Citizenship by Investment: Why Not In Georgia?

The country’s parliament received a law that provides for raising the minimum investment threshold for foreigners to obtain a residence permit. The amount spelled significant: will have to invest almost three times more. Or not yet?

Georgia Citizenship By Investment Program

In 2015, the Georgian authorities decided to more actively fight for foreign investors. They developed a bill according to which any foreigner could get a Gerogian Citizenship in the country when investing at least $ 120,480 in the economy.

Relying on the interest not only of potential buyers but also of international developers was fully justified. For two and a half years since the launch of the program, 1,552 residence permits were issued. Moreover, the dynamics went on increasing: if in 2016, 328 people received a residence permit, then in 2017, 1,173 have already received, writes Trend. 

An inexpensive residence permit has attracted buyers from all the neighboring countries of Georgia, as well as from remote countries, whose inhabitants are not averse to moving to Europe. According to  Messenger Online, among those who received permission are citizens of Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Ukraine, India, China, Iran. Not least thanks to them, the Georgian real estate market is currently experiencing a tremendous boom.

“Russians who buy real estate in Georgia are very interested in a residence permit,” said Khatuna Sakokhia, a representative of the ORBI group in St. Petersburg. – Among those customers with whom I spoke personally, almost everyone asked for him – or at least 90%. True, this does not mean that having received a residence permit, people immediately leave. Many just want this opportunity. ”

And now what

In early August, two members of the Georgian Parliament – Gosh Yenukidze and Ilya Tsulayya – proposed to revise the law ” On the legal status of foreigners and stateless persons”. The amendments made by them suggest toughening the rules for granting a residence permit for investments. 

The authors of the initiative believe that, given the current economic situation and the level of migration, foreign buyers are now paying too low a price for a residence permit in Georgia. The current law, they insist, does not provide investment growth, but only contributes to the uncontrolled influx of immigrants.

You generally believe this, because now any foreigner who has acquired property in Georgia can get a residence permit and then sell the object, while simultaneously transferring the right to receive a residence permit to a new buyer. 

According to the two parliamentarians, this led to the fact that sometimes 10-15 families simultaneously use the same apartment or house to issue the desired permission. And, considering that a residence permit is granted to the investor’s family members – the spouse, minor children, as well as disabled or disabled persons under the care of or full dependency of a foreign citizen – it is clear that the scale of abuse may be noticeable.

What is 35? What is over 100?

Changes to the relevant law, which are already being considered in parliament, suggest that now it will be necessary to invest at least $ 300,000 in the country’s economy, and from $ 100,000 in local real estate. 

Also, they are going to toughen the conditions of stay in Georgia for investors. The residence permit will be valid only for five years, and it will be possible to renew it only if the applicant continues to invest in the country’s economy. 

When the entry threshold is increased, all objects that will fall under the law “meters for a residence permit” can be called elite. Now in Tbilisi for $ 100,000 you can buy two-bedroom apartments in the complex, which are managed by an international company. In Batumi, for this price, you can afford a “three rubles” by the sea.

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