Golden Visa approvals hit 2-year low

 In Golden Visa, Investment, Investment Visas, News

August saw the lowest number of Golden Visas issued by the Portuguese government in return for investment in two years as the programme comes to and end.

Only 64 visas were approved, the lowest number since August 2021, partly because so many civil servants who normally issue them from the borders and immigration office SEF were on their annual summer vacations.
It served to only increase the massive backlog of 8,000 unprocessed applications with SEF only processing 1% of the backlog.
Of those small investors who did get their approvals, 12 were American (the largest group) that has consistently been so throughout 2023, except for February.
Chinese investors accounted for 9 approvals, Brazilians 8, Russians 6, Turks 5, and South Africans 2.
Strangely, the Portuguese government had made a public point of excluding Russians from the programme in 2022, but it is unclear if the 6 visas processed were part of the backlog from before the invasion of Ukraine or the government has changed its policy.
By the end of August, Americans had received nearly as many golden visas as during the whole of 2022, accounting for 20% of all approved applications so far in 2023.
Americans are likely to become the programme’s main applicants for the second year running, going from 65 in 2019, 75 in 2020,102 in 2021, 216 last year and 204 to August this year.
So far this year, Portugal has approved 1,026 applicants and 1,432 of their family members worth €461 million.
The programme, which largely attracted property investment, will terminate by the end of this month or next month in its current form when the only investment option available will be investments in funds. This year €108 million has been invested via this option — a significant increase on 2022 when it was €86 million.