Portugal nets EUR 460.8 million from ‘Golden Visas’ in 2021, with Chinese requests leading


Investment in Portugal´s ‘golden visa’ scheme totalled EUR 460.8 million last year, and over EUR 6 billion since it was created, with Chinese nationals leading requests.

Compared to 2020, investment in permits fell 28.7% in 2021, the last year before changes to the scheme exclude major cities as real estate acquisition destinations.

In December, 84 golden permits were granted, 71 of which were for the purchase of real estate (35 for urban rehabilitation) and 13 via capital transfers. Investment captured through golden residence permits increased 52% in December, compared to the same period in 2020, to EUR 42.1 million, according to data from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

Chinese nationals lead demand for Portugal´s ‘golden visa’ scheme

In the last month of 2021, , 14 golden permits were granted to Chinese nationals, 13 to United States nationals, 11 to Brazilian, 10 to Russian and four to the United Kingdom.

Last year 865 ‘gold’ permits were granted, of which 55 in January, 100 in February, 73 in March, 98 in April, 52 in May, 67 in June, 41 in July, 64 in August, 61 in September, 87 in October, 83 in November and 84 in December.

Since the ARI concession programme was launched in October 2012, more than EUR 6 billion has been raised through this instrument. Of this amount, most correspond to the purchase of real estate, which totalled EUR 5.5 billion until December, and the acquisition for urban rehabilitation amounted to EUR 362.5 million.The investment resulting from the capital transfer wass EUR 592.6 million.

Portugal Golden Visa Scheme to Remain Attractive Despite Changes, Experts Say

Since the creation of this instrument, which aims to attract foreign investment, 10,254 permits have been assigned: two in 2012, 494 in 2013, 1,526 in 2014, 766 in 2015, 1,414 in 2016, 1,351 in 2017, 1,409 in 2018, 1,245 in 2019, 1,182 in 2020 and 865 in 2021.

In over nine years, 9,585 permits have been granted by way of purchase of real estate, of which 1,009 with a view to urban rehabilitation. There were 649 permits granted for capital transfers and 20 for job creation.

Since the beginning of the programme, 17,221 residence permits have been granted to regrouped families, of which 1,171 in 2021.


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