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SEF suspends ‘golden visas’ for Russian citizens

This is one of the many headlines coming through this afternoon in the non-stop updates on the situation in Ukraine – but it is not quite as wide-ranging as it sounds.

Further down in reports, it is clear the suspension refers only to ‘golden visas’ under consideration.

In other words, the 430 or so Russians already in possession of Portuguese golden visas have not seen them suspended… yet.

Foreign affairs minister Augusto Santos Silva has confirmed that “it is very probable that more Russian citizens will be sanctioned in the coming days”.

Thus, to recap, any Russians in the process of being conferred ‘golden visas’ (opening free circulation within Schengen Space) in Portugal must accept this process will not be moving forwards in the foreseeable future.

“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 confirmed, adding that the same goes for any ‘golden visa’ candidacies from Bielorussian citizens.

Portugal’s head of diplomacy reiterated that any Russian or Bielorussian on the EU’s list of people to face sanctions will find that any assets they may have in Portugal will be frozen.

Yesterday, SEF revealed that investment from Russia ‘captured’ by Portugal’s golden visas programme totalled more than €277.8 million in the nine years since these visas were created. Golden visas for Ukrainian citizens have brought in €32.5 million.

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