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Portugal's property scheme attracting Asian interest

Posted on: 01-Apr-2013

A scheme through which investors from outside the EU can enjoy five-year residency in Portugal if they invest at least €500,000 in Portuguese real estate is set to drive major interest from Asia, analysts say.

The government's Golden Residence Permit mechanism allows foreign nationals to secure a Portuguese residence permit if they make certain investments and represents a major change to the legal rules on entry and stay of foreigners in the country.

Developers say the residency permit, which allows the holder to work or study and travel freely in the 26 European states that make up the Schengen region, has led to considerable interest from Asian property buyers, particularly the Chinese.

The initiative, also recently implemented in Spain, means non-EU citizens investing a minimum of €500,000 in property in Portugal will be granted a five-year residency permit, with the option to apply for permanent residency after this period is up.

Since its launch in October last year, the program has attracted a "big number of potential residents and investors due to its advantages", the Portuguese government said. Real estate agents speaking to PropertyWire said Asian interest is blooming and the first visa has already been granted to an Indian businessman who has invested in a trio of hotels in Albufeira.

Carlos Leal, general manager of United Investment Portugal, which owns Pine Cliffs Resort, a luxury gated development on the Algarve Coast, said the firm had received numerous enquiries from Chinese investors, many of whom are already moving forward with the acquisition process.

"We anticipated that the golden visa would boost investments made by non-EU citizens and this is already evident from the increasing amount of enquiries we have received," Leal told PropertyWire. "We also have a number of investors from Beijing, Hong Kong and mainland China who have arranged to visit and we expect this to increase further over the coming months."

There are some conditions attached to the Golden Residence Permit. Investors must buy a property before making a visa application and properties must be bought free of any charges or mortgages.
Article created on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com News Desk (http://www.propertyshowrooms.com/news/)

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