List of countries where Russians can open an account in 2024

Russians who own real estate in Bulgaria or are planning to buy a house or an apartment in this sunny country must have an account in a local bank. However, starting from 2022, this requirement is almost impossible to fulfill – banks refuse to open accounts, block transfers, and require additional documents. Property buyers and sellers ask us what to do. Having analyzed the situation in Bulgaria, Apart Estate experts would like to share the received information and answer the most frequently asked questions from our clients.List of countries where Russians can open an account in 2024 

Purchase or sale of property – is it possible to use an account in a Russian bank

When buying or selling real estate in Bulgaria, a citizen of Russia can use neither an account in Russian banks, nor credit or debit cards linked to it.

Most financial institutions are under sanctions and are not able to cooperate with Bulgarian or European banks.

A loophole exists for clients of European banking institutions that still have subsidiaries in Russia. It is Raiffeisenbank for example. Theoretically, you can send money from Bulgaria to your account in this bank or back. In practice, this opportunity is associated with great risk.

Due to the risk of falling under sanctions, subsidiaries of foreign banks are curtailing their business in Russia, which at any time can lead to the sale, a great change in the policy and the introduction of new restrictions.

Taking into account the existing problems and risks, Apart Estate does not recommend using accounts in Russian banks when selling real estate in Bulgaria.

Is it possible to open an account in Bulgaria

Due to the inability to use an account in a RF bank, many Russian citizens try to open a bank account in Bulgaria.

It is not easy either. Most financial institutions refuse to work with holders of Russian passports. Currently, you can submit documents to Investbank, Tokuda Bank or Bulgarian American Bank. The application fee ranges from 50 to 200 euros. A positive result is not guaranteed.

Those Russians who have short-time residence permit, long-term residence permit or permanent residence permit in Bulgaria are in a more favorable position. They can open an account in DSK bank and Bulbank. At the same time, they need to be prepared to provide information about tax residency, origin of funds, etc. Among the documents that need to be submitted, there is a foreign passport, a card confirming status in Bulgaria, and a RF personal tax identification number.

After opening an account, it can be used to pay utility bills and any real estate deals, including receiving rental payments if an apartment in Bulgaria owned by a Russian is rented out.

I have an account, but it’s blocked

Documents confirming that a citizen of the Russian Federation has an account in a Bulgarian bank do not mean that it can be used. If money does not come to the account regularly, if it comes, but it is not clear where from and what for, there is a chance that the account will be blocked. Blocking is possible, for example, if the owner of an apartment rents it out, receives payments by bank, but at the same time has not registered the rented property with the municipality and has not submitted the relevant documents to the financial institution.

To unblock the account, you will have to go to the bank again, fill up documents, and pass verification to confirm that the account owner is not included in the sanctions list. Still, there is a possibility that the account will never be unblocked.

Opening an account in other countries

If you received a refusal and can’t open an account in Bulgaria, you can try to contact a bank in another country in the world.

Currently, you can try your luck in Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, UAE, Thailand, Egypt and Cyprus.

Such accounts can help pay support fees and utility bills, but using them for selling an apartment in Bulgaria can be a complex and costly process.

Apart Estate assists in selling and buying real estate in Burgas, Nessebar, Sozopol, in the resorts of Sunny Beach, Elenite,and  Ravda. Our experts will help you prepare paperwork and advise you on all questions that may arise. You can submit your application to us through the website, by email or via a convenient messenger.

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