Timur Beslangurov, Managing partner, Vista Immigration, whose firm will facilitate this program told ET’s Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury Russian Golden visa program can be beneficial for those Indian investors that would like to move and reside in Russia and those that would like to invest but not necessarily reside in Russia but benefit from the potential investment income.
1. Can you explain Russian Golden visa scheme for Indians & what are advantages associated with it
Russian Golden Visa program that was launched in January 2023 is an attempt of the Russian Government to attract foreign investors to Russia through the residency program. It is not a secret that many countries do have similar programs with their own pros and cons. We will not be comparing the different programs available rather will focus on the Russian program.
Russian immigration legislation before the new Golden Visa program had several grounds to apply for permanent residency for foreigners: quota (very difficult to obtain due to small number of quotas), marriage to a Russian, having Russian child, graduation from the Russian university with diploma with honors, employment. For someone who has his own family and is not at the age to become a student it was quite difficult to obtain residency in Russia. The new Golden visa program is very good for Indian investors for the following reasons:
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• Russia and India have long lasting friendly relations which became even stronger after imposed international sanctions on Russia.
• The Golden visa scheme offers not only active investment such as setting up a company in Russia but also passive investment which potentially can offer good returns on the investments made, such as investment into Russian Stock market (which has lost half of its value from 24th of February 2022) and real estate.
• Under the Golden visa scheme a lifetime residency is granted not only to the Investor but to his/her family members such as spouse, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren.
• There is no need to reside in Russia in order to keep the residency under the Golden visa scheme.
2. What are categories of Indians that are being targeted under this scheme
We believe that the Russian Golden visa program can be beneficial for those Indian investors that would like to move and reside in Russia and those that would like to invest but not necessarily reside in Russia but benefit from the potential investment income.
The investment amount starts from 215.000 USD for investment into social projects in Russia and goes up to 715.000 USD for the investment into real estate in the City of Moscow. But for example, real estate investment in the Far East region is only 285.000 USD, Moscow region is 360.000 USD. So, we are talking about middle to upper class of Indian investors.
3. Are Indian investors only target at this stage under the scheme
Indian investors are not the only ones that can benefit from the scheme. Investor from any country can become an investor under this program. But of course, due to sanctions and restrictions investors from the Western countries will have more difficulties to in practice use this program for the time being.
It is a well-known fact that Chinese investors are the most active in using the residency and citizenship by investment programs in the World but analysts and experts believe that in the next 3-5 years Indian investors would be taking the lead
4. How does this scheme help Indian investors for smooth profit repatriation back to India
The scheme itself is not designed for profit repatriation it is more of an immigration by investment product. But there are no restrictions for Indian investors to repatriate profit to India
5. Would Indians who can contribute to growth India-Russia ties be offered this scheme
The scheme is very precise on the category of investors and basically stipulates only investment ground. Those Indians who contribute to growth of India-Russia ties but do not make the investment themselves can’t use this scheme but potentially can seek for special recognition from the Russian president.
6. Would this visa create challenges Indians for travelling in west
I don’t think residency in Russia will create challenges for Indians that are travelling to the West but Indian investor should of course be careful with the type of investment made in order not to breach potential secondary sanctions that could be applicable when working with Russian sanctioned companies.
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