While it is no secret that an increasing number of South Africans are looking to Portugal as an emigration option, new statistics show that more South Africans have applied for the programme than nearly any other country in the world.
“According to recent figures released by the Portuguese Immigration Services (SEF), over 6,000 applications have already been approved since the programme’s inception,” said immigration consultancy Sable.
“In the last month, we have seen a record number of successful applicants approved, with South African participants on a steady rise.”
According to the most recent figures released by the SEF, South Africa makes up the third highest number of applicants (242), behind Brazil (522), and far behind China (3,711).
Last year, SEF implemented new measures to improve the overall efficiency of the programme and effectively manage the large volume of requests its Lisbon office receives.
Other changes include lowering the cost requirement from a €500,000 investment in real estate to €350,000 in special circumstances, Pam Golding said in February.
“Since these changes were made, the rate of approvals has increased and the waiting times for both initial applications and renewals has improved substantially,” Sable said.
It added that the many benefits of the GRPP as well as the fast and efficient way in which the Portuguese government has been processing applications has resulted in increase in the number of South Africans applying.
“With the potential to earn EU citizenship (and an all-important EU passport) we expect to see this number of South African applicants to increase overtime,” it said.