American involvement in Portugal's golden visa program mirrors that of the percentage of candidates who pick fund investment as their preferred route: Clearly not a coincidence.

So far this year, Americans have been the most prevalent Golden Visa investors, accounting for almost 20% of applications. The first quarter of 2022 marks the first time in the history of the Portuguese golden visa that Chinese investors were not the highest number of applicants, and this has much to do with the rise in American interest and the quality of funds eligible for Golden Visa investment.

American interest in the program is set to double this year, which is in line with last year.

Americans expect to have a diverse array of choices when considering an investment. More importantly, such choice must be in a robust, regulated and managed structure, hence funds resonate strongly with them.

The platform of EQTY initiated funds (with EQTY Capital being the founding unit holder of each) provides this by offering exceptional diversification, not only in regulated product but in prime real estate developers too, that highly trained fund managers ‘cherry pick’ from. The EQTY team identifies with internationally minded individuals who expect to engage with commercial expertise and corporate ethics of the highest standard.

Americans, more than most of the other large applicant nationalities, prefer the fund category over other qualifying options. US investors are more accustomed to investing in securities, thanks to the country's long history of public trading and large number of accredited investors. They value CMVM-accredited and professionally managed funds, their regulated nature, as well as their superior tax efficiency when compared to direct real estate investment.

Americans, East to West Coast, have realized the potential of Portugal and the quality it offers. Interestingly, what is drawing the crowd, are elements that Portugal has never lacked. Perhaps the biggest change in recent years is the marketing of the Portugal "brand". Beyond a wonderful climate and natural beauty, it is a warmly welcoming country where one can enjoy the simple things in life in a cultured, safe, diverse, affordable and stable environment. Commercially, Portugal has been performing well for several years and it is an exciting time to look at the country from an investment point of view. The capability of combining a solid investment with an initiative like the Golden Visa Residency programme makes the decision to invest in Portugal a clear choice.

Michael Maxwell

Head of Business Development at EQTY CAPITAL