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Portugal to Use Golden Visa Scheme to Help Migrants

Portugal plans to adapt its golden visa scheme to allow wealthy foreigners seeking residency rights to invest in affordable housing for locals or accommodation for migrants.

About Golden Visa Scheme

“Golden Visa,” a program that offers residency to wealthy foreigners who buy real estate there. After a decade, the program has reeled in billions of euros in investments, but it has also helped fuel a wrenching housing crisis for its own citizens. The golden visa scheme has attracted more 7.3 billion euros ($7.94 billion) of funds since its launch. But critics say it has also exacerbated a housing crisis and it has undergone several changes in recent years.

Who are eligible for Golden Visa Scheme

  • To be eligible for the existing golden visa scheme, applicants must transfer between 250,000 to 500,000 euros depending on the type of investment they choose.
  • To secure a visa, buying real estate, which used to be foreigners’ preferred route, is no longer an option but they can still invest in funds, donate to cultural or research projects and generate jobs.

Migrants in Portugal

Around 800,000 migrants live in Portugal, nearly double the number from a decade ago, but even though they make significant contributions to the economy they are more likely to have precarious jobs and lower salaries, according to the Migration Observatory. Many struggle to find homes and end up living on the streets or in overcrowded flats, an issue exacerbated by high rents and sale prices fuelled in part by a tourism boom in cities such as Lisbon and Porto.


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