Portuguese parliament approves extension of gold visa scheme

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-12 06:54:25|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LISBON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese parliament approved on Friday the extension of gold visa scheme with "Green Visas", for which investors are required to make investments on green projects.

The "Green Visas" proposed by People-Animals-Nature (PAN) party was approved with the main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) and ruling Socialist Party (PS) voting in favor and Left Bloc (BE), Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens (PEV) voting against.

"The approval of the green visas will reinforce Portugal's role in attracting international ecological investment and will guarantee, in parallel, the transition to a circular and decarbonised economy," said Andre Silva, PAN's MP at Thursday's debate.

Investors for Green Visas will be required to invest in non-intensive organic farming and projects that reinforce and actively contribute to the implementation of Portugal's Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality.

They also need to make investments focusing on self-consumption with energy from renewable sources and projects that show high standards of energy efficiency.

The investors should pay the amount that equals to or greater than 250,000 euros in a period of five years to get the Green Visas granted.

On the same day, the parliament rejected by voting the end of the Gold Visa scheme proposed by BE, which defined it a tool of real estate speculation through which Portugal "sells rights of citizenship".

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

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. (one euro currently equals to 1.15 U.S. dollars)