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Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:20:11 -0500
2016-05-02 Print

Wealthy Russians and South Africans seek Portugal golden visa

The golden visa scheme offers immediate schengen residence visa to foreign investors who buy a real estate in Portugal for 500,000 euros or 1 million euro business investment.


Portugal’s golden visa/ARI scheme launched in 2012 has turned out to be "outstanding" success in 2016. The golden visa scheme offers immediate schengen residence visa to foreign investors who buy a real estate in Portugal for 500,000 euros or 1 million euro business investment. The scheme has brought almost 2 billion euros investment, according to the report published by SEF Portugal.

Under the portugese golden visa scheme, there are no residence requirements, PR issued after 5 years under Aliens Act – Act number 23/2007 of 4 July) and can “naturalize” for Portugese citizenship after 6 years under Nationality Act (Act number 37/81 of 3 October. The residence visa issued by Portugal allows free movement in Schengen states move through port of entry and exit in any schengen state including Switzerland.

The 2016 four year data released from Portugal immigration office, shows Russians and South Africans top the charts in 2nd and 3rd positions only next to chinese who are 1st. Only 48 lebanese nationals applied for Portugal golden visa in 4 years.

China -2457
Brazil -140
Russia -108
South Africa – 82
Lebanon – 48

According to Mr. Balakrishnan, CEO of Best Citizenships (BC), "The main reason for such a surging demand for golden visas is many business travelers, want visa free travel freedom which their home passports cannot offer".

According to latest Henley & Partners 2016 report, South africans with their home passport can travel only to 97 countries, Russians 105 countries, Lebanese 39 countries. All of them, cant go to Schengen states and need a separate visa.

St Kitts and Antigua instant citizenship programs are also very popular with South africans and Russians under real estate investment ($400,000 + fees), which is almost close to Portugal costs. Investors who were issued Caribbean passports can stay in UK for maximum 6 months, and in EU schengen states for maximum 3 months in a 6 month sliding window period.

Coming back to Portugal's scheme, non-EU/EEA nationals holding EU residence permit issued under Portugal golden visa, cannot visit UK, as UK is not a part of Schengen and they need a separate UK visa. They can stay in other EU member states, including Switzerland for 6 months maximum.

EU residence permit holders (non-EU nationals) can also visit non-Schengen EU member countries such as Croatia, Romania, Cyprus, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Georgia under visa waiver agreements without the need for separate visa. Visiting Turkey is also possible with e-visa with EU residence permit.

Portugal golden visa scheme is open to nationals of all countries including those from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The are also increasing number of people from Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh very interested in Golden visa schemes.

Please reach us for a private consultation, if you are interested to know more about the golden visa schemes.

About Best Citizenships (BC)

Best Citizenships (BC) is a worlds leading company, assisting very wealthy, talented and high net worth individuals in global residency and citizenship solutions in over 30 countries. The company has assisted elite and famous personalities, large corporations and investment banks with immigration, relocation, company setups, real estate , tax advisory and has helped bringing in over millions of dollar investment through immigrant investor schemes currently running EU member states and Caribbean. The company currently aims to bring in, a target of 10 billion euros in the next 5 years through investor schemes.

For more information, please visit

Contact Info
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CH-9606 Butschwil

Phone: +41 71 577 46 23