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Spain blocks the access of Russian investors to the 'Golden Visas'

The Foreign Minister's order also paralyzes the processing of all permits of this nature that was underway
01/11/2022. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Albares at a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. Photo: Moncloa.
Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares at a press conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. Photo: Moncloa/File photo.

The granting of residence permits in Spain to rich Russians in exchange for investments is over, at least for the time being.

According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares issued a few days ago an internal order that immediately suspends the granting of this type of visa - the so-called 'Golden visas' - to Russian citizens.

Said order also paralyzes the processing of all permits of this nature that were being processed. The Madrid authorities frame this measure within the sanctions agreed by the European Union (EU) member-states against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, the daily ABC says.

In fact, the decision of the Spanish government comes a few days after the European Commission asked EU governments to impose limits to 'Golden Visas' and stricter controls on the background and on the origin of the wealth of the applicants.

The special residence permit for non-EU citizens known as the 'Golden visa' is regulated by Law 14/2013, adopted in support of entrepreneurs and their internationalization. It was established by the previous conservative government of the People's Party (PP) in times of economic and financial crisis as a way to attract foreign investment.

Real estate investments

The law allows nationals of non-EU countries to live in Spain legally in exchange for large investments. One of the most common ways to access this type of permit is the purchase of a home or real estate for a value equal to or greater than 500,000 euros.

The visa is, in principle, valid for 2 years, but can be extended further, for periods of five years.

During 2021, Russian citizens bought 159 homes in Spain with a value equal to or greater than 500,000 euros, according to data from the Property Registrars.

Spain blocks the access of Russian investors to the 'Golden Visas'
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