EuropeIntel & Data

Portugal Approves 12,000th Golden Visa as Total Investment Approaches EUR 7 Billion


In April, Portugal approved golden visas for 116 main applicants and 167 of their family members on the basis of investments totaling EUR 63.3 million. With 28 approvals, the top nationality among those approved in April (who filed their applications in 2022 and 2021) were Americans, followed by Chinese at 15, British at 14, and South Africans and Lebanese at seven each.

502 investors have received golden visa investors in 2023, indicating the program is on track to approve more than 1,500 applications this year.

The leading investment option so far in 2023 is renovation properties, which accounts for 37.5% of all approvals and 27% of investments in euro terms. Conventional real estate investment (subparagraph 3, which has a minimum investment requirement of EUR 500,000) has made up 35% of approvals but 50% of the FDI.

The fund investment option, meanwhile, continues its inexorable rise and, at the end of the fourth month of the year, had already garnered 124 approvals, pointing to another record-breaking year for this category.

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Brexit's effects on UK demand for Portuguese golden visas have become increasingly prominent in recent months. British investors have now appeared in the monthly top-five nationalities list for six of the last eight months, indicating this will become a nationality to reckon with in the years to come.

The trend mirrors what we began to observe among Americans in 2020. In 2022, US investors became the top approved nationality, the first time any nationality other than Chinese had held that spot. So far in 2023, US investors account for about one in five approvals, well ahead of the Chinese, who represent 14.3% of the total this year.

Thanks to their historical dominance of the program, however, Chinese nationals remain the program's largest participant nationality on a cumulative basis, as the recipients of 44% of all golden visas issued since the program opened in 2012.

Cumulative investment in the program is now just five million euros shy of EUR 7 billion. Some EUR 6.2 billion of that has taken the form of direct real estate investment, while most of the fund investments (not technically real estate investment) have also accrued to the property sector.

If you like data-driven articles like this one, you'll love the IMI Data Center, the world's largest collection of investment migration statistics, with more than 350 graphs and charts on dozens of IM programs and markets.

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