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Restriction to golden passports by EU, UK, Canada and US - Portugal suspends new visas for Russians.

As part of its response to the EU's sanctions plan in response to the war in Ukraine, Portugal has suspended the issuance of new so-called Golden Passports to Russian citizens.

"The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) has already suspended the assessment of any candidacy for residence permits for investment, the gold visas, of Russian citizens." Augusto Santos Silva, the Portuguese foreign minister, told CNNPortugal.

According to Santos Silva, the EU approved a "dynamic sanctions regime" on February 25th, and because it is "very likely" that more Russian citizens will be sanctioned in the coming days, they have "precautionary" decided to halt visa concessions for that country.

431 visas have been granted to Russian citizens since the scheme began in October 2012.

While leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States condemned "Putin's war of choice and attacks on the sovereign nation and people of Ukraine," in a joint statement on February 26, they reaffirmed their commitment to "continue imposing costs on Russia that will further isolate Russia from the international financial system and our economies."

"Within the coming days," the group promised to implement five specific measures against Russia, the third of which was as follows: "We commit to acting against the people and entities who facilitate the war in Ukraine and the the harmful activities of the Russian government"

"Specifically, we commit to taking measures to limit the sale of citizenship—so called golden passports—that let wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems."

The UK's Tier 1 Investor Visa was suspended with immediate effect last week.



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