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  • Property in Russia
    Not only Russians but foreign citizens have the right to owe Russian properties. Foreign citizens can buy both commercial and residential properties (flats, houses etc.).

    Of course, there are some restrictions for foreign nationals. All of them are connected with the security of the country. Most of restrictions are imposed for foreign citizens who buy land properties.

    According to the Land Code of the Russian Federation, foreigners, stateless persons, foreign legal entities can’t buy properties (land) which are located in the frontier zones. The list of these territories is established by the President of the country in accordance with the regulations of the Russian Federation.

    Foreigners can’t become owners of the land for gratis according to the "suburban grace”. According to the laws of the country, foreign citizens can get (buy) land only for a fee. Its amount is instituted by the Code.

    It should be mentioned that foreigners have the priority right to buy lands with their real estate property if there are no other restrictions.

    According to the Code of the Russian Federation, foreigners, foreign legal entities, stateless persons who owe the constructions, buildings and houses located in the land plot have the priority right to rent or buy the land under the established procedure. The President of the Russian Federation can institute the list of constructions, buildings and houses which the abovementioned Rule is not applied to.

    There is one more restriction for foreigners. According to the Code of the Russian Federation, foreigners, foreign legal entities, stateless persons can owe the agricultural lands only on a leasehold basis.

    If a foreign citizen wants to buy a flat, there will be fewer difficulties, of course. First, it is necessary to learn whether the property is situated in the open for non-residents’ dwelling area of the Federation.

    To effect a deal of buying an apartment you will need:

    * Registration visa on the territory of the Russian Federation;

    * Certificate of registration in the Russian Federation;

    * Translation of your passport notarized in Russia.

    Only foreign citizens who are legally present in the Russian Federation can buy property.

    Legal basis for presence in Russia can be Residence Visa or Permit, or migration card for temporary stay, or visa. It is natural that all the documents are valid. You will be surely required all these documents in the registration service. They will check their authenticity.

    A foreigner can issue to a second party a power of attorney on acquiring Russian property. It should be mentioned that the power of attorney must be notarized by a notary public of the Russian Federation or according to the place of residence of the foreign citizen and issued with legalization of Apostille (special certification of the signature and the seal of non-commercial

    documents, if the country of the foreign citizen signed the Hague Convention in 1961). The document certified by the Apostille is valid in any country signed the Hague Convention.

    A foreigner will be required the legalization of the power of attorney on acquiring property if his/her country is not a member of the Convention (the Hague). For this purpose you need to apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other similar institution to certify this power of attorney. Then the power of attorney together with the notarized translation is sent to the Consulate of the country. The Consulate legalizes the document. However the legalization is valid only on the territory of the Russian Federation.

    The legalization of the document is not required if a foreigner comes from one of the country of CIS which signed the Convention on legal relations and assistance for family, civil and criminal cases in 1993. In this case for effecting a purchase transaction you will need only the notarized translation of the passport.

    Documents can’t be notarized in the Russian Federation if they are written in pencil, handwritten, have expunctions, erasures or other defects.

    If a foreign citizen is officially married, he/she will have to provide the consent of the other spouse while buying property in Russia. Besides it must be certified in the Russian Federation or in the residence country of the other spouse (in this case it should bear an Apostille).

    According to the Russian laws the payment for acquiring property should be made only in rubles regardless of the citizenship of the buying party.

    The participants of the transaction may commit the ruble’s rate to a definite currency with mutual agreement. Besides they can specify a possible "Currency band” in advance.

    The right of property for foreigners doesn’t differ from the one for Russian citizens in the Russian Federation and doesn’t provide any privileges and priorities for getting the citizenship, work permit, residence permit, visa or other privileges.

    If a foreign citizen buys a flat or a house, he/she can register as the titleholder in Russian. If he/she is rejected, the rejection can be appealed to the court of the Russian Federation.

    A foreign citizen who possesses a property in the country is obliged to pay the property tax at the same rates as Russian citizens.
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