Residency for investment

In 2019, Russians can visit 119 countries of the world without a visa: the United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines now allow our compatriots on their passports, and Macedonia and Albania have extended visa-free entry. However, as experts agree, the local access control regime has virtually no effect on the purchase of real estate in these countries. Interest may be slightly heated in relation to low-cost resort real estate for seasonal rental. Systematically, investors are attracted: the possibility of obtaining citizenship and a residence permit, the reliability of a passport when buying a “second home”, return on investment and profitability. Read more here

In this regard, the leaders in investment for the Russians in 2019 are still the countries of the Schengen Agreement, offering the program “golden visa” (primarily Cyprus, Greece, Malta, and Portugal) and the countries of the Caribbean.

Cyprus, despite the high cost of the program (2 million euros), continues to cause increased interest among investors. So much so that the island even introduced quotas – 700 passports for this year. “Our compatriots showed particular interest in the purchase of objects for reconstruction, as well as in development projects attracting a potential return of 20%, in which Russians participated together with local developers,” notes Marina Shalaeva, director for private investment and foreign real estate at Knight Frank. “In Cyprus, in addition to residential real estate investors began to be interested in the commercial. Wealthy foreigners buy, for example, hotel shares or serviced apartments with guaranteed rent for 3 years with a 4% yield, ”adds Irina Simonyan, Henley & Partners marketing director.

Greece today offers the most advantageous program in terms of price-quality ratio. For only 250,000 euros, the resident receives a residence permit, without the need to stay in the country. Russians pay attention not only to Athens but also to the islands. Developers have an offer for them. So, in Crete, you can buy holiday apartments in the amount of EUR 250,000 with management, which will not only allow you to obtain a European residence permit for the family of the buyer but will also bring about 3% per annum from rent. Prices for 2-bedroom villas, for example, in the projects Aphrodite Beach Front, Viglia Beach Villas and Costa Neopia from developer Leptos Estates start at 265,000 euros.

Neighboring Portugal, although more expensive, also offers a popular program. The “entrance ticket” starts from 350,000 euros for investments in objects for renovation. “Applicants for this program, as a rule, choose objects for reconstruction in Lisbon, which can be leased immediately afterward, or if the investor is willing to invest 500 thousand, they choose objects in the resort part of the country, for example, in the Algarve for renting. Some developers even offer guaranteed returns of about 4–5% from the sites, ”says Irina Mosheva, managing director of Sotheby’s International Realty. 

Although the Russian passport is becoming increasingly attractive from a tourist point of view, it is still unable to compete with the passports of countries offering state resident programs.