Home Travel & Adventure European Golden Visa Landscape Dominated by Chinese and Russian Nationals, Reveals Data

European Golden Visa Landscape Dominated by Chinese and Russian Nationals, Reveals Data

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In the past years, citizens of China and Russia have benefited the most from the Golden Visa Program offered in several European countries.

The Residency by Investment scheme permits wealthy foreign nationals to acquire residency in territories that offer such opportunities if they invest financially and meet some required conditions that differ among them.

However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led a large number of European countries to impose harsh sanctions on Russia as a response, including limiting the number of golden visas issued to Russian nationals.

In addition, in March last year, the European Commission called on the Member States running residency and citizenship by investment schemes to review all beneficiaries from Russia and Belarus to ensure they are not part of the EU’s list of sanctions related to the war in Ukraine.

“The Commission is urging Member States to repeal any existing investor citizenship schemes immediately and to ensure strong checks are in place to address the risks posed by investor residence schemes,” the statement provided by the Commission noted.

In 2022, Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Ministry of Social Security, agreed to suspend the issuance of golden visas for Russian nationals.

Yet, local media reports earlier this year said that Spain continues to issue golden visas to Russian nationals in spite of suspending the issuance of such visas to them.

For a period from 2013 until April 2018, a total of 7,118 nationals from China benefited from Spain’s Golden Visa Scheme and 4,715 Russians, according to the figures from Transparency International.

Besides, according to the figures from the Ministry of Integration, Social Security and Migration that Interia has secured, a total of 11,464 individual permits, as well as 19,805 family reunion permits, were issued during the decade.

The same source notes that in the last year alone, a total of 2,462 people received them. Of the total number of visas, almost half were granted to Chinese nationals, while every fifth visa recipient was a resident of Russia.

In Greece, for a period from 2013 to 2018, 1,395 Chinese nationals benefited from the Golden Visa scheme, and 429 nationals from Russia, based on the figures from Transparency International.

Earlier this month, authorities in Italy announced that they halted the issuance of the Investor Visa Program for nationals from Russia and Belarus. The decision was confirmed by the Ministry of Enterprises and Products.

“We communicate the suspension of the program for Russian and Belarusian citizens as per the provision of the President of the Committee of 14 July 2023 (the manager Ministerial Maurizio Montemagno, ed) in compliance with Recommendation C (2022) 2028 of the European Union,” the statement notes.

The decision of authorities in Italy came a year after the recommendation of the European Commission.

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