HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 1 September 2021 - Bartra Wealth Advisors
('Bartra'), a subsidiary of Ireland's leading real estate developer Bartra
Group and the first Irish developer providing direct Irish immigration
investment advisory in Hong Kong, participated in the 2nd International
Immigration and Property Expo from 28-29 August 2021. Over 16,000 visitors attended the
expo, an increase of approximately 40% compared to the last event in March this
year, representing a significant rise in the public's interest in immigration.
A number of talks and briefing sessions were held in the exhibition to
introduce the ways and advantages of investment immigration to Ireland to the public.
During the expo, Bartra received onsite enquiries from more than 200 clients.
This year, Bartra has
processed approximately 20 applications for Ireland's Immigrant Investor Programme ("IIP"), amounting to a
total investment of about HK$200 million. Among them, 4 applicants originally
intended to immigrate to the UK through the BN(O) scheme, but finally decided
to apply for Ireland's IIP instead.
Jeffrey Ling, Bartra Wealth Advisors
Regional Manager, said, "Some clients applied for Ireland's IIP to obtain a safety
net when applying for immigration to the UK through the BN(O) scheme. It was
mainly because Ireland is close to the UK (about an hour flight) and it is an
English-speaking country. Irish citizens not only can access the UK under the
Common Travel Area (CTA) Agreement, they can also access 27 European Union
countries as its member state. Moreover, due to the high residing flexibility
in Ireland's IIP scheme, Ireland's IIP applicants are only required to enter
the country once and stay for one day every year to retain their PR status and
the right to abode."
Currently, applicants to
the BN(O) scheme are not entitled to Public Funds, they are also not able to
fully access the public health and educational systems in the UK. Moreover, a
large number of commercial and financial institutions have moved their European
headquarters out of the UK after Brexit, including Barclays and HSBC Holdings
Plc., increasing uncertainties for the employment prospects for applicants to
the UK. Ireland, as a member state of the European Union, appeals to clients
who also applied to Ireland's IIP for protection. In addition, since the HKSAR
government has ceased to recognize the BN(O) passport as a valid travel
document and identity proof since January 2021, Hong Kong citizens are
concerned that they may not be able to apply for the early withdrawal from the
Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme through their BN(O) passports or the
related visa applications.
Bartra has noticed that
the desire of Hong Kong families to emigrate has increased sharply lately, and
today Ireland is becoming one of the most popular destinations for immigration.
In the first half of 2021, the monthly average search volume of "IrishImmigration" in Chinese reached approximately
1,000 searches. Furthermore,
Bartra's 20 successful applications to Ireland's IIP this year, represents a
significant increase from the 50 cases in the 17-month period from August 2019
to the end of 2020. Traditionally most Hong Kong emigrants have chosen
English-speaking countries in Europe and North America as their destinations,
explaining the considerable appeal of immigration to Ireland to Hong Kong
people where English is the spoken language of the majority as well as the
dominant business language.
Immigration to Ireland
through the IIP is fast tracked and flexible. It takes about 6 months for
approval. Applicants are only required to reside one day per year in Ireland to
maintain their residency; in other words, they can obtain a foreign residency
without relocating and freely decide when to become a tax resident. In
addition, Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the European Union,
which presents fewer language barriers for Hong Kong emigrants. The
accompanying children of IIP applicants to Ireland can also enjoy Ireland's
free education and free choice of schools. The Irish education system is among
the top globally, ranking seventh in the world. In addition, Hong Kong families
are often pleasantly surprised when they discover Ireland is part of the Common
Travel Area (CTA), which allows Irish Citizens to live and work in the United
unrivalled creditability in Irish immigration consultancy services. This year
marks the fifth anniversary of Bartra's establishment in Asia. The offices of
Bartra in the Asian region are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong
Kong and Vietnam – together they have processed more than 350 successful cases.
Apart from serving local clients, Bartra also serves clients from Taiwan,
India, Singapore, the Philippines, Macau, the United States, the UK, and the
United Arab Emirates, proving its wealth of experience.
The Social Housing and
Nursing Home projects Bartra offers to IIP clients for obtaining permanent
residency in Ireland can be achieved in three or five years (4% flat annual
interest rate for the 5-year option), and both guarantee 100% investment
capital protection. They each have an approval and renewal rate of 100%. Apart
from cash, for asset value proof, IIP applicants can use stocks, funds, cash
value of insurance policies, properties, or even parking spaces, valuable
paintings or collectables etc. Applicants can also choose to use wealth
management services to cash out for their investment into IIP. Some clients will seek advice from financial
services to pledge/refinance their assets to fund investment immigration in the
current low-interest environment so as to obtain residency without disposing
their existing investments.