Portugal issued 766 Golden Visas in 2015

Portugal granted 766 residency permits to foreign investors in 2015 under its so-called Golden Visa scheme, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported this week.

Citing official figures from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), the news report said 95 residency permits were issued in December, compared to 72 in November.

In 2014, Portugal granted 1,526 Golden Visas.

Since the scheme was launched in October 2012, Portuguese authorities have granted 2,788 residency permits under the programme. Chinese nationals accounted for the majority of those permits (2,202), followed by nationals of Brazil (105) and Russia (97), the news agency added.

The amount invested by foreign citizens in Portugal under the scheme since the programme was launched had totalled 1.7 billion euros (US$1.8 billion), the report said.

The scheme enables non-European Union passport holders that are willing to spend a minimum of 500,000 euros on real estate in Portugal to be granted a Golden Visa and thereafter apply for permanent residency. Other types of investment that give access to a Golden Visa include a capital transfer to Portugal of at least 1 million euros or the creation of 10 jobs in the country.

Since the programme was launched, 2,635 Golden Visas have been issued due to real estate investments, 149 due to capital transfer and four due to the creation of jobs.