Departure for permanent residence to foreign countries
From 2012 to 2015, the number of people who left Russia for permanent residence in other countries was actively growing. So, in 2015 the country, according to the Federal State Statistics Service, left 350,000 people, 9.5 times more than in 2010. It was a 16-year record – the previous peak occurred in the crisis year of 1999.
In total, between 1989 and 2015, at least 4.5 million people were left in Russia. But this is inaccurate data: since the methodology of accounting for migration flows from Russia has changed over the past decade, it is not possible to find out the exact number of those who left, the Committee of Civil Initiatives (CGI) noted in last year’s report “Emigration from Russia in the late XX – early XXI century”.
For Russia, emigration is becoming dangerous because of the loss of demographic, socio-economic and intellectual capital, the authors of the report of the OIG pointed out. In different strata of society, according to research, the proportion of people ready to leave the country ranged from 8 to 23%, and it was the maximum among young people and highly educated residents of large cities.
The main reasons for emigration are personal, according to sociological surveys. Among them – doubts in personal and economic security, dissatisfaction with the prospects for growth of material well-being, social status.
Other reasons for wanting to leave the country are unstable economic conditions for doing business, corruption, low budgetary spending on science and education, distrust of the law enforcement and judicial system, sympathy for opposition views and fear of being persecuted because of their position. Abroad, potential emigrants hoped to improve the quality of life and find a favorable business climate.
Who leaves: migrants and billionaires.
Among the far abroad countries, the majority of Russians are traditionally accepted by Germany, the United States and Israel. But just there the flow has changed not so much. For example, in Germany, leading in terms of the number of Russians accepted for permanent residence, in 2016, “only” 23% more Russian citizens left than in 2011.
In the top ten most popular countries for departure – nine former Soviet republics, and behind them with a large gap – China.
Impressive growth of emigration ensured the departure of Russians to Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Tajikistan. For example, in 2014 and 2015, almost 190,000 people went to Uzbekistan, whereas in 2011 there were only 2,200 people. Labor migrants from the former Soviet republics returned home, leaving the country to work in which after the economic crisis and the aggravation of the foreign policy environment is no longer so profitable, the experts explain.
In 2016, Ukraine took the first place in terms of the number of Russians who arrived – it took 60,000 people. The flow of those who leave for this country is growing since 2014, when Russia included the Crimea and its relations with Ukraine deteriorated sharply.
But nevertheless it is impossible to say that only migrants part with Russia.
Russia is in sixth place by the number of dollar multimillionaires who left the country, according to the Wealth Report 2017, conducted by Knight Frank in conjunction with the consulting company New World Wealth.
After interviewing investment banks and managers of personal wealth, experts estimated that between 2003 and 2013, 14,000 owners of million and billion states left Russia, or 17% of their total number. That is an average of 1400 people a year. In the next three years, the flow has grown dramatically – 6,000 wealthy Russians have left the country. According to the same research, in 2016, Russia left about 2000 dollar multimillionaires. It is noteworthy that about the same number of rich people left Spain and Brazil.
Leading in the list of the most frustrated countries of France is France – it lost 10,000 wealthy citizens, followed by China (minus 9,000), Italy (6,000), India (4,000) and Greece (3,000).
True, if businessmen from France and Italy leave the desire to save on taxes, then from Russia – for other reasons. Intervention by the state in the business environment, the volatility of local legislation, the anti-Western sentiments of the authorities and measures to control foreign assets of Russian citizens are the main reasons for such decisions.
For example, the law “On the taxation of profits of controlled foreign companies and the incomes of foreign organizations” entered into force in January 2015 obliges Russian tax residents (who spend at least 183 days in the country) to disclose to the taxation service direct or indirect participation in foreign companies, as well as pay a tax on the undistributed profits that these organizations receive. Foreign currency residents of Russia – citizens who have visited the country at least once a year, must report on the availability of foreign accounts and on the flow of funds for them. The Ministry of Finance has prepared a bill allowing not reporting accounts to those who spend less than three months in Russia, but it is not adopted.
According to a poll of 300 wealthy residents of Russia conducted by the law firm Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners, 40% of respondents decided to abandon the status of a tax resident, 9% transferred assets to non-resident relatives, and only 20% in accordance with the so-called amnesty the capital decided to liquidate the foreign firm and return the money to Russia, the chairman of the committee of the partners of the bureau, the lawyer Dmitry Afanasyev told Vedomosti.
Nevertheless, in 2016 the flow of emigration began to decline, according to Rosstat. Out of the country, more than 313,000 people left – this is 8.5 times more than in 2011, but 11% less than in the record 2015.
In 2017, the emigration sentiment in the society continued to decline, according to the data of the summer poll “VTsIOM-Sputnik”. According to him, in 2016, 21% of respondents said that there were fewer people leaving for permanent residence abroad, and already in 2017 – 31%. And if in 2015 13% of respondents stated about the desire to leave Russia, then in 2017 – 10%.
We must not forget that migration sentiments have a remote connection with reality: in fact, the percentage of the population is leaving, notes one of the authors of the report on OIG emigration, candidate of economic sciences Alexander Grebenyuk.
Absolute majority of Russians (89% – the maximum for the whole history of measurements) would not want to leave their homeland for the sake of moving to another country. Indeed, the peak of a new wave of emigration occurred in 2013-2014, Grebenyuk agrees.
The fact that the peak is passed is confirmed by different data. Sociologists note that there are fewer people who want to leave the country; statistics of countries receiving emigrants, for example, Germany, also recorded a decline in the number of immigrants from Russia. Even the analysis of queries in Google Trends shows that at the end of 2014 Russians have become less interested in emigration, the expert continues.
According to Grebenyuk, this indicates a positive assessment by the population of the processes taking place in the country, primarily economic ones. “Forecasts of extremely negative economic development for the most part were not justified,” he explains.
In the midst of businessmen, the mood of emigration is high, says one of Vedomosti’s interlocutors. But he fully admits that in general they could decrease in the country: “A person can not admit that he lives in a different country, because it is impossible to live in depression. And he simply changes the point of view and begins to assert that it is not around him impurities, but fertilizers. ” This is a forced adaptation to conditions that can not be changed, he is sure.
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Departure for permanent residence to foreign countries