Estimates from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs show that Over EUR 6 bn was transferred to the country’s budget due to the ongoing ‘Golden Visa’ programme which began at the end of 2012. The document is granted to investors from countries outside the Schengen area buying Portuguese real estate or creating jobs.
According to the ministry, more than 90 percent of the funds spent by the gold visa holders went on the purchase of real estate.
In total, over the nine years of the ‘Golden Visa’ programme, which entitles one to reside in Portugal and move within the Schengen countries, the document was issued to over 10,000 investors and 17,000 members of their families.
Portuguese media estimates that more than 85 percent of funds from investors applying for a golden visa came from Chinese citizens.
From January 1, new rules for issuing golden visas apply in Portugal, limiting the possibility of obtaining this document by purchasing real estate in the largest cities of the country or on the coast.
Currently, foreigners buying houses in the Highland or in the Azores and Madeira archipelagos are eligible for a golden visa. The value of the property purchased there must be at least EUR 500,000 or EUR 350,000 if the property is over 30 years old and requires renovation.
Under the new rules, a golden visa can be obtained by a person who spends no less than EUR 1.5 million on business in Portugal.