Arctic Zone resident status for investment in business: a new programme from the Russian Government

October 22, 2020
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Residence of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation: investment programme for entrepreneurs
Photo: Adobe Stock
Russia has launched an investment programme for residency in the Arctic zone. 6 investors have already received the status: they have invested 15.3 billion rubles in the Arctic region business. 133 investors have submitted applications and are awaiting the Commission’s decision. The total amount of investments on applications is 198 billion rubles.

The resident status of the Arctic Zone has been introduced specifically for programme participants. Such a resident is an individual entrepreneur or a legal entity that has entered into an agreement to invest in the region’s business. The Government of the Russian Federation enters residents of the Arctic Zone into a special register and provides tax benefits.

The Programme operates on the basis of the Federal Law of 13.07.2020 N 193-ФЗ “On state support of business activity in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation”.

The Russian government expects to attract investment in the region by developing oil, gas and other mineral extraction projects in the Arctic.

Benefits and advantages in exchange for investment in Arctic business

The Russian Government has developed tax and administrative preferences for programme participants. For example:

  • 0% – income tax rate for 10 years. The benefit does not apply to solid minerals extraction projects.
  • 0.5% – mineral extraction tax rate. The benefit applies only to the extraction of new deposits and is valid until 31 December 2031.
  • 75% of insurance premiums for new jobs – reimbursed to the investor in the form of a subsidy. The benefit does not apply to mining projects.
  • A free customs zone procedure may be applied to developed areas of residents.
  • Residents can obtain land in the Arctic Zone without bidding.
  • Residents are inspected only with the approval of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and within a shortened time frame.

The Government also plans to introduce property and land tax benefits by the end of 2020. A simplified taxation system will be developed for residents.

How to obtain resident status in the Arctic Zone

Applicants who wish to become residents of the Arctic Zone must meet several criteria.

Investors can participate in the program who:

  • are individual entrepreneurs or companies that are registered in the Arctic Zone;

  • represent a new business project or are developing a new field of activity. A project is considered new if, at the time of application, up to 25% of the total planned investment has been made in it;

  • are not in the process of reorganization, bankruptcy or liquidation;

  • are not in arrears with taxes, insurance payments or any other mandatory contributions to budgetary organizations of the Russian Federation for the last calendar year.

The minimum investment amount is 1 million rubles. To participate, the investor must attach a business plan of the future project to the application.

The Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic notes that the program is designed for 250 investors.

Applications and documents are received fully online. The investor needs to fill out a special questionnaire and enclose copies of the necessary documents, e.g. the company’s foundation documents and a certificate from the tax authority that there are no debts.

You can view the full list of documents and apply at the official website of the programme.

Residence permit status or citizenship for investments in business in other countries

Some Caribbean countries, Greece, Portugal and the UK grant citizenship or residence permits for business investments.

The Caribbean. Two Caribbean countries offer foreign investors citizenship for their business contributions:

Portugal. Portugal’s investment programme sets out several investment options for business in the country. At the same time, the investor obtains the residence permit status and the benefits of an EU resident, such as visa-free travel in the Schengen area. Under the terms of the programme, the investor can also apply for citizenship after 5 years.

4 investment options in business under the Portuguese residence permit programme

Option Minimum amount of investment
Open a company in Portugal and create at least 10 new jobs Not established
To invest in an existing or new company in Portugal and create or maintain at least 5 jobs 350 000 €
To buy units in investment or venture funds. At least 60% of the investment in such funds must be transferred to companies headquartered in Portugal 500 000 €
To buy shares in Portuguese companies 1 million euro

Greece. You can obtain a Greek residence permit for an investment if you purchase shares or bonds of Greek companies from 400 000 €. We have explained the conditions of participation on the page of the Greek residence permit program for investment.

Great Britain. A UK residence permit is granted for investments in UK companies from £2 million. The registration procedure is described in detail on the UK residence permit programme page for investment.

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