EuropeIntel & Data

Portugal Golden Visa Eyes Record Year as Approvals in 2023 Already Approach 1,000

101 main applicants and 169 of their family members received their Portugal golden visa approvals in July. That represents a 44% decrease compared to the preceding month but a 26% increase compared to the same month last year.

The approvals pertain to investments worth EUR 57.2 million, of which EUR 33.2 million correspond to conventional real estate, EUR 7.9 million to renovation real estate, EUR 13 million to fund investment, and EUR 3.2 million to capital deposits.

The top nationality among approved investors in July was, once again, Americans at 16 approvals, followed by Filipinos at 13, British (10), Brazilians (9), and South Africans (9).

British nationals have now featured in the monthly top five nationalities list for 9 of the last 11 months.

Americans have steadily kept growing their share of the program. So far in 2023, one in five investors have been American.

Chinese investors, by contrast, have seen their share of the program drop sharply from the early days. In 2023, their golden visa participation has reached a record low of just 13%.

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On a cumulative basis, however, the Chinese remain the top nationality group with 43% of the total. While Americans broke into the all-time top 5 only in 2022, they quickly surpassed both Turks and South Africans in 2023 to break into the all-time top 3, now only behind the Chinese and the Brazilians.

In 2023, the qualifying investment options clients choose are split roughly into three camps: Conventional real estate, renovation real estate, and funds. The fund investment option has been growing consistently since 2019, and considering the new version of the program is slated to cut out real estate altogether, funds will become the top investment class before long.

In fact, the fund investment option is on track to roughly double in absolute terms - both in regarding euros invested and applicants approved - this year.

The rise of the fund investment option also appears to play a role in reversing the average per-applicant investment amount, which had been declining since 2018 and only bottomed out in January this year at EUR 425,000.

The program as a whole also looks destined for a record year in terms of approval volume: By the end of the 7th month of 2023, the SEF had approved 962 golden visas, significantly more than the 865 approved in all of 2021. If approvals continue apace, Portugal will approve some 1,650 applications in 2023, a new record.

The program is unlikely, however, to see a record year when measured in euros, thanks to the now-lower average investment amounts.

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