The Portugal Golden Visa has seen a surge in popularity at the start of 2018, as one of the world’s most popular investment immigration program continues its success.
The program, credited with a significant contribution to the EU nation’s economic turnaround, saw a month-on-month investment increase of 226 per cent in January 2018.
The month saw nearly €100 million in investment pumped into the program, compared with €30.4 million in December 2017. Although the number is healthy, it still represents a decrease on the same month in 2017, when €141.5 million in investment was received.
Chinese candidates drive the success of the program, which includes EU residences as a key benefit.
A breakdown of distribution of investment across the different asset classes available under the investment immigration program shows that real estate purchases are preferred by wealthy foreign investors.
Investment Requirements: Portugal Golden Residence Permit
|Capital Investment||Transfer of capital of minimum value of EUR 1 million into Portugal including through purchase of shares of companies|
|Job Creation||Creation of at least ten job positions in Portugal|
|Real Estate||Purchase of unencumbered real estate in Portugal of a minimum value of EUR 500,000.|
Co-ownership or purchase of property through finance is permissible provided each individual makes a mandatory minimum investment of EUR 350,000.
|Urban Rehabilitation||Investment of at least EUR 350,000 in constructed 30 years ago or investment for rehabilitation of properties located in Urban Rehabilitation Areas|
|Scientific Research and Development||Investment of at least EUR 350,000 in R&D activities of institutions that are part of the national technological system.|
|Promotion of Culture||Investment of at least EUR 250,000 towards financing of bodies pursuing cultural or artistic activities or towards renovation or maintenance of cultural heritage.|
|Small Cap and Mid Cap Finance||Investment of at least EUR 350,000 towards purchase of units of small-cap or mid-cap venture capital funds.|
|Business Creation or Investment||Investment of at least EUR 350,000 in a new commercial activity creating at least 5 jobs, or in an existing commercial activity to create or maintain at east 5 jobs.|
|Investment in Low Population Areas||20% reduction in minimum investments in the above-mentioned categories when investment is made in a low population density area.|
This reduction is not available to investors contributing EUR 1 million or more and investors opting for Small and Mid Cap Finance category of the Golden Visa program.
Of the $99 million inflow, more than €90 million was invested in property. The remaining €9.13 million was invested in commercial enterprises in Portugal through the capital transfer option.
With the real estate market yet to fully recover from the slump caused by the recent economic crisis, it is attractive for investors prepared to take a calculated risk. That buying a home makes it easier for the investor to remain in Portugal is an added advantage.
A total of 164 visas were issued in January 2018 out of which 154 were against real estate investments. Nine visas were issued to those investing in commercial enterprises, while one visa was issued to an investor who contributed to the creation of at least ten jobs in the country.
Cumulative data calculated since the time the Golden Visa was introduced in October 2012 shows that the country has received a total foreign investment of €3.51 billion.
Chinese investors dominated the program, drawing 3,645 visas as of January 2018. Other popular nationalities include Brazilians (393), South Africans (228), Russians (200) and Turkish candidates (131).
Russia was once ranked second after China but has been overtaken by Brazil and South Africa, showing the appetite for investment programs in different countries.
Turkey is a new addition to the list, an indication of the desire of elite Turkish nationals to secure protection from political instability.
The program requires physical presence for just seven days per year and offers the opportunity of applying for Portuguese, and consequently EU, citizenship after six years of permanent residence.
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