July 31, 2019
Brexit, Bolsonaro, and the ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong are all contributing towards a significant spike in interest in the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program and the Greece Golden Visa Program, according to Henley & Partners, a leading global investment migration firm.
Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise to deliver Brexit by 31 October — with or without an EU deal — coupled with concerns over the Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s commitment to democracy and eight weeks of escalating unrest in Hong Kong, has prompted many wealthy investors and families to look for alternative residence options beyond their national borders.
Portugal remains the top destination of choice, with the Portuguese Consulate General in Macau and Hong Kong last week confirming a flood of enquiries. Likewise, wealthy Brazilians are now among the top five nationalities investing in Portugal’s residence program which includes a minimum real estate investment option of EUR 350,000. More and more Brits are also considering an alternative residence in the EU as Brexit and its potential consequences become more apparent and the countdown begins in earnest.
Dr. Juerg Steffen, Chief Executive Officer of Henley & Partners, says investment migration programs are designed to manage the combination of risk and opportunity. “On the one hand, they create security: reliably diversifying risk through greater protection from volatile markets and political instability. On the other hand, residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs permit access to a significantly expanded suite of opportunities for travel, investment, and influence. In both cases, the benefits that accrue from having multiple citizenship and/or residencies creates significant and unique value for the investor that goes beyond simply providing political risk insurance.”
Henley & Partners is also seeing a significant uptick in interest in the Greece Golden Visa Program which requires a minimum property investment of EUR 250,000 and a pathway to citizenship after seven years of residence. With the current tourism boom, acquiring real estate in Greece is now one of the most profitable types of investments, with ample opportunities for capital appreciation in a depressed real estate market. From being on the brink of bankruptcy a decade ago, Greece is quickly becoming a leading destination for entrepreneurs, remote workers, and digital nomads due to its exceptional and relatively low cost of living.