A sizeable number of South Africans are reported to be pursuing the initiative which might soon be employed by emerging economies as a stimulant in the property industry.
(READ MORE: S.Africa’s luxury property attracting foreign investment)
“Giving citizenship is one way of attracting real foreign money into the country on a high level. However, there should be a thorough thought process to such an initiative as one would have to be convinced to invest a figure like 500,000 euros in the country,” Chris Immelman, managing director of Pam Golding international projects told CNBC Africa.
“Over the years we have had these programmes running. In 2002 we sold a number of properties to South Africans in Mauritius, the overriding interest at the time was the residence aspect as it allowed one to acquire Mauritius residency. The response was the same when we introduced the programme in Seychelles,” he added.
The Portugal government introduced the scheme so as to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to induce growth without having to borrow from lending institutions.
The golden visa programme was launched by the Portuguese government in October 2012 as a fast pathway for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal.
The provision entitles visa holders to carry out one of the investments set out in the law to be eligible to obtain a residency permit. This residency permit allows the investor to enter and or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the bulk of European countries.
The visa when issues is valid for a one year period and renewed for subsequent periods of two years. This visa can also be obtained through transfer of funds above 1,000,000 euros and creation of ten 10 jobs.
Portugal has been battling economically since the global meltdown of 2008.
BY TRUST MATSILELE