In this context, on 28.03.2022, the European Commission issued “Recommendation C (2022) 2028 of March 28 on the measures to be taken following the Russian invasion of Ukraine regarding the granting of citizenship or residence through investment schemes”.

The Portuguese stateimmediately informed the European Commission that it had suspended the issuing of residence permits through investment to all Russian and Belarusian citizens, regardless of whether they would be subject to sanctions.

For this reason, SEF, now known as AIMA, has been illegally suspending the assessment and approval of almost all applications for residence permits in Portugal for citizens of Russian nationality.

These decisions have been rejected by the administrative courts on the grounds that they violate the principles of discrimination, legality, trust, and justice, considering that this European Recommendation has not been transposed into Portuguese law and is therefore not binding. This Recommendation is not a common law, nor does it derive from any international treaty, and since it does not have legal force, it cannot overrule national law.

Therefore, only Russian citizens on the list of people linked to Vladimir Putin’s regime should be covered by the automatic suspension of the residence permit procedure.

The Courts have been sensitive to the excessive length of these procedures and, in most cases, have forced AIMA to comply with the law.

Dispute Resolution Department

Vera Chalaça | Sandrine Ribeiro