Euro visa – insurance for Hong Kong people

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Have you always had a fascination for the Mediterranean way of life? Perhaps you have vacationed in these perpetually sunny lands and often recall their many enduring charms. The pristine beaches, lush olive groves, quaint historic landmark-strewn city centers and warm, summer breezes laced with rich citrus fragrances beckon you time and again. If you have ever yearned to establish a home in one of these lands bordering the azure waters of Mediterranean Sea, you now have a wonderful opportunity to do so by way of the investment avenue, aptly named the ‘Golden Visa.’ Instituted in 2012 by various countries in Europe, including Portugal in an effort to boost local property markets and attract much needed foreign investment, the Golden Visa offers non-EU citizens a chance to enjoy the great weather, excellent quality of life and a multitude of opportunities that Mediterranean countries like Portugal have to offer.

Why Portugal?

Several European countries offer investors the ‘Golden Visa’ route to long-term residency in the EU but Portugal’s tax laws, and residency requirements are not only extremely clear and transparent, they are also very easy to navigate.  Moreover, Portugal is an established member of the European Unionthat has adopted the European Monetary System (the single currency standard of the Euro) as well. Portugal’s vivacious capital, Lisbon consistently ranks amongst the world’s ‘best cities’ in the terms of quality of life according the reputed Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey. Want to know what makes Lisbon such an extremely habitable destination? Read more here.

Additionally, the country’s other metropolises such as Porto and Madeira also feature amongst the top-ranked cities in the annual the ‘Best destinations in Europe’ survey conducted by European Consumers Choice Awards.

The Portuguese Golden Visa scheme is also a very straightforward and flexible scheme with the minimum residency requirements. The scheme stipulates that non-Eu residents can qualify for a long-term resident permit in Portugal by using one of the three available avenues, by way of a transfer of funds in excess of a million euros, by creating a minimum of ten jobs or then by simply purchasing a property (or two) in excess of 500,000 euros. The successful applicant is initially issued a Golden Visa for one year, which is then renewable every two years provided the thresholds for minimum stay and investment continue to be met.

The many benefits of a Portuguese Golden Visa

Greater Degree of Flexibility

A successful applicant of a Golden Visa enjoys the flexibility of residing outside of Portugal even after the long-term residence permit is granted. An investor qualifies for Portuguese residence if he/she spends a minimum of seven days in the first year of residence in Portugal, and 14 days in each of the following two-year renewal periods. Thus, the Portuguese residency requirement is far easier than the more lengthy terms required by other choice destinations like the US, UK or Canada.

Visa-free travel throughout the EU and Schengen states

The holder of a long-term Portuguese resident permit is free to travel visa-free all throughout the European Union and the Schengen states. Bidding adieu to the trauma of repeated, long-winded visa applications isindeed a terrific boon, which makes going on holiday a simple, stress-free activity.

Securing the futurefor your children

The applicant of the Golden Visa can also apply for a ‘family reunion visa’whereby his/her other family members can also acquire long-term Portuguese residence permits.  So, if you are keen to enhance your children’s prospects by giving them a chance to obtain quality education at a top-notch institution within Europe then going the Golden Visa route is anextremely viable way to do so. The acquisition of a Portuguese residence permit allows the holders to travel, live, work and study freely in the entire European Union.  In fact, if your children are at the stage of entry into the workforce, a world of tremendous opportunity awaits them by way of a Golden Visa for as holders of long-term Portuguese residence permits they are free to work anywhere within the EU. Moreover, employers don’t need to sponsor visas for them as the acquisition of Golden Visa automatically gets rid of any constraints. Thus, it gives them a competitive edge as compared to similarly qualified candidates from other countries.

Easy Access to a secure society

Portugal is an advanced, business friendly, economically developed, socially and politically stabledemocracy. If you are desirous of living in such a vibrant environment, then the acquisition of a Golden Visa affords you the right to do so.

Quality of Life Benefits

Education, medical and social assistance is provided free to Portuguese nationals and as a long-term residence permit holder, you can avail of these life-altering benefits as well.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship

After you have completed five years as a Portuguese resident, you are entitled to apply for permanent residency and after six years as a Portuguese resident; you will be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. The Portuguese government has recently disclosed that since the inception of the Golden Visa scheme in 2012, approximately 734 ‘Golden Visas’ have been issued with the majority of visas being issued to people of Chinese descent.  Hardly surprising, given the regard for property as a prized asset class amongst Hong Kongers and the attractive yields of 6% to 7% being provided by the property investments in Portugal.

Other significant reasons attributed to the popularity of the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme are the lack of restrictions on the choice of property chosen as an investment and, the relative ease and speediness of the visa application and approval procedure along with the wealth of opportunities it unlocks. Added to this mix, are the growing concerns of deteriorating air quality in cities like Hong Kong and Beijing.

The enigmatic Lisbon8, a perfect investment opportunity

We, at Engel and Volkers Hong Kong in conjunction with our counterparts in our Portuguese affiliates, are thus, working hard to identify fitting properties for Asian applicants of the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme as well as other investors. Our efforts entail tie-ups with recognized and reputed Portuguese developers in popular locales like the historic, yet modern capital city of Lisbon,the relatively untouched northern Silver Coast, much favored for its authentic Portuguese experience and a long-time favorite, the perennial place in the sun, the Algarve. Furthermore at Engel and Voelkers, we are very aware of our client’s sensibilities and requirements. Keeping this in mind, we would like to introduce you to magnificent investment opportunity in the form of Lisbon 8, an iconic development located within an area called Cais do Sodré in Lisbon’s city center near the Targus River.

The neighborhood, an erstwhile hub of transportation that was once considered a seedy enclave, is presently in the throes of gentrification. Now considered hipster central thanks to its burgeoning restaurants, bar and club scene, the quarter today is a favored locale in Lisbon.

Popular hotspots in the neighborhood include the expansive, Time Out Lisbon operated gourmet food court housed within the Mercado de Ribeira, once Lisbon’s biggest fresh food market, the mosaic-adorned, Praça de São Paulo with its imposing Sao Paulo church and many bars, restaurants, hotels and chic stores that line its lively Rua do Alecrim and a converted salt warehouse on the riverside. As for the development itself, the building that houses Lisbon 8 dates back to the 1950’s era. The structure, during that age, was considered to be the most modern and well-constructed building of its time. Topped by a clock tower, Lisbon 8 then served as the headquarters of the Portugal Postal services.

The current redevelopment and rehabilitation of Lisbon 8 is being supervised by eminent Portuguese architect, Manuel Aires Mateu, who is also responsible for the design of the recently constructed headquarters of EDP (Energias de Portugal).

The refurbishment of this historic edifice has generated such a buzz that the building has already begun to attract much attention and has, in fact, recently won the top award as Lisbon’s  “Building of the Year” at Portugal’s SIL Real Estate Awards 2013. The enthralling redevelopment of Lisbon 8 is set to be complete by September 2016. The new, rejuvenated edifice, will ultimately house 106 city and river facing stylized apartments along with 18 retail outlets. All of which are currently being offered for sale. Discover more by downloading the building’s app from the Play Store.

So if you are mulling about real estate options for your Golden Visa application or are then considering a rental investment opportunity in a chic European city, the city center, Lisbon 8 provides aparticularly suitable option. Need more information? Any Advice? Do contact our International Hotline: +852 3997-3558 or then send us an email at midlevelswest@engelvoelkers.com.


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