This Week’s News

Life as an expat is far from boring. The world is constantly changing and we always have to adapt. Every week, we at Escape Artist stay on top of these changes and bring them directly to you.

Sometimes these changes may worry us. They make us doubt the progress we’ve made. But every now and again, there are stories that restore our hope, such as the runners in Erbil, Iraq, who refused to let violence stop their race that signifies harmony.

In less harmonious news, expats may have a difficult time buying a home in Bahrain, due to an overabundance of foreign buyers. Keep reading to learn about what’s happening.

Have you ever wanted to live or work in Europe but don’t know where to begin? How about Portugal? This week’s round-up offers some guidance on the best residency options for anyone looking to do just that.

Golden Visa

This week on Escape Artist, we dove into Portugal’s Golden Visa residency program – the best option for anyone who wants to live and work in the European Union.

Among the many perks of holding Portuguese residency, he notes how important a second passport from Portugal can be, with access to 171 countries. Currently, Portugal’s passport is ranked number 6 in terms of visa-free travel.

The way to receive this highly sought after residency is to make a solid investment into real estate, capital, or job creation.

To learn more about the Golden Visa, check out the full story here.

Run of Defiance in Erbil

Since 2011, men and women of Iraq have been running in the Erbil International Marathon, defying ideas about women’s freedoms and running as a leisure activity in the region. In 2014, the event did not take place due to advancing ISIS forces just an hour outside of the capital.

This year the fighting once again neared the city, canceling the marathon. This did not stop 2,000 people from running the 5km and 10km races, however. These racers, 20% of which were women, felt they needed to run the races in order to show the world that Erbil stands for peace.

Many foreigners who participated in the event said they saw Iraq in a way they never had before. One runner from Winchester, UK, said that the race “normalized the area,” also saying that people have the wrong perception of Erbil.

Many see the event as a chance to promote harmony in the region, despite political unrest and violence.

Ban on Expat Home Ownership?

After claims that Bahrainis were being priced out of the property market, MPs have agreed to put a ban on home ownership for expats in areas that aren’t considered tourism or investment zones.

Currently, foreigners can buy property anywhere in the country, but in 2003 restrictions were made, limiting them to areas such as Hoora, Abu Ghazal in Manama, Al Fateh District in Juffair, the Diplomatic Area, Reef Island, and Seef.

Recently, MP Sheikh Majid said that foreign buyers were inflating property prices because of the higher spending ability. He told parliament yesterday that the real estate market “went berserk” because expats could afford to pay more than the locals.

Earlier this week, parliament voted to amend a 2001 law that grants non-Bahrainis the right to own property, but it limited them to tourism and investment developments. Many think this will stabilize the property market and make homes more affordable for Bahrainis.

If you are looking to buy property abroad, consider a country that will not limit you to certain areas. Check out Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and more.

Be sure to check out some of this week’s newest articles below!

For more help in the journey to becoming a real Escape Artist, or if you want to learn about countries where you can buy property without restrictions, check out some of this week’s newest articles. And, as always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about taking the next steps towards your international future.