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Invest $285,000 and get Russian citizenship

Staff writer |
Russia's Ministry of Economic Development and Federal Migration Service have drafted a bill allowing citizenship to foreigners who invest at least 10 million rubles ($285,000) in Russia.

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The bill containing amendments to the federal law on citizenship has already been discussed in government and will soon be submitted to the State Duma, Russian business daily Kommersant reported.

It is part of the "national concept of migration policies" which is aimed at “the resettlement of specialists of various profiles, entrepreneurs and investors to places of permanent residence as well as stimulation of young people whose professions are currently in demand."

The new rules will allow those who own at least 10 percent in a Russian-based company with capital of at least 100 million rubles (over $2.8 million) to apply for Russian citizenship. Individual entrepreneurs who have worked in Russia for at least 3 years will also be able to apply if their annual turnover was at least 10 million rubles during this period.

Another suggestion is to allow Russian citizenship to foreign students who received higher education at a Russian university and work for at least three years in Russia.

Kommersant says the bill contains no rules or restrictions that can be imposed after citizenship is granted. The new citizens can get rid of their Russian securities and entrepreneurs can stop their business activities once they get hold of a Russian passport. While the citizenship for investment scheme works in many countries all over the world, such loopholes are usually closed in other countries, the newspaper adds.

The Russian property threshold is also quite low, at least by European standards. Austria, for example requires potential citizens to invest at least 6 million euro (over $8 million) in the country's economy and Bulgaria requires at least 512,000 euro (about $700,000)invested into specially listed priority projects.

Presently Russian citizenship can be given to spouses and children of Russian citizens, and to former citizens of the Soviet Union.

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