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Foreigners Invest in Portugal's Golden Visa Fund

Foreigners Invest in Portugal's Golden Visa Fund

Portugal's Golden Visa program attracts foreign investors seeking residency and business prospects, offering access to the EU and a favourable environment. With its potential for enhanced quality of life, the scheme is gaining popularity among those seeking to establish roots or diversify investments in Portugal.

Golden Visa Fund Option Sees Spike in Foreigner Interest

A surge in foreign interest is observed in the Golden Visa fund option, signalling growing attraction to Portugal's residency program. This trend underscores heightened appeal among international investors seeking alternative pathways to residency and potential business opportunities.

Numbers Tell the Story:

  • 352 residence permits: This figure indicates a substantial uptake of the Golden Visa Fund option, representing a 30% share of all Golden Visa grants in the first nine months of 2023.
  • Significant increase: Compared to the same period in 2022, the utilisation of the fund option has witnessed a remarkable jump, suggesting a growing trend favouring this investment pathway.
  • Future outlook: With the abolishment of the real estate option in October 2023, experts anticipate this trend to continue and potentially accelerate. This is because investors seeking residency through the Golden Visa program now have fewer alternate routes available.

Why the Surge?

  • Real estate exit: The elimination of the real estate option, implemented to address housing concerns, has redirected the flow of Golden Visa applicants towards investment funds.
  • Attractive alternatives: Venture capital funds have positioned themselves strategically with appealing marketing and offerings, making them more competitive and engaging to potential investors.
  • Diversification trend: Investors are showing an increasing inclination towards diversifying their portfolios, and investment funds present a compelling option alongside traditional assets like real estate.

Expert Opinions:

  • Sara Sousa Rebolo, President of PAIIR: She emphasises the continued viability of investment funds as an alternative for obtaining Golden Visas, provided Portugal's stability and economic growth remain promising.
  • The Director of IMGA Ações Portugal: He expresses optimism about the growth potential of open-end securities funds within the Golden Visa program, citing the recent program changes as favourable drivers.

Real Estate Exit Drives Investors Towards Funds:

Portugal discontinued its real estate investment pathway for golden visa residence permits in October 2023 amidst concerns that foreign purchases were reducing housing affordability for locals. This termination necessitated applicants to switch to alternatives like investment funds or financing cultural projects and productions to gain visas. 

Funds witnessed millions of capital influx from investors over the past year - representing a 45% boost over 2022 totals as wealthy applicants redirected money previously allotted for property acquisitions. Portugal's cultural production and restoration route is also attracting heightened demand since amendments expanded the range of eligible initiatives for meeting minimum thresholds. 

Industry experts attribute these noticeable shifts of investor preferences to Portugal's nimble navigation of policy changes aimed at answering public needs while sustaining the essence of the golden visa program through amenable substitutions aligning with socioeconomic priorities. Adaptability is key for continued balanced outcomes benefiting both aspirants and citizens.

Experts Foresee Positive Future for Fund-Based Golden Visas:

Experts like the Portuguese Association for Promoting Investments and International Relations (PAIIR) president share optimism regarding fund investments remaining a viable golden visa route offering sustained expansion and stability amidst recent upheavals that discontinued the real estate path. 

Likewise, the IMGA director underscores promising prospects for open-ended securities funds to attract investor-immigrants given their flexibility aligning with latest program adjustments. Overall, strategic adaptation to shift applicant flows into designated funds catering to dynamic policy environments has forged confidence that this immigration channel can keep facilitating talent acquisition aspirations while delivering returns for sponsors and participants. 


What is Portugal's golden visa fund option?

It allows foreigners to invest a certain amount in pre-approved Portuguese funds for at least 5 years to get residency rights under the golden visa program.

Why are more investors opting for the fund route?

The real estate route's removal in 2023 has shifted investors to alternatives like funds which offer stability and growth prospects while sustaining immigration eligibility.

What kinds of funds can be invested in? 

Options include venture capital, private equity, real estate, environmental, and other funds contributing to Portugal's economy. Applicants can select based on risk appetite.

Can family members also gain residency through fund investment?

Yes, a main applicant's spouse, dependent children and parents can be included in their golden visa request through the requisite family member fee.

Is there a minimum stay requirement with a golden visa? 

Investors must spend only 7 days in the first year and 14 days every subsequent 2 year period to renew the residency rights granted through their approved fund investment.

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