugal. And after five years of just spending a very little time in Portugal and learning a basic language, you can also apply for citizenship in Portugal.

There your entry level is about 250, 000 euros up to about 500, 000 euros, depending on what you’re investing your money into. Spain is 500, 000 euros into real estate. Greece starts at 250, 000 euros into real estate. So these are very popular destinations in the U S and then I would say the sort of top shelf of what’s available.

And this is only really for, ultra high net worths, 30, 50 million net worth plus, and, centimillionaires and we have a few billionaires, they look at things like Malta and Austria. So both of these countries are members of the European union. They have incredibly strong passports from a travel perspective, but the real attraction is because they are EU members, you have complete settlement rights across the 27 EU member states, as well as Switzerland.

So right now, as an American passport holder, I can travel to Europe for 90 days every 180 days, and I can go in for holiday or for business meetings, but I have to leave. If I have a Malta or an Austrian citizenship, I can go and live anywhere in Europe. My kids can go and study anywhere in Europe. I can work.

I can buy properties, run businesses. And that’s the real sort of flexibility that these ultra high net worths are after. 

Ben Fraser: Yeah. Very interesting. So going back to one of the earlier comments you said, obviously, we have a lot of freedoms as U S citizens to travel, but there are still restrictions.

And then during the COVID lockdowns, there was. Even more restrictions where if you weren’t a citizen, you couldn’t travel into some of these countries was I’m assuming that even during the lockdowns, other things, if you had either a golden visa or the citizenship they didn’t, change their minds is that actually, that’s a lower tier, you still have, or have the freedoms that you expected. Was that kind of thing? 

Dominic Volek: What do you have, you have all the rights of a citizen or normal resident of that country. So there’s no distinction between sort of an investor. An applicant versus a normal citizen. So you’re a full citizen. You even have the right to vote. And of course the real benefit, if you look at Europe, if you have citizenship of a place like Malta, and this now comes into particularly for ultra high networks into their sort of legacy planning is that citizenship, while it might be a big investment for me now, it’s, it will have a generational impact because that citizenship can then be handed down by descent to future generations.

So the conversation that I have with a lot of clients in the U. S. If you’re, do you have a hundred million dollars to your name, what is more valuable to give your children when you move on one day? Is it another million dollars in the bank? Is it another million dollars in real estate some way, or the fact that I have invested that million into Europe and in return become a citizen, and now this is now, handed down from generation to generation where you have.

The settlement rights across another 28 countries in Europe next to the ability to live and have my life in the U S and that’s. That’s the real option entity that the sort of top tier clients are after. 

Ben Fraser: Very, very cool. You mentioned the investment, right? Sometimes it can be a sunk cost. Sometimes it can be an investment into real estate. Can you talk about what that kind of looks like? I know there’s probably a very broad array of options, but specifically the one, the options where it’s actually an investment. What does that investment look like? Is it into some kind of government funded trust or fund or index, or is it, can you just purchase a rental property or some other kind of secondary residence directly? What does that usually look like from a, what does the investment entail? 

Dominic Volek: Yeah. So it differs country by country. These are heavily regulated programs within the country. There’s typically a citizenship by investment act behind it, or very specific regulations and rules. That the government has around what you can invest into, how long you need to maintain that investment. So each country is a little bit different. So if you look at the Caribbean, it’s either a donation.

So once my citizenship is approved, I’ll donate a hundred to 200, 000 that’s going into usually some sort of a sustainability fund, a hurricane release on something that the government then uses to invest back into the country or I can buy real estate. And so in the Caribbean, you’re typically going to invest into.

Sort of five star hotel resort projects that then stimulate the tourism economy. So I’ll buy a unit in a branded hotel. I’ll get a couple of weeks use a year, but otherwise it’s part of a functioning hotel resort in the Caribbean. I get a return each year and off the five years I can then sell.

I can exit that investment. So that’s the Caribbean. In Europe, it’s a little bit different. In places like Spain and Greece, real estate is usually the preferred route for most clients. So in Spain, I can buy a nice villa. I can keep it as a holiday home, or I can even invest into commercial properties and earn a rental.

I can do the same with a residential Airbnb or rent it out to get a yield. And so that’s favored by a lot of clients. If you look at a country. 

Ben Fraser: So you have some optionality in that case where you can pick the property you want, it’s not into some kind of blind government fund or something.

Dominic Volek: Yeah, correct. 

Ben Fraser: And is it the value of the asset? 

Dominic Volek: Yeah. So in Spain and Greece, you’re buying, if you want, a lifestyle property, a holiday home, right? And so either you can keep it for personal use or you can rent it out to whoever you want. So there’s really no restrictions in terms of what you actually invest into on the real estate side.

In the Caribbean, as I said, they are typically government approved projects. So each jurisdiction is a little bit different in terms of what you can invest into for the applicants. 

Ben Fraser: Okay. Okay. You mentioned earlier, by doing this in most countries, there’s no requirement for how many days a year you actually have to be physically in the country.

Is that the case for? Pretty much all of these countries and that’s obviously different than if we have residency in the U. S. here in a few different states, obviously certain states have no income tax and there’s requirements for how long you have to be in that state to hit that threshold, but there’s, you’re saying there’s not an actual threshold for most of these countries.

Dominic Volek: Yeah, it’s the case for the majority of these investment migration programs. Again, the rules can slightly differ, but as a general rule of thumb, there’s no physical presence requirements. If you look at something like Portugal, which is one of the more popular ones, they require you to effectively spend seven days a year in order to keep your golden visa in Spain and Greece, there’s no physical presence requirements, but those are just for residents.

If you want to do what some clients do, you want to eventually apply for citizenship in that country that then usually requires a bit more physical time and so and usually a language test. So if you look at Spain you can get the golden visa. I can invest half a million euros in real estate. I got the golden visa and I have to spend no time there.

But if I wanted to get Spanish citizenship, I would have to effectively reside there. So spend about six months a year for 10 years before I’m eligible to apply for citizenship. In Greece, the golden visa alone does not require me to spend physical time there. But if I wanted to apply for citizenship, eventually the citizenship requirement is that I live in Greece for five out of seven years and I can speak Greek, which is not the easiest language.

So that’s the golden visas. As I said, most of our clients, if they’re ultra high net worth, Malta is usually the preferred route because there’s little physical presence requirements but I can get citizenship and of course, one finest citizen of a country. Unless I become completely persona non grata, that’s permanent, right?

So there’s no further requirements of investment or physical presence once I become that citizen. 

Ben Fraser: Okay. Okay. Yeah. So talk a little bit about the difference between a golden visa and citizenship. Is there some pretty big drawbacks, as with the golden visa relative to citizenship or? It’s not significant.

Dominic Volek: One of the key things with citizenship is I get a passport, right? I have a right to a passport. And so in a number of, for a number of nationalities, the passport is really important because that’s my travel document. With the residence or golden visas, I don’t have a passport as part of that option.

However, the golden visas in Europe do still give you some mobility benefits because if you’re a South African, like myself, I need to get a Schengen visa if I want to go to Europe. But if I have a golden visa for Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, or Latvia, I know not no longer need a Schengen visa because those countries are within the 27 member Schengen zone.

So there are some travel benefits and citizenship, as I’ve said, is really a permanent state and not usually subject to any conditions where if you have a golden visa or one of these residents by investment programs, that’s always tied to some type of condition like maintaining the investment. And in some cases, spending a bit of time in that country.

So I would say the majority look to eventually get citizenship, or if they have the financial capacity, they go directly to citizenship by investment at the store. 

Ben Fraser: Okay. Talk a little bit about tax implications, right? 

Tax Implications of Residency and Citizenship by Investment

Ben Fraser: What are the general ideas you have to be aware of from a tax standpoint?

I’m assuming You know, if you’re investing into one of these countries in Europe, you probably have to file a tax return on that country for that investment. Do you use anything else? Get looped into that, or what’s the tax implication for these? 

Dominic Volek: So again, it’ll depend on what you invest into in order to get that residence or citizenship. If you have an income producing asset, like you’re getting, you’re taking in rent on a property that you own in Spain, you would typically need to pay income tax on your local source income in that country. But just by virtue of acquiring citizenship in the Caribbean or in Europe or holding a golden visa, there’s no direct tax implications on your existing planning.

Of course, for Americans, it’s a bit of a different story, right? And because if you’re an American, you’re taxed because of your citizenship, it’s one of the unique things about the U S where most of the rest of the world. Is tax based on where you physically spend at least six months a year.

That’s where you’re tax residents. And your taxation is usually based on those rules. But if you’re an American, it doesn’t matter where you live, you’ll be paying tax. And so one side of our industry that we do also assist with. It’s not as common as some people think, but for sure, there are some Americans living, usually those that are outside the U S who actually look to get an alternative to the American citizenship and then actually go through what is a very complicated and can be a very costly process of actually expatriating and renouncing their U S citizenship in order to benefit from a more beneficial tax regime in another country.

So although most of our clients don’t physically relocate you can, of course, improve your tax efficiency by acquiring citizenship or residence in a jurisdiction that has a more friendly tax system and then physically relocating there and spending enough time to become tax resident. So I wouldn’t say tax is a, is a.

Significant drive enough for interest in obtaining, residence and citizenship by investment But it can be a factor that some clients do take into consideration. 

Ben Fraser: Okay. What’s the motivation kind of driving a lot of these countries to creating these programs? Obviously, foreign direct investment is probably the foremost.

Are there any other kinds of reasons for it or what’s really driving this? And it sounds like you guys are also in the forefront of helping create more programs by talking with these other new countries and helping expand the option set too. So talk a little bit about what’s driving this motivation.

Dominic Volek: Yeah, correct. So next to the private client business, which is what we’ve been talking about up until now, we also have a government advisory practice. And so we actually strategically advise governments on how to create these programs, how to design them, how to implement them. And of course, then, we assist them to make sure that the due diligence is up to the levels that they need to be to make sure that only the right people are able to get residence and citizenship.

And that includes all sorts of analysis in terms of enhanced due diligence, anti money laundering checks and all those types of things. So we help them create the programs and then through our networks and offices and contacts around the world, we then promote the programs and bring the investment.

And as you rightly said, the key focus, of course, is foreign direct investments or what we like to call sovereign equity, right? Because, it’s particularly coming out of the pandemic. A lot of countries have put in all sorts of economic stimulus packages and job support schemes. And this, of course, has led to them digging into their coppers and their reserves.

And a lot of them are realizing the benefits of this innovative industry where I can actually create something, correct me, and actually raise significant FDI through these programs. So if you look at the countries around the world that do this, Portugal over the sort of 10, 11 years that they’ve had their golden visa has raised 8 or 9 billion euros in that process.

Some of these Caribbean islands, it’s in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and these are very small islands that are reliant on tourism, which also took a big knock during COVID. They really look to these programs, in some cases as a bit of a lifesaver, but also they raise the funds to then invest into their strategic initiatives, infrastructure projects, all sorts of things like that.

Ben Fraser: Yeah, very interesting. This is probably more of an aside, but I’m just curious. Not being super familiar with some of the European countries, but obviously Malta and Austria you said are the, the premium ones to get into. How did they just the status that they have now to the freedom of travel and what kind of drove that?

It’s so interesting that those two countries in particular. 

Dominic Volek: Yeah. So it’s the European Union that of course always, they’re very strong economies. And as a block, of course, even stronger. So we have this we call, we have this Henley passport index that we released on a quarterly basis, which ranks all of our passports according to the number of countries you have visa pre access to.

And if you look at the top 10, next to, UK, US, Australia, New Zealand the rest are all EU members. And then you have Singapore, Japan, and Korea. So that’s really your sort of top 10, top 20 nations around the world. And what puts them at the top of the list or what allows this, visa free travel particularly on the reciprocal waiver space, is that these are all countries that have a similar economic standing, historical links and and the importance is that they reciprocate this visa pre access and, pre trade and these types of things.

So that’s what makes them such strong countries. And in terms of Malta and Austria specifically, so not only do they have very good passports from a travel perspective, but they are members of the European Union and that gives the additional benefits of these settlement rights across the block. 

Ben Fraser: Very interesting. 

Understanding the EB-5 Program

Ben Fraser: And one of the things I wanted to round it out with, so talk a little bit about the EB 5 program, right? So now this is the program for foreigners coming to the U. S. and some of the things that the U. S. has made available. Talk about what that program looks like, maybe others that are available to, to those that want to migrate or have some residence or some freedom of travel to the U. S. 

Dominic Volek: Yeah. So the U. S. like most countries, of course, has a wide range of visas available, right? A lot of them are more skilled based work permit type visas. If you look at the EB five, it’s a pure investor visa. So very broadly, the principle behind the EB five is that as a foreigner, I can invest the starting amount of $800,000 U.S. dollars. And I invest that into a project usually run by what’s known as a regional center. And that project creates 10 jobs in the U. S. on my behalf, the investor. And in return, I get a green card. So the EB 5 is not citizenship, but it’s permanent residence and a pathway to acquiring through an investment of at least 800, 000 into one of these projects that creates 10 permanent jobs in the U. S. I got a green card and that allows me, of course, to come and live in the U. S. and my children to go to the top schools and universities and for us to build our life. So that’s very broadly how the EB 5 works. There is also an E2 investor visa that’s available. And this there, there’s no particular, particularly minimum investment requirements or job creation, but you need to invest into your own business in the U.S.

And through that, again, you get, you actually, you don’t get an immigrant visa, you get a non immigrant visa so I can come to the U S and work, but it doesn’t necessarily link me directly into a green card or citizenship. So those are the two main sorts of investor visas. The EB 5 is for anyone that can prove, clean source of funds and has the intention to come in.

The E2 is only available to treaty countries. So the U S only has a number of countries that they have an E2 treaty with. And so not all countries can actually have access to that E2 visa. 

Ben Fraser: Okay. Okay. And is it that a green card is permanent, right? So it’s not for a set period of time, or if the jobs somehow don’t exist 10 years from now, does that impact your status?

Dominic Volek: No. So once you have it, the way the process works is I won’t go into too much detail, but you get a conditional green card after about a year or two of the application. And that condition is on that project creating the jobs. And once we prove that the jobs have been created, the conditional green card becomes unconditional and then it’s permanent residence.

Ben Fraser: Okay. Okay. I’m assuming just through your advisory, you help your clients work through some of the nuances of those proving that and just making sure you can secure the green card. And. And all that. 

Dominic Volek: Yeah, exactly. So it’s very much a hand holding white gloves service. I know our clients are, of course, all sorts of high net worth individuals from all corners of the earth.

I think on average we serve about a hundred different nationalities each year. And they, of course, have very high expectations in terms of being handheld through what is often quite a complicated process. So we’ve got a big global footprint. We’ve got offices in all major markets now. And that’s exactly what our core business is, advising on all the different options.

We typically, for us, it’s important to understand exactly what your objective is. Is it visibly traveling? Is it educating the kids? Is it just having an insurance policy available? Is it an actual relocation? And then once we know the objective and the family profile, and that’s important because in all these programs you would always have your main applicant who’s typically the breadwinner or the source of funds and they need to be at least 18 years old and they can include their spouse, they can include their children.

In most programs they can include adult children up to certain ages. And sometimes they have to be, usually they have to be single, they have to be financially dependent. And in some cases, they also have to be in full time studies. So it is possible to include adult children in that one sort of investment.

And in some programs, you can even include your siblings, you can include your parents, you can include your parents or the spouse, that you can really have a large family going into one of these and all getting residence and citizenship. And so once we understand those two elements, the objective and the family profile, we can quite quickly narrow down, from the 40 odd options to one or two that probably make the most sense.

And then of course we help to actually execute that strategy from A to Z. 

Ben Fraser: Oh, cool. Dominic, thanks for coming on. This was really insightful and man, you got the travel bug coming up in me now. So I gotta talk to you some more here. Very cool. 

Conclusion and Contact Information

Ben Fraser: What’s the best way for people that might be interested in learning more about how you work with clients and different programs available to reach out?

Dominic Volek: Yeah. So we’ve got the websites https://www.henleyglobal.com/. We’re on all sorts of typical social media channels, LinkedIn X, Facebook, Instagram. You can reach us through many mediums. As I said, we’ve got a number of offices around the world and especially now across the U.S. from, New York to LA, Chicago to Miami.

So all our contact details are on the website. I think it’s probably worth saying we don’t charge for consultation. We’re happy to. So if you jump on a call or come and meet anyone that’s interested to have this type of discussion, to understand the landscape and if there’s something interesting, of course, we’d love to help with that process.

And yeah, so it’s pretty pretty easy to find us online. 

Ben Fraser: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. Really appreciate it. And I’m sure our listeners got a lot of value. 

Dominic Volek: Thanks Ben.


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