Portugal Golden Visa Program, Its Trend and Future

Portugal Golden Visa Program, Its Trend and Future

Portugal Golden Visa Program is one of the most successful programs out there. However, the first three months of 2019 recorded only decline for the popular golden visa program of Portugal. In the year’s first quarter, the Golden Visa program raised EUR 249 million.

Numbers and Statistics about the Period

In the first quarter of 2019, the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) has issued 421 ARIs (golden visas) to main applicants and 766 golden visas to their dependents.

At about a third of the total so far in 2019, Chinese nationals remain the largest single applicant constituency. Their share of overall monthly applications had declined steadily in recent years – in April 2015 they made up 78% of the total; in April 2016, 67%; in April 2017, 42%; in April 2018, 31% of the total – but now appears to have stabilized.

At 12% of the total in April, Brazilians were the second most common applicants, followed by Turks, South Africans, and Russians. Overall – in cumulative terms – Brazilians now account for 10% of all active golden visas, while the remaining top five countries constitute between 3.5% and 4.5% of the total.

Turkish fondness for Portuguese residence permits, on the contrary, is on the upswing. Only entering into the top five nationalities in 2018, Turks have already passed South Africa and Russia to become the third biggest investor constituency.

Future of the Program

There are some ambiguous official statements about the Portugal Golden Visa Program. Therefore speculation as to the program’s future has arisen to the surface. The program is, as can be seen in several global indices regarding the topic, successful. Yet, according to some authorities, there may be more profitable methods for the Portuguese government to offer citizenship or residency. Some suggest that golden visas as a whole may be on their way out in favour of start-up/entrepreneur programs, or even angel investment structures. On the other hand, Portugal’s socialist government indicate the lucrative program is here to stay.

January figures from SEF show Portugal’s Golden Visa program is continuing the upward trend that started last summer; 146 main applicants – and 241 of their family members – invested 85.6 million euros in the economy in the first month of the year. That’s an average of €586,000, well above the minimum.

In conclusion, the program has thus far brought investments worth €4.35 billion – 91% of which has come in the form of real estate acquisitions – with average investments amounting to €610,000.

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