Why would anyone want to obtain a residence permit in Uzbekistan? Sure, it’s a beautiful place for an amazing adventure & history-packed vacation, but living there? Well, yes, an increasing amount of foreigners want to obtain a residence permit in Uzbekistan.
The core reason is business; Uzbekistan is booming. Read my previous article on the matter if you haven’t already. Additionally:
– Extremely low cost of living. According to Numbeo, Tashkent is 354 out of 377 cities worldwide, with the cheaper cities being in India and Pakistan. Accordingly, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a lovely downtown cafe eating a huge $4 quinoa, tofu & pomegranate salad. And this salad has imported ingredients…
– Good food, sunshine, nice people.
So you want to do business in Uzbekistan long term, and are wondering how to get to live there, here are a few options as of this date.
The legal ways
– Buy real estate. You will be granted a residence permit if you buy a new-built or off-plan residential property worth a minimum of:
- $400,000 in Tashkent region
- $200,000 in Samarkand, Bukhara, and some other majors regions
- $100,000 in far-flung regions like Karakalpakstan & others
It has to be a single apartment/house; so at $400,000 you’ll probably be buying some overpriced luxury apartment.
– Invest $3 million into the Uzbek economy and you’ll get a 10 year permanent residency for you & your family, with all the rights that go with it like education & healthcare. This was enacted this month in October.
– Invest about $200,000 in the Uzbek economy (the equivalent of 8500 minimum living standards) & you’ll obtain a 3 year residence permit. This law was passed late September and is still open to interpretation. An active business is the most logical way, but maybe lawyers could argue that investing parts of the money on the Tashkent Stock Exchange could contribute towards the $200,000.
Bear in mind that everything is changing very fast in Uzbekistan. Generally these residence permits allow you to bring over your family as well.
If you’re hustling on a budget and cannot afford a proper residence permit in Uzbekistan
I cannot recommend the following three options as they are in a legal grey zone.
– Sign-up at a local university to learn Russian or Uzbek and get a student visa. Local bank accounts & companies can be opened on a tourist visa even.
– Get a job. Countless private institutes offer foreign language classes such as English, French, German, Korean, Japanese, etc. You can probably get a part time job there, or if you are more qualified try to teach a subject part time at a local university.
– The good old visa run to neighboring countries once your free 30 day tourist visa expires, if you are on the lucky list of visa free countries. This sort of set-up works until it doesn’t. I doubt you want to get stuck at the Uzbek-Tajik border.
There are many ways to obtain a residence permit in Uzbekistan. Reforms are happening at an exhilarating pace, including in the sphere of migration. Consequently, make sure to search online for the latest options, preferably in Russian as there are few English sources. Often they are not even mentioned anywhere in English.
Rich investors are welcome
The main point is that the government is trying to attract higher end investors, and not just any type of immigrant. In short, they are being selective.
Whether or not you plan on moving to Uzbekistan, do go there for a trip. However if you do want to obtain a residence permit in Uzbekistan, using a local lawyer is recommended due to the ever-changing environment. For instance, there are many cases of laws existing on paper, but of the procedures and processes not being in place. Accordingly, you want a lawyer to navigate the environment. That said, it’s not impossible to do it on your own if you speak Russian, or with an interpreter.
*a consulting session is a discussion about your portfolio and objectives. It does not constitute legal, financial, tax or investment advice.