PORTUGAL’S GOLDEN TICKET Portugal’s golden visa scheme offers EU residency and an attractive return on investment ollowing a tough few years due to the Eurozone economic fallout, Portugal has bounced back and is revelling in its success, with record revenues in its tourism sector last year, bringing in €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion) in hotel revenues alone. Since October 2012, wealthy foreign investors have flocked to one of Europe’s oldest countries to obtain a Portuguese residency permit to profit on a secure and fast developing market, with access to the entire 26-country Schengen zone. The success story of a crushing economy Even for a country of such luminosity, radiance and culture, Portugal has had its fair share of dark times. After a crushing economic crisis, the Portuguese government is resurrecting its stagnant property market by initiating the golden visa program. “Economic growth continues to accelerate with real estate investors reclaiming and renovating the unoccupied buildings that adorn the streets of Portugal and revitalising the blissfully elegant shores of the Atlantic ocean,” says Mario David, member of the board of advisors for Arton Capital, a global leader in
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residency and citizenship solutions. According to the Arton Index—the industry benchmark to compare and assess different investor immigration programs— Portugal’s scheme scores a total of 54 points and ranks the highest for global mobility and quality of life among Europe’s residency programs, such as those in the UK, Hungary and Bulgaria. The main benefits of the program are a low property investment level, fast processing and a minimal requirement for residency. Portugal’s golden visa became so popular among third country nationals that legislators had to reorganise the scheme and introduce more investment options. In July last year, the Portuguese government introduced a new and more streamlined investment solution to open doors for more investors. Portugal’s residency permit can now be acquired in exchange for an investment of just €350,000 ($396,000) in property more than 30 years old. This will allow for the regeneration of Lisbon and Porto's city centres, which are some of the most visited cities in the world.