Updated: September 20, 2021 | 10 minute read

    The Portugal Golden Visa programme is one of the most popular residency-by-investment programmes in the world. It allows visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen area, giving non-EU investors the option to gain residency for five years by investing a minimum of €280,000.  

    Portugal Golden Visa or Residence Permit Programme remains valid if the investor spends only seven days in the country during the first year and then a minimum of 14 days (consequently or otherwise) within (any) two years for the remaining duration. After five years, residents can apply for Portuguese citizenship, which becomes a gateway to live, work and study anywhere in Europe and travel visa-free to 186 countries.  

    A recent change in July 2021 declared that investment in a high-density metropolitan area of Portugal, such as Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, the Silver Coast or Setubal, will no longer qualify for a Golden Visa. These changes aim to promote foreign investment in low-density areas of the country. There will be a transition period till December 2022 to enable investors to complete their applications.  

    Why is Portugal Golden Visa so popular? 

    After launching this programme in 2012, Portugal issued Residence Permits to more than 9,000 investors and about 16,000 family members. Here are the reasons the programme is a big hit:  

    1) Short stay requirement  

    An individual needs to spend only 35 days cumulatively over the five years residence period. Without any hindrance to their living and working situation, investors have the freedom to continue to travel freely across Europe’s Schengen Area without waiting for visas.  

    2) Family members  

    Dependents include children under 18 and parents of the applicant if above 66 (or 55 years and dependent). All the family members can live in Portugal and avail of education and healthcare benefits.  

    3) Better quality of life 

    Portugal is a cosmopolitan and peaceful nation with a very high Human Development Index ranking. Its mild climate, rich heritage, stunning beaches and idyllic countryside are a big draw for seeking a good quality of life.  

    4) Affordable investment options  

    With a minimum investment of €280,000, investors can apply for the Golden Visa. The most popular investment option in Portugal real estate investment, where one can buy a property by investing €500,000 in high-density population areas or invest €350,000 in a rehabilitation project preowned property.  

    5) Portugal Tax benefits

    Golden Visa holders have to pay tax on income generated outside Portugal if they apply and qualify for a non-habitual residence (NHR) tax regime. 

    Related: Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme 

    Your step-by-step guide to getting an EU passport 

    Portugal ranks sixth in the global passport power index, which allows its citizens to travel to 186 countries visa-free or with the visa-on-arrival option. Here is the process of obtaining a Golden Visa and applying for citizenship:  

    Step #1: Make a qualifying investment in real estate or capital transfer.  

    Step #2: Fill in the Golden Visa application form and ensure that it gets approved within three months. Post this, a residency card will be issued (after the approval of the application), which is valid for two years.  

    Step #3: Apply for the renewal of visa in the second and the fourth year, staying for a minimum of 14 days in a year block period.  

    Step #4: Investors are eligible to apply for a permanent residence visa and citizenship in the sixth year.  

    Step #5: Investors can also apply for an EU passport once citizenship is confirmed.
     

    Investment options for Portugal Golden Visa  

    Here are a few options for investors to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa:  

    Real estate investment

    • Purchase a new property worth €500,000 in urban areas  
    • Purchase a new property worth €400,000 in low population density areas  
    • Invest in preowned properties (over 30 years old) scheduled for rehabilitation or in low-density areas worth € 280,000  

    Capital transfer  

    • Transfer EUR 1 million into a Portuguese bank account  
    • Invest €250,000 for the preservation of national heritage  
    • Invest at least €350,000 for research activities of approved public or private entities  
    • Invest a minimum of €350,000 in a private equity fund  

    Business

    Invest in a Portuguese business or single-member company that creates at least ten jobs.  

    Eligibility for Portugal citizenship  

    Investors need to fulfill the following requirements to be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa program and citizenship:  

    • Must be 18 years or older  
    • Must not have any criminal record  
    • Must hold the investment for a minimum of 5 years  
    • Must own the money needed to invest  
    • Must clear the Portuguese language test for citizenship  
    • Must have a domicile in Portugal for citizenship  

    Portugal Residency vs Portugal Citizenship: Choose the right option

    A resident visa and citizenship in a new country can bring many benefits and advantages for the applicants and their families, including access to healthcare, education, and business opportunities. The motivation to move to another country or attain a dual passport varies from person to person.  

    Portuguese citizenship is highly beneficial for investors looking for global mobility without giving up the citizenship of their home country. A citizen of Portugal is considered a citizen of Europe and can work and live freely across the entire region. Children born after gaining citizenship automatically become citizens. There is no need to renew your visa, and you will not face deportation. You also get the right to vote and other social benefits. You may apply for government and high-security positions after becoming a citizen.  

    Portugal’s Golden Visa offers multi-layered benefits for high-net-worth individuals who value global mobility and plan several moves ahead, including gaining full EU citizenship. With the clock now ticking and changes set to come in later this year, it makes immense sense to get in touch with legal/residency experts who will help you open a bank account, obtain a tax identification number and help you with the paperwork for your visa application.  

    Portugal is among the few countries that offer resident visas and citizenship without the requirement for a lengthy stay. Investors can take their time to plan their relocation if they desire while balancing their current work and stay arrangements.  

    If you have been waiting for the opportunity to make Portugal your next home, contact us today.