Residency
Golden Visa Visa D7
Real Estate
Real Estate in Portugal

Portugal residency by investment: all possible ways to get it

The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a secure way for foreign nationals to obtain residency in the country. It implies a minimal investment of €250,000 and around 6 months of waiting time.

What is the Portugal Golden Visa Program?

The Portugal Golden Visa Program has been operating since 2012. During the 10 years of its existence, about 11,000 investors took part in it, and 18,000 individuals obtained residency in Portugal.

It is the most popular residency-by-investment program in Europe. Investors choose it for attractive terms and conditions and adequate processing times. The minimal investment required to join the program is €250,000, and the processing time is around 6 months.

Some investment options are returnable, like purchasing real estate and acquiring fund units. After five years of Golden Visa residence, investors can obtain permanent residency or citizenship by naturalisation and return their money. 

The program offers seven investment options, including purchasing real estate or fund units and investments in business, arts or scientific research. 

Who is eligible for a Portugal Golden Visa 

To join the program, investors need to meet its requirements. Participants need to prove that they: 

  • are over 18 years old;
  • are not a citizen of an EU or EEA country;
  • have no criminal record;
  • can prove the legality of the investment money;
  • earned money for investment outside of Portugal;
  • have no debts in Portugal;
  • have medical insurance;
  • are making the investment payment from a Portuguese bank account. 

Investors can add to the application their close family members:

  • spouse or a registered partner of over two years; 
  • children of the investor and their spouse under 18 years old;
  • children of the investor and their spouse from 18 to 26 years old if they are financially dependent on the main applicant and not married;
  • parent of the investor and their spouse, if they are over 65 years old and dependent on the main applicant;
  • siblings under 18 years old if they are fully dependent on the main applicant.

How to get Portugal Golden Visa by real estate investment

When investing in real estate, applicants can choose to purchase commercial or residential property. The minimal accepted price depends on the region it’s located in and its age. There are two options available under the program: 

  • €350,000+ for real estate built more than 30 years ago or €280,000+ for such properties in sparsely populated areas;
  • €500,000+ for newer real estate or €400,000 for such properties in sparsely populated areas.
€280,000
The minimal price an investor needs to pay for real estate to get the Golden Visa

Residential real estate in some regions of Portugal does not qualify for the Golden Visa program, no matter the price. These are properties in Lisbon, Porto, and most of the coastal area. 

Regions to invest in real estate for Portugal Golden visa
Investors can purchase residential properties on Madeira or the Azores, as well as in the central and eastern parts of Portugal. Some areas on the south of the east coast are also available

To keep renewing residency and be eligible for citizenship by naturalisation in the future, the investor has to own the real estate for at least five years. After that, they can resell the property and get the investment back.  

Additional costs for the purchase of real estate include: 

  • 6 to 8% of the property value as transfer tax;
  • 0.8% of the property value for the stamp duty;
  • 0.4% of the cadastral property value for annual property tax. 

Examples of investment real estate in Portugal

Investment real estate in Evora, Portugal for Golden Visa

Shares in a 4-star boutique hotel in the historic centre of Evora. The hotel is located in an unfinished monastery building from 1531 and combines heritage and modernity. The property price is €280,000

Real estate for Golden Visa in Algarve, Portugal

Villa with a swimming pool in a new residential complex in a golf resort. The complex is located in Algarve on the southern coast — a 2-hour drive from Lisbon. The price starts at €398,000

Investment property in Madeira for Golden Visa

Apartments in a hotel complex on the coast of Madeira island. The hotel complex is located in Funchal, the capital city of Madeira. The complex has a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, a jacuzzi, a tennis court, etc. The price starts at €175,000

How to get a Portugal Golden Visa by investing in fund units 

An investment fund is a type of financial institution that seeks to attract and grow capital. The fund raises money and invests in a variety of assets, including real estate, local businesses, industrial facilities, and the European stock market.

The minimal investment in a fund unit should be €500,000. Depending on the chosen fund, investors can expect to earn 8—30% in interest at the end of the investment period or annually. 

The investor must keep the funds for a minimum of five years. They can technically return the money after that. However, the investment is usually returned in 6—10 years.

€500,000
The minimal investment
in fund units

Additional costs when purchasing investment fund units: 

  • up to 7.5% of fund commission;
  • 0.5—3% of annual fund commission on profits;
  • 14% of investment income tax — only for tax residents of Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa by capital transfer

Residency by investment in Portugal can also be obtained by transferring a capital of at least €1,500,000 to the local government debt instruments — treasury bonds, savings certificates, and regular treasury bills.

This investment can be returned after the investor and their family obtain permanent residence or citizenship, meaning in at least 6 years.  

Portugal Golden Visa by investment in a business 

Foreign nationals seeking a Portugal Golden Visa can choose to invest in a business. There are two options for that.

Investment in an existing company in Portugal — in this case, the applicant should invest at least €500,000 and create at least five permanent full-time jobs in that company. 

Funding a new company in Portugal — as an investment, Golden Visa applicants can start a register a new business in the country. In this case, they must create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs. If the company is registered in a low-density territory, the number of jobs can be reduced to 8. The minimal investment amount for this option is not specified.

Portugal Golden Visa by investment in arts or scientific research 

Investment in arts and cultural heritage. Foreign nationals can invest in Portuguese art or the renovation or reconstruction of national heritage through governmental organisations. This option implies the smallest investment amount in the program — €250,000. 

Investment in scientific or tech research. The minimal investment in research is €500,000 — the money should be sent to a government-approved institution conducting the research. 

How to obtain a Portugal Golden Visa by investing in real estate: step-by-step procedure

1
Preliminary Due Diligence
1 day
2
Selection of real estate
Up to 3 weeks
3
First trip to Portugal
2—5 days
4
Real estate purchase
1—2 months
5
Preparation of the documents and application
Up to 2 months
6
Second trip to Portugal
1 day
7
Approval and obtaining the residence permit cards
4—6 months
8
Renewal of residence permits
Every 3 years

1. Preliminary Due Diligence. This background check is conducted by a certified Anti Money Laundering Officer hired by Immigrant Invest and allows us to reduce the rejection risk to 1%. This is a mandatory procedure; we sign a contract with an investor only after it. 

2. Selection of real estate. At this step, the investor remotely selects the property from options provided by Immigrant Invest real estate experts. After a shortlist is created, we negotiate the price and the terms of the deal on the investor’s behalf. 

3. First trip to Portugal. The applicant visits Portugal to see the shortlisted real estate options in person and make a final decision. During the stay, they also open a bank account, obtain an individual taxpayer number and draw a power of attorney for the lawyer that’s going to represent the investor in Portugal. 

4. Real estate purchase. Immigrant Invest lawyers fully curate the deal: they take care of the legality of the transaction, sign a pre-sale contract and close the deal. After that, they receive the ownership certificate. 

5. Preparation of the documents and application. Immigrant Invest lawyers provide the investor with the list of papers they need to collect to apply for residency. Once the documents are received, they notarise them and fill out the government forms. 

Once ready, the copies of documents are sent for consideration to the SEF, the Immigration Office of Portugal. The processing of the application usually takes 4—6 weeks. 

6. Second trip to Portugal and fingerprinting. The investor and their family included in the application must submit their fingerprints and original documents in person. The appointment for fingerprinting is booked online. 

Once everything is submitted, SEF issues a confirmation document to all applicants, allowing them to stay in Portugal until the SEF’s final decision about the application is made.

7. Approval and obtaining residence permit cards. After the original documents are submitted, SEF reviews the application for up to 6 months. Once it is approved, the investor is to pay a fee of €5,340 per family member for permit card issuance. The cards can be picked up by the applicant or their authorised representative from Immigrant Invest.

6+ months
The timeframe of documents review by SEF

8. Renewal of residence permit. To be able to renew the permit, the investor and their family members are required to spend at least seven days a year in Portugal. The renewal procedure is similar to the initial application and includes collecting the same package of documents, fingerprinting and submitting the original papers. 

Documents to apply for Portugal Golden Visa 

The list of documents required for the application includes the following: 

  • two passport photos, coloured;
  • a passport or other valid travel document;
  • evidence of entry and legal stay in Portugal;
  • medical insurance;
  • an extract from the criminal record of the country of origin;
  • evidence of tax identification number in  the country of origin; 
  • a sworn statement by which the applicant declares to comply with all the investment requirements;
  • evidence of the tax obligation duly filled;
  • application fee payment receipt — the fee is €533 per family member; 
  • a filled-in application form;
  • documents proving the fulfilment of investment conditions. 

The documents proving the fulfilment of investment conditions depend on the chosen option. For instance, applicants who purchase real estate need to provide: an acquisition deed of the real estate, a declaration of effective international transfer of assets, a land register certificate, and a legal description of the property.

Benefits of Portugal Golden Visa

Visa-free travel to Europe. Residents of Portugal can visit all the Schengen states visa-free for short stays of up to 90 days per half a year. 

EU citizenship prospect. Investors can obtain Portugal citizenship by naturalisation after five years of residency in the country. To be able to apply, they are required to spend at least 7 days per year in Portugal. 

Plan B residency. Golden Visa residents can enter Portugal and stay here for as long as their permits are valid. This can be useful in case they need to leave their country of origin due to a political or environmental situation.

No requirements to reside in Portugal. Golden Visa residents don’t have to stay in the country for a long time. Their only requirement is to visit the country and spend at least 7 days a year. For comparison, residents who obtained their status on different conditions are obliged to stay in Portugal for up to 183 days every year. 

Opportunity to reduce the tax burden. New residents of Portugal can obtain a special Non-habitual Resident (NHR) status for 10 years. It allows paying 0% in taxes on global income and only 20% instead of the potential 48% tax for income from within Portugal.

Frequently asked questions

Who qualifies for a Golden visa in Portugal?

Citizens of non-EU and non-EEA countries can apply for a Portugal Golden Visa if they meet the following requirements: 

  • over 18 years old;
  • no criminal record;
  • proven legality of the investment money;
  • money for investment is earned outside of Portugal;
  • no debts in Portugal;
  • medical insurance;
  • investment payment is made from a Portuguese bank account. 

Along with the investor, their close family members can obtain residency: 

  • spouse or a registered partner; 
  • children of the investor and their spouse under 26 years old if they are financially dependent on the main applicant;
  • parents of the investor and their spouse over 65 if they are dependent on the main applicant;
  • siblings under 18 years old if they are fully dependent on the main applicant.
Does Portugal offer a Golden Visa program?

Portugal does have a residency-by-investment program that allows foreign nationals to obtain residency permits by contributing financially to the country’s economy. 

The investment options include: real estate purchase, purchase of investment funds, funding or supporting a local business, and investing in arts or scientific research. 

Is Portugal's Golden Visa ending?

The residency permit obtained under the Golden Visa program is valid for 2 years. After that, it can be renewed for another 2 years. After the investor has spent at least 5 years in Portugal, they can apply for permanent residency or citizenship by naturalisation.

How much does a Golden Visa cost in Portugal?

The investment amount required to join the Portugal Golden Visa Program depends on the chosen investment option. The most popular ways include purchasing real estate for at least €350,000 or investment fund units for at least €500,000.

The option that requires the smallest investment is an investment in art and restoration of cultural heritage. However, unlike the options mentioned above, this one is non-refundable.

Can I get residency in Portugal if I buy a house?

The Portugal Golden Visa Program enables investors in real estate to obtain residency in the country. However, not any properties will qualify for the program. First of all, it has to meet the minimum price requirements: 

  • €350,000+ for real estate built more than 30 years ago or €280,000+ for such properties in sparsely populated areas;
  • €500,000+ for newer real estate or €400,000 for such properties in sparsely populated areas. 

Second, residential properties cannot be located in Lisbon, Porto, or other popular areas.   

How long does it take to get a Golden Visa in Portugal?

It takes around 6—8 months to obtain residency in Portugal by joining the Golden Visa program, including preparing and fulfilling the investment conditions. 

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Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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