Portugal’s permanent residence-by-investment program is seeing unparalleled interest after attracting investment of more than €570 million between January and the end of July 2016.
The amount represents a staggering 132 per cent increase on the same period of 2015, although the so-called ‘golden visa’ program faced some issues which saw numbers drop during that period.
Since a relaunch with new investment streams, the program is now seeing significant success and generating serious investment funds.
Figures from the Portugal immigration office show a total of 3,715 permits have been issued since the program went live in October 2012. In July 2016, some 106 permanent residence visas were issued, showing the ongoing popularity of the program.
Investment Requirements: Portugal Golden Residence Investor Program
Transfer of capital of minimum value of €1 million into Portugal including through purchase of shares in companies
Creation of at least 10 new positions in Portugal
Purchase of unencumbered real estate in Portugal of a minimum value of €350,000. Co-ownership or purchase of property through finance is permissible provided each individual makes a mandatory minimum investment of €350,000.
Investment of at least €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 €350,000 in R&D activities of institutions that are part of the national technological system.
Promotion of Culture
Investment of at least €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 €500,000 towards purchase of units of small-cap or mid-cap venture capital funds.
Investment in Low Population Areas
20 per cent reduction in minimum investments in the above-mentioned categories when investment is made in a low population-density area.
The vast majority of the visas issued have been for property. In July, 104 out of the 106 visa issued were for real estate investments.
Changes implemented in September 2015 have rejuvenated the program.
They included new investment options for buying older property, or a building in a designated regeneration area. There is also a scientific research investment option.
Existing investment classes include general real estate, capital transfer and job creation options.
These latest figures go against fears candidates for investment immigration programs could start turning their attention away from European countries like Portugal and towards the Caribbean, because of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
‘Brexit’ could mean the investment immigration programs run by the likes of Cyprus, Malta and Portugal may no longer be able to offer visa-free travel to the UK, one of their key benefits.
Portugal’s golden visa has been highlighted as one of the chief drivers behind Lisbon’s emergence from economic difficulties.
Global real estate agency Savills says the property market in the capital is thriving thanks to the success of the investor program.
The Savills report uses data up until 2015, pointing out that €1.56 billion of investment could be traced back to the 2,697 golden visas awarded under the program. The vast majority of those visas have gone to Chinese investors, accounting for 83 per cent of real estate acquisitions.
- Surge in Popularity of Portugal’s Golden Residence Investor Program
- Portugal’s $1.91b investment immigration success story
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