A new dawn for investors as Portuguese government approves the first EUR 250,000 cultural heritage Golden Visa as investment hit a record low

Portugal‘s Golden Visa investment in May was the lowest since 2016. According to experts, the EUR 27.5M received in the investment scheme was against the expectation of many observers due to the incredible performance recorded at the start of the year.

A similar record was also witnessed in December 2020 when the country was grappling with the novel Coronavirus pandemic that was at its peak globally.

The unexpected May slowdown defies the anticipated rise in the number of applicants due to the looming prices increase and the upcoming geographical restrictions set to lock-out Golden Visa investors from investing in highly populated coastal regions and major cities such as Porto, Lisbon, and Algarve.

The EUR 27.5M worth investment was made by 52 applicants, among which Chinese investors accounted for almost half of the month’s investment volume with 24 applicants approval.

Others included four South Africans, three Americans, three Canadians, and two Vietnamese. American investors have been among the top 3 countries national investing in the Golden Visa program over the past 11 months.

The slumping number of investors in May presents a drastic drop from the EUR 52.3M made from 100 investors in February, resulting in a 58% month-on-month uptick and 82% approval rate.

A new milestone in Portugal Golden Visa investment program

Even as the Golden Visa program records the lowest month-to-month investment volume in May, Portuguese Golden Visa has marked a new milestone as one of the two unused investment categories gets its first-ever investment approval.

Typically, there are eight distinct Golden Visa investment options approved by the Portuguese government. Namely capital transfer, creation of 10 jobs, real estate (EUR 500,000), real estate (EUR 350,000 set for the older property), scientific research contribution, cultural heritage contribution, venture capital or investment funds, and business investment with a minimum of 5 jobs.

Despite the diverse Golden visa options, 99% of the golden visa applications have been concentrated in just three options: real estate, capital transfer, and the creation of 10 jobs. However, the EUR 500,000 real estate makes up the bulk of the investment with an estimated 85.1% of the total investments, followed by an estimated 8.8% for real estate EUR 350,000 for an older property, and just 5% for scientific research contribution.

While the three popular options have attracted a large number of applicants since the program’s launch in 2012, EUR 350,000 scientific research contribution option and EUR 250,000 cultural heritage contribution option had no applicants since 2012.

However, a new milestone was recorded in May 2021 as SEF approved the first-ever EUR 250,000 cultural heritage investment, leaving the Scientific research contribution and the only unused category.

Despite the current flop in the Golden Visa Investment, the visa program is expected to hit the 10,000 approved applicants milestone in about two to five months.

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