Spain is the latest territory that has joined the European countries’ list to suspend its Golden Visa program to citizens from Russia due to the latter’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Such a decision has been confirmed by Spain’s Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Similar decisions have also been taken by authorities in Malta, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece due to the war in Ukraine.
Spain’s golden visa program offers residency for its holders in exchange for the investment made by them or in case they buy expensive property in this country.
In addition, by obtaining a Golden Visa, the holder is also eligible to visit all the Schengen Zone countries without being required to apply for a visa at first. Applicants interested in this scheme must make an investment of a minimum of €500,000 in Spain.
According to the Diplomatic Information Office, from the beginning of 2020 until the end of January this year, a total of 492 Golden Visas were issued to Russian citizens by Spanish authorities.
European countries’ decision to suspend the Golden Visa for Russian citizens comes as part of the sanctioning measures against Russia approved by the Commission of the European Union.
Recently authorities in Greece announced that they decided to freeze the scheme for Russian citizens.
In this regard, the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum suspended the program “until a further notice,” banning Russian citizens from applying for, holding, or even renewing investment-based residence permits in the Hellenic Republic.
“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 notes.
Despite the fact that the EU only obliged the bloc’s countries to refuse the visa applications of diplomatic and political persons, as well as those sanctioned by Europe, the Spanish government extended the measures to all citizens of Russia.
Based on the data provided previously by the College of Registrars, during last year, a total of 159 properties in Spain were bought by Russian citizens with price tags of over 500,000 euros ahead of the Americans as well as Chinese.
The same source showed that Alicante, Barcelona as well as Malaga had been the top three most famous provinces for Russians.
In this regard, the Association of Real Estate Developers of the Province of Alicante called Spain’s government not to suspend the program for Russian citizens after, according to the association, most Russians do not support the conflict.