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Iran grants residency visa to foreigners investing in its capital markets

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows figures on display in a main hall of the Tehran Stock Exchange.

The Iranian government says it will grant residency visas of up to five years to foreigners who invest in the country’s capital markets, according to an official in Iran’s Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO).

Bahador Bijani, who serves as international affairs advisor to SEO’s president, said on Sunday that the government had finalized laws and regulations on granting residency to foreigners with long-term investments in the financial markets in Iran.

Bijani said foreigners who invest $250,000 or its equivalent in other hard currencies in the Iranian markets would be granted residency visas of five years.

Bijani said the visa would be valid for the investors and their family of five excluding sons above the age of 18.

He said the investors would receive the same visa for other members of the family if they increase their investment by $50,000 for each extra member.

The Iranian government launched a scheme for granting residency visas to foreign investors in June 2019. However, the law had excluded financial market investors on the grounds that investments might be short-term and not beneficial to the general economy in Iran.

Bijani would not elaborate whether the new law imposes restrictions on foreign investors and their ability to pull out their investments from the capital markets.

However, he said investors are supposed to agree to a series of rules and regulations before they can become eligible to receive the residency visas.

SEO’s new announcement comes as the regulatory body struggles to win back the confidence of investors in the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), the main stock market in Iran where trade has fallen sharply from highs seen over the summer.

TSE’s main index TEDPIX fell by 1.14% to just over 1.18 million points on Sunday as total market value stood at over 47,239 trillion rials (nearly $215 billion)

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