Interest Shown in the Portugal Golden Visa Program by Americans Increases

Updated: 1 October 2021

The Portugal Golden Visa Program had a turbulent year. Covid-19 halted many economic activities. Still, Portugal managed to make the most of it. In November, 86 main applicants and 101 dependents received Golden Visas from Portugal. Roughly 50M Euro entered the economy within the month. Compared to October, this amount equals a 74% increase. Yet, it is still %35 lower than the rates of November 2019.

Including November’s numbers, Portugal’s scheme accumulated 619M Euro in 2020. This is 11% lower than the first 11 months of 2019. Since 2020 has been a very unpredictable year, it is hard to guess the December performance of the program. If the average amount of 11 months is extrapolated to December, the total amount adds up to 675M Euro. This figure is close to the total investment accumulated in 2019. Last year, the total income of the program was 742M Euro.

2020 brought 30 investors fewer than in 2019. However, the investment difference is around 76M Euro so far. While investor numbers are only 2.5% short, the investment amount is about 11% lower than in 2019. The reason for this gap is the increasing popularity of alternative routes. The renovation of properties and venture capital/investment funds options lured more investors in 2020 than any other year in the program’s history. These options are cheaper than the main real estate option. Both routes require 350,000 Euro while the main real estate option requires 500,000 Euro.

The Portugal Golden Visa Program’s Subparagraph 3 option is by far the most popular one. It refers to the 500,000 Euro real estate option. This option brought 76% of the total investment in 2019. Yet, in 2020, its share fell to 66%.

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This information means that alternative routes increased their share from 24% to 34% in 2020. The biggest leap came from the venture capital/investment funds option. This route received only seven applications in 2019. Whereas in 2020, 47 applicants chose this option in 11 months.

Top Investor Countries in 2020 for the Portugal Golden Visa Program

In November 2020, the top five investor countries were China (22), the USA (12), Brazil (9), South Africa (5), and India (4). Yet this ranking does not reflect the overall chart. The overall picture of investor interest in the program has a different top five. These top countries are China (4,750), Brazil (986), Turkey (450), South Africa (391), and Russia (355).

American Citizens Lean Towards Europe

American citizens have a strong passport. Thus, they usually do not seek alternatives for their needs. However, because 2020 was a catastrophic year, even the first-world millionaires started looking for alternatives to increase their mobility and business activity.

The Portugal Golden Visa Program does not reveal every piece of information about investments. The Borders and Immigration Service (SEF) only gives the top five investor countries. So, it is impossible to know the exact number of investments. Yet, it is safe to deduce that Americans increasingly apply to the Portugal Golden Visa Program due to their frequent appearance in monthly top five lists lately. Since May, Americans have been in the top five nationalities, except for the month of June. It will not be a surprise if they are in 2020’s top five also.

For more details, check out our article on Americans moving to Portugal.

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