Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa

Portugal’s 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 an investment into real estate, 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, and welcoming locals.

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
  • Artistic production funding versus cultural heritage donation
  • Why choose the cultural Golden Visa option?
  • Downsides to the cultural Golden Visa option
  • Cultural production Golden Visa costs
  • Cultural production Golden Visa application process
  • Who we are and how we can help you
  • Plus much more!


The Portugal Golden Visa

As mentioned, the Portuguese Golden Visa program has been one of the most popular residency-by-investment schemes of its kind since it was launched in October 2012. Since then, more than 11,263 investors and 18,479 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 also 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 applications. Aside from this, the investment fund route has also proven to be popular in recent years, particularly among American citizens.


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 €250,000 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 donation to the arts or national heritage of Portugal 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 capital transfer and the investment fund option.

This has led more investors to contemplate other investment options – 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 Property Investment

Below you can find a table comparing the two Portuguese Golden Visa options, the artistic production route and the property investment route.

 Cultural Golden Visa (artistic production) Golden Visa property investment
Cost€250,000 (or €200,000 in low-density areas)€500,000 residential real estate in a designated interior area or €350,000 for a rehabilitation project (a 20 percent discount applies if location in a low-density area).

€500,000 commercial real estate anywhere in the country or €350,000 for a rehabilitation project (a 20 percent discount applies if location in a low-density area).

€500,000 real estate investment in the autonomous islands.of Madeira or the Azores or €350,000 for a rehabilitation project.
Guaranteed annual yield4 percent per annumNone, usually around 2 percent per annum, but this will vary
Minimum term5 yearsTypically 5 years +
Exit feesNoneVaries
Government pre-approval step prior to capital being committedYesNo
Application submitted by government entityYesNo
Typical time residency card issuance8-10 months16-24 months
Famliy eligibilityYesYes
Path to permanent residency and citizenshipYesYes
Minimum in-country stay requirement1 week (7 days) per year for 5 years, on average1 week (7 days) per year for 5 years, on average
Professional service feesNone or included in the applicaiton€5,000 - €20,000, depending on service provider


Artistic Production Golden Visa versus Cultural Heritage Donation

Below you can find a comparison table of the artistic production funding option and the national cultural heritage donation.

Investment optionArtistic support (film funding)Preserving cultural heritage
Application process duration€250,000 (or €200,000 if in a low-density area)€250,000 (or €200,000 if in a low-density area)
Minimum termNon-refundable donationDonation
Guaranteed annual yield4 percent per annumN/A (donation)
guaranteed principal capitalYesNo (principal is forfeited)
Government pre-approval step prior to capital being committedYesYes
Residency permit issuance8-10 monthsN/A - to date only two applications processed
Family eligibilityYes (spouse, dependent children, parents)Yes (spouse, dependent children, parents)
Route to permanent residency and Portuguese citizenshipYesYes
Application submitted by government entityYesYes
Minimum stay in Portugal1 week per year, on average1 week per year, on average


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

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 real estate 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 (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.
  • 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), the investment fund option, 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 is that it is a donation-based option – 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 intuition with which you can make your donation and who will be able to assist you with the paperwork.

Additionally, the cultural production option has the following advantages.

  • The only Golden Visa option where an official entity submits the application
  • The only Golden Visa with a government pre-approval step
  • No funds need to be made before pre-approval
  • Expenses reduction of 80 percent compared to the Golden Visa property investment route
  • Fastest Golden Visa: Only 7-8 months.
  • Full Associate Producer status, inclusion in film credits, and invitations to exclusive premiere and shoot locations
  • 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

As mentioned, to secure Portuguese citizenship, you will need to 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.


So 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.


Cultural Production Portugal Golden Visa Program Costs

The costs of the cultural production pathway are shown in the table below:

Costs€250,000 option€200,000 option (must be located in a low-density area)
Onboarding fee (refundable)€5,000€5,000
Funds required€250,000€200,000
First 2-year residency issuance fee€5,424.60(single applicant)
€10,649.20 (couple)
€5,424.60 (single applicant)
€10,649.20 (couple)
Renewal of residency permit (valid for further 3 years)€2,666.30 (single applicant)
€5,322.60 (couple)
€2,666.30 (single applicant)
Legal feesAround €6,000Around €6,000
Total capital€269,090.90(single applicant)
€275,000 (couple)
€219,090.90(single applicant)
€225,000 (couple)
Minimum capital returned after 5 year period€300,000 €240,000

The Cultural Golden Visa Application Process

The application process for the cultural Golden Visa is as follows:

  1. Golden Visa applicants must submit their information for due diligence vetting purposes
  2. Appointment of a legal representative
  3. Obtain Portuguese NIF (tax identification number) and a Portuguese bank account
  4. Submission of application for pre-approval
  5. Company incorporation and transfer of funds
  6. Gathering all relevant documents before an appointment with SEF
  7. Biometrics appointment
  8. Residency card issued

Note that you must have a Portuguese bank account and a NIF number for Portugal’s 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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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: Gabinete de Estratégia, Planeamento e Avaliação Culturais, also known as GEPAC. We recommend working with experts in the field to understand whether an artistic or cultural activity is eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa. The Portugal Golden Visa arts donation route can be an investment where you can get a solid return on your investment.