HomeTourismPortugal has rejected all Russians' applications for golden visas

Portugal has rejected all Russians’ applications for golden visas

The authorities of Portugal, which previously did not support the idea of ​​a total ban on issuing visas to Russians to the European Union, rejected all Russians’ applications for “golden visas” in the period from February 24, 2022. As part of the Golden Visa Portugal program, which has been in effect since 2012, a total of ten wealthy Russians were rejected. This became known from the notice provided by the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service.

As a reminder, at the end of February, 431 Russian tourists received Portugal’s “golden visa”, including seven from the beginning of 2022. Back in March, Portuguese officials announced that they wanted to suspend Portugal’s Golden Visa program for Russian tourists in response to the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Then the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva, said that a large number of citizens of the Russian Federation would be subject to sanctions. “SEF has suspended the consideration of any dossiers of candidates for residence permits through investment, commonly known as golden visas, for citizens of Russia,” he noted. The ban on using the scheme for obtaining a residence permit through investment has extended not only to Russians, but also to Belarusians.

According to local media reports, from the end of February to the beginning of August, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service received 10 applications for obtaining a residence permit in the country under the investment program. But they were all rejected.

We will remind you that last Tuesday the European Commission announced that it decided to terminate the agreement with Russia on the simplification of visas, making the procedure for admission to Europe as difficult as possible for Russians. According to the announcement, the decision will lead to increased restrictions on multiple-entry visas, as well as complicate the application process for citizens of Russia.

The Visa Facilitation Agreement entered into force in 2007 and has significantly reduced bureaucratic delays for Russians wishing to travel to Europe. But after February 24, the EU countries introduced many sanctions, which are considered the toughest in recent years, and at the national level increased the admission of Russians to their countries. This was done by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (details here).

Data previously provided by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) showed that a total of 277.8 million euros had been transferred to Portugal since the Golden Visas issued to Russian citizens came into force. At the same time, the agency announced that the “golden visas” issued to Ukrainian citizens brought the country 32.5 million euros.

Investments under Portugal’s Investment Residence Scheme have increased significantly. SEF data showed that in June alone, investments in exchange for a European passport under such a program increased by more than 77.9% compared to May figures and more than doubled the 36.4 million registered in the same month of 2021. Although the program represents a significant gain for the country’s economic sector, it is often criticized for opening access to many illegal activities, including money laundering and corruption.

Background: The Golden Visa program was launched by the government of Portugal and other countries to provide residency status to all real estate investors and families who want to invest in the economy of a European country. The scheme “Investment in exchange for a passport” was in demand among wealthy Russian tourists.

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