rich visa

€500,000 Visas



land case (2) property
endure prolong recession
aim purchase real estate
apply attract investment
grant restrict front of the line
citizen right (3) citizenship
deal similar strengthen
inject issue (2) capital (2)
access require minimum
permit area (3) Schengen area
shaky attract prospect
raise in return flexibility
retire consider quite a few
fiscal undergo austerity
revive bailout figure (3)
though outlook unemployment
hope revenue residency
boost emerge Europhile


Buying Property

Rich foreigners are buying property in Europe. But they are getting more than just land and a home.

Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, countries which have endured prolonged recession, are offering visas to non-European Union citizens who purchase their real estate.

Their aim is to attract foreign investment and strengthen weakened economies.

Queuing Up

Chinese nationals are at the front of the line. Following close behind are those from Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.

When foreign investors purchase real estate, they are also granted residency rights, and in some cases full European Union citizenship.


Portugal has been offering these deals since 2012. There foreigners receive a residency permit when they invest €500,000 (about $680,000) in property.

After five years, they can apply for permanent residency, and EU citizenship one year later.

Capital Investment

Portugal also issues visas to those who inject capital or create jobs in the country — similar to the U.S. immigrant investor program, which requires a minimum investment of $500,000.

The Portuguese visas gives access to the Schengen area, which includes most of the EU, but not the U.K.

The Statistics

Official figures show more than 330 visas have been issued in the first 12 months of the program, raising €225 million.

And the flow of wealthy investors buying the keys to Portugal is increasing.

The growth is partly due an easing of the law: the minimum stay requirements were reduced to just 35 days over 5 years.

Unrestricted Travel

Francisco Barata Salgueiro, a Portuguese real estate lawyer, said most investors are attracted by the prospect unrestricted travel throughout most of Europe.

“They also mention the flexibility of sending their children to study in Europe. Quite a few will consider retiring here,” he said.

The Economy

The Portuguese have undergone fiscal austerity in return for a €78 billion euro bailout.

They recently emerged from their worst recession in about 40 years, though unemployment remains highs and the outlook is still shaky.

Portugal hopes the revenue from Europhile investors will help boost its property market and revive the economy.

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1. What are some wealthy foreigners doing in Europe?

2. All European countries are selling lots of property. Which countries are sell the most property?

3. Which nationalities are buying real estate?

4. What is part of the deal?

5. Describe the Portuguese investment. What does the deal consist of?

6. Is foreign investment growing?

7. What are the foreigners attracted to? What do they want?
They are attracted to…. They want….

8. Portugal is encouraging property purchases. Why is Portugal selling its property to foreigners?
A. Do foreigners buy homes and property in your town, city, or country? If yes, who are these foreigners?

B. Where do they purchase property? What do they do there? Why are they purchasing property?

C. How do locals feel about this? What do they think about this?

D. Do people from your country buy foreign property? If yes, what are some favorite places? Why do they do this?

E. Would you like to buy a home and property? If yes, where would you like to buy real estate?

F. What will happen in the future?

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