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What people leaving South Africa are looking for – according to an international estate agent


Already a hot destination for South Africans wishing to obtain overseas citizenship in order to broaden educational and career opportunities for their children, Portugal’s Golden Visa programme has become firmly entrenched at the top of the priority list, particularly since the lockdowns, says Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International, which markets offshore property in numerous overseas countries.

“This is because citizenship has now become a reality for our first applicants who have gone through the five-year residency-by-investment process and subsequently, after a further year, acquired European Union citizenship,” said Immelman.

He said that by investing a minimum of €280,000 in a rural regeneration programme or €350,000 in an urban regeneration programme in Portugal, European Residency is more affordable than ever, while investors also enjoy the full return of their funds at the end of the programme.

To date, Pam Golding International has assisted close to 400 South African families take advantage of Portugal’s Golden Visa programme, many of whom are in the final stages of acquiring residency and will soon be eligible to apply for citizenship, the property group said.

“Our clients primarily seek to open a gateway to global opportunities for their children, who, with citizenship, are then able to live, study and work in any of the EU countries,” said Immelman.

“The fact that South Africans have already successfully concluded the application process through residency status to citizenship, means that this is also soon within reach of the hundreds of other families who have entered the programme.

“They are creating a legacy for their families whereby ultimately, their families or adult children are able to study and/or work in major global cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Berlin, for example.”

Pam Golding said it has partnered with the Mercan Group from Canada who have well-established credentials, having recently opened its first hotel, the five-star Casa da Companhia in Porto and with another four hotels scheduled to open within the next three months.

Immelman said the response to date to the latest investment opportunities has been enthusiastic. The first of these is the Marriott Lagos Beach & Sports Resort, close to Porto de Mós beach in sunny Algarve.

The five-star hotel concept is designed to provide leisure time for the whole family, with an array of sports and leisure activities available, while the site is also adjacent to the established Boavista Golf & Spa Resort, where guests will enjoy privileged rates.

The second development project is Lisboa Park by Moxy Marriot, located in the district of Alfragide, one of the largest business hubs in Lisbon. This vibrant business community will provide much-needed hotel facilities to several nearby multinational companies, including Siemens, Ikea and Vodafone.

“These are blue-chip developments which also provide investors with seven days of free accommodation per annum, EU Residency for the whole family as soon as an application is approved, Visa-free travel throughout Schengen Europe and EU Citizenship possible after six years,” said Immelman.

“For the Lagos Beach and Sports Resort an investment of €280,000 is required, and €350,000 in Lisboa Park. Apart from the full return of the investment at the end of the programme for both projects, VAT and transfer taxes are funded by the developer, while the Lisboa Park development provides investors with 3% guaranteed annual returns from the time the hotel is in operation.”

He said that while changes to the Golden Visa Programme are due to take effect at the end of 2021 – including an increase in the investment threshold – those taking advantage of these investment options will not be affected in any way.


Read: How many South Africans have moved to Portugal via its Golden Visa programme



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