Visa program sees first renewals

Page created: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 8:45 GMT

Golden Visa

Portugal has for the first time renewed two of the investment visas and has issued a total of 388 of such visas generating investment in the region of almost €250 million, Foreign Affairs Minister Rui Machete told Lusa at the weekend.

“There is very significant interest over the opportunity for foreign investors to gain this authorisation for residency in Portugal,” said Machete before highlighting how “extremely effective” the program had been in “leveraging the property sector and other areas of activity.”

Machete went onto explain how the program had granted Portugal greater visibility and “placed Portugal in a favourable position as compared to similar regimes in other countries, especially those in Europe” due to what the minister terms the country’s “added competitive advantages.”

The visas are open to citizens from countries that either do not belong to the European Union or do not participate in the Schengen agreement facilitating movement between participant countries and able to either deposit €1 million in capital, create ten or more jobs or invest no less than €500,000 in Portuguese property.

The Foreign Minister emphasised the set of controls in effect and scrutiny of sources of investment before adding that two of the visas had been renewed for the first time.

In addition to maintaining the minimum investment requirements, visa holders need to prove they spent no less than seven days in the country in the first year or fourteen days in the two following years.

China accounts for the bulk of the visas handed out with some 295 visas already attributed in addition to seven to residents in Hong Kong and one in Macau.

Furthermore, 19 Russian citizens, eleven Brazilians and ten Angolans also bulk up the total while Jordan became the latest country on the list with less than three visa holders and alongside Pakistan, Lebanon, Colombia, Burma, the United States and Iraq.