After consistent decline in the first three months of 2019, the investment volume trend made an upward turn in April. In the first quarter of this year, the Investor Visa program raised €2 million.

Recent figures from Portugal’s Foreigner’s and Borders Service (SEF) demonstrate a slight uptick in approvals and investment for April compared to the previous month, from 83 main applicants to 92 and an increase in the capital created by those investors, from €48 million to €52 million.

So far in 2019 the SEF has granted investor visas to 421 main applicants and 766 of their family members. Chinese nationals are still the largest single applicant constituency at around one third of the total so far. Their share of the overall monthly applicants has declined steadily in recent years; in April 2015 they constituted 78% of the total; in April 2016, 67%; in April 2017, 42% and in April 2018, 31% but the figure now appears to have stabilised.

Brazilians were the second most common at 12% of the total in April, followed by Turks, South Africans and Russians. Overall, cumulatively speaking, Brazilians now make up 10% of all active investor visas, whilst the remaining top five countries constitute between 3.5% and 4.5% of the total.

Since it started in late 2012 and its earnest beginning in 2013, those with investor visas have contributed just under €4.5 billion overall, 91% of which has been in the form of real estate acquisitions.

Conjecture over the future of the Portuguese Golden Visa has been widespread in recent months in the wake of ambiguous official statements regarding the feasibility of investor visas as a route to Portuguese citizenship.

Some have suggested that investor visas may be on their way out in favour of start-up or entrepreneur programs, or even angel investment structures.

See the anticipated demise of investor visas – what will replace them?

With that said, Portugal’s government have indicated that the lucrative program is not going anywhere.

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