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Investment via Portugal’s ‘golden visa’ programme falls sharply

Portugal’s property market remains relatively strong, but fewer investors from overseas are talking advantage of an innovative visa programme that enables foreign investors to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal.

The ‘golden visa’ programme launched by the Portuguese Authorities in October 2012 is a fast track for foreign investors to gain residency in Portugal and free access to the vast majority of European countries in the Schengen area. The programme is targeted at high-profile non-European Union citizens, allowing direct access to citizenship after only six years.

But the latest figures released by the Immigration Service (SEF) show that foreign direct investment attracted to Portugal through the government's ‘golden visa’ was down 18.7% in November from October, at €47.6m (£40m).


In November, 78 ‘golden visas’ were issued, of which 74 were for property purchases - the qualifying threshold for these being €500,000 (£420,700).

Since the scheme - one of the most successful across the EU - was introduced just over four years ago, it has brought in €2.48bn (£2.09bn) in investment by non-EU citizens.

Citizens of China are by far the largest group of beneficiaries, at 2,973 permits so far, followed by Brazil with 229, Russia with 143, South Africa with 130 and Lebanon with 70.

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    It's been nearly a year since i invested 500k Euro in a Lisbon property but still no signs of my Golden visa approval inclduing my family ..the process is still terribly slow with no help desk at SEF to check the visa status. I am now thinking about moving my investment somewhere else.


    It's been over two years from investment for us! I am also considering moving my investment...

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    You spent 500k in Portugal to wait for 2 years to receive your permit.
    Where you could spend 250k in Greece, receive your permit within 2 weeks, receive permanent residency from day one (no need to revisit) and apply for citizenship after 7 years.
    I don't get it.

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    Hi Panos, can you share more details about the program in Greece ? never seen info about permit in 2wks and residency from day-1.


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