Chinese citizens invest 1.9 bln in Portugal under “golden visa” scheme

Citizens of China have invested 1.9 billion euros in Portugal since October 2012 under the Residential Authorisation for Investment Activity (ARI) scheme, also known as the Golden Visa scheme, according to official figures from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

China was also the country with the highest number of “golden visa” citizens, with a total of 3,376 at the end of April, followed by Brazil (403), South Africa (180), Russia (173) and Lebanon (99).

Since the scheme’s launch, Portugal has attracted capital amounting to around 3 billion euros, of which 2.7 billion euros was invested in the purchase of real estate and 305.6 million euros represented capital transfers.

The Portuguese government decided last week to reduce the minimum amount of investment in small and medium enterprises to grant residence permits to foreigners under the golden visa programme.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Constança Urbano de Sousa, said that foreigners who invest “350,000 euros in the creation of companies or in the capital increase of companies already in operation as long as they create or maintain five permanent jobs,” have the right to a residence permit.

The investment required in a company in order to obtain a gold visa is therefore less than the 500,000 euros required for the purchase of real estate. The minister noted that investing 200,000 euros in Portuguese companies undergoing a Recovery or Revitalisation Plan or 350,000 euros for the capitalisation of Portuguese companies are other foreign investments that will allow this visa to be granted. (macauhub)