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09 January, 2023

Statistics of Portugal residence permit program: what applicants invested in 2022

The Portuguese Immigration and Border Service, or SEF, has published the residence permit program statistics for December 2022: 151 investors received a residence permit in the country. Together with investors, 192 members of their families received residence permit cards.

Portugal earned about 79,2 million euros on the investment program in December and about 654,3 million euros over the year. We share details: investors from which countries received the most residence permit cards and what they invested in 2022.

Portugal residence permit by investment
Photo: Adobe Stock

The Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most popular investment residence permit programs in the European Union. Within 10 years of the program’s existence, from October 2012 to December 2022, 30,344 foreigners received residence permit cards: 11,535 of them were investors, and 18,809 were their family members.

To obtain a Portugal residence permit in Portugal, program participants can choose from eight investment options:

  • purchase of a real estate property — €500,000 or more;
  • investment in a renovation of a property older than 30 years — €350,000 or more;
  • transfer of capital starting from €1,500,000;
  • purchase of investment fund units —  €500,000 or more;
  • investment in research projects — €500,000 or more;
  • investment in culture and art support — €250,000 or more;
  • investment in a business, with creating at least 5 jobs — €500,000 or more;
  • launch of a company, with creating at least 10 jobs.

Statistics of the residence permit program are published every month by the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service. Reports contain the following information:

  • number of participants;
  • investment options they chose;
  • total investment amount.

How many residence permits did Portugal issue in 2022?

1,281 investors received a Portugal golden visa during the January—December period of 2022. Together with the investors, 1,588 of their family members received residence permits. In total, Portugal issued 2,869 residence permit cards in 2022. This is 30% more than last year.

2,869 foreigners
Became Portugal residents via the investment program in 2022

The approved application dynamic varies by month. The highest number of applications was approved by Portugal in June — 155 investors became residents of the country. The lowest approval rate was in March when 73 investors received residence permit cards.

Portugal residence permit by investment: program statistics for 2022
Source: SEF

What was the investor share by country in the Portugal residence program?

US citizens received the most Portuguese residence permit cards: 216 investors became residents of the country by the end of 2022. This is a new record for Americans. For comparison, in 2021, only 99 investors from the US became Portugal residents, and in 2020, Americans did not even get into the top 5 by year‑end.

Chinese investors are in second place in terms of the number of issued residence permits. They received 213 Portugal golden visas.

Brazilian investors round out the top 3 participants of the Portugal program — with 109 residence permit cards.

What investment choices did the program participants make in 2022?

Revenue from the Portugal residence permit program amounted to almost 654,3 million euros from January to December 2022. This is almost 200 million euros more than last year.

The country had the lowest investment earnings in March with 34,6 million euros, and the highest — in December, with 79,2 million euros.

3 million euros
Earned by Portugal residence permit program in 2022
Portugal residence permit by investment: program statistics for 2022
Source: SEF

Buying real estate in Portugal remains the most popular option among the residence permit program participants This option was chosen by 1,008 investors out of 1,281. Most of them — 532 investors — bought a property worth at least 500,000 euros, and 476 invested at least 350,000 euros in the renovation of real estate older than 30 years.

Buying investment fund units in Portugal is the second most popular option of the residence permit program. Bond purchase was preferred by 235 investors. This is three times more than last year.

31 participants of the residence permit program transferred their capital to a local bank, and another 30 invested in the cultural heritage of Portugal. Two investors opened a company in the country and created ten jobs, while another investor invested in the business and created five jobs.

What do investors get with a residence permit in Portugal

EU residence permit for the whole family. The investment program provides the opportunity to get a residence permit for the entire family at once. The investor can add their spouse, children under 26, and parents over 65 to the application.

Portugal is a country with a developed economy, a high standard of living and a pleasant climate. Portugal is also one of the safest places in the world: it ranked sixth in the Global Peace Index 2022.

The right to travel to the Schengen countries without a visa. An investor with a Portugal residence permit can freely visit any of the 27 Schengen Area states and spend up to 90 days in the region for 180 days.

The opportunity to obtain Portugal citizenship after five years of holding a residence permit card. The passport provides even more travel opportunities: it allows visa‑free entry to 187 countries around the world, including the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Tax optimization. A new resident of Portugal can get a 10‑year tax holiday and a special Non-Habitual Resident tax status.

The opportunity to conduct business in a European country, earn income from renting out real estate and keep capital in European banks.

Liquid assets and additional income when buying real estate in the country. The cost of Portuguese properties is growing by an average of 6% per year. By renting their real estate out, investors get income from 5 to 10% a year.

Examples of real estate in Portugal for investors

Portugal residence permit by real estate purchase

Apartments in a five-star hotel in Cascais. Prices start at €600,000. Yield — up to 5% per year

Portugal residence permit by real estate purchase

Share in a five-star boutique hotel in Lisbon centre. Price — €350,000. Yield — 3,5% per year

Portugal residence permit by real estate purchase

Commercial spaces and service apartments in a renovation project in Porto. Prices start at €350,000. Yield — up to 8% per year

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of government programs of the European Union countries. If you want to get a Portugal residence permit by investment, please consult the experts in investment programs.

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Statistics of Portugal residence permit program: what applicants invested in 2022