Residence permit in the Baltic States: comparison of immigration programs in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Residence permit in the Baltic States: comparison of immigration programs in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Membership in the EU, a fairly high standard of living and favorable conditions for doing business – all these factors prompt the citizens of the CIS to seriously think about moving to one of the Baltic countries. Portal “Zagranitsa” offers a comparative description of the procedures for obtaining residence permits in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The Baltic countries have become full-fledged members of the European Union relatively recently, but the speed and sometimes radical nature of local reforms can envy many European states. Today these are small but self-sufficient countries with an effective state apparatus and an innovation-oriented economy.
One of the main advantages of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is a transparent and maximally simple procedure for starting a business for foreigners. The governments of the Baltic countries are interested in foreign investments, offering investors and entrepreneurs not only an unhindered access to the European market, but also a residence permit with the prospect of obtaining citizenship.
Despite a certain similarity, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are three different countries with their pluses and minuses, business conditions and migration policy. We offer a comparative description of these states, so that you can decide which one is right for you.
Population – 1 962 700 Capital – Riga GDP per capita – $ 24 712 Country ranking Doing Business 2016 – 22 Average salary – 7968 euro / year The average area of real estate that can be bought in the capital for 200 000 euros – 92 m
Conditions for obtaining residence permit, permanent residence, citizenship.
In Latvia, there are two options for obtaining a residence permit for foreigners: through the purchase of immovable property and through investments in their own business in the country.
1. Buying a property.
To obtain a residence permit, a foreigner must acquire a property in Latvia for a minimum of 250,000 euros (cadastral value is a minimum of 80,000 euros). Having issued the purchase and making the necessary payments (including a fee of 5% of the value of the object), the foreigner gets a residence permit for a period of 5 years. Then the status can be extended for another 5 years (the cost of the procedure is 5000 euros). Also after 5 years of residence in the state, a foreigner is entitled to apply for permanent residence. However, for this purpose it is necessary to pass examination on the Latvian language.
2. Investments in own business.
A foreign businessman can count on a residence permit in Latvia, having opened an enterprise with a capital of at least 50,000 euros. The company’s annual turnover should be at least 10 million euros, and the staff – 50 employees. In addition, the company is obliged to pay an annual minimum of 40,000 euros of taxes. Requirements for a minimum amount of tax are not imposed if the company’s capital is 100,000 euros or more. The terms of the residence permit and the conditions for the registration of permanent residence are similar to the first point.
Population – 2,898,062 Capital – Vilnius GDP per capita – $ 28,359 Country rank in Doing Business rankings 2016 – 20 Average salary – 7200 euro / year Average area of real estate that can be bought in the capital for 200,000 euros – 121 m
Conditions for obtaining residence permit, permanent residence, citizenship.
In contrast to neighboring Latvia, the options for obtaining residence permit through investment in Lithuania are limited. More precisely, the only way is to open a closed joint-stock company in the country with an authorized capital of 14,500 euros (or officially employ 3 Lithuanian citizens in it, or, if you have a work permit in Lithuania, to find a job in your company). The residence permit in Lithuania is issued for 1 year with the right of extension. After 5 years, a foreigner can get permanent residence, after 10 years – the citizenship of Lithuania.
Population – 1 311 759 Capital – Tallinn GDP per capita – 28 592 dollars Country in the ranking Doing Business 2016 – 16 Average salary – 10 836 euro / year Average area of real estate that can be bought in the capital for 200 000 euros – 85 m
Conditions for obtaining residence permit, permanent residence, citizenship.
A foreigner who plans to obtain residence permit in Estonia through investment is also only one option: starting a business. The amount of investment will depend on the form of activity: for an individual entrepreneur – 16,000 euros, for a commercial association – 65,000 euros. Usually a residence permit in Estonia is issued for one to two years with the right to renew. After 5 years, a foreign entrepreneur can get permanent residence, after 8 years in Estonia – citizenship.
The material used the data of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The World Bank, the Deloitte Property Index of the European Residential Markets (for July 2016), as well as information from the state statistical bodies of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
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