Chinese National security law sparks even more demand in Hong Kong for Golden Visa

The national security law for Hong Kong was passed last Tuesday by the Chinese Authorities amid international criticism and global concern. Such law prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces and establishes severe penalties for those found guilty of breaking the law.

The passing of such law comes at a time when the interest from Hong Kong residents in the Portuguese Golden Visa programme has been increasing significantly.  Recently, the General Consulate of Portugal in Macau registered a very relevant increase in the number of requests from HK residents that are looking to invest and even move to Portugal.

The Portuguese Consul Paulo Cunha-Alves mentioned that the growth has already taken place “for a long time, basically since June last year”, as Hong Kong recorded major pro-democracy demonstrations, which were violent and with great social, financial and economic impact.

The significant rise of interest in Portugal by HK residents has also been noticed and mentioned by multiple people from different sectors in Portugal, from developers and real estate agents, to lawyers, people in banking and many others.

In fact, despite the pandemic, according to the official statistics of the Portuguese Immigration Office, in May the investment through the Golden Visa almost tripled (192%) in comparison to the same month of the previous year, to € 146 million. In addition, May has recorded the highest monthly amount of investment raised since March 2017.

The Portuguese Golden Visa has always been looked at by HK residents as an extremely attractive residency by investment option and the instability in HK has made the interest increase even more.  In addition, Portugal is globally been considered as one of the best positioned countries for the “post-Covid-19 world”.

It must also be pointed out that not only the Hong Kong residents are interested in investing in Portugal but also many British expatriates living in Hong Kong are concerned about the instability in HK and also the consequences of Brexit and see Portugal as a safe and peaceful option.

Source: Edge International Lawyers July 2020

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