Schengen Visa News

Spain Suspends Golden Visa Program for Russian Citizens

Spain is the latest territory to join the list of European countries to suspend the golden visa program for citizens of Russia due to the massive invasion of Ukraine.

This decision was confirmed by the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Alparis, reports.

Similar decisions were taken by the authorities in Malta, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Greece due to the war in Ukraine.

The Golden Visa Program in Spain offers residency to its holders in exchange for the investment they make or in the event of purchasing expensive real estate in this country.

In addition, by obtaining the golden visa, the holder is also eligible to visit all the countries of the Schengen area without having to apply for a visa initially. Applicants interested in this scheme must invest at least €500,000 in Spain.

According to the Office of Diplomatic Information, from the beginning of 2020 until the end of January this year, a total of 492 golden visas were issued to Russian citizens by the Spanish authorities.

The decision of European countries to suspend the golden visa for Russian citizens comes within the framework of measures to punish Russia approved by the European Union Commission.

Recently, the authorities in Greece announced that they had decided to freeze the scheme for Russian citizens.

In this regard, the Greek Ministry of Immigration and Asylum has suspended the program “until further notice”, preventing Russian citizens from applying for, maintaining or even renewing investment-based residence permits in the Greek Republic.

“By order of the Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, the issuance and renewal of residence permits of investment significance and purpose coming from citizens of the Russian Federation has been suspended until further notice,” the statement published by the same ministry notes.

In addition, the Portuguese Foreigners and Border Service also announced that it plans to suspend the golden visa program for citizens of Russia and Belarus.

Despite the fact that the European Union obliged the bloc countries only to refuse visa applications for diplomatic and political persons, as well as those who had been legalized by Europe, the Spanish government extended the procedures to all citizens of Russia.

Based on data previously provided by the College of Registrars, over the past year, a total of 159 properties were purchased in Spain by Russian citizens with price tags of more than €500,000 ahead of Americans as well as Chinese.

The same source showed that Alicante, Barcelona and Malaga were among the most popular provinces for Russians.

In this regard, the Association of Real Estate Developers of the Alicante Province called on the Spanish government not to suspend the program for Russian citizens yet, according to the association, most Russians do not support the conflict.

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