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Golden Visa approval rate collapses - Greece and Ireland soak up Chinese applicants

GoldenVisaData from the Immigration and Borders Service show that only 47 investors received Golden Visas in July, 2108, the lowest monthly approval for two years.

The overall yearly intake remains on track but the sudden fall in numbers is blamed Greece and Ireland soaking up Chinese applicants.

Over the first three years of the Golden Visa programme, Chinese nationals represented more than 80% of all applicants. This proportion now has fallen to 60%, due to an increase in applications from, Russia, Brazil South Africa, Turkey and the Lebanon.

The deceleration in Chinese applications isn’t just relative; in absolute terms, Chinese interest is waning with Chinese investors shifting focus to Ireland and Greece, the latter is seeing a surge in interest from China, in particular.

Another factor is that in 2017, the SEF was taking months to process applications, resulting in a backlog of several thousands at the year end. This situation will have been noted by individual applicants and agencies dealing with Chinese nationals. Quicker results were expected.

The backlog has been cleared due to changes in the way the SEF takes in applications but historical inefficiencies will have had an adverse effect.

Approval volumes for the programme have been on a downward trend throughout 2018 with the July figure of 47 approvals triggering only €26 million in qualifying real estate purchases.

The yearly figure is on track at 863 approvals in the first seven months of the year and the government still expects that 1,500 approvals will be granted by the year end - but with the sharp reduction in Chinese applicants, this target may not be hit.


With thanks to Investment Migration Insider. For more investment news, click HERE

Investment Migration Insider is the leading source of intelligence for the Citizenship and Residence by Investment Industry.

Its readers are professionals from immigration companies, property developers, law firms, private wealth advisories and family offices, as well as policy-makers, and even some heads of state. The site features breaking news, commentary on current events, interviews with key figures, an extensive overview of relevant conferences, and the only job listing site dedicated exclusively to the CBI/RBI industry.

Thanks to official sources continuously keeping us apprised of policy updates, its readers are among the first to know of significant program changes that may affect their clients.


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+4 #2 Bob Sam 2018-08-12 20:42
The collapse is not due to competition from Greece and Ireland but rather the super bureaucratic process that takes applicants 8 months minimum for approval. This in turn led investors to run away from Portugal golden visa
+1 #1 Charly 2018-08-12 18:57
Big competition on the black markets ! And immediate reaction from Portugal (SEF) that sees "their fees" slowly melting in the sun….
That has to be avoided at any price of course.
Conclusion: all hens on deck ow at SEF !!!!!!!!

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