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Purchase of real estate in Kyrgyzstan by foreigners. Pros and Cons

Foreign citizens may be allowed to build and buy housing in Kyrgyzstan. Amendments to the Housing Code have been submitted to the Parliament.

The bill allows foreigners and stateless persons to buy real estate if they have a permanent residence permit or an investment visa in Kyrgyzstan.

The restriction is proposed only for the purchase and construction of housing by foreigners, stateless persons and foreign legal entities in the border areas. Because «there is a risk that the border areas can become a place for the organization of terrorist and extremist groups.»

Pros for Ministry of Justice

Consent from the state body is not required for the purchase of housing by foreign citizens. The purchase is carried out according to the rules provided by civil legislation.

The Ministry of Justice is sure that the investment climate will improve, the procedure for acquiring and alienating immovable property by foreign citizens will be simplified, and the housing stock will be used more efficiently.

The bill prohibits buying or building housing in frontier areas because of the risk of terrorist groups penetration.

Kyrgyzstan followed the path of its neighbors. For example, in Kazakhstan, a foreign citizen permanently residing in the republic and having a residence permit has the right to buy housing. Similar requirements are in Uzbekistan and Belarus. In Russia, to purchase and sale housing, a foreigner must have a visa, or a migration card, or a residence permit, or a temporary residence permit.

What investors are afraid of

The deputy of the Parliament Dastan Bekeshev believes that the Ministry of Justice is proposing amendments that instead of attracting investors, on the contrary, will scare them away.

According to him, background statement says one thing, but the bill — quite another. Now foreigners can safely buy housing, but after making amendments the requirements will be tougher.

Foreigners will be limited in the purchase of real estate. To get an investment visa, one needs to invest. It’s about housing, but one can’t do it, because the law prohibits him from building or buying real estate. There is such a disputable moment in the laws.

Dastan Bekeshev

He suggested the Ministry of Justice to remove restrictions for foreigners and amend the bill.

He was supported by the Deputy Mirlan Zheenchoroev. «It turns out, the Justice Ministry is changing the law due to one instruction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But the instruction is a bylaw. If it changes, then what will you do with the law?» the parliament member said.

Ban leads to corruption

The Ministry of Justice proposes to stop the activities of the commission that considered applications of foreign citizens to purchase housing. The commission has not been working since 2013. Instead, it is proposed to create an authorized body.

Deputies consider it dishonest that a foreign citizen can buy property only if he has an investment visa or residence permit.

Many of our citizens have received Russian citizenship from despair to work peacefully. Now they want to buy housing here, but they can’t. It’s not fair. We should also think about these people. Not just migrants transfer millions of dollars to Kyrgyzstan.

Elvira Surabaldieva

Azamat Arapbaev suggested the Ministry of Justice to expand the list of foreign citizens who can buy housing in Kyrgyzstan.

Departments of legal and specialized types of examinations of the Parliament note that according to articles 15 and 31 of the Law of Kyrgyzstan On External Migration, the permanent citizenship can be obtained for foreigners and stateless persons after 5 years if they were previously granted immigrant status.

An investment visa (type «I») is issued to an investor and members of his family for three years when providing documents certifying the contribution to the Kyrgyz economy of 10 million soms.

Repeatedly, it may be issued for another three years if there is a positive opinion of the authorized body in the field of investment policy on the applicant’s compliance with the status of the investor.

The Parliament Committee on Fiscal Policy came to the conclusion that the bill will not reach the stated goal. There won’t be improvements in the investment climate and simplification of the procedure for acquisition and alienation of real estate by foreign citizens.

Despite a slight hitch, the deputies adopted the amendments in the first reading. All proposals received from them are under consideration. The Ministry of Justice can’t yet say whether they will be taken into account when considering the bill in the second reading.