The number of golden visas decreased in 2017, but entries stemming from them increased. More foreigners who invest in Portugal are bringing their family members to live in the country.
Five thousand and five hundred and fifty-three. This is how many foreigners invested in Portugal and acquired the golden visa, but this number triples (14,868) when looking at the number of people who entered the country. This is because those who opted into this measure are bringing along more family members, according to the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias.
Immigrants who get to Portugal seeking a golden visa are people who purchase real estate for a minimum of 500 thousand euros and, on average, each golden visa corresponds to the investor and two other people, a sign that they are immigrating and not circulating in other countries, DN writes. Most people come from China and Brazil — the number of Brazilians almost doubled, according to the latest data.
But if entries in the country are increasing, the same is not verified with the number of immigrants that got a residence permit in Portugal, which should have decreased in 2017. According to data from the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), 1,351 residence permits were granted for those investing in Portugal (golden visas) last year, a slight decrease from the 1,414 visas granted in the previous year. Except now, according to SEF, investors are bringing more family members along, more exactly 2,678, a 14% increase, which means entries by means of golden visas increased.
The law allows for the regrouping of families for those who have a golden visa, namely for their descendants and ascendants, as long as they are their dependents.
The president of the Chinese League in Portugal told DN he believes these data are normal. “People come first and bring their families here second. They stay here, develop other investments and activities. Then, they bring their wives and children, and if things continue to go well, their parents and parents-in-law will also want to come to Portugal”, he stated.
Ever since golden visas started being granted, in October of 2012, they have already given Portugal 3.5 billion euros, most of it through the purchase of real estate.