US applicants succeed in doubling applications for Golden Visa Portugal

The Golden Visa Portugal remains to be the most popular European citizenship by investment program for non-European Union nationals. The five-year residency program grants the investor and his family the right to live, work and study in Portugal and allows for free movement in Europe’s Schengen area.

According to the SEF or the Portuguese Immigration Service, the Golden Visa Portugal earned 44.3 million from 83 applicants, and 111 of their family members in October 2022. It is expected that Portugal will issue 1,200 to 1,300 golden visas by the end of 2022.

Golden Visa Portugal trends

Chinese are still the top investor in terms of nationality, followed closely by the Americans, then the Brazilians, South Africans and Indians. However, the numbers show that the Americans may become the top investor group by the end of 2022, aided in part by the blanket ban on Russian applications. Americans have invested 70% more in the Portugal Golden Visa compared to 2019. One in five golden visa applicants this year have been Americans, a rate that has doubled in each of the last two years. Should the trend continue, Portugal is poised to double the number of golden visas issued to Americans in 2022.

Property acquisition is still the favored investment although most funds are going to properties that are 30 years or older, and in need of renovation, which only requires a €280,000 investment. So far, 42% of the total investments made in 2022 have been in this category, being now the single largest investment category according to the number of applications.

The €500,000 property acquisition option is seen to shrink in 2023 due to the changes that the Portuguese government has announced. Properties in Lisbon, Porto and other urban areas are no longer investment options.    

The investment fund option remains the next fastest growing investment category despite the change in the minimum amounts required. The mid-year SEF approvals for this type of investment increased by more than 50% since last year.

Portugal is popular among foreign investors for many reasons. It has been ranked the 6th safest country in the world according to the 2022 Global Peace Index, ranked number one as the best travel destination in Europe, ranked 5th in the world as having the world’s most powerful passport and is ranked 6th as being one of the cheapest countries in Europe.