Residence permit in Portugal: what the program participants most often invest in 2021

March 9, 2021
Residence permit by investment: programme statistics for January-February 2021
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370 people received a residence permit in Portugal by investment in January and February 2021. The programme generated about 90 million euros in two months. We tell you what investors invested in most often and whether the programme is in demand among wealthy Russians.

Statistics on the residence permit investment programme are published monthly by the Portuguese Migration Service. It takes into account the number of residence permit cards issued, the volume of different investment options and the country of nationality of the investors.

The number of residence permit cards issued fell by 14% compared to the pre-crisis results for January-February 2020. But if we compare January and February 2021 with each other, 82% more investor applications were approved in February. And in annual terms, 43% more investors received a residence permit than in February 2020.

Number of programme participants in January and February 2020 and 2021

The income from the programme for the two months of 2021 amounted to about 90 million euros. Of this, €66.9 million is accounted for by the option to buy any property for an amount of €500,000 or more. Buying buildings for renovation is the second most popular with investors.

66.9 million euros

invested by investors in real estate in Portugal

The high liquidity of Portuguese properties explains the demand for property investments. Property prices in major cities and resorts are rising by 7-10% a year and rental prices by 3-5% a year.

In February 2021 demand doubled for alternative investment options: transferring capital to Portugal, buying units in investment funds and investing in local businesses.

Not a single investor chose the option of funding research and cultural projects. The option to register a company in Portugal and create 10 new jobs for Portuguese nationals was also unsolicited.

Investment by programme option, in mln €

Citizenship of investors. Chinese nationals received the most “golden visas” in January and February 2021. The Portuguese Immigration Service approved 73 applications from Chinese investors.

Russians ranked fourth in the number of participants in the programme. During two months of 2021, 7 investors from Russia have received a residence permit in Portugal. For comparison in the whole of 2020 63 Russian investors have become Portuguese residents. We told about it in the article “Statistics of the residence permit program in Portugal in 2020”.

Top 6 countries whose nationals obtained residence permits in Portugal in January-February 2021

How demand for residence permits in Portugal will change in 2021

Expert analysts of Immigrant Invest’s investment programmes believe that demand for the programme will grow for two reasons.

The conditions of the programme will change in 2022. The new rules will limit the choice of properties to participate in the programme. Investors will only be able to buy inland, Madeira and the Azores. There will also be a 1.5 times increase in the minimum investment amount for four of the programme’s eight options.

We explained the forthcoming changes in the article “Changes to Portugal’s golden visa law”.

Investors would prefer to buy a property before prices rise. In February 2021, experts from the international consultancy DBRS Morningstar confirmed Portugal’s credit rating at BBB (high). They predict the stable growth of the country’s economy.

The European Commission also believes that Portugal will recover from the effects of the pandemic in the next two years. The country’s GDP is forecast to grow by 4.1% in 2021 and another 4.3% in 2022. We reported on this in the article “European Commission forecast: the growth of regional economies in 2021”.

Along with the economy, real estate prices will begin to rise. When Portugal opens the border for foreigners, investors will be able to come to the country to choose objects and to conclude deals. Therefore, real estate experts Immigrant Invest recommend not to put off buying properties until the second half of 2021.

While the old rules are in force, participants in the programme can buy a residential property in major cities and resorts in Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, Cascais and Faro. With the resumption of tourism, property prices and rental prices in these regions will rise rapidly. It is therefore a good time to buy a property and apply for a residence permit.

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing a property: example of a residential complex in Lisbon

Apartments, villas and townhouses in a residential complex in Lisbon.
Price - from €315,000

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing a property: example of a flat in Lisbon

Renovation project studio in the historic centre of Lisbon.
Price from €350,000

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing a property: an example of a villa in Setubal

Villa with guest house and private swimming pool in a prestigious area of Setubal.
Price - € 650, 000

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing a property: example of a residential complex in Lisbon
Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing a property: example of a flat in Lisbon
Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing a property: an example of a villa in Setubal

It takes two to six months to participate in Portugal’s investment programme. As long as the residence card is valid, the investor has the right to live, work and conduct business and study in the country. Portuguese residents can also travel visa-free to Schengen countries.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the residence permit programme in Portugal. If you want to become a resident of an EU country before the conditions change, seek advice from the experts of the investment programmes.

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