EU state denies ‘golden visas’ to Russians – media – RT Business News

Portugal banned Russian citizens from obtaining visas shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine

A total of ten Russian citizens who applied for Portuguese “golden visas”, which provide residence permits in exchange for investments, have been denied since late February, the Publico newspaper reported on Sunday.

The nation has introduced a complete ban on golden visas for Russians as part of EU sanctions imposed on Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine.

At the time, Portugal had issued 431 “golden visas” to Russians, including seven since the start of 2022. The country has reportedly attracted 277.8 million euros in investment since the launch of the golden visa program. Ukrainians have reportedly received 51 residence permits in return for 32.5 million euros ($33 million) in investments over the past decade.

There are more than 60 programs for obtaining citizenship or residence permits in exchange for investments throughout the world. After the start of the operation in Ukraine, several EU states, including Greece, the Czech Republic and Malta, suspended their programs. At the same time, the Greek authorities have doubled the investment limit needed to obtain the golden visa from €250,000 ($253,800) to €500,000 ($507,600).

Portugal, however, opposed imposing a blanket ban on Russian citizens entering the EU. The ban has been proposed by several Member States, including Estonia.

“Portugal considers that the fundamental objective of the sanctions regime should penalize the Russian war machine, but not the Russian people. Portugal will participate in the discussion that could possibly take place at European level on the subject, contributing to a united position of EU Member States, as we have always done”, the country’s foreign ministry said in August.

Earlier this week, the Baltic countries and Poland said they would no longer allow entry to Russian tourists with Schengen visas from September 19. The general ban makes an exception for travel for humanitarian reasons.

So far, the EU has not agreed to a full ban, limiting itself to suspending the simplified visa regime with Russia. This step should make it difficult, but not impossible, to obtain Schengen visas for Russians.

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