Africa-Press – Rwanda. The fact that 2020 has been a game changer for almost every aspect of our lives, and will have an impact for the foreseeable future, is now common knowledge. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered life as we know it – we will be speaking about life pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, as the two are very different.
Apart from health, the pandemic has had an enormous impact on travel, with a number of airlines heavily reducing their flight schedules, and a large number of them also closing down.
Covid has also had a major impact on the investment migration industry for a variety of reasons. The most obvious reason is the fact that travel has been completely disrupted and clients were unable, or found huge difficulties, to be able to complete RBI or CBI applications, in person. In fact, we have seen a number of programmes, which did not cater for remote applications, suffer in terms of a reduced demand. On the other hand, other programmes, such as Portugal’s, weren’t as affected as other countries in view of their ‘digital’ solution. Having said that, in the early months of the pandemic, that is in early 2020, there has been a sharp decline in demand for immigration solutions, as everyone was still getting to grips with the new reality. This trend started to change by the end of 2020, and as of 2021, the number of inquiries and applications for new programmes reached 2019 figures.
The number of available RBI or CBI programs has been constantly on the increase, however what is worth noting is the variety of the jurisdictions where Investment Migration clients are from. Whereas some years ago, the majority of clients in this industry were from Asia, Russia or the Middle East, in the last few years we have seen a shift towards ‘newer’ jurisdictions, primarily from North America.
Africa has also become a strategic location when it comes to investment migration. The restrictions which African nationals or residents face, when it comes to access to new markets, and travel, are high when compared to nationals or residents of other continents, which has resulted in an increase in demand from the African continent.
What is certain is that the investment migration industry will continue to grow in the next few years, both from the number of programmes available, but, more so, from the number of clients, and the jurisdictions where these clients are located, looking to invest in RBI and CBI programmes.