Liechtenstein: Economics and Migration Laws.
Foreigners have virtually no chance of obtaining citizenship or permanent residence of Liechtenstein. At the same time, more than 100,000 foreign companies are registered there – it is easy to assume that there are serious grounds for this.
Liechtenstein, like all small European countries, is anxious to increase its population at the expense of foreigners. Simply put, foreigners are admitted only as tourists. To obtain permanent residence in Liechtenstein, citizens of neighboring Austria and Switzerland need to live in this country for 5 years, but for citizens of all other countries this period is ten years. At the same time, all this time the applicant for permanent residence must have the status of an employee. And even under such conditions, only those foreigners who have lived in the country for 30 years can apply for the citizenship of Liechtenstein.
In other words, Liechtenstein is not the right choice for immigration. Let’s see what the economy of this country is built on, and what it can still be of interest to foreigners.
Liechtenstein is trapped in the center of Europe between Switzerland and Austria, and its territory is 160.4 km . Liechtenstein is not a member of the European Union, but is a member of the Schengen Agreement – to enter Liechtenstein is a standard Schengen visa, which can be obtained at the Swiss Consulate in Moscow and the Consulate General in St. Petersburg.
In Liechtenstein, as of the end of 2011, 36 thousand people live. The unemployment rate in this country is 1.3%, according to the human development potential index, this country ranks 8th in the world, per capita GDP is the 1 st place in the world (as of 2007).
How this small country shows such high rates – it’s not easy to answer. Here is well-developed tourism, food industry, electronic instrument making.
So, the agriculture of Liechtenstein is based on meat and dairy cattle, but the country manages to grow also cereals, potatoes and vegetables, grow vineyards on the foothills and produce wines. In the field of electronics, Liechtenstein is widely known for instrumentation, the manufacture of surgical and jewelry instruments, microprocessors, instrumentation in optics.
But, of course, really significant income for the country brings tourism. Liechtenstein does not have its own airport, and the total length of motorways is only 250 kilometers (for comparison, Moscow’s Moscow Ring Road is 108.9 km). But, because of its successful location in the heart of Europe, picturesque landscapes, medieval castles and beautiful alpine resorts, tourists from all over Europe come to Liechtenstein.
Finally, the main income of Liechtenstein is financial activity. Low taxes – 3% of net profit – and the offshore zone have created this country the reputation of an international safe, which is used by foreign investors of all sizes. About how to properly use the tax legislation of Liechtenstein and register your own company there, BusinessTimes will disclose in a separate material – because this topic is worth it.
For the time being, unlike most European countries, Liechtenstein has very strict legislation, including in relation to business immigration: according to the law of 1969, only a person who has lived in the country for more than 10 years can establish in Liechtenstein an enterprise that will operate in the country. Foreign companies registered in the territory of Liechtenstein – are registered in the form of holding or domiciliary companies – that is, they operate outside the borders of the registrar country.
In other words, it is impossible to immigrate to Liechtenstein on the basis of business. The same – on the basis of real estate, which foreigners in principle can buy in strictly designated places, which are very few. Go to Liechtenstein, too, can study only on language courses for a short period – to receive higher education the inhabitants of the country go to other European countries, although they have a university – but there are very limited specialties.
The only opportunity to move to Liechtenstein for at least some time is to work in this country, which, of course, is almost impossible to find. And still, if you find an employer in Linchtenstein, you will be given a residence permit – provided that the contract is for a period of not less than one year, and the work itself will require a permanent residence in the country. The applicant must at the same time be highly qualified by a professional who is in demand on the labor exchange – only under this condition he will be able to count on the extension of the contract, and hence the residence permit. But, the rule of obtaining permanent residence – 10 years of residence in the country as an employee – is not canceled under any circumstances.
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Liechtenstein: Economics and Migration Laws.