In May last year, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (Minek) presented a draft bill that would enable the country to open a residence by investment program, which it indicated it hoped to launch in July 2021.
In November, Minek shared the first detailed plans on 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 establishment of a Russian company with an initial capital investment of at least RUB 10 million and the employment of 10 Russians.
- The acquisition 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.
This week, Russia’s cabinet approved the bill, but with a few alterations. The government bond option is removed from the list of qualifying investments and the Minister of Economy, Maxim Reshetnikov, appeared to indicate that the minimum investment amounts would now start at RUB 30 million:
“At the moment we are discussing the volume of investments of 30 million rubles. The investor must invest these 30 million in two ways: either he creates a company, and it is very important for us here that these 30 million go to fixed assets, create jobs, or this is a long-term investment in Russian real estate,” the minister told RBC.ru.
In a statement, Minek said it hoped the bill would be adopted by the State Duma during its autumn session (typically in September), aiming to have the program fully operational by the summer of 2022, a year later than what had been envisioned in May last year.
One of the program’s more salient features is its high degree of inclusivity for multi-generational households. According to the prepared bill, qualifying investors would be able to include the following family members in their applications:
- spouses of children
- spouses of parents
In other words, a single application could include as many as five generations, a level of inclusivity unmatched by any other major investment migration program.
The Ministry has previously said it expects the program to attract interest primarily from CIS-countries, many of whom are already seasonal residents in the country.
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 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.