As part of the international IT-community, we are very much concerned about the current situation in Ukraine today, and we would like to help entrepreneurs from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to understand where and how their business can be relocated, as well as what opportunities specialists have for moving.
Therefore, we have prepared this material and collected useful sources with reliable information that you can and should use.
Where are businesses being relocated from Russia now?
Business owners (important remark: we are now talking mainly about companies in the IT field) today do not share a common opinion on where it is more optimal to relocate companies: according to them, it is better to choose the direction individually, focusing on the existing prospects and specifics of your business.
The range in the choice of countries is quite wide: for example, some CEOs are now relocating their companies to the USA, some are considering Portugal, Montenegro or Lithuania. Poland and Finland are also actively considered.
The main advice today from the owners of companies is: pay attention not only to the prospects of the market in the selected region, but also learn what programs for business emigration exist there. Sometimes it happens that even in a rather seemingly unobvious country for emigration, there are attractive programs for startups or companies specifically in your field.
For example, Finland provides grant support to technology businesses (up to 500,000 euros) and offers a business state program that allows Russian business owners to obtain a residence permit under accelerated procedures: the acceleration is really quite significant, because it makes it possible to obtain a residence permit in just 1-1.5 months instead of the standard several months.
So, the standard examination of an application for a residence permit in Finland can take up to 11 months.
The UK offers talent visas (Global Talent Visa) and so-called startup visas (StartUp Visa). The first category of visa is difficult but possible to obtain: you should provide letters of recommendation and other documents proving your merit and value, have innovative business etc.
To get a StartUp Visa, your startup must meet several key requirements, including being innovative and having opportunities for growth.
StartUp Visa can be given in Portugal: again, they look at the idea of a startup, the innovations expected within its framework, as well as the prospectiveness specifically for the Portuguese economy.
This visa is valid for up to 2 years with the possibility of extension up to 3. One of the advantages of Portugal is that the IT community is growing rapidly there, which has a positive effect on networking and the development of the industry in general.
StartUp Visa type visas can be issued by a wide number of countries: among them are Netherlands, Estonia, and even Hong Kong.
Some regions offer a different type of visa for entrepreneurs — so, Germany, among other possibilities, is ready to consider documents for an Entrepreneur Visa (among other requirements, it is important that the annual turnover of the company is not below the established minimum). The validity period of this visa is 3 years.
Now representatives of the IT sector are actively sharing useful links to various portals with information on relocation, as well as collecting information on specific topics in Google docs: in particular, you can get acquainted with the current requirements for most visa categories (not only StartUp Visa and Entrepreneur Visa types) today by following the link.
Where can I go now?
Among those IT specialists from Russia who have decided to leave the country, the regions where there is no visa regime are now the most relevant: in particular, these are Georgia and Armenia.
Air communication with Armenia has not been suspended yet, and you can get to Georgia either with transfers or directly from Yerevan.
Housing prices can be found not only on well-known sites like Airbnb, but also on specialized ones: for example, you can find an apartment or a house for long-term rent in Georgia on this resource.
The site is available in Georgian, Russian and English, prices are displayed in the currency of the user's choice — dollars or lari. As of 02.03.22, the cost of renting a studio or one bedroom apartment in Tbilisi will be from $ 260 per month.
Rent of a one bedroom apartment in Yerevan on 02.03.22 will be from $ 200 per month — you can search for housing on List.am, an Armenian ads website, where ads for renting and selling real estate are published as well. The website is available in Armenian, Russian and English, the currency is Armenian drams or dollars.
The visa-free regime
In addition to Armenia and Georgia, the visa-free regime for Russian citizens is valid in the following countries:
A complete list of all countries, as well as restrictions on visa-free travel (sometimes it is 30 or 360 days, everything depends on the government of a particular country) can be found in the telegram channel Denis Sexy IT — the founder of the channel Denis has not only made a detailed list, but also included information about the approximate cost of the flight.
Again, a Google document was created where you can find useful information for relocation in different countries, including important phone numbers, as well as requirements for the transportation of animals.
Also, the latest up-to-date information on relocation is collected in this document (ReloGame) and is also regularly updated — among other things, there you can find contacts of specialists who are ready to help on various issues (for example, with urgent vaccination of animals).
We hope that the article will be useful for you and will help you plan your further actions. Save the links, and if you have useful resources that for some reason did not get into our article, share them in the comments.
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