2019 Unfolds

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

By Muhannad Samara
January 8, 2019


Economic Slowdown, Trade wars, Democrats prevailing in the U.S, turmoil in the Middle East and Brexit are samples of 2019’s economic, political and security drivers.

The world’s leading governments are re-evaluating their international relationships, immigration and defense policies to cope with the, quickly and dynamically changing, global terrain.

What happens next might be hard to believe if read out loud today. But delving deep into the facts, one could find the following plausible:

  1. Tighter Border control

    Brexit, alongside many other ambitious goals, is proposing a remedy to the alleged immigration and border control problem. The UK claims that after exiting the EU, the country will gain control of its borders. This means that the UK is not happy with the free movement EU citizens and residents are enjoying. This means tighter border control. If Brexit goes through, other countries may like the idea and decide to follow suit. Two scenarios here; if Brexit fails, and a Hard Brexit is invoked, the UK will most likely shut down for Europeans. Visas will be required; processing times will be massive, and this will have catastrophic economical and social impacts. If Brexit goes through as proposed by Theresa May (and heavily opposed by Parliament), registration of EU nationals will be colossal task, and the visa requirements for Europeans who are not living in the UK will also be resource and time consuming.


  2.  Spending cuts

    Since the start of the final quarter of 2018, inspired by global turmoil and protectionist policies, governments are trying to cut down on their spending. Some of the world’s most cash rich nations have decided to put major strategic infrastructure projects on hold. China’s economy has significantly slowed down, the U.S is picking trade fights with virtually every major economy, and oil prices have crashed.

    With more spending cuts, comes more governmental staffing restraints. In the realm of immigration, this means slower processing of applications.


  3. Increased security measures

    The world continues to be concerned with the free movement of individuals who may pose a threat to the safety and security of inhabitants of a country. Increased security measures, again with respect to the immigration realm, mean more security screening of applicants and thereby prolonged processing times.


  4. Less global coordination


With the world governments gearing towards more protectionism, access to economies, and geographies will become rather challenging. Protectionism is well known, over the course of history, to cause lower growth rates. Until the peril of protectionism is felt by decision makers, the world may continue to suffer the tight claws of this ideology in 2019.

Immigration Forecast:

  1. Highly controversial Caribbean Citizenship by Investment programme(s) may face suspension or global bans on the back of fierce global criticism.
  2. European countries such as Italy, France, Austria and Belgium who have not been players on the Residence by Investment field, lured by the liquidity this avenue may bring, may introduce residence by investment programmes.
  3. More criticism of the Portuguese Residence by Investment programme on the back of complex citizenship application processing for residence by investment holders. Citizenship applications from investors may face mass refusals on the back of the language requirement.
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