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(Partner Content) May 2020 saw more approvals for this popular residency-by-investment programme than the previous four months combined.
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Despite the global pandemic, 270 Portuguese Golden Visas were approved in May, a 409% month-on-month increase from April. If the trend continues, annual approvals this year are likely to exceed approvals from 2019, even with so much of the world in lockdown.
With May alone accounting for 3% of the total number of residencies granted since the programme began, it’s not a stretch to say that this residency-by-investment option is growing in popularity.
The data released by Portugal’s SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) also shows that out of the 8,736 main applicants that have been granted residency through the Golden Residence Permit Programme (GRPP), 351 are South Africans, making South Africa the fourth most popular country of origin for recipients of the Golden Visa. Sable International has processed 203 of those applications.
The Golden Visa offers a fast-track route to EU residency and eventual citizenship through an investment in the Portuguese economy. The promise of a second passport and visa-free travel throughout the European Schengen Area, for the main applicant and his or her immediate family, is enough to tempt many South Africans.
However, what’s particularly appealing for investors is that two of the qualifying investment options involve purchasing property, which means the applicant will own a foreign currency asset that can earn rental income. The investment amount (EUR 500,000 or EUR 350,000 in specific urban regeneration areas) can be split across multiple properties.
Another benefit of the Golden Visa is the low residency requirement. You are required to spend a minimum of 35 days in Portugal over the five-year qualifying period, split into roughly a week per year.
This makes the programme perfect for both those looking to emigrate from South Africa and those who wish to own overseas property as an investment while keeping their residency options open.
There are four routes to Golden Visa residency:
These funds need to come from abroad, you should have no previous criminal convictions and you are required to spend 35 days in Portugal over five years. Should you wish to apply for Portuguese citizenship once you’ve successfully obtained your Golden Visa, you will need to pass a Portuguese language test.