More than 50 ultra-high net worth Indians have in the last 18 months invested between 350,000 and 600,000 euros in apartments in Portugal’s capital Lisbon and other places to obtain residency in the EU bloc nation.
These individuals seek residency in order to get better healthcare, especially post Covid-19, a report by the Economic Times (ET) said.
To obtain the “Golden Visa”, which allows the residents to travel freely across Europe, the money is being sent out in tranches as per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) limit of $250,000 per annum under the liberalised remittance scheme (LRS).
“The motive is often for ultra HNIs [high net worth individuals] to have the option to relocate in a situation where they need to for health care, particularly, post-Covid. Portugal has got a good healthcare and education system, and hence it’s a good place to put in place a contingency plan. Post a threshold, such families can opt for residency or citizenship,” Bijal Ajinkya, partner at Khaitan & Co. told the business daily.
Portugal is not the only country being eyed by the rich in India. They are also investing in Greece and Montenegro, the report added.
Apart from the investments, these individuals are also applying for “jumbo life and term” insurance covers worth $20 million and above from foreign insurers.
“The interest in jumbo covers has been there for at least ten years now. But people used to do it surreptitiously by transferring money to relatives who then purchased the policy on their behalf. A few were also pulled up under the Black Money Act when it later surfaced that they were owning undisclosed life policies issued by foreign insurers. But the regulator has become more liberal in the last two years. It’s clearing applications (for the purchase of such policies). Maybe, there is a rise in demand post-Covid,” a senior banker told ET.
The people who are applying for Portuguese citizenship are, however, different from the ones that have fled the country for tax evasion and taken citizenship in countries like Dominica and Antigua, ET said.