"Transparency International Portugal welcomes the decision announced by the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, to suspend the granting of gold visas to Russian citizens," the organisation said in a statement.
Speaking to CNN Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva said that "the Foreigners and Borders Service [SEF] has already suspended the consideration of any application dossier for residence permits for investment, commonly known as golden visas, of Russian citizens".
The president of TI Portugal, Susana Coroado, said that she expected the suspension “to also cover the processes of applying for permanent residence and citizenship to individuals holding golden visas”, considering that this situation was not clear.
The association highlights that “for several years” it has been drawing attention “to the risks” of the Residence Permits for Investment Activity program and hopes that “this will be the first step towards a serious reflection on golden visas and new measures be applied more widely".
In total, since the Residency Permit for Investment Activity (ARI) program was launched, 431 golden visas have been granted to Russian citizens.