EuropeIntel & Data

Italy Suspends Russians, Belarusians from “Dolce Visa” Following Record Year

Russians and Belarusians see one of their last remaining EU golden visa options closed as Italy’s “Dolce Visa” suspends receipt of applications for those nationalities.

In a change that took effect in mid-July but which was not reported until this week, the Italian Ministry of Companies and Made in Italy notes that it no longer accepts Russian and Belarusian applicants for its Investor Visa, finally conceding to a demand the European Union made already in February of last year.

Among the major European programs, those that remain open to Russians and Belarusians now include the investor visas of Spain, Cyprus, Andorra, Monaco, and France, as well as the Turkish CIP.

According to Ministry data obtained exclusively by Altreconomia, Russian nationals were the Dolce Visa's top applicant group last year, accounting for 40% of approved applications ahead of British and American investors, who accounted for 15% each.

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La Dolce Visa's popularity rose sharply in 2022, logging a 130% increase in applications (from a low base of just 40 in 2021) and a 126% rise in approvals. Anecdotal reports from purveyors of Italian investor visas indicate the 2023 figures, once released, could show as much as a tripling of the 2022 figures.

The program's EUR 500,000 business investment option remains the most popular qualifying route, accounting for about two-thirds of the EUR 32.3 million the program raised last year. The EUR 2 million government bond option, meanwhile, raised EUR 10 million last year, followed by the EUR 250,000 innovative startup option, which garnered investments worth EUR 1.3 million.

Two applications have also been filed under the EUR 1 million philanthropic project option, though no approvals have been recorded in this category.

On a cumulative basis since opening in 2018, La Dolce Visa has now raised about EUR 67 million, EUR 41 million of which has taken the form of business investments.

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