Golden Visa investment soars 60% to €73.6 million

 In News

Investment netted through Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme increased 60% to €73.6 million in May like-for-like on the same month in 2017.


According to Portugal’s immigration office SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) investment in the Government’s Authorisation for Residency for Investment Activity (ARI) reached €73,637,544, an increase of 60% in like-for-like terms on the €45,869,824 for May 2017.

However, one in 10 applications for Golden Visas were turned down so far this year after the OEDC and Financial Action Group warned of the risks of selling residency permits warning of a “time-bomb” in terms of transparency and integrity.

There was a 15.7% increase on April while the total amount attracted from property purchases was €67,024,318.92. In May 120 Golden Visas were granted of which 114 were through property acquisition. Twelve were conceded the purchase of property for urban rehabilitation.

Capital transfer was only responsible for the attribution of six golden visas.

In the first five months of the year, total investment from Golden Visas climbed to €431,179,769.64, which corresponds to a fall of 22.6% on the first five months of 2017 (€557,196,055,93).

Since the Golden Visa scheme was created in 2012, 6,279 golden visas have been granted: two in 2012, 494 in 2013, 1,526 in 2014, 766 in 2015, 1,414 in 2016, 1,351 in 2017 and 726 in 2018.

In accumulated terms, 5,930 visas have been issued through property investment since the scheme’s inception and 11 from setting up a business.

China heads the list of Golden Visas issued (3,854 to May), followed by Brazil (553), South Africa (246), Russia (219) and Turkey (213).

The Golden Visa scheme in Portugal while successful has been harshly criticised as not contributing towards either job creation or company setups. Many of those buying property in order to gain the visa do not stay in the country and contribute in any meaningful way once the initial investment in property has been made.

Criticisms have also been levelled at the background checks to verify the honesty and transparency of the business activities of applicants and the source of their capital investment with warnings on the risks of tax evasion and capital laundering.