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January 25, 2022

Interview with Abire Mansoor, Licensed Agent

What are the most common reasons people give for seeking a second citizenship?

Before the current world crisis, the primary motivation for those applying for citizenship by investment (CBI) was to secure a second citizenship in a more economically and politically secure country. Fast forward to today, parallel to security and safety, the CBI programmes are increasingly attracting those seeking the luxurious option of travelling with fewer visa applications and restrictions.

The world has gone through a significant upheaval recently. Does everyone need a Plan B in place, no matter which country they come from?

For those who have the financial means to relocate when needed or desired, not having a Plan B in place is considered a gamble. Whether the reason is closed borders, civil unrest, or simply for financial or tax reasons, a second citizenship is the perfect Plan B. With greater freedom of movement comes more opportunities for business growth, personal freedom and security. And knowing you have the option to retire on a Caribbean island at any given moment doesn’t hurt either!

The beauty of the Caribbean speaks for itself, but what are the advantages of citizenship by investment in this region?

Besides the appeal of the tropical climate and the diverse and colourful culture, raising a family in a safe environment is the main charm of island living. Dominica, for instance, is ranked as the second-safest nation in the region, and Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis and Grenada are not far behind. These are some of the stronger economies in the Eastern Caribbean, making them attractive citizenship and lifestyle destinations.

Also, Caribbean passports are ranked high on the passport index, allowing you to travel to 140+ countries visa-free including the Schengen countries, the UK and Hong Kong. Grenada even allows applying for an E-2 Business visa to the US, thus opening more business opportunities for current and future entrepreneurs.

From a business perspective, and for entrepreneurs who are looking at potential tax benefits and business/investment opportunities, the Caribbean CBI programmes offer just that; each jurisdiction has different advantages.

And as well as offering a wide range of universities and international schools, the region is part of the British Commonwealth nations, which makes studying at British universities, for example, more achievable. It gives peace of mind, knowing that visiting your children is made easy thanks to the passport you hold. And it is also this ease of travel together with the safe community of the Caribbean that makes future retirement in this region so attractive.

All the Caribbean CBI programmes have a real estate option. What advantages does buying CIP-approved real estate in the Caribbean bring?

Firstly, I would say that owning a piece of paradise should be on anybody’s bucket list. Secondly, in terms of investment, it’s the better option for a host of different reasons, including resale and the likelihood of recuperating the investment after five years with no capital gains tax. Most CBI-approved real-estate options take the hard work out of the equation by offering a return-on-investment option built into them. For example, buying into a developed and operational condo-hotel often yields anywhere from 3%-6% per annum. And those wishing to relocate will have a home away from home should residency become an option.

You were born and bred in Antigua. What makes the Caribbean so special, in your opinion?

Sometimes a simple good morning can brighten a day; that is the feeling I get every day living in Antigua. The warmth that is instilled in us just comes naturally and feels contagious.

It is island life in every sense of the phrase; everything is slower (sometimes to a disad-vantage), but often it is a reminder just to relax and take advantage of the accessibility to nature that surrounds us, having a glass of wine at the end of a random Wednesday isn’t a fantasy here.

There are many advantages to living on an island. It isn’t just the leisure aspect; opportunities for new business ventures and tapping into unexplored markets attract entrepreneurs of all ages. Networking and building relations can transpire quickly in Antigua. It is a bonus that the island doesn’t have capital gain or estate taxes, making it an ideal location for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Safety is essential wherever one chooses to live, and I am grateful to have been raised by Syrian parents on an island where I am free to walk confidently as a woman and be proud of my blended Antiguan-Syrian culture.

You have many years of experience as a Licensed Agent. What is the best piece of advice you give your clients?

Clients have usually done extensive research before deciding that they are ready to take the leap and apply for second citizenship. I take into serious consideration the “why” before giving my recommendation to which island and which investment is best for a family.

For example, I will often recommend citizenship via real estate for a growing family. This may cost a little more upfront, but in the long run, it is an investment and it also saves money when adding a new family member to the application in addition to the recoup factor.

My main advice to any client is to be comfortable and open with your agent; this person is about to know the ins and outs of you and your family, so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and get to know them too.

Luxury is very subjective – what is luxury for you?

The ultimate personal sense of freedom and security is the option to physically move or travel to another country to experience different cultures without feeling restricted. Not having to go through embassies and visa applications when I wish to travel makes me feel like the world is just there for my appreciation.

Instagram / #Luxurialife