The Portuguese government granted 145 residence authorisations to investors up to the end of August as part of the ‘Golden Visa’ scheme. According to a source from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, quoted by Dinheiro Vivo newspaper, these authorisations raked in more than €90 million of investment for the country in just six months.
China, Russia and Angola were, in this order, the three main investors, followed by Brazil, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, India, Colombia, Tunisia, the Caribbean islands of Saint Christopher and Nevis, US, Ukraine, Turkey and Guinea-Bissau.
After much discussion about the scheme, whose aim is to attract foreign investment and increase the country’s revenue, the then Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Paulo Portas (who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister), announced a few changes to the Residence Permits for Investment Activity programme, as it is officially entitled.
The new scheme, which was finalised and came into force in January this year, allows investors from outside the European Union to get a residence permit which will give them free access to European countries under the Schengen Agreement.
Such a permit is granted to all those who make a capital transfer of €1 million or more; who create at least 10 jobs; or who buy a property valued at €500,000 or more – investments that should be maintained for a minimum period of five years.