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12 July, 2021

How Many Residence Permits By Investment Portugal Issued In 2021 And Which Option Earned The Most

Around €238 million was earned by Portugal on its citizenship programme in the first half of the year 2021. We tell you which countries' investors received the most "golden visas" and which investment options they chose most often.

Residence permits by investment in Portugal: Programme statistics for the first half of 2021
Photo: Adobe Stock

Statistics on the residence permit programme in Portugal are published every month by the country's Migration Service. The reports show:

  • how many people have become residents in Portugal;
  • which countries have received the most residence cards;
  • how much the country has earned from the programme;
  • which investment options were most often chosen by participants.

How many investors were issued residence permits in Portugal in the six months of 2021

1,093 foreigners were granted “golden visas” to Portugal in the first half of the year 2021. Of these, 445 were investors. The number of investors decreased by 36% compared to the same period in 2020. There was a boom in demand for residence permits in Portugal in April and May 2020.

1,093 foreigners
have been issued a residence permit in Portugal from January to June 2021

Most investors have chosen the option of buying real estate so that they can come to Portugal at any time, even with restrictions due to the pandemic.

Number of investors from January to June 2020 and 2021

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

In March and April 2021, Portugal issued 8% more residence permits than in January and February. In May and June, demand for residence permits by investment declined to about the same levels as in January.

Programme participants from January to June 2021

Investors and their relatives who obtained a residence permit in Portugal between January and June 2021
Source: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras

Investors in China received the most golden visas in the first half of 2021 - 179 residence permit cards. Russians ranked fourth in terms of the number of participants in the programme: 24 Russian investors became residents of Portugal in 2021. This is about three times less than for the whole of 2020.

Top 5 countries whose investors obtained residence permits in Portugal in 2021

Citizenship of the investorNumber of residence permit cards issued

What options are investors choosing in 2021

Income from the programme for the first half of 2021 was €238 million, 37% less than for the same period in 2020.

238 million euros
investors invested in the Portuguese economy in 6 months in 2021

Demand for residence permits in Portugal increased sharply in May and June 2020. Investment analysts believe that demand will increase because of restrictions that have been imposed worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic. Residents of Portugal can come to the country at any time, despite the world situation.

The Portuguese government offers investors eight investment options:

  • buy any property for €500,000 or property over 30 years old under renovation for €350,000;
  • to buy shares in venture capital funds;
  • transfer the capital to Portugal;
  • start a new company or invest in an existing business;
  • sponsor scientific research or cultural projects.

Buying a property for €500,000 is the most popular investment option. 401 investors out of 445 chose the option with real estate in the first 6 months of 2021. The total amount of real estate purchase transactions is around €220 million.

220 million euros
investors have invested in real estate in Portugal

In May, the Portuguese government approved for the first time the application of an investor who chose the option of contributing to cultural heritage. None of the participants in the residence permit programme had invested in scientific projects in Portugal.

Investment by programme options in 2021, in millions of euros

Income from the option-based residence permit programme in Portugal in January-June 2021
Source: Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras

Why investors are more likely to choose real estate

Real estate in Portugal is a liquid asset and the most sought-after option under the residence permit by investment programme.

Every year, the purchase price of Portuguese property increases by an average of 7%. House prices have also risen in 2021 despite the pandemic: in the first quarter, prices have increased by 17.4% compared to the first quarter of 2020.

The investor owns the property for at least five years under the terms of the programme. During this time, the investor can rent out the property: rental income yields up to 7% per annum. After five years, the investor can sell the property and recover the money invested.

The conditions of Portugal's residence permit programme will change from 2022, so property experts Immigrant Invest recommend not delaying the purchase of a home until the end of 2021.

Investors will only be able to buy homes in the interior regions of the country, Madeira and the Azores. In major cities and resorts, only commercial properties and renovated properties can be bought.

Examples of properties to buy under the residence permit programme in Portugal

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: buying property in Sagres

Apartments in a residential complex close to the sea in Sagres. Price from €280,000

Residence in Portugal by investment: buying a property in Cascais

Three bedroom apartment in a condominium with swimming pool on the coast in Cascais. Price - from €527,000

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: buying property in Lisbon

Apartments in a residential eco-complex in Lisbon. Price - from €350,000

Residence permit in Portugal by investment: buying property in Sagres
Residence in Portugal by investment: buying a property in Cascais
Residence permit in Portugal by investment: buying property in Lisbon

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for a residence permit programme in Portugal. If you want to move to Portugal or travel visa-free to Schengen countries, seek advice from investment programme experts.

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How Many Residence Permits By Investment Portugal Issued In 2021 And Which Option Earned The Most