Citizens of Russia will no longer be eligible to apply for, hold or renew investment-based residency permits in Greece after the Greek Ministry of Immigration and Asylum suspended the Citizens of Russia program “until further notice”.
“By order of the Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, the issuance and renewal of residence permits of investment significance and purpose that come from citizens of the Russian Federation has been suspended until further notice,” the statement published by the ministry reads itself, TheSchengen.com reports.
In addition, the Ministry itself announced that it will not accept new applications for the issuance of the above-mentioned permits.
Besides, until further notice, the Ministry will not consider applications for residence permits in the category of “business executives” of Russian citizens.
The Golden Visa Program allows foreigners to obtain residency in countries running such programs, provided they invest a specified amount of money and meet certain conditions.
Greece’s decision comes on the heels of Portugal’s announcement that the Foreigners and Border Service will suspend the issuance of golden visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.
This decision means that citizens interested in Portugal’s Golden Visa program must be prepared for this process to not be completed for them in the near future.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva stressed that it is likely that more Russian citizens will be punished in the coming days.
Augusto Santos Silva noted in this regard that “the SEF has discontinued the assessment of any candidacy file for the residence permit through investment, known as golden visas, for Russian citizens.”
In addition, civil society groups in Malta have urged the Prime Minister, Robert Abela, to take similar measures and to ban Russian citizens from acquiring the country’s citizenship by investment programme, despite the fact that Russia receives a large number of applications.
Other European countries famous for their golden visas, such as Italy and Spain, can make similar decisions, after committing to limit the sale of citizenship.
Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European countries, as well as the United States and Canada, have limited the sale of golden passports, which allow wealthy Russian citizens to invest in a country in exchange for citizenship.
In addition, golden passports allow the holder and their family members to move freely within the Schengen area.