The Portugal Golden Visa program has become one of the most popular residency-by-investment schemes of its kind since its inception in 2012. It's part of Portugal's immigration move to attract foreign investments into the country. While there are an array of options open to investors, such as through making a real estate purchase, contributing to an investment fund, or making a capital transfer to the country, one of the lesser-known options is the cultural production Golden Visa Portugal pathway. Alongside tourism, Golden Visa investments have significantly boosted the economy of Portugal since the program was launched. From the stunning Atlantic coastline, sublime climate, and golden sandy beaches to its bustling cities, rich history, and quaint villages, there are countless attractions in Portugal. This is without mentioning the attractive tax benefits, excellent healthcare and education systems, welcoming locals, and the fact that Portugal is a safe and stable country. Indeed, Portugal has long been one of the most sought-after locations for expats, and the Golden Visa provides a pathway to EU residency for non-EU citizens. Many countries now offer Golden Visas, but Portugal's program is one of the most sought-after in the world. In this article, we'll delve into the Portugal Golden Visa, specifically focusing on the cultural production Golden Visa Portugal route. We'll delve into the following:
  • The Portugal Golden Visa
  • The cultural Golden Visa program at a glance
  • Artistic production funding versus property investment versus national cultural heritage
  • Why choose the cultural Golden Visa option?
  • Downsides to the cultural Golden Visa option
  • Cultural production Golden Visa timeline
  • Who we are and how we can help you
  • Plus much more!

The Portugal Golden Visa

As mentioned, the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme has been one of the most popular residency-by-investment programs of its kind since it was launched in October 2012. Since then, more than 11,384 investors and 18,617 family members have benefited from the Portugal Golden Visa, pumping more than €6,609,272282,02 into the country. The scheme is open to any non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizen looking to secure residency in exchange for investing in the country. Advantages include easy access to the European Union (EU) and the Schengen Area, greater financial and personal freedoms, and the fact that your family can be included in the application. There is also the opportunity to gain permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship under the scheme, as long as the qualifying investment is kept for at least five years and all the requirements are met under Portuguese immigration and nationality law. This includes holding a clean criminal record and passing a basic Portuguese language test. The most popular pathway is the real estate investment route, which has accounted for more than 90 percent of all Golden Visa applications. Aside from this, the investment fund option has also proven to be popular in recent years, particularly among American citizens.

What is the minimum investment needed for Portugal Golden Visa?

One of the advantages of the Portuguese Golden Visa program is that you will find relatively affordable investment options. The minimum investment for the Portugal Golden Visa is the cultural production Golden Visa. The minimum requirement is that you will need to make an investment of €250,000 into the production of arts or make a donation of €250,000 to national cultural heritage. Note that if you are set on property investments to secure the Golden Visa, one of the most affordable Golden Visa investment options is the €280,000 real estate option, which could be an excellent option.

The Cultural Golden Visa Program at a Glance

The cultural Golden Visa program, launched in 2015, is the most affordable option of the scheme, whereby you can secure a Portugal Golden Visa for €250,000 (or €200,000 if the cultural production takes place in a designated low-density area).

You will need to make a qualifying investment in an eligible project, which will need to be approved by the Portuguese government. An example of a cultural project can be a Portuguese feature film production project, for example.

This investment option is perfect for investors looking to make a high-impact investment in artistic production while being able to secure residency in an EU country with a high quality of life.

The Golden Visa changes came into play on 1 January 2022, meaning that it is no longer possible to invest in residential real estate in the hotspot location of the country, thus ruling out Lisbon, Porto, and much of the Algrave. Alongside this, many investment options increased in price, including the capital transfer and investment fund options.

This has led more investors to contemplate other investment routes – and the cultural production Golden Visa appears to be a great alternative. You can see the guidance from the Portuguese Border and Immigration Service (SEF) on the program here.


Artistic Production Golden Visa versus Cultural Heritage versus Property Investment

Below you can find a table comparing the three Golden Visa options: the artistic production route, cultural heritage, and the property investment route.


Investment in an artistic project


Non-refundable donation to a foundation of heritage and cultural significance


Real estate investment

Minimum investment amount

(or €200,000 if located in low-density areas)

(or €200,000 if in a low-density area)

€500,000 for commercial or residential real estate
(or €350,000 for a rehabilitation project * an additional 20% discount applies if located in a low-density area)

(more info about the Portugal Golden vista real estate route

Minimum investment term

5 years

5 years

5 years

Government pre-approval




Application submitted by government entity




Expected time for issuance of residency card by SEF

12-18 months

12-18 months

12-18 months

Family eligibility




Path to citizenship after 5 years




Minimum days required in Portugal to maintain residency

Total of 14 days every two years

Total of 14 days every two years

Total of 14 days every two years


Cultural Golden Visa: Program Background

So, how did the cultural production Golden Visa come about?

Law 63/2015 on 30 June came into force on 1 July 2015, which created changes to the rules for foreign nationals entering, staying, and leaving Portugal. The changes included new types of investment activities that would enable foreign citizens to qualify for a Portuguese Golden Visa.

This included:

  1. Support for artistic production
  2. Renovation and maintenance of national heritage

The minimum investment required for these activities is €250,000, although this minimum investment amount can be reduced by 20 percent (clocking in at €200,000) if the activity is conducted in a designated low-density area.

This Portuguese Golden Visa €200,000 option makes it the most affordable pathway to obtain residency in Portugal through the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme.


Where did this artistic support funding option come from, and why is it only known now?

The artistic support funding option, and the cultural production option, in general, are not such popular investment options for investors. One of the key reasons for this may be the ambiguity of these routes.

In order to qualify for the cultural production Golden Visa, you need to donate €250,000 to Portuguese arts, national heritage, or culture. To date, there has not been sufficient information to gain an extensive understanding of what qualifies for this investment.

If you are interested in this Golden Visa option, you can book a call with one of our advisors. One of the key advantages of this route is that it is the most affordable option to qualify for the Golden Visa scheme.

So, what other options are there?

Alongside the cultural production Golden Visa Portugal, the following Golden Visa investment options are open to investors. As mentioned, the most popular Golden Visa category is the real estate option.

  • Residential real estate: Buy residential real estate in a designated interior area of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies.
  • Commercial real estate: Buy commercial property anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies.
  • Buy real estate on Madeira or Azores: Buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.
  • Fund subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund (private equity or venture capital funds) worth at least €500,000.
  • Capital transfer: Make a capital transfer of at least €1.5 million.
  • Scientific research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000.
  • Job creation: Company incorporation and creation of ten jobs amounting to a minimum value of €500,000.
  • Investment in artistic production: Make an investment in artistic production of at least €250,000.
  • National heritage: Make a donation of €250,000 to national heritage in the country.

Why choose the Cultural Golden Visa option?

Portuguese Golden Visas are usually completed through the real estate option, with most Golden Visa applicants choosing to invest in this route (accounting for more than 90 percent of applications), in investment funds (private equity or venture capital funds), or through one of the other better-known Portugal Golden Visa options. This has meant that the cultural production option has been overlooked. One of the key reasons for this is that supporting artistic activities is only sometimes profitable.

O que é o Golden Visa Portugal?

However, there are exceptions to this. For example, investing in film production for profit is a straightforward way where you can meet the cultural Golden Visa’s requirements and get a return on your Golden Visa investment. Such applications need to be carried out by an eligible public entity, and the project will need to be approved as qualifying for the Portugal Golden Visa.

The biggest selling point of the cultural production Golden Visa Portugal is that it is the most affordable option out of all the investment options. Once you have spoken with a professional expert in the field, you’ll be able to identify the institution with which you can make your investment and who will be able to assist you with the paperwork.

Additionally, the cultural production Golden Visa has the following advantages.

  • Pre-approval by an official entity
  • Expenses reduction of 80 percent compared to the Golden Visa property investment route
  • Fastest Golden Visa: Only eight months
  • Full Associate Producer status, inclusion in film credits, and invitations to exclusive premiere and shoot locations
  • The potential scope for an early return of capital
  • Possibility for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship after five years
  • Family can be included in the application

Important note: Pre-approval by an official entity concerns the project that has already been pre-approved by an entity that belongs to the Portuguese government and not the entity submitting the application for the client.

As mentioned, to secure citizenship, you must fulfill all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law, including having a clear criminal record and passing a basic Portuguese language test. You will also need to hold your investment for five years and stay for a minimum period in the country. The requirement is to spend a minimum period of seven days in Portugal in the first year, then a subsequent 14 days in the following two-year periods.

Are there any downsides to be aware of?

The greatest downside is that this Golden Visa option is less popular and less well-known than, say, the property investment route. Therefore, you may only find a little information on this visa type when doing research. It is best to speak with experienced advisors in the field so that you are aware of the process, additional fees, etc.

The Cultural Golden Visa Application Timeline

The timeline for the cultural Golden Visa is as follows:

  1. An eligible entity and investor are interested in a project that has a solid maintenance capacity for a five-year period.
  2. The project is submitted for approval before GEPAC (Bureau for Cultural Strategy, Planning and Assessment of the Ministry of Culture).
  3. GEPAC forwards the project to the Minister of Culture, which has ten working days to assess the project and decide whether the project is eligible.
  4. If the project is eligible, the investor proceeds with the investment and forwards the proof of the transfer document to GEPAC, plus other documents required to prove the investment (such as identifying the investor who transferred the funds, its representant when applicable, the declaration from the beneficiary entity, the transfer of money from a foreign bank account to a Portuguese bank account, etc.).
  5. GEPAC issues a declaration that will be submitted in the Portuguese Golden Visa application proving that the investment has been made. This will be used before SEF.

Important note: Pre-approval of the project concerns only those that are no longer pre-approved by GEPAC. These are entities such as Fundação de Serralves, Fundação Batalha de Aljubarrota, and Fundação D. Luís I that already have pre-approved projects.

Note that you must have a Portuguese bank account and a NIF number for the Portuguese Golden Visa. You can get your NIF number and set up a bank account remotely.




Who are we and how can we help you?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique residency and citizenship-by-investment company focused on finding the right investment, citizenship, or residency program for individuals across the world. We work solely on behalf of our clients throughout the process for an easy and hassle-free journey to your desired route.

With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, get in touch today to see how we can understand your objectives and help you move towards becoming a global citizen.

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Why Work With Us

The Portugal Golden Visa program is ending soon, and this is your final chance to apply. If you have decided to seize this final opportunity here’s what we can do for you. 

  1. Firstly our onboarding team can help you obtain your personal Portuguese tax number (known as a NIF) in two days. We can then open a bank account or an escrow, which takes between two to four weeks.
  2. Alongside this, your will meet your immigration and legal team to discuss your personal and family circumstances and help you gather all the documents required for your application. 
  3. Our investment teams will help you familiarize yourself with the market and assist you in understanding all the eligible options for the program, which includes real estate, investment funds, and cultural projects. 

You’ll have three teams working in parallel to help you streamline your application while coordinating with each other. To provide you with an example, we will ensure that you won’t make the investment until all your documents and preparations are ready for your application to be viable and ready to be submitted. 

In times like these, time is of the essence. Global Citizen Solutions can ensure that your Golden Visa application process is a smooth one. 

Start your application today and secure your Portugal Golden Visa. 

To see the full list of reasons why to work with Global Citizen Solutions for your Portugal Golden Visa, you can find out more here: Why Work with Global Citizen Solutions for Your Golden Visa Portugal Application?

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cultural Production Golden Visa

How can I find eligible artistic or cultural activities for Portugal's Golden Visa program?

There is only one entity that can provide the certificate confirming a cultural production Golden Visa:  GEPAC (Bureau for Cultural Strategy, Planning and Assessment of the Ministry of Culture). We recommend working awith experts in the field to understand whether an artistic or cultural activity is eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa.