Russian-American relations are going through hard times. The tension between the two countries is constantly growing and this certainly can not but affect the business community of both these countries. A very big concern for business in the USA and Russia is the tension in relations between the countries, especially among those companies that have been actively and long-standing collaborating with each other in various fields.
However, despite the complexity of the situation, a completely different picture is shaping up in the sphere of immigration services. The business in Russia, as well as in the CIS countries, is extremely cautious about investing in the United States against the background of current events in the world. The latest US sanctions against individual Russian businessmen only strengthen this caution. But these actions have become, paradoxically, an excellent catalyst for business growth in provision of immigration services.
"Certainly, the activity in the sphere of investments in the USA has significantly decreased both in Russia itself and in the CIS countries. However, immigration services, especially with regard to immigration programs that allow to obtain a residence permit and citizenship in other countries through investing in various business projects, have become incredibly popular both in Russia itself and in the region as a whole "- Aleksey Karimov says – a leading analyst in CIS countries of SD Consult European analytical company. "The growing interest of Russian-speaking businessmen to immigration to various countries of the world is quite logical and understandable. The recent presidential elections in Russia have triggered impulse actions to move to other countries for the part of the business community that did not agree with the existing state line. For the past two months, we have noted the incredible growth in demand for immigration investment programs on the part of the Russian businessmen. In particular, the demand for immigration programs in the Caribbean has increased by almost 24%, request for citizenship in Europe through the investment programs by 11% and the number of people wishing to obtain citizenship in the USA using existing immigration programs in the United States has increased by almost 60%. Tens of thousands of Russian-speaking businessmen have invested billions of dollars in the USA over the past decade. Creating of business in the USA was actively invested, a lot of money was invested in real estate. Against the backdrop of mounting tensions between the countries, falling ruble exchange rate, getting rid of such assets would be a very big mistake that would lead to large losses. The solution of these problems, as well as the problems due to the complicated situation related to issuance of visas to the United States became possible, for instance, owing to US State Program EB5. A businessman who has a so-called American Green Card receives essentially free access to the territory of the United States at any time for himself and for his family members. Also, existence of a residence permit in the United States enables Russian-speaking businessmen to have comfortable conditions for disposal and movement of their equity capital. In a certain sense, this situation can be compared with the situation in Iran, when EB5 visa was in fact the only serious solution to the problems of businessmen with Iranian citizenship. I’d like also note that no matter how the political situation between the United States and Russia is formed in the near future, serious improvements, and even more significant improvements are unlikely to be expected in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the sphere of immigration services from Russia in the coming years is expected to grow steadily. Any company that enters the CIS market or which has been already actively working, will be very much in demand," Aleksey Karimov added.
In his interview with a newsletter, Director of Pangaea Investment Company and founder of the US interactive portal, Denis Karasyov, one of the leading EB5 experts in the CIS, said: "It is clear that the market of immigration services in the CIS is growing. There is a fair bit of factors of growth. There are many companies in the CIS market that are very active in offering services for obtaining citizenship of other countries. And in the recent months the demand for these services has grown significantly. Thus, according to the data of the international portal dedicated to the USA - MEET-USA.COM, the number of people who view the information on EB5 program has grown almost fivefold. Over the past 3 months, more than 6,000 people from the CIS have viewed and requested the information on EB5 program. This is an awesome growth in comparison with the data for the entire 2017 year. However, it should be noted that there are almost absent US companies, which would represent this program on the Russian market. And almost 99% of those companies that could be found on the Internet, do not even have any information in Russian language. I have repeatedly said that EB5 program could be incredibly interesting to a very large number of people, but inertness of the American companies and their fear of entering a new and not understandable market for them plays into the hands of their competitors from the European and Caribbean countries who are already actively and very successfully working in this market. I am sure that those companies that can correctly assess the current situation and actively engage in promotion of EB5 program in the CIS and in Russia, in particular, in the coming year or two, shall be as successful as EB5 program did not see in its history in the CIS countries ".
The demand for immigration services in the CIS countries is constantly growing, this is an obvious fact. The growth in demand generates a growth in supply. A new wave of immigration to the countries of Europe and the West, primarily, business immigration, will certainly give development both to individual business representatives and industry, as a whole. In the light of the growing demand for immigration as a product, there is certainly a growing demand for professional legal services.
Natalia Polukhtin, US Immigration Attorney in her article to EB5 Investors Magazine says:
“In 2015, Russia was ranked sixth among the top 10 countries whose citizens obtained permanent resident status in the United States through the EB-5 program. This ranking has grown constantly due to the increasing popularity of EB-5 program among Russian investors.The December 2014 economic crisis caused substantial devaluation of the Russian national currency, the Ruble, and pushed an unusually large mass of wealthy Russian individuals to explore the EB-5 market not only as an immigration opportunity, but also as an asset-protection mechanism. Unfortunately, many reputable regional centers and immigration attorneys abstain from marketing the EB-5 program in Russia, often overestimating the burden of documenting source of funds. However, regardless of Russia’s murky economic environment and the complex mentality of the investors, the current situation in Russia demonstrates the interest among wealthy individuals who are willing and able to take their capital abroad. Due to economic climate in Russia, the EB-5 market for this segment of investors will undeniably continue to grow”.
Source: Tamara Rezkikh, CIS News