Let me start the year by asking this: How many unregulated industries can you think of which store sensitive data, deal with government officials and control the international flow of capital?
So it’s little wonder that the investment migration industry is often in the firing line. And whilst much of the criticism levied at the industry is flawed and/or biased, by committing to a programme of best practice and setting our own professional standards we can ensure that our ‘permission to operate’ is not jeopardised.
Which is why I am excited to start the year with news that we will be launching IMC Education and Training imminently. Establishing a framework of certification and accreditation will demonstrate the transparency and responsibility to which our industry must adhere. (Thus enhancing our commitment to standards and educating those who work in the industry to a common set of values and professional practices, both of which come under constant scrutiny.)
This programme leads to professional status within the IMC and is the benchmarked professional level for those working in the IM industry. This is the first global Investment Migration course of its type at this level and it is specially designed for those working in the industry.
Imagine potential immigrant investors asking service providers “Are you certified?” before even considering their services. Imagine your companies telling potential recruits they need a diploma in IM to be considered for management positions. I know many of you find it difficult to find experienced and trained staff; more often than not you have to provide some sort of internal training which is incredibly costly and takes away valuable time from your own schedules.
Moreover, with a culture of qualified professionalism prevalent across the industry, we can begin to isolate independent incidences of misconduct and unethical behaviour that has been judged, unfairly, to be representative of the industry. Whilst we all agree that such accusations are often fabricated, we are unable to sufficiently rebuke them without an educational framework that is the cornerstone of responsibility.
The new framework created by the IMC will cater for all levels of background and experience: a certification in Investment Migration, a Diploma and a Post-Graduate Diploma. All courses will be delivered through a flexible range of learning methods to enable individuals to study in a way that complements their lifestyle and will be supported by a world class on-line Learning Management System and accredited by a respectable UK university.
To learn more details, go to investmentmigration.org/education/ and be sure to read Bill Howarth’s article outlining the details and necessity for training in our industry in this edition.
Leading on from this, I also study the ethics related to globalisation and free movement in my CIP Forward piece.
In other news, you may have read an OECD report on investor migration and tax evasion. Of course, we agree with the OECD that individuals should be prevented from using such programmes to avoid accurate CRS reporting or to engage in financial crimes. But is the problem so prevalent that it warrants the OECD to publish a ‘black list’? Read our article by Sir Ronald Sanders who updates the IMC on what we can expect from its publication.
Other articles in our first newsletter for 2019 come from Pav Bassi, Head of Immigration at Astons, who will discuss the process of the UK Tier 1 investor visa and what qualifies for the right investment, which is especially pertinent after the recent announcement (and subsequent U-turn) to review this route to UK residency by the UK government in November last year, and from Savvas Savvides, a Partner of the office of Michael Kyprianou & Co LLC Law Firm, who explores the entire truth concerning Swiss Franc loans and how they may impact the global economy.
Wishing you a happy and successful 2019!