Americans outpaced Chinese investors in the number of Portuguese Golden Visas
January 4, 2022
3 minutes read
According to the SEF (The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service), in November 2021 residence permits under the Portugal Golden Visa program were issued to 83 applicants and 109 of their relatives. During this month, foreigners have invested under this program about 46 700 000 EUR - almost as much as the previous month.
According to monthly calculations, since 2012 there were the most applicants from China. The exception was February 2020, when investors from Brazil were ahead. This November, the Chinese lost the lead for the second time as they were displaced by the Americans. According to SEF statistics, there were 20 approvals issued to applicants from the U.S., 19 from China and 10 from Brazil in November.
In total, Portuguese authorities approved 781 permits in November 2021, 256 of which were for Chinese, 87 for Americans, 59 for Brazilians, 55 for Russians, 29 for Turks and 28 for South Africans. Together with the investors the opportunity to immigrate under this program have more than a thousand members of their families. The percentage of recipients of the Golden Visa from the U.S. was 11.1% - almost twice as high as in 2020 (6.3%).
The growth in the number of applicants from the U.S. coincided with a decrease in the interest of Chinese citizens. In 2012-13, the Chinese investors amounted to 80% of the total number of applicants for a residence permit in Portugal under the Golden Visa program, while on October 31, 2021 it was only 33%.
Foreigners are more and more often giving preference to alternative options for investing their finances instead of buying real estate worth 500,000 EUR or more. In 2017, the share of alternative options of all investments was 11%, in 2021 it reached 39%. Investment funds have become very popular: from January to November 2021 25 000 000 EUR were invested in the Golden Visa fund, while in 2019 it was only 3 100 000 EUR.
The investment volume in 2021 is expected to be the lowest since 2013. One likely reason is delays in processing applications. As of October 30, the total amount invested was 419,000,000 EUR. For 2020, the figure was 647,000,000 EUR, and the highest was recorded in 2014 with 916,000,000 EUR.
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Author: Nataly Borshosh