Citizens of Russia will no longer be eligible to apply for, hold, or renew investment-based residence permits in Greece after the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum has suspended the program for citizens of Russia “until a further notice.”
“By order of the Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr Notis Mitarachi, the issuance and renewal of residence permits of investment interest and purpose that are under consideration and come from citizens of the Russian Federation is suspended until further notice,” the statement published by the same Ministry reads.
In addition, the same Ministry has announced that it will not accept new applications for the issuance of the permits mentioned above.
Besides, until further notice, the Ministry will not be considering applications for residence permits of the category “business executives” for Russian citizens.
The golden visa program allows internationals to acquire residency in countries that run such programs, provided that they make a specific amount of money investment and meet specific conditions.
Greece’s decision follows Portugal’s announcement that its Foreigners and Borders Service will suspend the issuance of golden visas for Russian and Belarusian citizens.
Such a decision means that citizens who are interested in Portugal’s Golden visa program must be prepared that such a process will not be completed for them in the near future.
Portugal’s Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva stressed that probably more citizens from Russia would be sanctioned in the coming days.
“SEF has suspended the appreciation of any dossier of candidacy for authorisation of residency through investment, commonly known as golden visas, for Russian citizens,” Augusto Santos Silva pointed out in this regard.
In addition, civil society groups in Malta have urged the Prime Minister, Robert Abela, to take similar measures and ban citizens of Russia from the country’s citizenship by investment program, despite the fact that Russian accounts for a large number of applications.
Other European countries who are famous for their golden visas, such as Italy and Spain, could also take similar decisions, following the commitment to limit the sale of citizenship.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European countries, as well as the United States and Canada, limited the sale of golden passports, which permit wealthy Russian citizens to invest in a country in exchange for citizenship.
In addition, the golden passports permit their holder as well as their family members to move freely within the Schengen Area.
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