‘Golden visa’ – Portugal interested in rich Russians, Brazilians, and Chinese
Portugal has raised nearly €2bn since 2012, when it launched an investment programme into the country’s economy (the ‘golden visa’ scheme), according to the SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Border Services).
SEF said that Russians were amongst the most active participants of the programme, with 108 residence permits issued. As expected, China is in the lead by a wide margin; 2457 of its citizens received a residence permit. This is due, primarily, to the population of the country. In second place is Brazil, with 140 permits. The fourth and fifth positions in the list are occupied by South Africa and Lebanon.
The attractiveness of this investment programme is primarily that a Portuguese residence permit allows visafree movement within the Schengen Area and a number of other countries. Experts also note that among the benefits of economic immigration to Portugal is a special tax status (no tax on income earned outside the country), and the possibility of obtaining a residence permit for the investor’s family members, including their spouse, minor children and dependent relatives.
In addition, holders of a ‘golden visa’ have no need to reside in Portugal; spending 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the next four in the country is sufficient. Five years later, investors can submit documents for a permanent residence permit, and a year later can obtain citizenship.
To participate in the investment programme, applicants must either invest €1m in business projects, or purchase a property for €500,000. This is an accessible and affordable amount for many owners of medium and large businesses with international interests.