According to Portugal’s latest statistics from SEF, the country approved 98.5% of all citizenship applications in the year 2022. This staggering approval rate is a testament to the country’s favourable conditions for immigration, including its attractive lifestyle, affordable cost of living, and access to quality healthcare and education. Whilst Portugal’s Golden Visa programme is initially a residency programme, investors have the opportunity to apply for citizenship after five years of holding their Portuguese residency visa. The minimum stay requirement to later qualify for citizenship is just seven days per year, making it one of the most attractive and flexible programmes in Europe. This promising approval figure gives great reassurance to Portuguese Golden Visa investors whose end goal is to later apply for Portuguese citizenship. 

SEF also processed a total of 143,081 residence permits in 2022. Among the approved residency permits, only 0.9% were from Golden Visa applicants.

In recent months Portuguese authorities have been actively working towards addressing the country’s housing shortage, recognizing the need for sustainable solutions. Many have blamed the lack of affordable housing on the Golden Visa programme, but the above figures demonstrate that Golden Visa Investment remains an extremely small part of the overall immigration landscape in Portugal and perhaps the broader immigration pathways are having a far greater impact on Portugal’s housing challenges and the growing population. The government continues to prioritize measures to accommodate the growing demand for housing and has proposed to close the Golden Visa real estate investment route in the coming months. Given the above stats, scrapping the Golden Visa programme as a way to combat the housing crisis is a massive oversight by the Portuguese Government and will have very little impact on resolving the overall housing issue, in La Vida’s opinion. We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to update our website with updates as they arise. The next announcement is expected on July 19th.

Overall, whether you are an existing Golden Visa holder, or in the process of applying for one, Portugal’s high citizenship approval rates should give you great comfort for the future of your own citizenship application, should you decide to apply following the mandatory five-year residency period. For more details on Portugal’s Golden Visa programme and the path to Citizenship, please get in touch with our team.  

Tags: citizenship by investment 2023, Permanent Residency, portugal, residency visa

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