Portugal investment through the ‘Golden Visa’ residency program continues to grow apace as overseas property investors from outside the European Union flock to the country.
Attracted by the sunshine and favourable tax system, overseas property investors ploughed 52.8 million euros (61.8 million U.S. dollars) in Portugal investment in June, representing a 34.6 per cent year-on-year increase from the previous June.
Of the total Portugal investment by foreigners in June, the vast bulk was again through property purchases, reaching 49.75 million euros (58.2 million dollars), while capital transfers totalled just under 3.1 million euros (3.6 million dollars).
According to the Foreigners and Borders Service, there were 90 Residence Authorization for Investment (ARIs) issued in June, of which 87 were for property purchases. Of these, four were granted for urban rehabilitation, in which less money was invested.
ARIs are available to non-European Union residents who either buy real estate in Portugal worth 500,000 euros (585,000 dollars), or 350,000 euros (409,000 dollars) if the property is 30 years old or make a capital transfer of 1 million euros (1.2 million dollars), less if certain cultural or commercial investment criteria is fulfilled.
Once an ARI for residency has been issued the recipient can then apply for Portuguese citizenship after six years, giving access to the whole of the European Union through the Schengen agreement.
Portugal investment through the ‘Golden Visa’ program has been particularly popular with Chinese investors, responsible for over half (3,890) of the 6,369 permits issued since the program was put into place in 2012.
That is followed by Brazil with 561, South Africa with 254, Turkey with 224 and Russia with 222.
With the planned Brexit for the UK to leave the European Union, many British overseas property investors are also looking into residency programs in case needed, and the Portuguese Golden Visa seems to be one of the best.