China continues to lead the Portuguese golden visa programme, with 1,969 citizens receiving residence permits in return for investments between October 2012 and August 2015, according to official figures.
Figures from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) showed that after China came citizens of Brazil (89), Russia (86), South Africa (63) and Lebanon (38) making use of the system introduced by the government of Portugal to attract foreign investment, both through purchasing real estate and setting up companies.
Overall, the Portuguese government approved 2,465 residence permits for investment activity, two of which were in 2012, 494 in 2013, 1,526 in 2014 and 443 through August 2015.
Citizens of other countries who benefited from the scheme invested a total of 1.496 billion euros in Portugal, of which 145 million euros was for capital transfers and 1.35 billion euros in property purchases.
Of the 2,465 Residence Permits for investment granted before August, 2,332 were in return for real estate purchases, 130 through capital transfer and three for creating at least 10 jobs.
In August alone 35 gold visas were granted, in return for total investment of 21.6 million euros.