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In 2020 Applications from South Africa for Portugal’s ‘Golden Visa’ Programme Reached the Second Highest Level since 2012


The number of applications from South Africa for Portugal’s Resident Permit for Investment (ARI) in 2020, reached the second highest level since the programme’s inception in 2012, making South Africa the fourth most popular country applying for an ARI in 2020.

Statistics supplied by SEF, Portuguese Immigration and Borders, show that over the 8 year period, only 2017 recorded more South African applications than in 2020.  

Also known as the ‘Golden Visa’, Portugal’s Residency Programme granted 1182 permits and 2043 permits for family members in 2020, of which the majority were for citizens from China, followed by Brazil, USA, South Africa and Turkey.

Purchasing real estate was by far the most commonly chosen investment method, with 92.5% of permits thus granted. The remaining 7.5% of permits were granted based on capital transfer. The total investment comprising over €646 million.

The number of Golden Visa permits granted in 2020 dropped by 5% in comparison to 2019 and dropped by 16% in comparison to 2018.

This may drop further when proposed changes come into force removing Lisbon and Porto, along with coastal areas as locations for property investment for the ARI.   

Since its inception in 2012, Portugal’s Residence Permit for Investment has granted 9389 permits of which 349 have been to citizens of South Africa.

For more information about Portugal’s Resident Permit for Investment, please contact us.  

Further Reading


Whilst we endeavour to provide precise and timely information, there can be no assurance that such article is accurate as of the date it is received. The information provided herein is merely intended for general information purposes and cannot be construed as professional advice without seeking an appropriate consultation.


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