From an average of ten cases per year, Jeff Yen Li Wei, partner at Macau law firm Nuno Simões e Associados, has risen to 20 in the second half of 2021 alone, mostly from mainland China.
John Hu, founder and principal advisor to John Hu Migration Consulting, a Hong Kong specialist immigration firm, has had local clients trying to start the process “just before Christmas”.
The aim was to anticipate the entry into force of a decree-law prohibiting obtaining a “golden visa” through the purchase of residential real estate in urban areas in Lisbon, Porto and in most coastal areas.
The move was originally scheduled for July 2021, Jason Gillott said, and many Chinese and British residents in Hong Kong used the extra six months to “accelerate” the deal.
For the co-founder of Golden Visa Portugal Limited, a Hong Kong firm that specializes in obtaining “golden visas,” the most popular option was to purchase homes to rehabilitate in Lisbon, Cascais or Ericera.
Until the end of 2021, the investment residence permit program allowed to obtain residency in Portugal by investing in real estate with a value of at least 500 thousand euros, a figure reduced to 350 thousand euros in the case of urban rehabilitation.
After the December rush, Jeff Yen currently has no new clients, but says he thinks “anyone who’s interested will still be interested.”
However, the lawyer, who has lived in Portugal for more than two decades, argued that it would be difficult to persuade Chinese investors to buy property outside of large urban centres.
Buying property was the option in “80% of cases”, but Jun Ho said transferring at least €1m of equity could become a more popular option for Hong Kong investors.
With seven lawsuits on hand, Jason Gilot looks more upbeat, citing increased interest from residents in the UK, US and Turks.
According to official figures released on Monday, Turkey’s annual inflation rate exceeded 36% in December, a record since 2002, due to the decline of the Turkish lira by about 45% against the dollar in one year.
Jason Gilot noted that “many clients already have a good idea of where they want to invest,” referring to the case of an American woman who wanted to buy a home in Evora to rent to college students.
The Briton stated that there are still opportunities in real estate, specifically on the coast of the Setubal region. “I was very surprised that the whole region, from Comporta to Santiago de Cacem, was on the ‘golden visa’ list,” he said.
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