The Portuguese ambassador to Hong Kong in Macau, Paulo Cunha-Alves, states that there has been a “notable” increase in the investor interest towards the Portugal Golden Visa Program. Hong Kongers who want to move out of the semi-autonomous area increase the demand in the program.
Hong Kong is a former British colony that goes through a diplomatic crisis with China nowadays. As a result, citizens of Hong Kong consider alternatives for their future.
THE INCREASE IN INTEREST STARTED IN JUNE 2019
Hong Kong has an unstable political climate since June 2019. Demonstrations against the government started in mid-2019. Protests continue to impact the entirety of society. Due to the political and economic instability of the country, wealthy people of Hong Kong look for ways to protect their families and assets.
As a result of these protests, Paulo Cunha-Alves states, “This year we saw an increase again, which was remarkable.”
The ambassador also said that “People have to apply for a criminal record and for that they have to use the services of the consulate and it is on this basis that we have some statistics on the number of people who requested Golden Visa and residence from Portugal. Between January and the end of May, the number will have been around 1,100.”
CHINA INTERFERENCE IN HONG KONG POLITICS
China recently announced that it will impose several laws on Hong Kong. Further worrying the Hong Kongers, Beijing’s intervention seems to have an impact on investors. Although “it is not yet noticeable, the feeling exists: people who have financial means, obviously, try to look for other alternatives for their lives”, said Paulo Cunha-Alves.
The proposed laws prohibit “any act of treason, separation, rebellion, subversion against the Central People’s Government, theft of state secrets, the organization of activities in Hong Kong by foreign political organizations and the establishment of links with Hong Kong political organizations.”
ENGLISH EXPATS ARE ALSO CONSIDERING THE PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA
Hong Kong has a fairly large population of English expats. As a result of the political uncertainty in Hong Kong, English expats also consider their options. Since the UK also goes through the process of Brexit, returning to their home country does not solve the problem of ambiguity. Portugal, with its reputation as a safe and secure destination, becomes the first option these expats look into.
RECENT SEF REPORT SHOWS THE SKYROCKETED INTEREST IN THE PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA
According to the latest report of the SEF (Immigration and Borders Service), the Portugal Golden Visa Program received 146.2 million euros in May 2020. This amount is higher than all four previous months combined. When compared to April 2020, May witnessed a 421 percent increase in interest.
146.2 million euros generated in May 2020 is the highest monthly amount received since March 2017. In juxtaposition with May of 2019, the increase is still huge, around 192 percent. Consequently, the Portugal Golden Visa Program has issued 529 Golden Visas in 2020 thus far.