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Last reviewed on July 6, 2024

Portugal Golden Visa

Residence permit by investment for affordable living and visa-free trips around the Schengen Area

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa program, also known as the Portugal Investment Residency Program, was launched in 2012. It allows wealthy people to obtain residency in the country by investing in its economy.

Applicants have 5 investment options: purchasing investment fund units, supporting art and restoring cultural heritage, investing in research activities, business investment and opening a company with the creation of at least 10 jobs.

The residence permit is issued for 2 years with an opportunity to extend it each 2 years for as long as the investor wants.

With a Portugal residence permit, investors obtain various benefits: a right to live, work or run a business in Portugal, travel visa-free around the Schengen Area, optimise taxes and obtain EU citizenship in 5 years.

€250,000

Minimum investment

12+ months

Processing time

2 years with renewal

Validity period

10 Key Benefits of Portugal Golden Visa

  • 1

    Schengen area access

    Holders of the Portugal residency can travel freely within the Schengen zone, which includes 29 European countries.

  • 2

    Path to citizenship

    After five years of legal residency, there’s an option to apply for Portuguese citizenship. The 5-years naturalisation period is calculated from the moment of payment of the state fee for applying for a Portugal Golden Visa.

  • 3

    The minimal residency requirement

    Golden Visa holders are required to stay in Portugal for 7 days per annum, which allows flexibility for investors who do not want to relocate permanently.

  • 4

    Family reunification

    Immediate family members can also qualify for residency, promoting family unity.

  • 5

    Stable and safe environment

    Portugal is known for its political stability, low crime rate, and high quality of life.

  • 6

    Quality healthcare and education

    Access to world-class healthcare facilities and renowned educational institutions. Portuguese diplomas are recognized in all the EU states.

  • 7

    Low cost of living

    Compared to many Western or Northern European countries, Portugal generally offers a lower cost of living. €820 per month is enough for one person.

  • 8

    Cultural and lifestyle appeal

    Portugal boasts a rich culture, pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, and a warm and welcoming population.

  • 9

    Diverse investment routes

    The Portugal Golden Visa offers several investment options, including job creation, and investment in scientific research or cultural projects.

  • 10

    Newborns can get citizenship by birth

    If children are born in Portugal to Portuguese residents, they can qualify for automatic citizenship. The condition is that the parents have held a Portugal Golden Visa for at least one year before the birth.

Who Can Get a Residence Permit in Portugal

Investor

Over 18

No criminal record or prosecution

No debts in Portugal

Investment money is earned abroad

Able to confirm the legality of the income

Medical insurance

Spouse

Opposite or same sex

No criminal record

In a registered marriage or a partnership of at least 2 years

Children under 26

If under 18: No specific conditions

If aged 18 to 26: Must be financially dependent on the investor, live with the investor or study at a university

Parents

Financially dependent on the investor or the spouse

Investment Options under the Portugal Golden Visa Program

Portugal has five investment options under the Golden Visa Program.

1. Purchase of investment fund units

An investment fund is a financial institution aiming to attract and increase capital by investing in different assets. The minimum investment is €500,000. It must be held for at least 5 years. Then, the investor can return the money and get their part of the earned profit.

2. Supporting arts and restoring cultural heritage

The investor must contribute at least €250,000. This type of investment is non-refundable.

3. Investment in research activities

The minimum investment is €500,000. This type of investment is non-refundable.

4. Business investment

The investor contributes €500,000 to the chosen business and creates at least 5 jobs.

5. Opening a company with the creation of at least 10 jobs

The minimum investment sum is unspecified.

complete guideComparing Portugal Golden Visa to 8 Others

Explore the benefits and drawbacks of the Portugal investment program versus other Golden Visas

Step-by-step Process: How to Become a Portuguese Resident

Obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa consists of several mandatory steps and takes 12+ months.

01.

Turning to immigration experts

2—3 weeks
Turning to immigration experts

We guide our clients through all available investment options and help them choose one that suits them the most. Once a suitable option is selected, we sign a contract.

02.

Obtaining a taxpayer number

1+ weeks
Obtaining a taxpayer number

Taxpayer number (NIF) is required for every person planning to open a Portuguese bank account and make payments within the country.

To obtain a tax number, the investor or their lawyer with a power of attorney visits the Portuguese tax office.

03.

Opening a bank account

Up to 1.5 months
Opening a bank account

Under the Portugal Golden Visa program, the investor can transfer money only from the Portuguese bank account. A bank account can be opened by the investor or by their lawyer.

04.

Fulfilment of the investment

2+ weeks
Fulfilment of the investment

The investor purchases investment fund units, makes a business investment or supports art or science.

05.

Gathering of documents and application

Up to 6 months
Gathering of documents and application

The list of required documents usually includes:

  • copies of passports;

  • certificates of no criminal record;

  • health insurance for every person participating in the program;

  • government questionnaires and forms.

Depending on the chosen investment option, the investor might be required to submit, for example, a signature declaration from the investment fund.

06.

Biometrics

1+ weeks
Biometrics

The investor and family are expected to visit Portugal to submit original documents and fingerprints. They must book an appointment to take biometrics in advance through the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal, AIMA.

07.

Approval and collection of residence permits

Up to 8 months
Approval and collection of residence permits

AIMA considers the investor’s application for up to 6 months and makes a final decision.

If the application is approved, the investor and their family obtain residence permit cards. They can be collected by the applicants or by a lawyer by proxy.

Portugal Golden Visa, D7 Visa and Digital Nomad Visa: Comparison

Besides the Golden Visa, Portugal also offers D7 and Digital Nomad residency visas.

D7 visa is designed for foreigners with passive income coming from outside Portugal. It can be dividends, interests, pensions, or income from renting real estate. To qualify for a D7 visa, an individual must prove their passive income is at least €820 per month.

Digital Nomad Visa is granted to remote workers and freelancers. They must come from non-EU countries and make at least €3,280 a month.

Criteria

Golden Visa

D7 Visa

Digital Nomad Visa

Financial requirements

one-time investment of €250,000

€820 per month

€3,280 per month

Period of mandatory residing in Portugal

7 days per year

1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total in Portugal within the 2 years

1.5 years in a row or 16 months in total in Portugal within the 2 years

Obtaining period

12+ months

6+ months

6+ months

Discover other Golden Visas

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Portugal's Golden Visa Program?

    Golden Visa is an investment program that allows wealthy people to obtain Portuguese residency by investing in Portugal’s economy.

    Full terms of participation in the program are described on its official website.

  • Who qualifies for a Golden Visa in Portugal?

    The main applicant must meet several criteria:

    • be over 18;

    • have no criminal record or prosecution;

    • have no debts in Portugal;

    • earn money for investment outside Portugal;

    • be able to confirm the legality of the income;

    • have medical insurance.

    Family members eligible to participate in the program alongside the investor are spouses, children under 26, and parents.

  • Is Portugal ending its Golden Visa?

    No, Portuguese authorities are not closing Portugal’s Golden Visa Program. However, they made some changes to it. For example, investing in real estate is no longer available.

  • What are the disadvantages of the Golden Visa in Portugal?

    Despite many advantages, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program still has some disadvantages.

    They are:

    • An extended period of obtainment;

    • a need to undergo strict Due Diligence;

    • a need to visit Portugal in order to submit biometrics.

  • Can I buy real estate in Portugal for a Golden Visa?

    Not anymore. Recently, Portuguese authorities removed this option. However, you can still:

    • purchase of investment fund units;

    • support arts and restore cultural heritage;

    • invest in research activities;

    • make a capital transfer;

    • invest in a business;

    • or open a company and create 10+ jobs.

  • What are the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa?

    Among the most important benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa are the following:

    • access to the Schengen area;

    • a path to citizenship;

    • favourable tax regime;

    • no residency requirement;

    • family reunification;

    • quality healthcare and education.

    • high quality of life and low cost of living.

  • Can I get residency in Portugal if I buy land?

    No. The Portugal Golden Visa program doesn’t have land purchase as an investment option. However, the Greek Golden Visa Program allows one to get residency by buying land.

  • Is it difficult to get residency in Portugal?

    Obtaining a residence permit in Portugal implies a complex process with peculiarities. However, the assistance of specialised agents and lawyers helps make the process easier.

  • What happens after 5 years of residency in Portugal?

    Five years after having a Portuguese residence permit the investor and their family members can apply for permanent residency.

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