Some six months have passed since IMI first reported that Russia was planning to launch a residence-by-investment program. Yesterday, the Ministry of Economy (Minek) divulged detailed plans on pricing and structure.
When Minek first published its draft bill in May, it clarified that before releasing detailed requirements, it would conduct a study of “approaches in various countries, trying to find the best options.” That exploratory phase now appears to have concluded, as Minek this week offered a first glance at precisely under which conditions it will consider granting residency in exchange for investment.
According to Izvestia, the program will have the following investment requirements:
- Ownership of a Russian company through the investment of at least 15 million rubles (about US$200,000) or, alternatively, ownership of a foreign company operating in Russia through the investment of at least RUB 50 million (about US$650,000). The company must be operational for at least three years [it was not clear whether this meant three years prior to or after the issuance of the residence permit];
- Investment of RUB 15 million in a Russian business (not necessarily becoming its owner). The company, however, must also exist for at least three years, pay at least 6 million rubles in taxes and employ at least 25 people;
- The establushment of a Russian company with an initial capital investment of at least RUB 10 million and the employment of 10 Russians.
- The acquisitoin of Russian government bonds or real estate worth at least RUB 30 million (just under US$400,000) for three years prior to applying for a residence permit.
First deputy head of Minek, Mikhail Babich, said the program was aimed at raising investments from ” foreign citizens interested in investing in our economy, but not create false preconditions for obtaining a migration status.”
Speaking to Izvestia, Ekaterina Isaeva of BEYOND Residence & Citizenship indicated she wasn’t convinced the program would catch on under the terms presented this week, pointing out that more economical options were available in countries that traditionally attract far more migration than Russia. If the program offers a viable path to Russian citizenship, however, that could make a big difference in uptake, she pointed out, especially among applicants from Africa and the Middle East.
Other factors that may quell demand for the program are reported Russian language proficiency requirements, as well as residence permit holders’ obligation to declare foreign bank accounts.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.