Portugal or Spain? In what country is more profitable to issue a residence permit in 2021

April 12, 2021
Residence permits by investment: Statistics on Portugal and Spain's programs
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Investors study information about a country’s economy before choosing an investment option. After all, the amount invested, the processing time, and the return on investment are important factors. Consider the two most popular European programs – residence permits in Portugal and Spain.

In 2020, Portugal issued 1.5 times more residence permits than Spain: 1,182 investors received a residence permit in Portugal and 845 – in Spain.

In the second half of 2020, the number of applications for residence permits in Spain fell by 76% compared to the first half. The difference in the number of approved applications is due to a more rigorous selection of investors in the second half of the year. At the beginning of the year, the Spanish department processed applications in a hurry because of the extra paperwork on pandemic cases. Therefore, it may have overlooked investors who did not submit a complete set of documents, according to Imi Daily.

Chinese citizens are in first place among all program participants. Russian citizens are in second place: 170 applications from Russians were approved in Spain for 2020 and 63 applications in Portugal.

Number of approved applications for residence permits in Portugal and Spain in 2020

Residence permits by investment in the European Union: the number of participants in the programs of Portugal and Spain

What influenced the demand for residence permits in Portugal and Spain in 2020

The number of approved applications for residence permits in Portugal decreased slightly compared to 2019. The Department approved only 5% fewer applications in 2020. Spain, on the other hand, approved about third fewer applications in 2020 than in 2019, a decrease of 577 investors.

The programs’ results were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the programs, investors travel in-person to Portugal and Spain to submit biometric data. Also, the program participants who want to invest in real estate, prefer to personally inspect the objects. But because of restrictions and closed borders, many investors were not able to come.

Which option was most often chosen by investors in 2020

91% of investors have bought real estate in order to obtain a residence permit in Portugal. The purchase of real estate is traditionally in high demand among investors. The participant of the program chooses between two options: the purchase of any property for the amount of € 500,000 or a historic building under restoration for the amount of 350,000.

Investors most often buy real estate in Lisbon, Porto and the resort cities of Portugal. But from July 1, 2021, the terms of the program will change – investors will not be able to buy real estate on the option of € 500,000 in these cities.

The Portuguese government wants to redistribute investment and attract more investment in government bonds, science and culture. We told about the future changes in the article: “Real estate in Porto and Lisbon will be excluded from the residence permit program in Portugal”.

Buying real estate is also the most popular option under the residence permit program in Spain. Real estate remains a liquid asset. Property prices in Spain are rising every year at an average of 4%.

The economy is gradually recovering from the crisis against the backdrop of a pandemic, and with it, the prices of all investments will grow: real estate, securities, business. While the economy is just beginning to recover, investors are acquiring better facilities at a lower cost.

Examples of real estate under the residence permit program in Portugal

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: real estate that you can buy under the program

Apartments with 1-3 bedrooms in a residential complex in Lisbon, Portugal.
The cost - from €500,000. The investor can live in the apartment or rent it out and get 4% income per annum

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: real estate that you can buy under the program

A tanhouse of 156 m² in a new residential complex on the banks of the river in Lagoa, Portugal.
Price - from € 475,000

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: real estate that you can buy under the program

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Évora, Portugal. Investors can buy a share in the hotel.
The value of the share starts at €280,000

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: real estate that you can buy under the program
Residence permit in Portugal by investment: real estate that you can buy under the program
Residence permit in Portugal by investment: real estate that you can buy under the program

How to get a residence permit in Portugal and Spain in 2021

It is possible to get a temporary residence permit in Portugal and Spain by naturalization, employment contract or study. But the fastest way is by investment.

From 350 000 €

From 500 000 €

The governments of Portugal and Spain offer investors several options to choose from in order to obtain a temporary residence permit.

Investment options under residence permit programs in Portugal and Spain

Country Investment options
Portugal
  • Buying real estate.
  • Deposit in a Portuguese bank.
  • Buying government stocks.
  • Purchase of units in investment funds.
  • Investment in scientific activities.
  • Investment in culture.
  • Creation of a company with headquarters in Portugal and 5 jobs.
  • Opening a business and creating at least 10 jobs.
Spain
  • Buying real estate.
  • Deposit in a Spanish bank.
  • Buying government bonds.
  • Starting a business.

Passport registration takes from two months in both countries. Together with the investor can get a residence permit for his family members. Portugal and Spain are members of the European Union, so their residents are free to travel in the Schengen area.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of residence permit programs in Portugal and Spain. If you want to move to Portugal or Spain and travel to Schengen countries without visas, seek advice from investment programs experts.

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