Authorities in Spain continue to grant residence permits to Russians through the country’s Golden Visa Scheme, despite the fact that Spain suspended granting such visas to wealthy Russian nationals following the invasion of Ukraine.
Last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, together with the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Ministry of Social Security reached an agreement to suspend the issuance of residence as well as golden visas for real estate to Russian nationals, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Such an agreement was part of the sanctions imposed on Russia as a response to the latter’s full-scale invasion of its neighboring country, Ukraine. However, the decision was not completely followed by Spanish authorities.
“A month ago, we received the approval of the last residence application for a Russian citizen for having bought a house. What they canceled is the possibility of requesting these visas from the consulates in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, but not the permits that tourists request from here,” the lawyer specializing in immigration recognizes Cristina Romero, from the Antonio Segura law firm said.
A document in which On Economia had access to showed a residence permit issued by authorities in Spain on January 25 to a family member of a Russian investor.
When asked by On Economia about whether they are granting investor permits to Russian citizens, sources from the Ministry of Social Security, Inclusion and Migration didn’t respond, nor didn’t offer data regarding the number of permits granted last year.
However, the member of the Immigration Commission of the Bar Association (ICAB), Antonio Segura, says that it can still be done.
“There were Russian citizens afraid that they would not be granted and we thought that they would stop granting them. But finally we have found that there have been no changes in the General Business Unit and that they have only been vetoed by the Russian consulates,” he emphasized.
Spain’s Golden Visa Program was suspended for Russian citizens in March last year, according to an announcement by Spain’s Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares.
Spain’s Residency by Investment scheme, also known as the Golden Visa program, allows internationals to acquire residency in this country in exchange for an investment of at least €500,000 in Spain.
The figures provided by the Diplomatic Information Office revealed that from the beginning of 2020 until the end of January last year, there were a total of 492 Golden Visas issued to Russian citizens by authorities in Spain.