The Portuguese government has widened its popular residency-by-investment program to include a new investment category. The appropriately named Green Visa requires investment into environmentally focused projects to qualify for a Golden Visa.
WHAT'S PORTUGAL'S NEW GREEN VISA ALL ABOUT?
The Green Visa is a new investment category just launched by the Portuguese government as part of its Golden Resident Permit Program (GRPP). The GRPP, also known as the Portugal Golden Visa, is a residency-by-investment program that allows non-EU citizens to make a capital investment into Portugal and receive a five-year residency visa. With this visa, you and your family can live in Portugal and travel visa-free throughout the European Schengen Area.
To be eligible for a Green Visa you need to invest €500,000 in environmental projects. These projects can range from non-intensive organic agriculture and ecotourism schemes to renewable energies and other environmental initiatives.
Specific areas of investment include:
- Organic farming
- Renewable energy
- Carbon neutral projects
The Green Visa will serve to reinforce Portugal’s role in attracting international ecological investment, while simultaneously ensuring the transition to a circular and carbon-free economy.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU'VE BEEN GRANTED A GREEN VISA?
Once you’ve been approved for a Green Visa, you’ll need to keep your investment for a minimum of five years and spend just seven days in each of those five years in Portugal. This will ensure your visa remains valid over the five years.
After five years you will be allowed to apply for Portuguese residency. Once you have been a resident for a year, you will be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship. This enables you to hold a Portuguese passport, which has consistently been ranked as one of the most powerful in the world.
HOW POPULAR IS THE GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM?
According to statistics released by the Portuguese Immigration Services in January this year, over 7,000 investors have been issued with a Golden Visa since the program’s launch in 2012.
The many benefits of the GRPP, as well as the fast and efficient way in which the Portuguese government has been processing applications, has led to a sharp rise in interest from many investors and interested parties.
Sustainable investment is a strategy that considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when choosing where to place funds. ESG takes into account factors such as how corporations respond to climate change, how they treat their workers as well as what they are doing about their carbon footprint.
A general shift in focus towards sustainability and awareness about climate change – as well as scandals and disasters such as Volkswagen’s “diesel dupe” and BP’s oil spill in 2010 – has spurred investors to become more conscious of investing in companies with good governance practices.
A 2018 Global Investor Study revealed that 45% of investors are putting a significant amount of their portfolio in sustainable investments. As much as 76% of investors increased their sustainable investments over the past five years.
Portugal’s new Green Visa is perfect for eco-conscious investors looking for a second residency who wish to invest in ethical and sustainable projects.