Strong demand for Portugal and Europe’s Golden Visa programmes, despite EU pressure
According to an article published in Bloomberg this week, visa programmes in Portugal and Europe, that offer EU residency and a path to citizenship via property investment, are in strong demand, despite calls from the EU to end them.
Recent developments in Portugal highlight the controversial nature of the topic, with the President seeking to end the Golden Visa program, after being in place for more than a decade. Whilst the programme is set to remain, it will drop its residency-via-real estate investment option and increase its minimum investment amount to €500,000, from €350,000.
Similarly, Greece doubled its investment threshold from €250,000 to €500,000 in certain parts of the country and Spain is deciding whether to increase its minimum investment from €500,000 to €1 million — or even to scrap it entirely.
EU members continue to recommend the closing of such programmes, something that’s already occurred in Ireland and the UK.
However, despite the controversy, the Bloomberg article reports continued interest in these programmes, notably Greece and Portugal, where “Portuguese Golden Visas are more popular than ever”. Elsewhere, demand for both Italy and Spain has also reached record levels.
Overall, there seems little evidence to suggest that Golden Visas are harder to obtain. “We haven’t seen significant changes in the difficulty of obtaining a visa,” said Patricia Casaburi, general director of immigration consultancy Global Citizen Solutions, quoted by Bloomberg. “And more people than ever are trying to get in while they can,” she adds.