Golden Visa Program Investments Surge 27.5% in H1 2023

Golden Visa Program Investments have seen a significant uptick in the first half of 2023, showing a robust year-on-year increase of 27.5%. These investments amassed a total of 403 million euros, according to calculations made by Lusa based on statistical data from SEF (Portugal’s Immigration and Borders Service).

During the same period, 861 Residence Permits for Investment (ARI) were issued, with 475 distributed in the second quarter, delineated as follows: 116 in April, 180 in May, and 179 in June.

Hand-drawn chart showcasing a growth in investments

The Impact on Family Visas

The Golden Visa Program did not just cause an investment spike; it has also had a marked effect on the visas granted to grouped family members. A total of 1,191 visas were sanctioned in the semester. The numbers are divided into 167 in April, 208 in May, and 192 in June. This progression started with 153 visas in January, 209 in February, and culminating with 262 in March.

Cumulatively, the overall investment has surpassed 7,000 million euros, totalling an impressive 7,157,485,864.42 euros since the program’s inception in October 2012. This period saw the allocation of 12,396 ARIs, with the largest number, 5,366, given to China, followed by Brazil with 1,229, the United States with 713, Turkey with 592, and South Africa with 550.

ARI Distribution and Impact

Since the program’s commencement, 11,181 golden visas have been granted through the purchase of real estate, with an aggregate amount exceeding 6,337 million euros. Out of this sum, 636.5 million euros are linked to purchases for urban rehabilitation, resulting in 1,783 golden visas awarded.

When considering capital transfer, the cumulative figure is 819.6 million euros, with a total of 1,193 ARIs awarded. Notably, only 22 ‘gold’ visas were granted through job creation in over 10 years of the program.

Changing Landscape of the Golden Visa Program

On July 6th, the Government approved a proposal to halt new residence permits for housing investment. This marks a significant turning point in the Golden Visa Program, which has been a key driver for investments and property acquisitions. How this change will impact future Golden Visa Program Investments remains uncertain.

The discontinuation may lead to a shift in investment strategies and could have profound effects on the Portuguese real estate market. This transition is noteworthy for all stakeholders, particularly investors planning to capitalize on Portugal’s golden visas.

In conclusion, the Golden Visa Program has been pivotal in driving substantial investments into Portugal, providing residency opportunities and boosting the economy. With changes on the horizon, it will be fascinating to observe the new strategies and opportunities that will emerge in its wake.

Notably, the government’s initial proposal admitted new requests for residence permits for investments or support for artistic production and the recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage. However, the PS, which supports the parliamentary majority, proposed the elimination of this exception, thereby extending the reach of the new rule.

Impact of the New Law

While the new law signifies the end of golden visas, it won’t affect the renewal of already granted authorisations. Applications for granting and renewing residence permits for investment activities will remain valid. This includes those that are “pending prior control procedures in Municipal Councils” at the date of entry into force of the law.

Additionally, the granting or renewal of residence permits for family reunification is exempted from the adopted limitation, ensuring family ties are not severed due to the new law.

This new legislation marks a significant shift in Portugal’s approach towards attracting foreign investments. As the nation ends its golden visas program for housing investments, it signals the prioritization of strategic and balanced growth over unregulated capital inflow. The decision will likely lead to a readjustment in the country’s real estate market and could influence similar immigration-investment schemes across the world.

From a broader perspective, the conclusion of Portugal’s golden visa scheme is reflective of a growing global sentiment around immigration policies. More countries are reevaluating the benefits and drawbacks of offering residency or citizenship in exchange for investment, marking a changing landscape for global mobility. The Portuguese case offers an insightful example of the complexities at play when economics, immigration, and housing policy intersect.

Puzzle pieces coming together to form the word 'investments


  1. What is the Golden Visa Program? The Golden Visa Program is an initiative that allows foreign investors to gain residency in a country, in this case, Portugal, by making a significant financial investment in the country’s economy. This investment can be through various channels like real estate, capital transfer, or job creation.
  2. How much has been invested through the Golden Visa Program in H1 2023? The Golden Visa Program witnessed a significant year-on-year increase of 27.5% in the first half of 2023, with total investments reaching 403 million euros.
  3. How many Residence Permits for Investment (ARIs) were granted in H1 2023? During the first half of 2023, a total of 861 ARIs were granted, with 475 of them issued in the second quarter.
  4. What are the top countries participating in the Golden Visa Program? From the program’s inception until now, the majority of ARIs have been allocated to China, followed by Brazil, the United States, Turkey, and South Africa.
  5. What changes have been made to the Golden Visa Program recently? On July 6th, the Government approved a proposal to cease new residence permits for housing investment, marking a significant shift in the Golden Visa Program.