Portugal has become one of the most popular second home spots for Brazillians, as Golden Visa applications increased by 222% in 2017.

Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit, or Investment Based Residence Permit (ARI) enables non-EU nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit; paving the way to a Portuguese passport and consequently, citizenship.

The most popular route to entry is through property investment, with a minimum purchase property price of €500,000 required. The Portuguese Government reported over €3bn worth of investment has entered the country from real estate investment since October 2012, compared to €321m from capital transfer; which goes towards supporting of the arts, sciences, technology and refurbishment of national heritage.

The rise in Golden Visa applications from Brazilian nationals stems from a number of factors. Firstly, the political and economic tensions in Brazil have increased in recent months, including former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s sentencing for corruption charges.

Crime rates in the Brazil remain at a high, as do levels of unemployment; heightening the appetite for relocation. Portugal’s obvious cultural synergies and the Golden Visa’s fast-track opportunities to residency make it a frontrunner.

Proving an extra incentive, Portuguese airline TAP has also introduced ‘Portugal Stopovers’, where customers on flights with a layover in Lisbon or Porto can stay up to five nights for no extra flight cost. With direct flights from 52 Brazilian locations, Portugal’s cities are increasingly more accessible to the South American nation.

“Brazilians used to look only at Chiado or Liberdade in Lisbon and the charming town of Cascais. Recently, we have started to see a shift towards more residential areas such as Belém, Estrela and Avenidas Novas,” says Alice Autran Garcia, from Athena Advisers.

There are also clear financial advantages for Brazilians looking to invest in Portugal. Lloyd Hughes from Athena adds: “Those purchasing with the Brazilian Real, with a budget of R$4m back in February last year, would have a budget of €822,223. Today, they would be looking at a budget of approximately 25% more, where R$4m would stretch to €1,037,075 from currency swings alone.

“This, combined with an increase in flight routes, political unrest and cultural similarities, is fuelling the influx of Brazilian Golden Visa applications. We expect this trend to continue into 2018”.

This new data from Athena also reveals a 160% increase from South African nationals, a 116% rise from Lebanese nationals, a 73% rise from Russian nationals and 44% rise from Chinese nationals.

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