Nearly 1,000 Golden Visas of Spain have been granted to Russian investors in the last decade.
According to La Vanguardia, authorities in Spain have granted about 5,000 Golden Visas in the last ten years, with Chinese and Russian nationals being the main beneficiaries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The spokesman for Más País in Congress, Íñigo Errejón, said that for a period between 2013 and November 2022, a total of 4,940 investor visas have been issued while the figures include visas for the capital investor as well as investors in business projects and real estate investors.
He noted that the investors are of a very diverse origin or 90 different nationalities, however, the majority of them are nationals from China (2,263), Russia (969 people) and Ukraine (136 people).
Spain’s Golden Visa Program also known as the Residency by Investment Scheme permits wealthy foreign nationals to acquire residency in this country provided, they make a financial investment in Spain and meet the needed conditions.
Spain’s Golden Visa scheme has often been accused of being involved in unlawful affairs, despite the fact that it makes a significant contribution to the country’s economic sector.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Spain’s Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, confirmed that Spain also suspended its Golden Visa scheme for Russian nationals.
Despite the ban, authorities in Spain continue to grant Golden Visas to Russian nationals.
“A month ago, we received the approval of the last residence application for a Russian citizen for having bought a house. What they cancelled is the possibility of requesting these visas from the consulates in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, but not the permits that tourists request from here,” according to the lawyer specializing in immigration recognizes Cristina Romero, from the Antonio Segura law firm said.
In addition, authorities in Spain previously confirmed that they granted a Golden Visa to the former Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, investigated by Mexico’s attorney general’s office for several illegal affairs.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led a large number of European countries to stop issuing Golden Visas to Russians as part of sanctions which often have been considered among the harshest.
However, last month, Portugal and Ireland completely ended their Residency by Investment schemes, following reports that these programs have often been involved in many unlawful affairs.
In addition, authorities in European countries continuously call on countries that run such programs to terminate them as soon as possible.