Portugal’s Golden Visa: Overview, Requirements, and Application Process

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By David

Launched in 2012, the Portugal’s Golden Visa program is a five-year residency by investment program for non-EU nationals. An eligible investment in Portugal will give the investors and their family members the right to apply for permanent residency in the Mediterranean country, and eventually qualify for citizenship if they wish.

Because of Portugal’s luscious landscapes, pristine Atlantic coastline, year-round sunshine, and professional opportunities, the Golden Visa program has been attracting thousands of foreigners.

Main Benefits of Portugal’s Golden Visa

  • Portugal offers a safe environment and great lifestyle to natives and non-natives. The country is known for its hospitable people and all-year-round pleasant climate
  • Access to international quality healthcare and education systems
  • You can live, study and work in Portugal
  • Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area
  • After 5 years, you become eligible to apply for citizenship as a legal resident of Portugal while keeping other citizenships.
  • Minimum physical presence requirement (7 days on average per year) – Note that if you intend to qualify for citizenship, you must stay for at least

Portugal Golden Visa Eligibility and Requirements

To apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal, you should:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be a non-EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen
  • Have a clean criminal report
  • Invest in one of the eligible investment options in Portugal
  • The funds for investing need to be transferred from outside of Portugal

You have three possible investment options:

1. Capital Transfer

    • At least €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank or Portuguese business.
    • €500K into an investment fund or venture capital fund units for Portuguese companies.
    • €500K for research of the national scientific and technological system
    • €250K for artistic production or recovery/maintenance of national cultural heritage

2. Property Acquisition

    • €500K minimum real estate purchase (€400K in a low population density area) OR
    • €350K minimum real estate investment for the refurbishment of a residential property older than 30 years (€280K in a low population density area)

Residential property acquisition is only possible in areas, considered interior regions—Lisbon, Porto and most coastal areas are excluded. Buying commercial property is still eligible regardless of location.

3. Business

    • Establish a business employing at least ten people locally (8 in a low population density area)
    • Aquire €500,000 worth of capital shares in a Portuguese company, creating at least five permanent jobs for three years.

Below Family Members Can Be Included in the Application

  • Spouse
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Dependent children under 26 if they’re single and can demonstrate their dependence on the parents
  • Parents (66+ years old, or 55 and dependent) of either spouse
  • Siblings under 18 years of age from either spouse

Application Process for a Golden Visa in Portugal

The process of applying for a Golden Visa is fairly straightforward. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Onboarding: Collect paperwork for yourself and any dependents.
  2. Bank account & NIF (tax identification number): After obtaining your NIF, you have to open a bank account in Portugal.
  3. Make the investment: After deciding where to invest, you’ll have to transfer the full amount of the investment.
  4. Online application: Submit your application online. It’s highly recommended to work together with a lawyer to make sure everything is correct.
  5. Pre-approval of your application if you fulfill the necessary requirements.
  6. Biometrics appointment: It currently takes several months to acquire a biometrics appointment. You’ll need to travel to Portugal for this as it is done in person.
  7. Golden Visa issuance: After biometrics, the first residency card will be sent to you.