Chinese citizens top applications for the Portuguese Golden Visa 06/09/2018

According to the Portuguese Immigration Authority (SEF), the average investor applicant for the Golden Visa spends 585,729 euros to purchase properties. As the required minimum amount is only half a million euros in the capital and 350,000 euros in the countryside, the applicants seem to prefer to invest higher amounts.

The Portuguese Golden Visa is one of the most popular residency by investment programmes in the European Union. It was the leading option for several years, but from 2017, the Greek Golden Visa took over. Meanwhile, the Portuguese government cut the red tape and introduced several new opportunities to attract more investors from the third countries.

Until the end of August 2018, the residents invested 3,596,964,084 euros only through the real estate option. The 47 successful applicants in August spent 26,1 million euros, which means that the average amount of their spendings is 555,000 euros.

Since 2012, when the government introduced the Portuguese Golden Visa programme, 94% of the applicants preferred the real estate option, and 60% of the successful applicants arrived from China.

According to the regular transparency report of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), they received 3,890 golden visa applications from Chinese nationals, followed by Brazilians (561) and South Africans (254) since 2012. The total investment in the EU Member State by citizens of Chinese candidates reached €2.06bn until the end of 2017, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística.

Brazilians spent 400 million euros between 2013 and 2017, and South Africans bought the properties for 140 million euros.

The success of the Golden Visa Programme contributed to the significant increase of foreign residents in Portugal. The number of foreign-born residents has doubled since 2000, from a little bit more than 200,000 to 416,000.

The main benefit of the programme is clear now, it boosted the property market and helped it to recover from the crisis. In the Southern seasides, Algarve witnessed a year-on-year rise of 6.5% in prime property prices in 2017. In the capital, real estate prices are now 24% above the market bottom (2012).

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