Schengen Visa News

Portugal Suspends Golden Visas for Russians & Belarusians

The Portuguese Foreigners and Border Service is considering suspending golden visas for Russian citizens due to the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

Therefore, Russian citizens interested in the Portuguese golden visa scheme should be aware that the process will not go forward in the near future, TheSchengen.com reports.

In this regard, 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.”

According to him, the same applies to Belarusian citizens who are interested in benefiting from the Portuguese Golden Visa program, as Resident reported.

SEF revealed that a total of €277.8 million has been brought into the country in golden visas granted to Russian citizens since the program was launched. At the same time, the agency confirmed that golden visas granted to Ukrainians brought a total of 32.5 million euros into the country.

Through the Golden Visa scheme, foreigners are eligible for the Golden Visa, provided that they invest a specified amount of money in any of the countries operating such schemes in order to obtain residency.

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European countries, including the United Kingdom, have also agreed to stop selling golden passports to wealthy Russian citizens, allowing them to invest in the country in exchange for citizenship.

Golden passports also allow their holders and their family members to move freely within the Schengen area countries.

Besides European countries, the United States and Canada have also agreed to limit the sale of these passports to wealthy Russians.

The decision was confirmed by a statement published by the European Union Commission.

“We commit to taking action to curb the sale of citizenship – so-called golden passports – that allow wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government to become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems,” the EU Commission statement reads.

Also among the sanctions imposed on Russia was the expulsion of certain Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system.

Besides, the Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in the EU countries closing their airspace to Russian air traffic.

During a meeting of the Council of the European Union on February 28, it was decided to add a total of 26 Russian individuals and one Russian entity to the list of persons subject to restrictive measures.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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