Portugal suspends concessions of new Golden Visa to Russian citizens

©Reuters. Portugal suspends concessions of new Golden Visa to Russian citizens

Lisbon, Feb 26 (.).- Portugal suspended the granting of new “gold visas”, as the Golden Visa (NYSE:) regime is known, which grants visas in exchange for investments in the country, to citizens of Russia, as a measure precautionary against the sanctions approved by the European Union (EU) for the war in Ukraine.

“The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has already suspended the assessment of any candidacy for residence permits for investment, the gold visas, of Russian citizens,” the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, announced today in statements to the chain CNNPortugal.

The foreign minister explained that the EU approved a “dynamic sanctions regime” on Friday and it is “very likely” that more Russian citizens will be sanctioned in the coming days, so they “precautionary” decided to freeze the concessions of these visas for that country.

The “gold visa” regime was created in October 2012 and since then a total of 431 visas have been granted to Russian citizens, with a total investment of 277.8 million euros.

Russia is the fifth nationality with the highest number of visas granted, after China, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

The identities of the citizens who received these visas are not public, although several voices, including the Portuguese branch of Transparency International, have demanded that they be disclosed.

Last Thursday, the Foreign Minister assured in Parliament that “any Russian citizen, who resides in Portugal under any title and is on the list of sanctions, will be subject to the limitation of movements in Portugal and their financial assets will be frozen” .

Portugal grants “gold visas” in exchange for the purchase of luxury real estate, large investments or job creation, although the amounts and rules have varied over the years.

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