For foreign investors looking to obtain a golden visa, Portugal’s programme has proved to be a very successful option. The inflow of funds into the country via the Portugal Golden Visa programme has seen a major jump in 2016 with a rise of 87.5% to a €874 million.

The jump in investment funds in 2016 was €874,444,320.10, in comparison with the previous year which brought in €466,259,797.63 according to the Residence Authorizations for Investment (ARI). There were a total of 1,414 Golden Visas for Portugal issued making 2016 a very successful year for the programme.

December 2016 saw the biggest increase in funds, with €87,482,100.72 worth of investments in Portugal which rose 83.8% from November’s €47,597,866.42 total. The majority of income was via property purchase in Portugal (which needs to be over €500,000) and €10.4 million came in from capital transfer. In December, 141 Portugal residency permits were issued, 131 for purchase of property and 10 of those for investments related to capital transfer.

Of the 131 property purchase Portugal golden visas, four were obtained via urban rehabilitation projects, a lower cost qualifying option (€250,000) introduced in 2015. This newly introduced investment method was put into effect in September 2015, allowing investors to invest in low income or urban projects at a lower cost while still qualifying for a Golden Visa for Portugal.

Since its start at the end of 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa programme has seen a total, cumulative inflow of €2.567 billion, most of which (€2.316 billion) came through purchase of property. Capital Transfer also brought in a decent amount and has totaled €251 million.

So where have most of the investments been made from? The majority of investments have been made by Chinese nationals with 3,050 Portugal Golden Visas to date. They are followed by Brazil with 247 visas, Russia with 148, South Africa 137, and Lebanon with 72. Plus, under the family reunification part of the golden visa scheme, another 6,637 Portugal residency permits have been issued to investors’ family members.

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