Portugal Hails "Golden Visa" Success

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 06 January, 2014

Portugal's Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas has told reporters that the country's "Golden Visa" scheme, which offers a pathway to permanent residency in return for investment, has exceeded expectations with 471 successful applications bringing EUR306.7m (USD418.5m) into the country. EUR274.4m (USD 374.5m) of the total amount has been invested in the property market.

Portas said that the amount raised was 50 percent more than had been expected, and that demand had risen in the second half of the year due to Portugal's improved international reputation.

To be awarded the visa, applicants must be willing to invest in Portugal for five years, by either  transfering EUR1m into the country, creating at least 10 jobs, or spending EUR500,000 on property. Successful applicants can bring their families. The visa offers free movement within the European Union's borderless Schengen Area.

According to the Government, the greatest number of applicants are from China, followed by Russia, Brazil, Angola and South Africa. Only nine applications have so far been rejected for failing to fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Portugal is in competition for applicants with neighboring Spain, which has a similar scheme in place for those who spend EUR500,000 or more on property or land, and who can show they can meet their own living expenses. Holders of the Spanish "Golden Visa" can live in Spain for an initial 12 months, and then remain on a renewable two-year residency permit.

Visas in return for investment are also available from Cyprus, Greece and Latvia, while Malta has recently controversially offered citizenship for sale.

Tags: Malta | Portugal | Latvia | Cyprus | Greece | Spain | Expats | Investment | Visas And Passports | Invest | Investment |


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