Portugal has expanded its golden visa program and introduced a new asset class into which wealthy applicants can invest in to qualify for permanent residence in the country.
Introducing Green Visas
Portugal’s legislature has approved the proposal to expand the golden visa program to include environment projects as an eligible asset class.
Going ahead, investors will have the option of qualifying for permanent residence by investing at least €500,000 into environment projects like organic agriculture, renewable energy, ecotourism, or other projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and otherwise protecting the environment.
Against the backdrop of strident criticism of investment immigration programs, and golden visa program offered by EU nations in particular, Portugal’s decision to reject a motion seeking the program’s termination is a strong and clear message.
Having attracted foreign investment in excess of €4.16 billion since its introduction in 2012, Portugal’s golden visa program has played a significant role in funding the country’s economic recovery post the 2008 global recession.
The combination of golden visas and tourism revival have significantly contributed to revival of the country’s real estate sector, which was one of the worst-hit sectors during the recession.
Further, the program’s expansion has been done on grounds of reinforcing the country’s commitment towards a multicultural and open society. This seeks to portray the critics of investment immigration programs as immigration isolationists who seek to discourage liberal immigration policies.
The bulk of the golden visa investment into Portugal comes from China, Russia, Turkey, and South America.
A Message to Critics
The program’s expansion into ‘green visas’ is significant. In the past, Caribbean nations sough to use their citizenship by investment programs to attract foreign investment into hurricane-relief activities.
Now, Portugal intends to utilize foreign investment to fund ecological projects.
Investors are unlikely to switch to the green visa option considering the program offers permanent residence for just €350,000 for those investing into rehabilitation of old properties.
Yet, this innovative addition to the golden visa program will certainly mute criticism about countries putting up their passports for sale.
Golden visa investors are less likely to focus solely on the financial viability of environment projects, considering their investment leads to the benefit of permanent residence, and eventual citizenship, within the European Union.
Many other EU nations, including Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and even the UK, offer permanent residence or citizenship through investment. Yet, Portugal is one of the first countries to offer multiple investment options to interested investors.
While purchase of real estate is the most-preferred option, investors have the choice of setting up tech companies, introducing capital into Portuguese companies, rehabilitating old properties, or even simply creating jobs in the country to qualify for permanent residence.
Minimum investment requirements for various options vary although, surprisingly, Portugal chose not to offer a reduced investment limit for its green visas.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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