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35% of Portugal Golden Visa Applicants Have Chosen “Alternative” Investments in 2020

August 11, 2020

Portugal’s golden visa program raised EUR 56 million in July, a figure considerably below July 2019 (EUR 98m) but only slightly lower than the average monthly program investment for last year as a whole (EUR 62m). With five months left in 2020, Portugal’s total earnings so far this year amounts to EUR 439 million, only 6.7% less than the amount raised during the first seven months of 2019.

108 main applicants and 202 dependents received residence permits in July, of whom were 21 Chinese, 12 American, 9 Brazilians, 8 Vietnamese, and 7 Lebanese investors.

9,015 investors and 15,431 of their family members have received approvals since the program’s opening in late 2012. While, on a cumulative basis, the Chinese remain the largest single applicant cohort, their share of the program has been diluted from a peak of 82% just four years ago to roughly half today.

For 2020 considered in isolation, the Chinese have only accounted for 23% of all applicants, while the “other” category (those applicants not belonging to any of the top-5 applicant countries) has grown to more than half of the total.

The Portuguese golden visa is diversifying on more than just the applicant-nationality dimension; the categories of investment (there are eight available routes to ARI, two of which have never been chosen) that applicants select are becoming more varied as well. Whereas nine in ten applicants opted for the EUR 500,000 real estate investment during the program’s first six years, this share has dropped to just 65% in 2020 (but 72% when measured in total investment, due to its higher minimum requirement).

The EUR 350,000 “fixer-upper” property option is increasingly displacing the conventional real estate route. 28% of investors have chosen this option so far in 2020, a share that has risen steadily each month.

The strongest growth, in relative terms, is taking place in the EUR 350,000 Venture Capital/Investment Fund category, which so far this year has attracted 28 investors compared to the seven it attracted during the whole of last year.

More Intel & Data

The number of investors choosing the EUR 350,000 Investment Fund option is up 400% since last year, even with five months left in 2020.

Presuming an average family size of three and investment of US$250,000, the program will have raised in excess of US$3.6 billion in FY2019.

Once first among its European equals, Latvia’s golden visa has languished since 2014. 93% of the program’s total FDI stems from before 2016.


Want to know more about the Portuguese golden visa program? To see recent articles, statistics, official links, and more, visit its Program Page. To see which firms can assist with applications to the program, visit the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.

Properties that can qualify the buyer for residence permits in Portugal:

See more properties that come with residence/citizenship opportunities in IMI Real Estate.

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