portuguese visas

Golden Visas



invest right (4) as long as
earn take up throughout
touch benefit put in touch
estate appetite applicant
bailout nosedive purse-strings
permit residence property
critic effectively kick-start
as such eventually generate
similar scheme cash-strapped
anti race (2) race to the bottom
outdo attract rigorous
insist agent opportunity
brand whole vineyard
drop (2) chop drop in the ocean
through though choppy waters
access  property think/thought
enough afford





Chinese investors looking for a place in the European sun. And as long as they spend 500,000 euros on a property in Portugal, they get the right to live here to.

Li Chen, who is worried about what the future may hold in China, is planning to take up the offer.

“We have a saying, ‘You cannot put all your eggs in one basket;’ so we are trying to put something in Europe.

And this is a very good opportunity. We can earn some money and also get a visa.”

His friend Brian Tang from Hong Kong already has a so-called “Golden Visa”. He also started a business, putting Chinese buyers in touch with Portuguese estate agents.

“There’s a huge appetite from China coming over to Portugal, and the data shows that—that 80% of the applicants are Chinese.”

As the purse-strings tightened after Portugal’s 70 billion euro bailout three years ago, property sales nosedived.

The government in Lisbon says its Golden Residents Permits, which have generated more than 400 million euros since 2012, are kick-starting the market.

But critics say it’s effectively selling passports.

Foreign investors don’t get a passport as such; what they do get is residency here in Portugal, and the right to travel in most of the EU.

And eventually they can apply for a passport.

Portugal isn’t the only cash-strapped European country that’s gone down this road: Spain, Greece and Cyprus are among those that have similar residency schemes.

And some are priced a lot lower than others.

“I think this is a race to the bottom. And it’s actually something very anti-EU. Each country is trying to outdo the other in terms of better conditions to attract these foreign money. And people don’t really care where this money comes from,” says Ana Gomes, a Member of the European Parliament.

Ministers insist foreigners buying in places like Pleshguys do face rigorous checks. And the state agents say the whole country benefits.

“The Chinese really do like European brands,” says Nuno Durao, an estate agent. “So they are starting now to buy vineyards, buying pig farms. So all of these are helping Portugal a lot.”

The money generated by the Golden Visa is a drop in the ocean compared with Portugal’s debt. But it’s helped the property industry through choppy waters.

Some though, say that schemes like this across Europe are selling access to those rich enough to afford it.


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1. There is a deal or offer by the Portuguese government to non-EU foreigners. True or false? If this is true, what is the offer?

2. Li Chen is interested in buying property in Portugal. Why is he interested in buying property?

3. Does Brian Tang also want to buy a home and get a residency permit?

4. Many Chinese want to buy property in Portugal. Yes or no?

5. Is Portugal eager to sell property to foreigners? Why is Portugal eager to sell property?

6. Only Portugal is offering “Golden Visas”. Is this correct or wrong?

7. Do all Portuguese feel positive about the program?

8. Chinese investors only buy houses. True or false? Are they more attracted to North America, South America, Europe, Asia or Australia?

9. Is this a zero-sums game or a win-win situation?
A. Do investors from your country often buy property abroad? If yes, what are some popular destinations?

B. Many foreigners buy or invest in my country. Yes or no?

C. I would like to buy a house and property in……….because………..

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