Golden visa program proposed in Russia
On November 20 Izvestia newspaper reported that the government intends to start a scheme offering permanent residency for investors. People who put at least USD 130 000 into the economy and hire at least 10 employees will be allowed to settle in the country. Russia has seen its people and money move to countries that offer golden passports.Moscow believes that people from troublespots in Africa and the Middle East might perceive Russia as a desirable place to live. Permanent residents have almost all the rights of citizens except that of voting. They are exempted from compulsory military service. Permanent residents pay local tax rates which is much lower than for non-permanent residents. They are alsoa allowed to work, access social services, set up enterprises and purchase property with minimal paperwork required.The USD 130 000 for permanent residency is higher than in some EU and Caribbean countries. Citizenship of such countries is much higher though. Russia is not offering citizenship though.An alternative will be to buy government bonds or property worth USD 390 000. That is more than Greece charges for a similar scheme.It is unclear if a Russian language test will be mandatory. If it is then that will seriously diminish the number of applicants. All foreign bank accounts must be reported upon application. That will deter many.