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15 Apr, 2021 13:14

Wanna move to Moscow? ‘Golden passport’ proposal means foreigners buying property or investing in Russia could soon earn residency

Wanna move to Moscow? ‘Golden passport’ proposal means foreigners buying property or investing in Russia could soon earn residency

A Russian government committee has approved proposals that would simplify the process of obtaining a residency permit for foreigners who buy real estate or put at least ten million rubles ($130,000) into the country's economy.

The so-called ‘golden passport’ scheme will enable wealthy migrants to buy a residence permit if investigations discover they have no ties to crime. Their family members would also be able to apply for permission to permanently reside in Russia.

Similar suggestions have been on the table for a long time. According to the newly approved proposals, permits will be available to those who invest at least 10 million rubles into a Russian business or bonds, or buy real estate worth 30 million rubles or more ($390,000).

‘Golden passport’ and ‘golden visa’ initiatives are common worldwide, with countries such as Malta and Cyprus famously offering full citizenship in return for significant investment.

“A person responsible for significant projects in our country should be able to live in Russia without overcoming unnecessary bureaucratic barriers,” said Vladimir Gruzdev, the chairman of the board of the Association of Lawyers of Russia.

The initiative has been supported by popular national opposition party, the LDPR, as well as the ruling center-right United Russia faction. Now approved by a government committee, the bill will next need to be voted on in parliament, before potentially becoming law.

In recent years, the Russian government has made it a priority to ease the acquisition of passports, residency, and visas. Last year, President Vladimir Putin signed a new law allowing foreigners to gain citizenship without giving up other nationalities.

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