South Africans flock to Portugal thanks to a new lower investment threshold

A reduced investment threshold and improved safety ratings has resulted in South Africans being among the top investors in Portugal’s Golden Visa programme.

According to James Bowling, CEO of immigration experts Monarch & Co, the Portuguese government recently agreed to allow a reduced real estate investment threshold to €350, 000 (R5.5 million) on the Golden Visa Programme for properties that are:

  • In need of refurbishment
  • At least 30 years old
  • Situated in areas scheduled for urban regeneration

“This means that investors and their immediate family members can now apply for residency and citizenship in Portugal at the reduced amount of €350,000 provided their investment meets the criteria above,” said Bowling.

In addition, the latest Portuguese Immigration Service statistics showed that 99% of Golden Visa applicants choose property as their qualifying investment.

“Therefore, the reduced amount is a step in the right direction for Portugal looking to increase investment by diversifying the property types that form part of their overall offering,” said Bowling.

According to Portuguese Immigration Service statistics, from October 2012 to the end of April 2017, total investment brought to Portugal by the Golden Visa Programme surpassed three billion euro.

Data showed that as many as 5,003 investors and 8,130 family members were approved for resident permits by property qualifying investment between October 2012 and the end of April 2017, while 801 investors were approved between 1 January and the end of April 2017 alone.

“Currently, the highest number of investors come from China, Brazil and South Africa,” Bowling said.

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South Africans flock to Portugal thanks to a new lower investment threshold