Going for gold: Portugal’s Golden Visa programme hits €4.9bn

27 January

Officially called “ARI”, (“Autorização de Residência para Actividade de Investimento”), Portugal’s Golden Visa programme has become one of Europe’s most popular residence programmes for international investors looking to secure a future in the EU. Offering easy travel within the Schengen area and many other benefits, all without needing to relocate, it is easy to see why 7,107 people have applied for the Portuguese Golden Visa since its inception in 2012.

There are various ways of obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa, though the most popular method is by investing €500,000 or more in real estate. According to Foreigners and Borders Service (Sef), as of December 2019, €4.99 bn has been invested in real estate through the Golden Visa programme since it was introduced in October 2012 and 8,207 people obtained a Golden Visa so far.

The programme is open to anyone who is not a Portuguese, EU or EFTA citizen. By making a qualifying property investment in Portugal, individuals and their immediate family members can obtain residency and will be able to apply for a Portuguese passport and European residency after five years.

What makes the Portuguese Golden Visa so attractive?

Offering a plethora of benefits for the applicants and their families, including instant free travel across the 27 Schengen countries, it’s no surprise that the programme has become so popular. Chinese investors remain the top applicants for the Portuguese Golden Visa, followed by investors from Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Russia.

One of the highlights of this programme is that only one application is required for the investor and their direct family. Plus, unlike some other programmes, there’s no need for relocation. Whilst maintaining their real estate investment for a minimum of five years, applicants need to only stay in Portugal for seven days per year until applying for full citizenship or residency. Want to learn more? Take a look at our complete guide to the Portuguese Golden Visa programme.

Why now is the time to invest: IMT increase 2020

The new year is bringing some changes to the Portuguese property market. The real estate transfer tax, IMT, will rise from 6% to 7.5% instead. This new change will only affect residential properties exceeding €1m and is expected to be introduced this year together with the State Budget Act. This is not expected to happen before March 1st, making this a great time to buy a property in Lisbon.


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