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10 main questions about buying foreign real estate and relocation

10 main questions about buying foreign real estate and relocation

13 April 2022

A lot has changed in the field of investment citizenship and residency over the past month. Here we answer important questions about the purchase of foreign real estate, relocation and registration of immigration status today.

Is it possible to get a foreign residence permit, permanent residence and a second citizenship now? 

Yes, today Russians can get a foreign residence permit, permanent residence and a second citizenship. Some countries have temporarily suspended accepting applications from Russian citizens for immigration status, but others continue to work.

Now we offer our clients the following investment citizenship and residency programs: citizenship of Montenegro, citizenship of Vanuatu, citizenship and residence permit of Turkey, permanent residence of Canada, permanent residence of Cyprus, visa EB-5 USA (Green Card), residence permit of Georgia, residence permit of Serbia, residence permit of Spain, residence permit of Italy, residence permit of France, residence permit of Austria, residence permit of Dubai and investment visa of Thailand.

Is it possible to buy foreign real estate?

Yes, it is possible to buy foreign real estate.

According to the decision of the subcommittee of the Government Commission for the Control of Foreign Investments dated March 17, 2022:

  • Foreign real estate is allowed to buy from individuals from unfriendly countries (for example, from citizens of EU or USA) only if money is credited to a type “C” account. The regulations for the use of the special account “C” are listed on the website of the Central Bank.
  • When buying real estate from a legal entity (developer) from an unfriendly country, permission from a government commission is required.
  • When purchasing real estate from a legal entity from a country that is not on the unfriendly list (UAE, Turkey, CIS countries), you need to prove that the participant / shareholder / UBO does not belong to unfriendly countries when making a payment in a bank.

According to the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 126, residents of the Russian Federation will have to obtain permission from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation to pay for shares and deposits in the property of non-residents. This rule also applies to payments within the framework of the implementation of a simple partnership agreement with investment in the form of capital investments. 

How are payments processed?

As our practice shows, real estate transactions in countries that are not included in the unfriendly list are carried out without restrictions.

Some banks may require additional documents from the developer to confirm the currency transfer.

To purchase real estate in unfriendly states, an investor will need the permission of a Government commission and a type “C” account.

What are the restrictions on currency transactions?

Let’s highlight the main ones.

Currency purchase and cash withdrawal: 

  • The commission for individuals buying currency (US dollars, euros, pounds sterling) from brokers is 12%.
  • Banks do not sell foreign currency in cash. You can change cash currency into rubles at any time.
  • You can withdraw currency in cash only in USD, no more than $10,000.

Currency transfers:

  • Individuals can transfer currency from their accounts in foreign banks opened before 01.03.2022 to their other foreign accounts, the data of which are disclosed to the tax service.
  • Residents of the Russian Federation can transfer no more than $10,000 from their account in a Russian bank to their foreign account or to another individual abroad within a month.
  • Through companies that provide money transfer services without opening an account, you can transfer no more than $5,000 per month

Do European countries issue tourist visas to Russians?

Yes, Russians can get a tourist visa to Europe.

Many European countries continue to issue tourist visas to Russian citizens. For example, France, Italy, Great Britain, Hungary, Croatia, Greece and others. In addition, more and more countries are canceling COVID restrictions for tourists, among them France, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and many others. 

Nevertheless, some states have temporarily suspended the issuance of visas to Russians, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

Which countries have direct flights with Russia? Which air carriers fly from and to Russia?

According to the Ministry of Transport, 6 Russian and 29 foreign air carriers fly from Russia abroad. Among them: Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Air Serbia, Armenia, Qatar Airways and others.

To date, direct flights to 15 countries are available to Russians, including Belarus, Israel, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the UAE, Qatar and Egypt.

How to plan a trip to Europe?

On February 28, 2022, the EU closed the sky for Russian air carriers and aircrafts that are registered in Russia, owned or hired by Russian individuals and legal entities.

At the same time, Russians can enter EU countries if they have a Schengen visa.

The fastest way to get to Europe is with a transfer in Turkey. Longer, but also reliable route options — the UAE, Qatar, Israel.

Is it possible to open a foreign account?

Citizens of the Russian Federation can open accounts in foreign banks. But the bank may refuse on the basis of internal rules, which has become a frequent practice.

The procedure can be performed remotely or while abroad. Experience shows that the most popular destinations for opening a foreign account are Turkey, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

We remind you that citizens of the Russian Federation are obliged to notify the tax authorities about the opening of a foreign account.

Guaranteed profitability: do foreign developers make transfers?

Investors receive guaranteed returns from foreign developers from countries that are not included in the unfriendly list, without restrictions.

In states that support sanctions, temporary problems may arise due to the freezing of accounts.

Is it possible to conduct a transaction remotely and without opening an account?

Yes, it is possible to purchase foreign real estate and issue a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship remotely.

In most cases, to buy real estate abroad, you do not have to come in person or open a foreign account.

As for the registration of immigration status, some states also allow the transaction to be carried out completely remotely. Among them are Vanuatu, Cyprus, Turkey, Montenegro, Georgia and others. 

To obtain a residence permit in France, Spain or Italy on the basis of financial independence, you will need a foreign account.

The experts of ARAVANA Multifamily Office will always be happy to answer your questions in more detail, choose the best immigration program or real estate project for you at a personal consultation.

13 April 2022
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