The founder of World Property Invest on how to get a European residence permit for investment
The borders closed due to the coronavirus pandemic have increased the interest in obtaining residence permits in European Union countries. Sergey Filatov, the founder of a big company World Property Invest, told us how to get a residence permit in Greece, Spain, Portugal and/or the citizenship of Montenegro.
About professional life
— Sergey, could you please tell our readers a few words about yourself and your professional background.
— I have been working in the foreign real estate market and immigration programmes for 18 years, since 2002. Alongside the core business, in 2009 I set up my own company World Property Invest.
For more than 12 years I have worked in one of the largest Cypriot construction companies Pafilia Property Developers LTD and held various positions there: I started as an Agent Manager and created a large database of partners. Then I was appointed as Chief Sales Officer, and the annual transactions reached hundreds of millions of euros. For the last 5 years, I have been the company’s Head of the Representative Office in Russia and the CIS.
Within one year, according to the contract, I completed the business task of forming an agency network and developing the business of the Spanish real estate company SOLVIA, which is a subsidiary company of the fourth largest bank in Spain, SABADELL.
Throughout the entire period of my work, I have collaborated and cooperated with a large number of foreign organizations from all over the world. Among them were construction, immigration, consulting, legal and travel companies, as well as the European banks. I have found hundreds of agents who have generated high profits for various companies. I have organized and participated in a big number of exhibitions, road-shows, conferences, presentations and other events. Published a number of articles, gave television interviews in major media hubs: ORT, NTV, RBC, Forbes, Echo of Moscow MAINDOOR, MSI Fairs, etc.
About the company World Property Invest
— What is your company’s specialty?
— WPI is one of the leading Russian consultants specializing in purchase and sale of real estate abroad, obtaining a second citizenship and a residence permit. The company has been flourishing in the international business market for more than 15 years. We have a team of experts for each area. We deal solely with reliable partners who have proven themselves in the market. Another reason why the customers trust us is that we always take their side.
There are several main areas in which we specialize:
- real estate abroad (apartments, villas, townhouses, commercial real estate);
- immigration programmes (residence permit, permanent residence, second citizenship);
- real estate investment offers (revenue houses, hotels).
— What are the advantages of WPI? What are the other reasons why customers choose your company?
— There are many advantages:
- professional evaluation of real estate projects (risk assessment);
- a great number of transactions under the residence permit and citizenship programme;
- successful closure of the majority of transactions with investors;
- successful cooperation with major international developers, real estate agencies, law firms and banks.
The pandemic’s impact on the real estate market
— Sergey, how did the pandemic affect the work of your company?
— The pandemic has changed the business model — everything has gone online, communication with partners and customers is carried out remotely. The closed borders of various countries have led to the deferred demand. The clients enquire, collect, and study the information, but prefer to wait for the borders to open in order to get acquainted with the project (real estate object) personally before signing the agreement. It is natural that due to the decline in the real estate market, the prices are falling too and you can get a good discount, bonuses and benefits from the developers and the property owners.
Residence permit and citizenship for the purchase of real estate
— Which countries are the best for getting a residence permit/permanent residence/citizenship for the purchase of real estate?
— At the moment the market of residence permits and citizenships is «shaking» in a sence: some programmes are closed (Cyprus), some are «suspended» (Malta), many are constantly changing. I would mention two programmes: a temporary residence permit in Greece (the least expensive and the fastest EU residence permit programme) and a citizenship of Montenegro (Montenegro is to become a member of the EU before 2025).
— Could you please tell us about the conditions of legalization for buying real estate in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Montenegro?
— The conditions differ from country to country. In Portugal and Spain, the cost of real estate which will allow you to get a residence permit is twice as high as in Greece.
The terms of obtaining a residence permit vary as well: in Greece, you can get a residence permit in one month, in Portugal and Spain — in 6 months.
At the moment, Greece is the most popular country for getting a residence permit in the EU.
— Are there any restrictions on the purchase of real estate/legalization in these countries?
— There are no restrictions. You can buy more than one object and it can be both residential and commercial real estate.
— Has the real estate market in these countries changed during the pandemic?
— The number of transactions has changed. Everyone tries to work online, but still 99% of customers want to come and see what they are buying before signing the agreement.
Besides you can find very good discounts.
— Is it possible to execute documents remotely?
— The main set of documents in all the programmes can be presented remotely by post. However, you still need to come to the country at least one time to submit biometric data, sign the documents and get a residence permit card.
— Is the possibility of obtaining a residence permit popular during the pandemic? Has the demand for a Gold Visa increased?
— The interest is growing, not least because of the pandemic. People understand that it is better to «stay at home» by the sea or ocean, and not in the city. But at the moment, customers are collecting and studying information, so that they don’t have to waste time later on. So there are only a few successful remote transactions.
— When do you predict the market to recover after the pandemic?
— As the governments of some European countries have announced, the borders with Russia will be open from March 2021. I think that’s when the market will start to recover.
— Do you have any tips and recommendations for our readers?
— My recommendation for those who have been thinking about obtaining an EU residence permit: now is the right time to act. Firstly, choose the most suitable programme (taking into account the amount of investment, the location of the country, the ability to include relatives into the programme, the speed of obtaining the residence permit). Secondly, choose a property (for your own use or for rent). Thirdly, collect and prepare a set of documents for yourself and your relatives (this can take some time).
Then, when the borders open, you will be fully prepared to go abroad to view the property and submit the documents for obtaining a residence permit. It should be noted that the residence permit is issued for life and it can be passed on to the next generations. And most importantly, it gives full freedom of movement across the EU, even during the pandemic.
To learn more about the programme for obtaining a residence permit and a citizenship in exchange for buying real estate, you can submit a request for Sergey Filatov in the company’s personal account.