Chinese investment in Portugal's golden visa scheme tips 2 billion euros

Updated 2018-01-31 11:11:06 Xinhua

Chinese investment in Portugal through the "golden visa" scheme has amounted to over 2 billion euros, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) revealed on Tuesday.

The "golden visa" initiative, officially called Investment Residency Authorization (ARI), is a fast-track residency visa scheme for large-scale investors.

Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese investment through the scheme has totalled 2.06 billion euros. This represents 60 percent of all the money raised by the program since it launched in late 2012.

Chinese investment through the scheme amounted to 306 million euros in 2017, from 538 visas.

This is a fall from 487 million euros and 848 visas in 2016, and considerably down on the peak year of 2014, when 1,235 visas raised 711 million euros.

In total, Chinese investors have been granted 3,588 of the 5,553 golden visas issued since the scheme launched.

Chinese investors have thus been the main participants in the scheme by some distance.

Brazilians sit in second place with 473 visas and 400 million euros of investment over the lifetime of the program. South Africans follow with 218 visas and 140 million euros of investment.

ARIs are available to non-European Union residents who either buy real estate in Portugal worth 500,000 euros, or 350,000 euros if the property is 30 years old, or make capital transfers of 1 million euros, less if certain cultural or commercial investment criteria are fulfilled.

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