• Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Gains EU Citizenship Under Portuguese Law on Jewish Descendants

The owner of the Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, has become an EU citizen as now he holds a Portuguese passport.

Abramovich previously applied for a UK visa. However, due to diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow, he withdrew his application in 2018, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The news regarding Abramovich’s EU citizenship has been confirmed by his spokesperson, who said that the billionaire Chelsea owner secured Portuguese citizenship back on April 30. This information has also been supported by official documents published by the Justice Ministry of Portugal.

According to the Portuguese newspaper Público, the citizenship case of Abramovich was based on a law of Portugal that offers naturalisation to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition.

The law to grant Portuguese citizenship passed in 2015, and since then, thousands of Israeli Jews have been able to benefit from such a scheme. It is believed that Abramovich made monetary donations to projects that honour the Portuguese Sephardic Lews legacy in Hamburg.

Since Abramovich decided not to pursue a UK visa application due to changes that made it harder for powerful Russians to obtain visas, Abramovich’s plan to build a €500 million stadium for Chelsea was withdrawn, the Guardian revealed.

Moreover, the same noted that since the billionaire businessman now holds an EU passport, he would need to meet several requirements if he plans to reside and work in the UK.

Except for the Portuguese passport, Abramovich already holds a Russian and Israeli passport, indicating that he already was able to travel back and forth from the UK without needing a visa. He gained his Israeli citizenship in 2018 just as his UK entrepreneur visa expired.

According to data, the fortune of Abramovich, which is estimated to be worth more than €10 billion, is believed to have been made in the oil industry of Russia during the 1990s. Fast forward, in 2003, he bought the Chelsea Football Club.

Abramovich returned to the UK in October after three years. During his stay, it is believed that he watched the first Chelsea game at the stadium since 2019.

Previously, the Portuguese government confirmed that several changes would be made to its Golden Visa Program. Starting from January 1, 2022, the country plans to remove Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve from the list of territories where citizens of other countries can purchase houses and apartments.

Moreover, in line with the new changes, the capital transfer will be increased from €1 million to €1.5 million.