The latest market data from Investment Migration Insider has found that Portugal is on track to reach the 10,000 golden visa investors milestone in Q3, as the nation benefits from overspill from other popular destinations such as Greece and Malta, as well as the turbulence for visa investment seen in Cyprus.

Chiefly, it offers the option to apply for citizenship after five years of residency, with investors only required to stay in Portugal for just seven days during their first year and 14 days during each subsequent two years of residency.

But it isn’t just speed and flexibility that Portugal offers investors, their entire family are eligible under the nation’s Golden Visa scheme and the country offers a high level of schooling and access to prestigious higher education at lower EU tuition rates, as well as an attractive tax regime for non-habitual residents.

Research from Astons, the international experts on real estate, residency and citizenship through investment, has demonstrated why Portugal is becoming one of hottest countries for Golden Visa investment.

Perhaps one of the most attractive benefits is the cost of investing. Applicants can invest via the purchase of real estate for as little as €280,000, making it far more affordable than other programmes such as the UK, Malta, Spain and Cyprus.

“Investor interest remains strong across many European countries and this is being driven not only by UK investors keen to overcome any Brexit obstacles but also by American investors due to the political instability of recent months,” says Arthur Sarkisian, Managing Director of Astons.

“Portugal is starting to take centre stage in this respect, having previously played second fiddle to other, more traditionally popular investment programs, such as Greece and Cyprus. As a result, total investment levels have declined in recent years but this looks like it is starting to change as the nation has a lot to offer from an investment perspective. It’s affordable, provides flexibility, a great standard of living and good education prospects and so not only does it make sense financially, but many investors are showing interest with their family being the main motivation.”

Investing via the real estate route also allows investors to let out their property so their investment brings a return in addition to their alternative residency. What’s more, property prices in Portugal as a whole have climbed 5.9 percent in the last year and easily exceeding double-figure growth rates in Vila Real (16.6 percent), Aveiro (14.2 percent), Viseu (14.1 percent), Porto (11.6 percent), Coimbra (11.3 percent), Braga (10.5 percent) and Setúbal (10 percent) bringing yet a further benefit to those investing.

According to Aston’s research, a total of €647 million was invested in Portugal via its Golden Visa programme in 2020, with the average applicant investing €547,377. While this total was down -13 percent year-on-year, it’s a notable 119 percent more than in 2013 with total investment consistently exceeding €600 million a year since 2016.

In just January and February of this year, there have already been €85 million invested with the average investment per applicant increasing to €548,387, suggesting Portugal is increasing in popularity amongst the global investment community.