‘Golden visa’ scheme nets over €1bn in two years, mostly in property

Page created: Friday, 10 October 2014 9:01 GMT

Golden Visas  Investment  Residence Visa

The rate of foreign investment in Portugal linked to the country’s ‘golden visas’ programme of fast-track residence permits for big-spending incomers is this year already at more than twice the level of last, at more than €1 billion, with citizens of China predominating, the government said on Thursday.

The scheme, which was launched two years ago on Wednesday, guarantees residence to applicants with no criminal record, from countries that are not in the European Union or signatories to the Schengen accord, who invest €500,000 or more in property, deposit more than €1 billion in a local bank, or make a business investment that creates 10 jobs – all for at least five years. Of the total invested so far, almost €906.5 million was in property.

So far, a total of 1,649 such permits – popularly known as ‘golden visas’ – have been issued. Of those, 1,563 were via property investments.

Citizens of China account for some 80% of the golden visas issued, according to earlier figures. They are followed by Brazilians, Russians, South Africans, Lebanese, Angolans and Mozambicans.

“Beside the important effect in boosting economic activity, in particular in the property sector and civil construction, the special regime … has also contributed to the increase in fiscal revenue, as well as to the maintenance and generation of jobs,” said the government statement, which was issued by the offices of the deputy prime minister, Paulo Portas, of the minister of foreign affairs, Rui Machete, and of the minister of home affairs, Miguel Macedo.

The statement notes that the latter two ministries oversaw the scheme’s creation and have overseen it since, with regular meetings of a working group dedicated to the subject, on which the frontiers agency and the foreign investment agency are also represented.