A Peek Into Several European Countries
By Destiny Albritton
In 2012 Portugal altered immigration laws, allowing anyone to obtain a residence visa with $680,000 (or larger) investments in residential or commercial properties. Buyers coming from outside of the European Union have been the majority of real estate buyers in the last year. There is not a concrete estimated amount of investment this visa has brought to Portuguese real estate yet but one can imagine the real estate industry is probably doing very well. The Golden Visa has been seen as an easier way to obtain residency also.
According to an article from the New York Times, European States Dangle Visas for Foreigners by Laura Latham, the majority of these eager non-European individuals in the market for real estate in Portugal are Chinese. As the minimum amount of real estate to obtain this investor residence permit is $680,000 with a no-mortgage condition, this visa attracts the wealthy. Buyers are not required to live in their properties full time though and are permitted to rent out the space. The visa is valid for a year and can be renewed twice until it is necessary to apply for a Portuguese passport. The Golden Visa is not helpful to poverty stricken people immigrating illegally, but it is helpful to the Portuguese real estate industry.