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Portugal gives gold visas to non-Europeans who buy houses

Portugal will now grant residence visas to non-Europeans who buy houses for 500 thousand euros or more under a new law enacted in October.

The first "gold visa" was granted earlier this year in New Delhi to
an Indian businessman by Portuguese Foreign Minister Paulo Portas.

buddhaeden.jpgBudda Eden - between Obidos and Bombarral

The gold visa is already proving popular with investors and private
individuals from the new economy "BRICS" countries (Brazil, Russia,
India, China, South Africa) as this enables them to have Schengen rules
access with the ability to travel freely within the 25 European countries
that make up the EU.

This 25 country advantage is one that the Chinese were quick to
notice. It gives buyers greater access to Europe than purchasing in
countries like the UK and Cyprus which are not part of the Schengen
area. Portugal is seen as a "golden key" for Chinese investors to
enter Europe, said Winner Xinli Xing, president of a Chinese
emigration agency about the new "gold visa" granted by the Portuguese
authorities.

About 400,000 Chinese families have "more than a million dollars in
cash" and many want to have a "global lifestyle" he explained. In
2012 about 1200 homes in Cyprus were bought by Chinese customers. So
with an edge that Cyprus does not have, expectations for Portugal are
that in excess of 2,000 to be sold to Chinese investors in 2013 alone.

"The ease of travel in the Schengen area and the possibility of
having assets abroad are the main motivations," said Duarte Pinto
Goncalves, head of PG Consulting based in Macua, one of three
Portuguese companies represented at a Beijing Property Fair in April.
Antonio Climaco attending a similar fair in Shanghai, found that "the
Chinese are very quick to react."

Two Chinese real estate agents, one of which has a 'stand' with a
picture of Cristiano Ronaldo, were also promoting the "gold visa"
granted by Portugal. "It's an investment program and not immigration,
addressed to upper middle class Chinese who travel frequently to
Europe," said Ambassador Tadeu Soares just before completing his
mission in April.

"The Chinese are beginning to see Portugal as a safe country to
invest," said Nuno Batista, director of Soulfato, a Portuguese
company based in Hong Kong. After a recent visit to Lisbon, one of
his clients was "willing to invest ten million euros in
rehabilitating vacant buildings."

Golden residence permit programme - Ministry of Foreign Affairs



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