A scheme which allows some non-EU nationals an EU travel permit when they purchase a property in Portugal has so far brought in over 200 million euros for the cash-strapped country.
Last week, the Portuguese government revealed that, just over a year since it was launched, 318 permits have been issued through the scheme, brining in an estimated 200 million euros.
The scheme allows non-EU citizens who spend at least 500,000 euros on real estate in Spain get a permit that lets them travel freely within Europe’s 26-country Schengen zone without restriction. A majority of the properties to be purchased through the scheme so far are residential properties, suggesting they are being bought by second home investors or potential immigrants.
What’s more, investment accrued by this scheme alone is expected to reach more than 300 million euros by December – a figure that would exceed an estimated 250 million euros invested in all real estate in Portugal last year.
Spain, introduced a scheme similar to Portugal’s last month, while Cyprus, Greece and Malta also offer similar visa schemes tied to property purchases.
Chinese and Russian buyers are being particularly targeted by the scheme, with agents in both Portugal and Spain producing websites and information leaflets in both languages.
Article published 18th November 2013