Portugal’s Golden Visa program — the Residence Permit program —  is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme for citizens outside the European Union. The residence permit scheme grants qualifying investors and their family members the right to live, work, and study in Portugal and permits free movement in Europe’s Schengen Area.

To date, Portugal Golden Visa statistics show the program to be top-rated among investors.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Portuguese Golden Visa statistics from September 2023, showcasing how international and renowned the scheme is among non-EU nationals and what the program’s future holds.

Portugal Golden Visa Program: Recent Developments and Future Projections

Despite the Portuguese Government’s announcement, the Portuguese Golden Visa Program is not ending. On 19 July 2023, the Portuguese parliament voted to restructure the Golden Visa program.

The new legislation, which came into force on 7 October 2023, significantly changes the types of investments that qualify for the scheme. Namely, capital transfer and real estate investment options are no longer eligible for the program.

However, other investment options will remain available for those interested in the Portugal Golden Visa program.

On 29 October 2023, the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA) replaced SEF. This move is expected to address delays in the Portugal Residency program, as AIMA has greater human resources than its predecessor.

The latest changes can be found in this article, Portugal Golden Visa Changes, Updates, and New Rules for 2024.

Portugal Golden Visa Data for September 2023

Portugal Golden Visa Stats, September 2023.

In September 2023

  • 157 residence permits for investment activity were authorized by (formerly) SEF, now known as AIMA.
  • A total of 183 families were awarded residence permits.
  • 99 Portugal Golden Visas issued were for the real estate investment type
  • 57 permits were issued for the capital transfer option
  • One permit was issued for the job creation category

Nationality Breakdown

  • 40 permits were issued to people of American nationality
  • 24 permits were issued to people of Chinese nationality
  • 13 permits were issued to people of South African nationality
  • 12 permits were issued to people of Indian nationality
  • 10 permits were issued to people of Brazilian nationality

Investment Breakdown

  • Portugal’s Golden Visa Program saw a whopping €70,895,742.39 in September 2023, with investments
  • The total investment in real estate property purchasing was €50,076,668.39
  • The total investment in capital transfer was €20,819,074.00

The Portugal Golden Visa venture capital/investment fund option is also proving popular, particularly in the face of changes to the program. Since January 2022, investors have been blocked from buying property in urban cities such as Lisbon and Porto, along with other investment route changes.

Are you interested in learning more about the investment routes the Portugal Golden Visa offers? Check out our guide on how to invest in Portugal for citizenship.

All-Time Portugal Golden Visa Statistics: 2012-2023

Portugal Golden Visa all-time facts and statistics, from October 2012 to September 2023.

Portugal Golden Visa Approval Rates

  • Until the present day, Portugal issued Golden Visas for 12,718 main applicants
  • 20,424 residence permits were issued for family members that accompanied the main applicants as their dependents

Top Nationalities

Over the years, the Portuguese Golden Visa investment residence permit program has attracted investors from around the globe.

Since the program’s start, China has had the largest number of applicants. But despite Chinese nationals still being the majority, their share of the program is decreasing as investors from other nationalities, such as Brazil and the United States, have also been applying. The program is also becoming increasingly popular in other countries, such as South Africa and Turkey.

The table below provides a clear representation of the highest number of applicants for the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Portugal Golden Visa 2023 Top 5 Nationalities.

Portugal Golden Visa Investment Types

Since its inception in October 2012 by the Portuguese government, the Golden Visa scheme has attracted significant investments, totaling €7,318,438,201.77.

While the real estate investment route represented a substantial portion of these investments, other options, such as capital transfer to a Portuguese bank, Portuguese venture capital, job creation, cultural heritage contribution, and contributions to scientific research projects, are on the rise.

  • Since October 2012, 11 3834 residence permits have been issued for real estate investment. However, as of 2024, real estate is no longer an option.
  • 1 312 visas were granted for Capital Transfer investors
  • 23 residence permits were issued for people who created ten or more jobs

The chart below displays the breakdown of investment types applicants have pursued from 2012.

Portugal Golden Visa 2023 Top 5 Investments.

More Portugal Golden Visa numbers

  • The minimum age to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa is 18 years old
  • To apply for Portuguese citizenship via the Golden Visa, the person must hold their investment for five years at least
  • A Portuguese passport granted through the Golden Visa gives you visa-free access to 174 countries
  • Seven days on average are the minimum stay that the applicant must spend in Portugal to maintain the Golden Visa in the first year, followed by 14 days in the subsequent years (consecutively or non-consecutively) in Portugal.
  • 20 percent is the value of the reduced tax rate for those who participate in the Non-Habitual Resident Tax Regime.
  • 27 is the number of European countries belonging to the Schengen Zone to which the Portugal Golden Visa holder receives free access
  • 90 days is the maximum processing time for the Portugal Golden Visa
  • In 2022, in terms of top residency-by-investment programs, Portugal was recognized for offering the best program in the world

Portugal Statistics

Portugal ranking statistics

  • Portugal is ranked first as the best country in Europe for expats
  • 7th safest country in the world, according to the 2023 Global Peace Index.
  • Ranked number one in the world for its best master’s degree in information management
  • Ranked number one as the best travel destination in Europe
  • Ranked 5th as the safest country in Europe
  • Portugal ranks 4th in terms of its passport benefits for nomads and global citizens
  • Portugal is in fifth place as the world’s most powerful passport, alongside Austria and the Netherlands
  • Portugal is ranked 6th in terms of being one of the cheapest countries in Europe
  • Portugal is ranked 9th in terms of the country with the lowest organized crimes
  • Portugal comes in 10th place in the ranking of the world’s best democracies
  • Portugal is ranked 11th in terms of being one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world
  • Ranked as 12th for having the best healthcare system in the world
  • Ranked 17th in terms of the quality of life it provides to its residents
  • Ranked 21st in terms of its infrastructure quality
  • Portugal ranks in 21st place for its life expectancy standards
  • Portugal comes in 27th place for its quality of education
  • Portugal comes in 28th place for its institutional transparency

Portugal socio-economic facts

  • Population of 10.31 million people as of 2021
  • Active population of 5.2 million based in Portugal
  • There are 1.4 million youths in Portugal (under 15 years old)
  • There are 6.6 million people in Portugal between the ages of 15 and 64 years old
  • Over 2.2 million  people in Portugal are elderly (over 64 years)
  • The number of companies that opened in Portugal in 2021 was more than 34,466, an 8.2 percent increase from the previous year
  • In 2021, Portugal’s GDP per capita stands at USD 249.9
  • Portugal has an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent as of August 2022
  • €822.50 is the minimum wage in Portugal
  • The demographic density of Portugal is 115.4 inhabitants/km²

Portugal geographical facts

  • 92212 km² is the total extension of Portugal
  • 6.3 million kilometers is the length of the coast of Portugal
  • +3 hours is the time zone in relation to Brasília
  • 276 is the number of sunny days in Portugal, considered one of the sunniest countries in the world
  • 7 is the number of regions in Portugal
  • 18 is the number of districts in Portugal, in addition to 2 autonomous regions
  • 308 is the number of municipalities in Portugal
  • 3092 is the number of parishes in Portugal.

Portugal structure statistics

  • 3100 kilometers is the length of the highways in Portugal
  • 2600 kilometers is the length of the railways in Portugal
  • 10 is the number of airports in Portugal
  • 14 is the number of ports in Portugal
  • 5735 is the number of educational establishments in Portugal
  • 225 is the number of hospitals in Portugal.
  • Portugal’s mortality rate during the Coronavirus pandemic was 3 percent. As a result, it was the first country to receive a safe travel status, a seal that guarantees security for tourists visiting the country.

About the Portugal Golden Visa

The Portuguese Golden Visa also called the residence permit for investment activity (ARI), is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme for non-EU nationals.

Introduced by the Portuguese government in 2012, this investment program is considered one of the most popular Golden Visas in the world. Since the program’s inception, over 20,000 Golden Visas have been awarded to families from across the world.

To qualify, Golden Visa applicants have to make a significant investment in Portugal. While real estate investment and certain types of capital transfer no longer qualify for the program, there are several attractive options available. They are as follows:

  • Fund investment: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund (such as private equity funds or venture capital funds) worth at least €500,000
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national cultural heritage with a donation of at least €250,000
  • Scientific research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a commercial company in the national territory or reinforcement of a company’s share capital (this company must have its head office in the national territory), in either case with a business investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (five of them permanent)

Intrigued about the Portugal Golden Visa scheme but are unsure where to start?

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide by local experts

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How Global Citizen Solutions Can Assist

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship-by-investment solutions for international families.

With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we help clients from around the world acquire Portugal Golden Visas or homes while diversifying their portfolio with robust investments.

If you have a question related to Portugal Golden Visa facts, speak to one of our consultants so we can understand your objectives and help you move forward onto a path of success.

Portugal Golden Visa 2023 Statistics Sources

Frequently Asked Questions About Portuguese Golden Visa Statistics

How many people have applied for the Portugal Golden Visa since the program started?

Since 2012, over 12,396 residence permits have been awarded to foreign investors, with 20,000 family members enjoying Portugal Golden Visa family benefits.

What country has invested the most in the Portugal Golden Visa?

According to data obtained from Portugal SEF, China remains the main country in which residence permits are granted.  By June 2021, China is the leading force behind Portugal’s Golden Visa investments, with 44 percent being attributed to contributions already. This is supported by data published by Imidaily.

According to Portugal Golden Visa data, what's the most popular investment option?

Previously, buying a €500,000 property was the main investment route applicants took for the Golden Visa, with roughly 90 percent of all investments originating from real estate investments by August 2023.

It is no longer possible to invest in real estate to qualify for the program.

How many people have a Golden Visa in Portugal?

Since the program’s inception in 2012, 12,718 main applicants have been granted Portugal Golden Visa. 20,424 dependent family members have accompanied them. The largest number of applicants have been from China every year since the launch of the Golden Visa program in Portugal.

What are the latest Portugal Golden Visa statistics for 2024?

Until today, 12,718 primary applicants have received the Portugal Golden Visa, with 20,424 dependent family members joining them.

Since the inception of the Portugal Golden Visa in 2012, the majority of applicants have been from China. Brazil follows as a distant second, with the UAE coming in third.

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