On January 11, the Portuguese parliament voted in favour of the introduction of the Green Visa, an extension of the existing Golden Visa scheme.
The introduction of the Golden Visa programme in 2012 with the aim to attract investment from wealthy foreigners willing to invest at least 500,000€ in property or create 10 jobs in Portugal, is considered a huge success by some due to the huge amount of generated investment (around 4.2 billion euros, of which 3.8 million were invested in property) and an untransparent scheme, associated to corruption and money laundering, by others, including Transparency International.
Of the 6,575 visas granted until the end of last year, only 13 were associated with investments resulting in job creation.
A recent attempt to stop the Golden Visa scheme, started by the Left Bloc and backed by PAN, the Greens and the Communist Party has been rejected by parliament but Prime Minister António Costa stated that the programme would be reviewed.
Through the Green Visa, proposed by PAN (People, Nature, Animals), Portugal aims to attract investment in organic farming, renewable energy, ecotourism and other environmental and carbon neutral projects. As on the Golden Visa, a minimum of 500,000€ need to be invested by foreigners in order to obtain Portuguese residency under the Green Visa.