Portugal’s Golden Visa breaks new records in 2016

27th October 2016

According to official figures issued by the immigration authorities in Portugal, (SEF) the number of Portuguese Golden Visas granted this year has already exceeded the total issued in the whole of 2015. In total 1100 visas have been approved so far this year against last year’s total of 766.

Since the program was launched back in October 2012, the total amount invested through the programme now stands at almost €2.4bn, of which the vast majority has been through real estate investment (€2.14bn) with €218m invested through the transfer of capital.

In total, 3,609 permits have been issued with Chinese citizens making up the largest proportion, at 2,743 so far (76%), followed by Brazilians at 180 (5%) whose numbers are increasing rapidly.

Perhaps the most interesting statistic is the one that shows how ‘family reunification’ is one of the main drivers for those using the programme. Over 6,000 (6,054) permits have been issued to family members of the original applicants, with many citing the ability for their children to more easily access European universities as a key reason behind their investment.

Portugal remains the most popular programme for residency investment in Europe. The combination of a relatively low investment amount at €500,000 (the UK’s government bond scheme requires €2m) within a rising market, combined with a transparent and regulated purchase process have helped the programme gain traction. The fact that investors only have to spend around 7 days a year in the country also makes a big difference, as many other visa scheme require much longer periods of stay.

And with prices increasing over 22% last year in Lisbon’s historic centre according to Confidencial Imobiliário, the popularity of Portugal’s Golden Visa programme is expected to continue.

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