Foreign Investment of Russians with Second Citizenship or Foreign Residence Permit

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-7-63-71

R. Seytkaliev, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Acknowledgments. The article has been suppoted by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation (project 14-28-00097 “The optimization of Russian foreign investment ties in the context of deteriorating relations with the EU”).

Abstract. The article considers the main features of foreign investments of the Russians who have dual citizenship and/or foreign residence permit. The main task is to find out the reasons for obtaining the second passport by the businessmen and the representatives of the Russian middle-class. The author points that the majority of the businessmen has the largest part of their assets in Russia. Also, their assets may be registered in offshore jurisdictions other than the countries of the second citizenship. As for the countries of dual citizenship, there are usually second-rate assets’ allocations of two categories: (1) required for citizenship-by-investment programs and (2) invested into the real estate or ready made business (for example, into the leading hi-tech companies supplying their products to the Russian Federation). Therefore, business reasons cannot be considered as the principal motivation for acquiring the second citizenship. The more specific reasons may differ. Firstly, many Russian businessmen moved abroad during 1990s in order to avoid the political turbulence. Secondly, some businessmen used their original foreign citizenship for developing business in Russia. Generally, foreign citizenship has been regarded by all businessmen as a certain precaution from the pressures from the local law enforcement bodies and as a driver of business contacts due to visa-free travelling. The article also covers the foreign investment activities of those ordinary Russian citizens who buy real estate in foreign countries in order to acquire a residence permit. An analysis of the available data of foreign real estate agencies and migration services is undertaken. It is concluded that most of middle-class Russians buy real estate abroad not with aim to emigrate from Russia but to acquire a place for spending vacations and, to a lesser extent, to live after retirement.

Keywords: foreign direct investment, second citizenship, foreign residence, real estate, geography of business, homeowners, resort property

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For citation:
Setkaliev R. Foreign Investment of Russians with Second Citizenship or Foreign Residence Permit . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 7, pp. 63-71.

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