March 25, 2024

Chinese interest in Golden Visa highest since 2016

From the time Portugal opened its Golden Visa program in 2012 up until the end of 2016, Chinese applicants accounted for an absolute majority of golden visas in Portugal, reaching a peak of 81% of the total in 2014; and dropping every year since then. In 2020, only one in four investors came from China.

Q1 of 2021 is different, however, with Portugal witnessing a significant rebound; 44% of approved applicants so far in 2021 were from China.

The SEF approved 81 new main applicants and 117 of their family members in March, a slight decline from the 100 main applicants approved in February but a notable improvement on the 55 approvals recorded during the same month last year.

The five biggest sources of golden visa investment over the last month were:

  • Chinese (31 main applicant approvals)
  • Brazilians (6)
  • Americans (6)
  • Turks (5)
  • Russians (4)

Americans, notably, have featured in the top five during each of the last nine monthly reports, with the exception of December, and are quickly becoming a regular fixture on that list.

The program saw capital inflows amounting to nearly EUR 40 million in March, down from EUR 52 million in February. About two-thirds of that FDI were real estate purchase focused, with fund options accounting for some 23% of March investments.

Published: 8 April 2021