The Golden Visa program in Portugal has been gaining traction for years due to its attractiveness to investors from all over the world. The program offers citizenship in exchange for investments in various sectors of the Portuguese economy, giving foreigners the opportunity to benefit from the many advantages of being a European Union citizen, including visa-free travel throughout the EU.
Recent data has shown that investor interest in the program has doubled in March year-on-year, reaching €784 million in the first quarter of 2021. The majority of these investments were made in real estate, especially in urban rehabilitation projects. Property acquisitions accounted for €572 million of the investments made through the program in the first quarter, of which €237 million were spent on urban revitalization projects, according to data from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service.
A major attraction of the Golden Visa program is the ability to bring family with the investor to Portugal, with the number of family visas granted growing each month. In March, 262 visas were granted to grouped family members, compared to 209 in February and 153 in January, totalling 624 in the first quarter. The Portuguese government has made it clear that the program is designed to increase public revenue and support its urban regeneration plan.
The attractiveness of the Golden Visa program in Portugal is evidenced by the fact that it has attracted more than €6.9 billion in investments since its creation in 2012. In this period, over 11,921 ARIs were granted, including 5,304 to China, 1,198 to Brazil, 607 to the United States, 568 to Turkey and 525 to South Africa. From a cumulative perspective, property acquisitions totaled €6.17 billion, with €586.2 million being spent on urban rehabilitation projects. Capital transfers accounted for €755.9 million out of a total of 1,025 Golden Visas awarded.
In March, the United States surpassed China as the country with the highest number of Golden Visas obtained, with 28 visas granted to US citizens compared to 23 visas granted to Chinese citizens. The United Kingdom came in third, with 16 Golden Visas granted, followed by Brazil and South Africa with 11 each. Notably, there were no visas granted via job creation.
The Golden Visa program in Portugal offers investors a secure investment opportunity in a stable EU member state, along with a host of other benefits. It is also noteworthy that the program offers an exit strategy for investors, allowing them to sell their properties after five years and retain their residency status. Additionally, Portugal’s non-habitual resident program offers tax benefits for foreigners who reside in Portugal for more than six months out of the year.
In summary, the program’s attractiveness to investors from all over the world shows no signs of waning. The Portuguese government has made it clear that it remains committed to supporting the program and leveraging it to increase investments in the country while simultaneously revitalizing urban areas. Overall, the Golden Visa program is a win-win for all parties involved: investors can benefit from a stable investment opportunity, while Portugal can benefit from increased investments and urban regeneration projects.