Coronavirus infects Portugal’s Golden Visa programme

 In News

China’s lockdown over the Coronavirus has adversely affected applications for Portugal’s Golden Visa programme.

The number of Authorisations of Residency for Investment fell 50% in February in which only three were issued.
The fall of 50% is also down to the restrictions approved by the Portuguese Parliament on issuing Golden Visas in Lisbon and Porto, but also the Chinese New Year celebrations and the Coronavirus outbreak which is paralysing the Chinese economy.
Hugo Santos Ferreira, the Vice-President of the Portuguese Association for Developers and Real Estate Investors (APPII) says, “The Government’s actual announcement (to restrict Golden Visas to areas outside Lisbon and Porto) has in itself put off a number of investors from investing in Portugal” and said he wasn’t surprised by the fall in numbers fearing that if the Government continued its policy it would spell the end of the programme created in 2012 to attract overseas investment.
The eight Authorisations of Residency for Investment (ARI) issued in February compare to the 17 granted to Chinese citizens the month before which brought in €4.7 million according to data from SEF, the Portuguese borders and immigration service.
In February the Chinese were overtaken by the Brazilians with SEF issuing 15 visas to Brazilian citizens.
However, it is the travel restrictive effects of COVID19 in China that explain the downturn in Chinese applications and the Government’s decision to change the rules over the issuing of the visas to applicants who apply via property purchases in the interior regions which explain the overall downtick in applications.
In total, 70 Golden Visas were issued in February, 11 less than in January. Brazil led the way with 15, followed by China (8), Turkey (seven), South Africa (five) and Lebanon (four).
The total amount of cash netted by the Government from these Golden Visas was €46.2 million and of all the ARIs issued, 91% (64) were granted from the acquisition of property from a total of €39.2 million.