Transparency and Integrity wants to know the total number of visas by geographical distribution, by nationality and by area of activity.
The Lisbon Administrative Court upheld a lawsuit filed by anti-corruption NGO Transparency and Integrity requiring the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) to disclose data on the Gold Visa scheme.
In a statement released on Friday, Transparency and Integrity (TI) states that the action was filed in April 2018 against MAI which, by a decision of the administrative court in November, had 10 days to provide the missing information, but has not yet delivered it to TI.
For the Vice President of Transparency and Integrity, Susana Coroado, “this ruling confirms the elementary right of citizens to question their Governments and to access information of relevant public interest – a right that MAI has repeatedly denied us for almost two years.
According to TI, which is part of the global network of anti-corruption NGOs Transparency International, the information requested is important as the granting of Gold visas has “raised criticisms and alarm signals in the European Parliament, the European Commission and more recently from the European Economic and Social Committee, over the risks of corruption, money laundering and even security they pose”.
The request for access to information made by TI refers to data such as Investment Residency Authorisations (IRAs), total number of visas by geographical distribution, by nationality and by area of activity.
The association also wants to have access to the number of investments made by companies, number of jobs created and how many applications have been refused or cancelled since the beginning of the program, broken down by country of origin of the applicants.