Portugal’s so-called Golden Visa scheme has attracted total investment of €2.4 billion since it was created in 2012, with most investors coming from China, according to the country’s Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).
The scheme was set up on 8 October 2012 as a measure launched by the then PSD-CDS/PP right-wing Government to attract investment from people outside the European Union (EU) in return for Portuguese residence visas, which in turn offer EU residency.
Since then the Portuguese state has granted 3,888 Residency Permits under the scheme and 2016 has had the most “golden visas” so far.
In 2012 just two golden visas were granted followed by 494 in 2013, 1,526 in 2014 and 766 in 2015. So far this year 1,100 visas have been granted under the scheme.
Most of the visas (3,669) have been granted in return for real estate investments of over €500,000. Capital transfer visas, offered in return for investments of over €1 million, have led to 213 visas and six visas have been granted in return for creating at least 10 jobs.
Speaking to Lusa on Friday Portugal’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Augusto Santos Silva said the results of the scheme were “positive” but it was “far from” being the most important way of attracting investment.