Thursday, March 6, 2014

"I $ Portugal"

On sale now!

Several countries, notably Canada, the UK and Australia, have long had fast-track, big-bucks residency programs for foreigners willing to invest money and create jobs in the local economy. For the past few years, Canada has been a stand-out example of a country willing to throw its legs, er sorry, doors open to the well-flushed foreigner. Its controversial visa program, which came into effect in the 1980s, granted residency to anyone worth at least RMB 8.83 million (close to $1.5 million), and willing to loan the Canadian government C$800,000 (RMB 4.4 million) interest-free for five years. The program was not written to be China-specific but, in reality, it often played out that way; as of last January, more than 70% of all applicants were from the Mainland. However, due to overwhelming demand and concern that it was looking rather whorish, Canada recently cancelled the program.
Luckily for the wanderlustful Chinese, Portugal has stepped into the void. And what a bargain! Portugal’s new visa program offers residence to any international investor who need only buy 500,000 euros worth of real estate, invest one million euros into a Portugese corporation, or create 30 jobs. So far 542 "Golden Visas" have been issued, with Chinese investors taking up 433 of those slots, or about 80%. Furthermore, the term “resident” can be taken rather loosely; there isn’t really any need to actually live there. Then again, the lure of a great climate, gorgeous shoreline and rich history just may not be appealing enough for the adrenalin-fuelled Chinese wealthy. If the Portuguese truly want such residents and not just their money, the formula, however, is pretty clear. M.A.C.A.U. 

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