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12 May, 2021

Portugal has approved 20% more applications since the beginning of 2021 than in 2020

Portugal issued 401 residence permits in exchange for investments in March and April 2021. Investors added 88 million euros to the country's budget. We tell you which countries most often become Portuguese residents and what they invest in.

Residence permits by investment: March-April 2021 program statistics
Photo: Adobe Stock

The results of the residence permit program in Portugal are published by the Migration Service of Portugal. The statistics show:

  • how many people received residence permit cards;
  • citizens of which countries received the most residence cards by investment;
  • how much the country earned on the program during the reporting period;
  • what investment options were most often chosen by program participants.

How many investors received a residence permit in Portugal in 2021

770 people received “golden visas” to Portugal in the first four months of 2021. Of these, 326 were investors.

770 people
received a residence permit in Portugal from January to April 2021

The number of investors increased by 20% compared to the same period in 2020. And if we compare only the April data, the number of applicants almost doubled on an annual basis.

Number of investors from January to April 2020 and 2021

Investors who obtained residence permits in Portugal from January to April 2020 and 2021
Source: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras

In March-April 2021, Portugal issued 8% more residence cards than in January and February. Looking at the monthly figures individually, the number of approved applications dropped in March, but in April the situation leveled off.

Number of program participants from January to April 2021

Investors and their relatives who received a residence permit in Portugal from January to April 2021
Source: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras

Chinese citizens received the most golden visas in the four months of 2021. Portugal issued 135 residence permit cards to Chinese investors.

Russians ranked fourth in the number of participants in the program: 14 investors from Russia became Portuguese residents between January and April 2021. For comparison, for the entire year of 2020 63 Russian investors received a residence permit in Portugal.

Top 5 countries whose citizens received residence permits in Portugal in 2021

Citizenship of the investorNumber of residence permit cards issued

What investors are most likely to invest in
in 2021

Income from the program in March and April was 88 million euros, almost as much as in the first two months of 2021. In four months, the program brought Portugal 178 million euros. That’s a 17% increase over the same period in 2020.

EUR 178 million
investors invested in the Portuguese economy in the four months of 2021

Portugal offers investors eight investment options:

  • buy real estate: residential or commercial for €500,000 or an object over 30 years old under renovation for €350,000;
  • Buy shares in venture capital funds;
  • Transfer capital to Portugal;
  • start a new company or invest in an existing business;
  • sponsor scientific research or cultural projects.

Buying real estate for €500,000 is the most popular investment option. 73% of investors chose this option in 2021. The total amount of transactions with the purchase of real estate is 129.6 million euros. Another 28.6 million euros was earned by Portugal on the option to buy properties under restoration.

EUR 158.2 million
Investors invested in real estate in Portugal

The demand for the purchase of units of venture capital and investment funds is growing in 2021. The share of investments in funds has doubled since 2020.

In the four months of 2021, only two investors chose the option of contributing €350,000 to local companies, while another investor opened his own business and created 10 jobs. None of the participants in the program chose the option to finance scientific research and cultural projects.

Investments by program options in 2021, in million euros

Portugal's option-based residence permit program income in January-April 2021
Source: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras

Why investors choose real estate more often

Home prices in Portugal are rising despite the pandemic: in the first quarter of 2021, residential property values rose 17.4% compared to the first quarter of 2020.

If an investor bought a two-bedroom apartment in February 2020 for €250,000, by April 2021 its market price had risen to €293,500.

A participant in the program owns real estate for five years. During this time, he can rent it out: the cost of renting in Portugal is growing by an average of 3-5% per year. After five years the investor can sell the property. Given the increase in home prices, the investor will not only return the money invested, but also earnhe difference in market value of the object.

Immigrant Invest real estate experts also recommend not putting off buying a home until the second half of 2021 for two reasons.

Real estate prices will rise faster. The reason is the active recovery of the Portuguese economy. According to the country's Central Bank, on April 25, 2021, economic growth was 20% compared with indicators on the same date in 2020. At the end of 2021, the European Commission predicts Portugal's GDP growth of 4.1%, the International Monetary Fund - by 3.9%.

The terms of the program will change from 2022. Investors will only be able to buy housing in the interior regions of the country, Madeira and the Azores. In major cities and resorts will be possible to buy only commercial real estate and objects under restoration.

While the old rules are in force, real estate is available for purchase in any city in Portugal. During the first quarter of 2021 the number of properties for sale in the country increased by 87.8% compared to the same period in 2020. Now investors will be able to choose from more properties in different regions of the country.

Examples of property to buy under the residence permit program in Portugal

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing real estate: an example of a villa in Faro

Apartments and premium villas in a golf resort in Faro.
Price - from € 285 000

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing real estate: example of an apartment in Lisbon

Studio in a residential complex in the center of Lisbon.
Price - from €185,000

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

Villa with a swimming pool in a golf village near Setubal.
Price - €839,000

Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing real estate: an example of a villa in Faro
Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing real estate: example of an apartment in Lisbon
Residence permit in Portugal by purchasing real estate: an example of a villa in Setubal

It is possible to become a resident of Portugal in two to six months if you take part in the state investment program. Holders of a residence permit have the right to live, work and do business, study in the country. They also travel visa-free in the states of the Schengen zone.

After five years, the investor can apply for citizenship and obtain a Portuguese passport by naturalization.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the residence permit program 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 programs.

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Portugal has approved 20% more applications since the beginning of 2021 than in 2020