Portugal became a real cultural and touristic centre of Europe. The global financial crisis hit hard the EU Member State, but the Golden Visa scheme gave a surprisingly huge boost to the real estate market.
You can find HERE all information on the options of the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme. The Portuguese Residency by Investment scheme started in October of 2012. Until the April of 2017, more than three billion euros of investment arrived at the country. 5003 primary applicants and 8130 family members became residents in Portugal. The most attractive investment option is still clearly the property purchase solution, 99% of the investors chose this way to be able to live, stay and work in the European Union. Most of the successful applicants are originally Chinese nationals (3376), followed by Brazilians (403), South Africans (180), Russians (173) and citizens of Lebanon (99).
The Portuguese government added new investment options to the scheme during the spring of 2017:
The most important issue is that the minimum amount of investment is only 200,000 euros "in companies facing a difficult economic situation with a recovery plan", according to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ms Constanca Urbano de Sousa. (http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/ministerios/mai.aspx)
In the case of forming a new company or strengthening the share capital of a local business, the necessary amount of investment is 350,000 euros (and must create or maintain at least five additional jobs).
The last but significant change is that the government decreased the amount of capitalisation of Portuguese companies in funds from half a million to 350,000 euros.
How is the life in Portugal?
Portugal`s regions are different. It is cold to the North and getting warmer toward to the South of the country. Undoubtedly, Porto and Lisbon are the principal cultural and business centres, but the southern Algarve region is where the long summer is the most enjoyable. Portuguese people are open-minded, and surprisingly they speak English. Culture is more than important to mention because living in Lisbon changes its inhabitants. There is the culture in every corner. Not only the buildings showing a proud history, the fountains and sculptures. Lisbon has living culture. It is European, South American and definitely has the best of Africa. Music, poetry and food are important in the Portuguese cities. There is no racism, xenophobia or homophobia.
What and where should you buy in Portugal under the Golden Visa Programme?
The main areas of the property investment are the Algarve region on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Lisbon and Porto. Buying a beach house, where the weather is always beautiful, and the mild winter is only two months must be a good idea, but as the program started five years ago in that region, the prices increased fast. In Lisbon and Porto, the old city centres (in case of Lisbon, the whole old town) lost most than the half of their population during the last 50 years! However, the residency by investment programme revitalised these beautiful historic sites faster, than anyone could expect. There are still plenty of affordable offers on the market. The buildings were all developed after the earthquake of 1775, and these palaces are still in more than good shape. Enormous flats with balconies and views to the Tejo river are waiting for the investors, who already took over the famous ancient Moorish quarter, the Alfama.