Portugal has reduced the minimum investment amount of its residency programme
For a minimum investment amount of €350,000 one can now get residency in Portugal.
This was announced this week as Portugal has reduced the minimum investment amount of its Golden Residency Permit Programme.
Previously, at least €500,000 was needed to be eligible for the programme.
The changes make the programme one of the cheapest residency programmes of Europe.
"It is not the cheapest programme. Greece is the cheapest under the real-estate route," said Dominik Zunkovic, manager of Henley and Partners Middle East in Dubai.
"Greece also has a residence-by-investment programme, however, this programme is likely to suffer now from the turbulence in Greece and thus other programmes, such as Portugal, which is stable, will stand to benefit.
"Greece is not a very popular programme with our clients. For the purpose of obtaining a residency in the EU by real-estate investment, most of our clients prefer to go with the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme,” he said.
The minimum investment amount of €350,000 can be made in the real estate market.
An alternative option is a transfer of €1m to a local bank account, or the creation of 10 jobs on the local job market. With the changes new investment options have been introduced.
A minimum amount of € 350,000 can be invested in research activities, €500,000 in the capitalisation of local SME'S or even a lower amount of €250,000 in an artistic production or national heritage.
Henley and Partners earlier this week called the Golden Residency Permit Programme the best residency programme in the world.
Part of the interest in the programme stems from the fact that the country is part of the Schengen zone, and thus opens the gate towards European citizenship.
Residency in Portugal means visa-free travel to 25 countries, according to the immigration expert.
Further, no taxes are levied except when business property or real estate is sold.
An investor is able to bring his or her spouse as dependents.
With the new rules, individuals older than 18 are no longer obliged to study in Portugal.
Portugal’s programme was also ranked among the best in terms of processing efficiency.
A residency permit is usually issued in five-eight weeks. The Golden Visa is initially valid for one year and may be renewed twice for two year increments as long as the investor proves that the investor has resided in Portugal for at least seven days during the first year of residence and at least fourteen days during the second year of residence.
After six years of residency, foreign residents may apply for citizenship although immigration lawyers point out that this procedure is more difficult as it is subjected to tougher criteria, such as sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.