Portugal Golden Visa programme nets four billion euros

Published:  11 Oct at 6 PM
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Portugal’s Golden Visa programme has now benefitted the country by around four billion euros since its 2012 inception.

The term ’Golden Visa’ tends to raise blood pressures in Portugal’s everyday expat communities and invariably attract negative comments, but they’re a great way for a country to fill its coffers with cash, wherever the funds originate and however they arrived in the country. A total of 6,500 second passports and residency rights have been granted, and the cash investment required has been mainly used to purchase property which may or most likely may not ever be used by its new owners. Out of the number of visas sold, only 345 involved the transfer of actual capital totalling over a million euros, with just 12 resulting in the creation of 10 jobs.

The majority of Golden Visas were purchased by Chinese nationals, with just under 4,000 takers. Brazilians bought 581, South Africans 259, Russians 227 and Turkish citizens 236. At the present time, demand from China is easing off, as is demand from citizens of all the above countries with the unsurprising exception of Turkish investment, up by 148 per cent in the first six months of this year. The visas themselves have been revised several times since their inception, but newer categories introduced to attract startups, tech companies and artists have failed to garner much in the way of interest.

In Portugal’s governmental circles, opposition to the programme is growing, with one female MEP claiming the scheme has been at risk of serious corruption since its start. She’s calling it a ‘prostitution of European citizens’ and is decrying the fact that, no matter how hard she’s tried, she can't discover the names of those who’ve bought their way into her country. Her reasoning is that, should she ever be able to gain access to the list, she’d find the names of many who’ve criminal records in their home countries and who haven’t been investigated by any Portuguese officials.
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