A look at Portugal’s golden visa numbers for the first half of 2022 has some predictable outcomes along with a surprising and unprecedented development.
The Predictable Bit
Demand for Portugal’s golden visa continues to soar and the program continues to attract precious investment into the country. The first half of 2022 saw a 33 percent jump in total golden visa investment compared to the same period in 2021.
January to June saw a total of 649 golden visas issued. But for the first time in the history of the program, China was ranked second in the list of countries that received the most golden visas.
Chinese investors received 105 visas in the first half of 2022 while investors from North America, primarily the USA, took 124 golden visas.
This is surprising because the Chinese have dominated Portugal’s golden visa program ever since the program was launched in October 2012.
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Further, Chinese investment in the golden visa program has fallen compared to the first half of 2021 despite the number of visas issued rising slightly.
Investments from Chinese investors have fallen by more than 60 percent – from €51.7 million in the first half of 2021 to just €20.7 million in the first half of 2022.
Until the first half of 2022, Portugal had received a total investment of more than €6.41 billion from more than 10,900 golden visas issued since October 2012.
Why Are Americans Interested in Golden Visas?
The fall in demand from China – from 81 percent of all the visas issued in 2014 to just 16 percent in the first half of 2022 – can be explained by their government’s crackdown on foreign wealth transfers, difficulties arising out of the personal interview requirement for the golden visa, and the controversial decision to bar residential golden visa investments from Porto and Lisbon.
But it is the rise in American interest in the golden visa that is the most interesting development. The US taxes both American as well as foreign incomes of its citizens, which is why citizenship by investment programs have been popular among a section of wealthy Americans.
Interest in permanent residence by investment programs remained muted for a long time. The bitter political climate, worries about high inflation and economic recession, and even the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, seem to be contributing to a surge in interest in foreign residence options among Americans, at least among those who can afford golden visas.
Proposals Galore But No Changes to the Golden Visa Program
Always a controversial topic, there have been proposals galore suggesting changes to the Portugal program.
These range from outright termination of the program to creating a new investment option involving €250,000 in the agricultural, research and development, and tourism sectors.
So far, there have been no further changes after the government’s ruling that buying a home in Porto or Lisbon would no longer be treated as a valid golden visa investment.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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