Portugal Golden Visa Performed Impressively in the First Half of 2020

Updated: July 27, 2020

2020 started as a nightmare for many businesses. The global pandemic restricted mobility and transactions. The Portugal Golden Visa Program took its toll through a few slow months. Yet, Covid-19 did not manage to stop the program’s success.

Despite all negativity, Portugal’s Golden Visa program performed impressively in the first half of 2020. In June, 171 main applicants and 293 dependents received their residence permits. In the first six months, the program approved 700 main applicants. Almost 70% of these applicants came in May and June. After May’s historic performance, June witnessed decreased numbers. Still, the program shows clear signs that it is on its track.

Diversity Fuels the Portugal Golden Visa Success

The Portugal Golden Visa Program generated EUR 89 million in June 2020. The first six months of 2020 brought EUR 383 million into Portugal. It equals 52% of the total revenue of 2019. It means that even though a global pandemic, Portugal is set to exceed the last year’s performance.

One of the reasons for this success is the program’s developing diversity. In 2017, 80% of the program’s investors were Chinese, 89% of investors chose the EUR 500,000 real estate investment option. The current diversified characteristics of the Portugal Golden Visa are represented in these areas.

Diversification Shows Itself in Investor Nationalities and Investment Routes

While Chinese investors constituted 80% of the total investment number three years ago, in June 2020, they were only 26% of the total. It does not show that the Chinese lost their interest in the program. On the contrary, investors from other non-EU countries became more interested. Although the top five investors of the program do not change since 2017, the percentages change. In the last three years, 52% of the total number is constituted by Chinese investors. Brazilians follow with 11%. Turkish investors are at the third spot by 5%. South Africans and Russians share the fourth and fifth ranks by 4% each.

Interest in alternative investment routes within the Golden Visa program also represents the diversification. Alternative routes refer to any method other than the EUR 500,000 real estate investment option. While only 6% used these methods back in 2016, the percentage is increased to 34% in 2020.

Validity Period of Initial Residence Permit is Updated to Two Years

The Portugal Golden Visa Program grants residence permits to successful applicants. These permits were valid for one year. A recent update increased the validity to two years. Previously, applicants had to apply for renewal after the first year of residency. Now they will not have to worry about it for two years.

The update applies to any permit issued after April 1st, 2020. Also, it should be noted that the changes to the duration of the validity of the temporary residency permits do not affect the possibility of applying for permanent residency or citizenship.  In these cases, the minimum time required to apply remains 5 years.

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