A total of ten Russian citizens who applied for Portugal’s Golden Visas from February 24 this year have been subject to visa denials, according to the announcement provided by the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service.
Such a decision by Portuguese authorities comes following the ban imposed on Russian citizens as a response to the latter’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Back in March, authorities in Portugal announced that they planned to suspend the Golden Visa program for citizens of Russia due to the war in Ukraine. In addition, Portugal’s Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, confirmed that a larger number of Russian citizens would be subject to sanctions.
“SEF has suspended the appreciation of any dossier of candidacy for authorization of residency through investment, commonly known as golden visas, for Russian citizens,” Silva stressed.
In addition, authorities in Portugal announced that besides Russian citizens, the Residency by Investment Schemes, also known as Golden Visa, would also be suspended for Belarusians.
The Golden Visa Program permits third-country nationals to acquire residency in Portugal, provided they make a specific amount of money investment and meet the requirements.
According to local media reports, from February until the beginning of August, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service received ten applications for the country’s Residency by Investment program; however, all of them were turned down.
On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that it decided to stop the agreement with Russia regarding the facilitation of visas. According to the announcement, the decision will lead to an increase in restrictions for multiple entry visas and also complicate the application process for citizens of Russia.
Such an agreement became effective in 2007 and significantly eased the travel process for citizens of EU countries as well as those from Russia. However, since February 24, when Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the EU countries have imposed many sanctions, which have been considered the harshest in recent years.
The figures provided previously by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) revealed that a total of €277.8 million had been brought to Portugal from the Golden visas issued to Russian citizens since it became effective. At the same time, the agency announced that Golden Visas granted to citizens from Ukraine brought a total of €32.5 million to the country.
Investment through Portugal’s Residency-by-Investment scheme has increased significantly. The SEF figures revealed that in June alone, the investment through such a program rose to over 77.9 per cent compared to May figures and more than doubled the 36.4 million registered in the same month of 2021. Despite the fact that the Golden Visa Program brings significant benefits to the economic sector, it has often been criticized for being a gateway to many illicit affairs, including money laundering and corruption.