Number of Americans Getting Portugal Golden Visas on Track to Double in 2022

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Portugal’s golden visa raised EUR 44.3 million from 83 main applicants and 111 of their family members in October, figures released by the SEF this week show. The numbers represent a 31% drop compared to September but fall only 4.5% short of the same month last year.

Aggregate approvals for the year now stand at 1,009 main applicants, implying Portugal will issue about 1,200 golden visas in 2022, which would make for about a 40% expansion compared to 2021. Already in the first 10 months of 2022, the SEF had approved 17% more golden visas than in all of last year.

In terms of total FDI, however, because applicants are increasingly investing in lower-cost options such as the EUR 280,000 real estate option, program investment in the year to October is only 10% ahead of last year's total. Note also that October saw one applicant qualify by way of a EUR 200,000 contribution to "Cultural Heritage", one of only five applicants to ever opt for this qualifying route.

With 15 approvals, Chinese were the top investor nationality in October (a title they have now claimed for three consecutive months), followed by Americans (12 approvals), Brazilians (11), South Africans (9), and Indians (5).

During the first half of this year, tendencies hinted at Americans becoming the top investor group in 2022 and become the first nationality to supplant China at the top. Recent months, however, show the two nationalities neck-and-neck; so far in 2022, 174 Americans and 175 Chinese have received golden visas. The trend now leans toward the Chinese becoming the program's top applicant group also in 2022, as they have been in all preceding years.

The trend reversal is due to a rebound in Chinese demand rather than a decline in American interest: In absolute terms, Portugal is poised to double the number of golden visas issued to Americans in 2022 compared to last year.

The investment fund option's popularity, as we've observed in the past, appears to wax and wane in lockstep with the volume of American applicants, who, anecdotally, are more disposed to choosing this asset class than other nationalities, who overwhelmingly favor real estate.

Find dozens of graphs and charts on the Portuguese golden visa and hundreds of graphs on more than 30 other investment migration programs in the IMI Data Center.