Golden Visa Stats & Investments Evolution

  • Home >
  • News >
  • Golden Visa Stats & Investments Evolution

Golden Visa Stats & Investments Evolution
Reading time: 11 minutes
Published: 10th May 2022, 11:03am
Updated: 12th January 2023, 4:20pm

The Golden Visa Programme is an economic strategy proposed by the IMF in 2008, which it’s main objective is to accelerate overseas investments to the country, therefore, reinforcing its economy. In Portugal, since 2012, the programme is active and has been established as one of the most stable and profitable residency-by-investment programs in the whole European Union.  

The programme grants investors and their families, from third countries, the right to live, work, and study in Portugal as a resident – after five years, it is also allowed the investor the right to apply for permanent citizenship.  

Through this article, we are going to bring some of the Portuguese Golden Visa statistics, together with the evolution of the investments from the beginning of the programme until now.  

Changes in the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme through time 

The rules that endorse the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme have changed over time since its beginning in 2012, improving the programme into one of the most stable and profitable in the whole Europe Union. While the first guidelines of the programme were exclusively for investments of €500K or more, into Portuguese real estate or capital funds, the rule changes opened up another bracket of €350k minimum asset - as long as the investment complied with certain requirements. 

Those requirements pointed out that the investor should make an acquisition of a property constructed over the minimum period of 30 years, or a property located in an urban rehabilitation area, with the investor responsible for carrying out the total restoration of the acquired property. The total amount of investment would have to be equal to or greater than €350k

Suffering growing pressure from the European Commission, which intended to regulate all the Golden Visa Programmes across the Union, the Portuguese Government announced, at the beginning of 2021, further changes to the programme. At the time, it was established that in Portugal the Golden Visa would have more regulations and strict requirements on the locations where the investment can be made. These current changes have been put into effect from January 1st, 2022 and are currently in effect

Among other effects, these changes would limit the investment within the purpose of the Residency-Permit-For-Investment-Activity (ARI) in certain areas of the country now, residential properties located in the major cities like the Metropolitan Region of Lisbon and Porto would no longer be qualified for the Golden Visa Programme

Porto and Lisbon landscapes.

Moving Forward with the 2022 Portuguese Golden Visa rules

From January 2022 the Portuguese government implemented slight changes to the Golden Visa Programme that would encourage investors to look at all areas of the country instead of just looking at the major cities.

It is still possible to apply to the Golden Visa Programme through real estate investment in high population density areas such as Lisbon and Porto, however, the property has to be licensed for commercial or tourist purposes only. A residential property, in those areas, is no longer qualified for the Golden Visa investment. 

In this case, a Touristic Property Licence would include hotels, resorts or serviced apartments that hold a touristic licence for 10 years or more. The property needs to be managed by one entity for that period and the investor is the freeholder of the unit and can sell the property at any time, although for the Golden Visa purpose, the investor needs to keep the property for at least 5 years until be able to request his permanent residence. 

You can learn more about this subject in the Portugal Golden Visa Programme 2022 article, where we approach all the details of these changes in the Portuguese Golden Visa.

Following the subject, our CEO and Managing Director David Poston has recorded a video addressing these changes and what are the next steps for the visa, which you can watch below.

Understanding the stats: 2021 vs 2022

Comparing the Portuguese Golden Visa stats and the evolution of the investments between 2022 with 2021, we can see that the changes made to the Golden Visa Programme were positive and increased the scale of investments. Their trust and will in the programme are highly reflected in the increasing search for the best high-return opportunities in Portugal’s real estate market. The total investment into Real Estate Property Purchasing, aiming to gain a Portuguese Golden Visa, in 2022 is bigger than half a billion euros, closing the Golden Visa year’s stats with a total of €534,626,804.91 invested, a higher amount than the €409,366,153.13 registered during the same period in 2021.


Looking at the stats provided by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders (SEF), we can identify that the Residence Permits for Investment Activity (ARI), emitted between January and December 2022 also surpassed the numbers shown in the same period of 2021. In 2022 were issued 1.281 Residence Permits at that period, against 865 documents in 2021

The top nations with the most residency permits in the period between January and October 2022 show slight year-to-year differences. Not only, do the stats show a change in the nationalities applying the most, but also, in the volume of applications in the top nations. While 2021’s period we see China (270), the USA (101), and Brasil (61) topping the Portuguese Residence Permits list, in 2022 we find a different raking, with the USA (2016) leading, followed closely by China (213), and Brazil (109).


However, the total number of Residence permits granted per nation, since the beginning of the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme in 2012, shows China leading the raking with 5,247 ARI issued, followed by Brazil with 1,168. In the third position appears Turkey with 546, then the USA with 537, and closing the top five nations, we have South Africa with 507 Portuguese Residence Permits granted to its citizens.

Find a property in Lisbon.

In both time intervals compared, between January and December, we see that the preferred investment target to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme remains the same: Real Estate. In 2021’s January to December period, we see €500K real estate investment option preferred by the investors, with 515 residency permits approved, against 241 through the €350K investment possibility. In 2022 these numbers show stability for the real estate investment permits with the highest approval keeping in the €500k option. In the same period in 2022, we have 476 permits issued for the €350k, against the 532 approvals for the €500k option.

However, in total numbers, since the creation of the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme in 2012, the €500K real estate investment option has given 9,108 permits and a total of 5,507,665,166.87€, while the €350k investment option has yielded 1,485 residence permits, with 534,155,863.04€ generated to the country’s economy. The numbers show that the total assets are more than 6 billion euros (6,041,821,029.91€) invested in Portugal through real estate investments.

As SEF monthly releases the 2022 ARI reports, Portugal Homes will keep the analysis of the Portuguese Golden Visa programme stats and evolution to guarantee the best investments to our investors’ clients. With the end of 2022, it is clear to see that the changes implemented in January 2022 by the Portuguese Government prove to be a positive measure for the continuation of the Programme. As 2023 starts, the Portuguese real estate market proves to be desirable and advantageous for international investors and buyers. 

Navigate to our news page for more information about Portugal and its real estate investment sector.


2023 Outlook: is the Portugal Golden Visa ending? 

On the 16th of February, the Portuguese Government announced to the press the end of the Golden Visa Programme, however, no further detail was provided in accordance with the country’s regulations. The reason for this is, in essence, that the announcement was merely a statement that has been in discussion over the last couple of weeks among the technicians of the government. 

The Portugal Golden Visa Programme remains active and available to non-EU citizens looking to obtain future property investments in Portugal. 

The bold statement from the Prime Minister did not mention the extension of the end of the Golden Visa to tourist or commercial properties, and the reason for that is simple: they made this decision less than 2 weeks before the announcement and still did not go through all details on how this will operate and how big will be the impact of this decision in the country’s economy. 

Portugal Homes will keep watching this matter very closely and keep all clients informed as soon as new information is available. However, we would strongly advise clients still looking to purchase for the Golden Visa to move forward as quickly as possible to avoid missing out on the Golden Visa opportunity in Portugal. 

Related articles:

Invest now through Portugal Golden Visa - you can still apply for the visa programme.

29th April 2022
Stefanie is from Vancouver, Canada, and arrived at the Harland & Poston…

Buying Property in Portugal

Portugal Homes has very experienced and knowledgeable professionals working with some of the most established and reputable developers Portugal has to offer. Our vast experience allows us to guide you through the best investment choices.

Whether you want a holiday home or an investment property, we select the best units for your profile and take care of all the process from start to finish. Even after the sale! Our After Sales services assume the responsibility of furnishing your property at your taste, taking care of the property in your absence, managing the rentals if you wish to rent your property when you’re not in Portugal and so much more!

To learn more about the Portuguese Non-Habitual Resident Program and our After Sales services, please fill the form below.

Thanks to Andreia Leite for the comprehensive and timely updates on the construction progress of the new development we purchased!

Investor from the USA

Very helpful. Work with his heart. Mark is a very nice advisor. 

Investor from Morocco

Everything was perfect. I got all answers about my questions. 

Investor from Turkey

Ryan was an excellent real estate agent, he really steered me in the right direction based on what I said was important to me. Living in another country, I wasn't as familiar with the city as he is. Where I thought I wanted to live and what I truly wanted were not the same. He took the time to listen and figure out the best spot for me, and we are very happy with it - far more than we would have been elsewhere.

Investor from the USA

The overall experience was great from follow up to After Sales. I would like to give special thanks to Mr. Simon, Ms. Francisca and Ms. Mariana.

Investor from UAE

George Hobson is a pleasant young man, came across as knowledgeable, experienced, hardworking, honest & disciplined; I felt very comfortable in easily making my investment.

Investor from UAE