January figures from SEF clearly manifest that Portugal’s Golden Visa program is continuing the upward trend it started last year. A total of 146 main applicants along with 241 of their family members – invested 85.6 million Euros in the West-Iberian economy in the first month of the year. That’s an average of €586,000, which is quite above the minimum.
Established in 2012, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program (ARI) has proved to be a very successful residency programme during the past few years and allows non-EU/EEA citizens to get a special residence permit in exchange for a 5-year investment in Portugal.
The best part about the permit is that the investors only have to spend around seven days per year in Portugal to maintain their residency, while still enjoying all the benefits of being an EU resident such as visa-free travel in the Schengen area.
Provided each month in 2019 be as promising as January, Portugal can witness its own annual records for both investment and visas issued surpassed by around 24%; on an annualized basis, 146 monthly approvals comes out to 1,752 a year, which is pretty higher than the 2016-record of 1,411 annual approvals.
Since its inception, the program has thus far clinched investments worth around €4.35 billion – majority of which (around 91%) has come in the form of real estate acquisitions – with average investments amounting to €610,000.
Despite being the leading applicant group, Chinese nationals have seen their share of total existing golden-visa holders fall sharply over the last four years; while the tally in January 2015 demonstrated that they represented four out of five visa-recipients, their percentage has by now dropped to 58%. In fact, out of the 146 approvals granted in January, a total of 54 went to Chinese investors, which is only a little more than a third of the total number of approvals.
On the contrary, Turkish nationals’ fondness for Portuguese residence permits is observing an upward trend. Only entering into the top five countries in 2018, Turkey has already surpassed South Africa and Russia to become the third biggest investor constituency.
In Europe, now Portugal’s golden visa is the second highest capital raiser after the UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa program. However, this success comes as no surprise considering the rich and diverse culture Portugal boasts along with the stability it provides for the raising of families.