In 2012, Portugal announced it would begin to offer residence permits for investors under a scheme that became known as the “Golden Visa” program.
There were originally three possible investment options. Of these the most popular is to invest €500,000 in property. The second most popular is to transfer €1 million to invest in Portuguese companies. The least popular option is to make an investment that can be proven to create 10 job positions. Recent reforms have added further investment options, including €350,000 in properties more than 30 years old or investing €350,000 in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions focused on science and technology.
As of the end of April 2015, Portugal has issued investor visas to more than 6,000 individuals, of which 2,378 were principal applicants and 3,632 were family members. Over the same period, the program has brought in more than €1.4 billion in investment, €1.3 billion of which was in real estate. Citizens of China make up 88% of successful applicants. The program has also been popular with investors from Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Lebanon.