Unlocking Portugal's Golden Visa: Your Guide to Investment and Residency

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Brenda L.

05 jan 2024 • 10 min read

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The Portugal Golden Visa, also known as the Golden Visa, is a residency-by-investment program that offers foreign investors the opportunity to obtain a residency permit in Portugal and to move to Portugal in exchange for a significant investment in the country's economy. The program was launched in 2012 and has since attracted thousands of investors from around the world, helping to boost the Portuguese economy.

Objectives of the Golden Visa Program

The main objective of the Golden Visa Program is to attract foreign investment to Portugal and promote economic growth. The funds generated by this program are used to support various key sectors of the Portuguese economy, such as real estate, infrastructure, research and development, and innovative companies.

In addition, the program also aims to strengthen links between Portugal and other countries by facilitating the international mobility of investors and providing simplified access to European markets. This allows foreign investors to benefit from the economic and social advantages offered by Portugal while contributing to its development.

> Check this article about moving to Portugal

Advantages of the golden visa for investors

The Golden Visa offers a multitude of benefits for investors who choose to participate in the program. These benefits include:

  1. Temporary residence in Portugal : Golden visa holders have the right to live and work in Portugal, with the option to apply for permanent residency after five years.
  2. Freedom of movement in the Schengen area : Golden visa holders can travel freely in the 26 member countries of the Schengen area without the need for an additional visa.
  3. Access to tax benefits: Foreign investors who participate in the Golden Visa program can take advantage of Portugal's favorable tax regime, including Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) status, which offers tax exemptions on certain types of income for up to 10 years.
  4. Flexible Investment: The program offers several investment options to meet the needs and preferences of investors, including the purchase of real estate, job creation or support for innovative companies.
  5. Portuguese Citizenship: After six years of legal residence in Portugal, Golden Visa holders can apply for Portuguese citizenship, which allows them to enjoy the benefits of a European passport.

The Portugal Golden Visa offers foreign investors a unique opportunity to establish themselves in the European Union while contributing to the economic growth of the country. Thanks to its many advantages and flexibility, this program continues to attract investors from all over the world who wish to take advantage of the economic potential and quality of life offered by Portugal.

Gold Visa Requirements in Portugal

 To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet certain requirements and eligibility criteria, as well as specific investment options.

Golden Visa Eligibility Criteria

  1. Be a non-European national: The program is intended for non-European investors who wish to obtain a residence permit in Portugal.
  2. Applicants must not have been convicted of serious criminal offenses in their country of origin or in any other country.
  3. Applicants must make one of the eligible investments described below.
  4. Investors are required to maintain their investment for a minimum period of five years from the date of granting the gold visa.
  5. Spend a certain amount of time in Portugal: Golden visa holders are required to spend at least seven days per year in Portugal for the first two years and 14 days per year for the next three years.

Golden Visa Investment Options

Applicants for the Golden Visa Program in Portugal must make one of the following qualifying investments:

  • Real estate purchase: Invest in a property with a minimum value of €500,000, or €350,000 if the property is located in an urban rehabilitation area or is more than 30 years old.
  • Invest a minimum of €1 million in shares of Portuguese companies.
  • Job creation: Create at least 10 full-time jobs for Portuguese citizens or permanent residents.
  • Investment in scientific research: Contribute a minimum of €350,000 to scientific research conducted by Portuguese public or private institutions.
  • Investing in arts and culture: Investing a minimum of €250,000 in the preservation of the country's cultural, artistic or historical heritage.
  • Investing in investment or venture capital funds: Investing a minimum of €350,000 in investment or venture capital funds supporting innovative projects or Portuguese SMEs.

Golden Visa Application Process in Portugal

The process of applying for a gold visa in Portugal is a well defined procedure that requires careful preparation and submission of specific documents. In this section, we will guide you through the key steps to obtain a golden visa and the documents required for the visa application.

Key steps to obtain a gold visa

  1. Research and evaluate investment options: Before beginning the application process, it is essential to evaluate the various investment options available for the Golden Visa program. This may include purchasing real estate, starting a business or investing in Portuguese funds.
  2. Once you have chosen your investment option, it is time to gather all the necessary documents to support your application. Make sure all documents are translated into Portuguese and legalized by a notary or lawyer. You should ask for a NIF before moving to Portugal.
  3. The application form must be filled out online on the Portuguese government's official website. You will need to provide personal, professional and financial information, as well as upload the required documents.
  4. Payment of Fees: There is an administrative fee associated with the golden visa application. This fee must be paid online when submitting the application form.
  5. Consular Interview: After submitting your application, you will be required to attend an interview at the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence. At this interview, a consular officer will review your application and verify the documents provided.
  6. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a notification by e-mail. You will then need to go to the consulate or embassy to pick up your golden visa.
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