Is the Portugal Golden Visa program ending?
The Portuguese Government announced on 16 February 2023 that it would end its golden visa program. The announcement marked the start of a phase of intentions in which the Government is submitting these measures to public scrutiny from a political point of view. Below, you can see the latest update from 25 May. For more information, including continuous updates on the topic, please consult our article: Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far.
Update 7 June 2023
At present, the bill is being analyzed by a committee in Parliament. As expected, an initial approval vote has taken place, given the majority support for the government in Parliament.
The committee is conducting hearings with experts and stakeholders and seeking legal opinions on the matter. This phase is expected to continue until June 16. Following this, the committee will individually analyze the regulations from a legal and political standpoint. During this stage, the proposed amendments will be discussed and voted upon.
Afterward, a final vote will be scheduled, marking a crucial moment, and the bill’s definitive wording will be published based on the vote’s outcome. It will then be sent to the President of the Republic for ratification, veto, or submission to the Constitutional Court.
Presently, the Parliament’s agenda is fully occupied until mid-June, and additional slots will be allocated to accommodate appointments until the end of June. However, a specific timetable for considering this proposal has not been established yet.
Possible Extension of Golden Visa Deadline
Unofficial information from Parliament suggests that the vote might be postponed until the end of July. Considering the summer break, this could result in the final version not being completed until September.
Moreover, the idea of implementing a grace period appears increasingly likely, given the ongoing discussions with stakeholders.
Can I Still Apply for a Golden Visa?
Yes, you can still submit your Golden Visa application. Even after the vote takes place, there are several additional steps the proposal needs to go through, which will require time and may involve extending the application deadlines.
If any changes occur in the timeline, we will notify you and adjust your application accordingly. For now, we can continue to facilitate investments and process new applications, and we anticipate that this will remain the case at least until the end of July.
25 May Update
The proposed law for the end of the Golden Visa is currently in Parliament. The first vote took place on 19 May on the law, its meaning, and its intention, and it was approved as expected since the party from which the Government emanates has a majority in Parliament.
The next phase is a debate in the Parliamentary Commission, where all other parties will give their opinions and listen to stakeholders. It is at this stage that changes to the bill usually occur, namely, if it is concluded that a legal provision does not comply with the legal system or if it is not sufficiently clear.
Immediately afterward, the bill will pass through a Parliament discussion, and the specific wording will be approved or rejected. Finally, the law will be subject to a final vote. From this moment on, there will be clarity on the termination of the Golden Visa, including the terms and a timeframe.
After this vote, the law is then sent to the President, who can accept it and send it to the Official Gazette or submit it to the Constitutional Court for consideration. The appreciation of the Constitutional Court can confirm the validity of the proposal’s content, in which case it will proceed to be published or, if it requires changes, the proposal will return to Parliament.
Parliamentary agendas are made at the Leader’s Conference, a bimonthly meeting where the agenda is set.
On 24 May, there was a meeting with the Conference of Leaders, but the summary has not yet been published. Without prejudice, at the last conference, bookings were made until 2 June, with the Parliament’s agenda being filled by this date.
Given that the current proposal is at a very early stage, it is not expected that any schedule will be made at today’s conference. We believe that there is a high probability that the final vote will not take place on the agenda until mid-June, which means that it is safe to say that we will have a Golden Visa until the end of June, at least.
Additionally, from the Taskforce’s conversations with the parties in Parliament, it appears that there is a high probability that we will have a grace period.
The expected steps are as follows:
- Parliament’s agenda in full until at least 2 June
- Scheduling made on the next meeting on 7 June
- Even after scheduling and after the law has been approved, we still have the possibility of the President sending the proposal to the Constitutional Court. This will add at least 25 days to the timeline and increase the probability of there being amendments.
- The possibility of having a grace period is an option, although this is not yet guaranteed
In the video below, Patricia Casaburi, Managing Director of Global Citizen Solutions, and Joana Mendonça, Head of Legal at Global Citizen Solutions, recently addressed concerns related to the Golden Visa ending in a comprehensive video discussion.
Please note that the information provided is based on the current state of affairs and may change as new laws come into force.
Portugal Golden Visa 2023: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
In this Portugal Golden Visa – A Complete Step-by-Step Guide 2023, you’ll learn more about:
- What the Portugal Golden Visa is
- Key benefits of the program
- How to get the Portugal Golden Visa
- Documents required
- Program costs
- Plus much more!
Golden Visa Portugal highlights:
- Relatively affordable investment options to choose from (real estate, investment funds, capital transfer, business set-up)
- Minimum investment from €250,000
- Requirement to spend a minimum period of seven days in the first year in Portugal, then a subsequent 14 days for every two-year period
- Family members included in the application (including spouse and dependent children)
- Option to become a Portuguese citizen after the fifth year
- Visa-free access to the Schengen area
- Live in a safe country with affordable living costs and a high quality of life
What is the Portugal Golden Visa?
The Portugal Golden Visa Program, also known as the Residence Permit Program, is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme for non-EU nationals. It’s part of Portugal’s immigration move to welcome investors to the country. The investment program is one of the most popular of its kind, with investors from across the world seeking residency through the scheme.
From its mesmerizing Atlantic coastline and luscious landscapes to its year-round sunshine, Portugal’s charm is irresistible. The Golden Visa grants qualifying investors and their family members the right to live, work and study in Portugal and permits free movement in the European Union and Europe’s Schengen Area.
Opportunities to become a permanent resident or Portuguese citizen are possible, provided that the qualifying investment is kept for at least five years and that all requirements set forth by the Portuguese immigration and nationality laws are obeyed.
Benefits of the Program
The benefits of a Portuguese Golden Visa are one of the main reasons why foreign investors are so vested in applying for and seeking residency in Portugal.
Some top benefits of the program include:
A winning benefit of the Golden Visa is that your dependent family can be included in the application. This means that your family can also enjoy the same freedom of opportunities and a second residence in a safe and stable country.
The following family members can be included in the application:
- Spouse or legal partner
- Children under 18 years of age
- Dependent children under 26, as long as they are single and enrolled as full-time students or can demonstrate that they continue to be financially dependent on their parents.
- Parents of either spouse, if over 66 years old (or 55 and dependent)
How to Obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal
To obtain the Golden Visa in Portugal, you must make a qualifying investment ― usually in real estate or funds ―and the respective investment for five years. To submit your application, it is advised to consult with a Portugal Golden Visa lawyer or Portuguese Golden Visa consultant to see what documentation you need on top of your investment.
Golden Visa investment program requirements
To qualify for the program, you must fulfill the following Golden Visa requirements for Portugal:
- Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA national
- Minimum investment of €250,000, with a range of investment routes to choose from
- Have a clean criminal record
- Spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal for the first year, then no less than 14 days for each subsequent two-year period (this is called the stay requirement)
Portugal Golden Visa Processing Time
The processing time is relatively quick and straightforward.
Applying for a Portugal Golden Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide
While the Golden Visa application is relatively straightforward, there are quite a few steps to take toward a successful application.
1 – Onboarding: Once you decide on your investment, you must collect the paperwork for yourself and any dependents you’ll be including in the application. We can ensure the correct paperwork is in order, and we’ll submit it for review.
2 – Bank account and NIF: In order to obtain the tax identification number (NIF) in Portugal, we will appoint a fiscal representative for you. After obtaining your NIF, we can help you open a bank account in Portugal. This can be done by us remotely.
3 – Make the investment: We can begin securing your investment and will guide you through the necessary paperwork required to ensure a successful investment.
4 – Online application: Lodge your application online.
5 – Pre-approval: Your application will be pre-approved on the basis that you fulfill the necessary requirements.
6 – Biometrics visit: From the time you book your interview, it takes around two months until you can attend a biometrics collection session in person.
7 – Golden Visa issuance: After your biometrics, it takes around four months for your Golden Visa to be approved by SEF (the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service). Pay the government permit issue fee. We’ll then collect the residence cards on your behalf and send them to you.
Portuguese Golden Visa Investment Options
Portugal’s stable and dynamic economy and exciting startup and tech scene make it an ideal destination for businesses looking to set up operations in the European Union. Portugal’s prime real estate market has also prompted an influx of property investors to purchase property for sale in Portugal.
The investment must be made before the application can be filed to get the residence permit.
In brief, here are the investment options available for the Portugal Golden Visa:
- Residential Real Estate: Buy residential real estate in designated interior areas 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 on 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 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 into the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000.
Important notice: The Portugal Golden Visa changes that rolled out on 1 January 2022 have significantly changed the program’s investment criteria. As such, certain investment options have either been revoked or altered. For instance, it’s no longer possible to make a real estate investment in residential property anywhere in Portugal, such as Lisbon, Porto, or many coastal towns in the Algarve region.
Portuguese Golden Visa real estate option
Buying Portugal Golden Visa properties is perhaps the most popular way to get residency in Portugal. This is because Portugal is seen as a prime destination among property investors, with a flourishing real estate market, high rental yields, and a booming tourism industry.
Many expats buy properties in Portugal for tourism purposes or to serve as a second home or a retirement destination. You can invest in a newly-built residential property in Portugal’s interior areas, starting from €500,000, or invest in used property for the Golden Visa.
Alternatively, you can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal (including Lisbon, Porto, and the like) for an investment starting from €500,000.
If remodeling is your thing, then you also have the option to invest in residential rehabilitation projects starting from €350,000 in Portugal’s interior areas or, alternatively, invest in commercial rehabilitation projects anywhere in Portugal from €350,000.
Note that you can also get a 20 percent discount on your real estate investment if it’s located in a low-density area of Portugal. Low-density areas determine whether a 20 percent discount rate to your investment applies or not. Low-density regions are defined as having less than 100 inhabitants per square km or a per capita GDP of less than 75 percent of the national average.
For a full list of low-density areas in Portugal that qualify for a discounted Golden Visa investment, including a handy map showing the different areas, check out our guide to the Portugal Golden Visa low-density investment options.
Portugal Golden Visa investment fund option
Investing in private equity funds or Portuguese Golden Visa venture capital funds is a good option for acquiring residency in Portugal. The funds are managed by fund managers who are accredited by Portugal’s regulatory body, the CMVM. Your dedicated fund manager ensures that the Portuguese Golden Visa fund investments are appropriately managed in start-ups or medium-sized projects with optimal growth potential.
For the Portuguese Golden Visa investment fund route, you can choose from sectors such as energy, industry, technology, and real estate.
Chat with one of our consultants
Lifestyle choices vary, which is why we take the time to learn about your individual situation and requirements. We can simplify access to property investments, provide local insights, help with legal assistance, tax planning, and more — all while ensuring an efficient, personalized, and confidential service.
Golden Visa tax benefits
Portugal’s Golden Visa income tax benefits are a big draw for foreign investors looking to get the most out of their financial contribution.
Visa holders don’t need to pay extra taxes on income produced outside of Portugal.
There’s also an option to register as a fiscal resident for tax purposes in Portugal. This is a fantastic option as it’ll allow you to directly benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax (NHR) Regime. The NHR is a generous tax program with numerous benefits pertaining to your global income. It offers tax-free incentives on certain categories for a period of up to ten years.
Types of income that may qualify under the NHR program include:
- Real estate income
- Capital gains from the disposal of real estate
- Occupational pensions
- Business and self-employment profits derived from eligible occupations (but be mindful of relevant double taxation agreements)
Additionally, any Portuguese-sourced income would be taxed at a flat rate of 20 percent during the first ten years, and there is also the ability to pass on your wealth to a spouse or dependent without incurring inheritance or gift taxes.
Find out more in our complete guide to Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident Tax Regime and the Portuguese Golden Visa tax benefits.
Golden Visa Statistics
Here, you can find the overall statistics for the Golden Visa from October 2012 until March 2023. In total, 11,921 investors and 19,433 family members have benefited from the Portugal Golden Visa during this time period. As you can see, the most popular Portugal Golden Visa investment pathway is by investing in real estate.
For the total number of Golden Visa applications, the investment types were as follows from October 2012 to March 2023.
- Real estate acquisition: 10,874 residence permits
- Real estate acquisition at a minimum value of €500,000: 9,238 residence permits
- Real estate rehabilitation at a minimum value of €350,000: 1,636 residence permits
- Capital transfer: 1,025 residence permits
- Capital transfer into a Portuguese bank: 543 residence permits
- Capital transfer into an investment Fund: 465 residence permits
- Capital transfer and the creation of jobs: 10 residence permits
- A donation into cultural heritage in Portugal: 6 residence permits
- A donation into research activities in Portugal: 1 residence permit
- The creation of ten full-time jobs: 22 applications
Can Portugal's Golden Visa get me citizenship?
The Golden Visa is an indirect route to citizenship. You must hold your investment for at least five years before you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency and a Portuguese passport. With citizenship under your belt, you can enjoy the right to live, work, and study anywhere in the EU and travel visa-free to 174 destinations.
Keep in mind that to acquire citizenship, you must have a clean criminal record, have an A2 Portuguese language certificate (or be willing to undergo a Portuguese language test), and demonstrate that you have genuine links to the country (simply provide evidence of your investment, along with documents that prove your registration in Portugal such as your NIF number and Portuguese bank account).
*Important information about your documentation*
The following Golden Visa Portugal documents required can change at the discretion of the Portuguese government. Also, the documents must be submitted by Golden Visa applicants for the initial application and each renewal.
Golden Visa Portugal documents required list:
- Portuguese Golden Visa application form
- Copy of a valid passport and travel documents
- Deed or contract of the purchased property or signed Promissory Contract with proof of the deposit payment
- Declaration from your bank in Portugal confirming the transfer of funds
- Proof of health insurance in Portugal (only required if the investor resides in Portugal)
- Certified copy of the criminal certificate or a police clearance letter from your country of origin
- A completed form authorizing SEF to get an extract of your Portuguese criminal records
- Declaration from you confirming compliance with the investment requirements
- Documents showing a good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority and Social Security system. These can be issued 45 days before your online application.
- A receipt showing that you already paid the application processing fee
- Note that the certificates of criminal records or police clearance letters must have been issued no more than 90 days before submitting your application. For all other certificates, it is 180 days.
Legalizing Portuguese Golden Visa documents
Portuguese Golden Visa documents and the Portugal Golden Visa application form must be legalized and translated into Portuguese by a certified translator.
Note that documents can be legalized by the Portuguese Consulate or the Apostille of The Hague Convention for your Portugal Golden Visa application.
Translating Portugal Golden Visa documents
Original documents must be accompanied by a certified translation in Portuguese, which may be done in one of three ways:
- By a translator that is accredited by the Portuguese Consulate
- By anyone, if the translation is certified by a Portuguese lawyer
- By the issuing country’s Consulate in Portugal
Getting a Portuguese NIF and opening a Portuguese bank account for the Portuguese Golden Visa
These are relatively straightforward processes in Portugal and can both be done remotely.
The NIF is your tax identification number, distributed by the Portuguese fiscal authorities (Finanças), used for tax purposes that are needed to carry out various transactions, including opening a Portuguese bank account and buying property.
To open a Portuguese bank account, Global Citizen Solution can introduce you to a competent English-speaking banker in Portugal that can open a bank account before you even come to Portugal.
Portuguese Golden Visa language test
While you don’t need to have completed a Portuguese Golden Visa language test, if you want to get Portuguese citizenship after your five-year investment is up, you must take the Portuguese language test for citizenship. The test, called The CIPLE Portuguese proficiency test, checks to see if you have a basic understanding of the Portuguese language.
Portuguese Golden Visa Cost
The Portugal Golden Visa cost is as follows:
Initial application fees
- Golden Visa application legal fees: For a single applicant: €5,000 to €8,000. Dependents younger than 18 years old can be included in the application free of charge.
- Additional Golden Visa application fees: For dependents aged 18 years and older, this will cost between €500 to €2,000. Note that children are free of charge.
Renewal legal fees
- Golden Visa renewal legal fees: For a single applicant: €1,000 to €2,500.
- Additional fees: For dependents aged 18 and above: €500-€2,000. Children are free of charge.
Note: Additional fees may apply depending on the investment you wish to make and whether you hire a lawyer to help you with your application.
Disclaimer: Fees can change depending on the Portuguese government.
Can I pay for the Portugal Golden Visa with cryptocurrency?
Global Citizen Solutions is a crypto-friendly company. We now accept cryptocurrency as payment for our services through the Coingate portal. While we do not have a point of sale directly set up on our website, payment with crypto, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, can be arranged by contacting us.
Global Citizen Solutions has already helped many crypto investors in acquiring their Golden Visa in Portugal and other citizenship-by-investment programs. We are happy to assist you every step of the way.
Portugal Golden Visa Renewal
Golden Visas can now be renewed on the SEF (Portuguese Foreigners and Border Service) website until 31 December 2023.
A new law has introduced a simplified procedure for processing requests for renewals of residence permits for investment, including Golden Visas.
According to Article 207.º of the Portuguese State Budget for 2023 (Law number 24-D/2022), the simplified procedure predicts the following due diligence:
- Checking the relevant databases to see if the person has been convicted of a crime that would make them ineligible for renewal.
- Checking the relevant databases to see if the person is up to date on their taxes and social security payments.
This is good news for holders of Golden Visa authorizations, who will be able to renew their status remotely and effortlessly. Note that, for now, this process is scheduled only for the year 2023 and is intended only to reduce the existing pending cases. However, we expect it to extend into future years.
The introduction of the new online portal will allow Golden Visa holders to renew their residency permits online. Investors that hold Golden Visa residency permits that are already expired or are due to expire before 31 March 2023 can use the online portal.
To date, Golden Visa renewals had to be done via an in-person appointment at SEF. The new online system will significantly speed up the process for Golden Visa applicants to renew their visas while reducing the backlog of renewal applications that built up in the last couple of years.
For new clients that are considering applying for the Portugal Golden Visa, this new development with the introduction of the online portal is a positive development. When it comes to the time for new investors to renew their visas, hopefully, the online renewal service will be engrained feature in the Golden Visa processing procedure.
Renewals are processing very fast
The automatic online renewal process introduced by SEF has been reported to be a quick process so far. Some of the first applicants who renewed their Golden Visa through this means reported receiving their new residency cards less than two weeks later. Additionally, a great advantage is that there does not seem to be a requirement to submit documents that SEF already has access to as part of your initial application. This means that you will not need to present a new criminal record, apostilles, biometrics, etc.
While the initial Golden Visa application still includes an in-person biometrics visit and there remains a considerable application backlog, the fact that SEF now has less to do in terms of renewing existing applications can hopefully help clear the backlog at a quicker pace.
Golden Visa Delays Causing Applicants to Take SEF to Court to Speed Up the Process
As part of the Golden Visa process, applicants need to attend an appointment at SEF to provide the required legal documents and for SEF to collect their biometric data. Once the Golden Visa application is analyzed by SEF and receives the go-ahead, SEF then indicates the dates available to schedule the appointment. The legal provision (Article 105) states that SEF has three months to inform the applicant of their decision and indicate the dates available for the applicant to make an appointment (this can be extended to a further three months in exceptional circumstances).
The SEF Procedure Manual (in Portuguese) foresees a deadline of 10 to 60 days for the scheduling of the biometrics collection. However, it is unclear as to whether this refers to making the appointment or whether the appointment itself should occur within this time frame. This process of scheduling an appointment is taking much longer, up to 18 months, due to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine (SEF had to process over 60,000 residences in the first half of 2022 for Ukrainian citizens), and the high number of applications for the program.
Many investors have taken cases relating to delays in obtaining a Golden Visa to court to speed up the process, with reports stating that, to date, SEF has lost 18 cases. It is this deadline provided in the law for appointments that the courts have made favorable decisions for foreign investors, whereby the delays in the process are not legal.
You can read more in our article: Portugal Golden Visa Delays Causing Applicants to Take SEF to Court to Speed Up the Process.
The Portugal Golden Visa Versus the Spain Golden Visa
With golden beaches, enticing foods, and excellent weather, both Spain and Portugal offer safe and stable lifestyles in the heart of Europe and straightforward ways to obtain temporary residence permits. However, key differences between the two programs exist, and it’s important to know what these differences are.
The main benefit of the Portuguese Golden Visa program in comparison to the Spanish one is that investments can be made for a lower amount, starting from €280,000. Investors for the Portuguese Golden Visa can also obtain a European passport in five years, whereas investors for the Spanish Golden Visa must wait ten years.
Check out our Portugal versus Spain Golden Visa comparison guide for more information.
Your Portugal Golden Visa Consultants
Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship-by-investment solutions for international families.
With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we help clients from around the world acquire Portuguese Golden Visas or homes while diversifying their portfolio with robust investments.
Speak to one of our Portugal Golden Visa Consultants so we can understand your objectives and help you move forward.
If you are looking to invest or move to another country, our pioneering Global Passport Index is worth investigating. Here, we analyze the strongest passports in the world, based not only on their visa-free access to other countries but also on investment opportunities and quality of life, which we believe are very important when considering second citizenship options. You can read the full story here: Global Passport Index: Where Can Your Passport Take You?
Frequently Asked Questions about the Portuguese Golden Visa Program
What is the Portugal Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa in Portugal is a program that awards investors with residence permits in Portugal, provided that a qualifying investment is made in the country.
Is the Portugal Golden Visa still available?
While the Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end, there is still time to apply for the program, but you should start the process now – time really is of the essence in this case.
Is Portugal going to scrap its Golden Visa scheme?
Following a ministerial meeting held on Thursday 16 February 2023, it has been announced by the Portuguese Government that it has created a package of housing measures, including the proposal to end the Golden Visa program for future applicants.
Are there any Portuguese Golden Visa new rules I should be aware of?
Portuguese Golden Visa changes came into effect on 1 January 2022.
- The minimum investment threshold to qualify for residency has increased for many pathways.
- The investment fund amount option for the Golden Visa has changed to €500,000.
- The capital transfer amount option for the Golden Visa is now €1.5 million.
- New residential real estate investment restrictions have kicked in. Properties in Lisbon, Porto, and several other coastal towns no longer qualify for property investments under the Golden Visa scheme. Note that for commercial real estate, there are no location restrictions.
- Other investment routes remain available. In particular, the investment fund option is an excellent way to secure Portuguese residency, or alternatively, you can buy residential real estate in Portugal’s interior areas.
Find out more by visiting our article on the Portuguese Golden Visa changes.
How much do I need to invest for the Portugal investment fund Golden Visa?
To invest in the Portugal investment fund Golden Visa, you must contribute at least €500,000. There are different sectors that you can invest in, such as real estate.
What is the Portuguese Golden Visa renewal process like?
In January 2023, article 207.º of the Portuguese State Budget for 2023 (Law number 24-D/2023) stated that there would be a simplified procedure for processing requests for renewals of residence permits for investment, including Golden Visas, whereby visas and documents related to staying in the Portugal territory can be renewed online on the SEF website.
The introduction of the new online portal allows Golden Visa holders to renew their residency permits online. Investors that hold Golden Visa residency permits that are already expired or are due to expire before 31 March 2023 will be able to use the online portal.
The new online system will significantly speed up the process for Golden Visa applicants to renew their visas while reducing the backlog of renewal applications that have built up in the last couple of years.
Do dependents qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa?
Yes, Portugal Golden Visa dependents are also eligible to be part of your Golden Visa application for a fee.
Spain versus Portugal Golden Visa: Which program is better?
When comparing the Spanish versus Portugal Golden Visa, the better program will depend on what you’re looking for and how fast you want to get citizenship. For the Portuguese Golden Visa, investments start from €250,000, whereas for the Spain Golden Visa, investments start from €500,000. After five years with the Portuguese Golden Visa, you can get permanent residency and citizenship, but for the Spain Golden Visa, you must wait five years for permanent residency and ten years for citizenship.
Cyprus versus Portugal Golden Visa: Which program is better?
When comparing the Cyprus Golden Visa against the Portugal Golden Visa, the better program will depend on what you’re after. For Cyprus, qualifying individuals will need to make a minimum investment of €300,000 in the Republic’s economy. This investment has to be placed in appropriate investment options that are stipulated by the Cypriot government. The timeline to citizenship is seven years.
The Portuguese Golden Visa investment threshold starts from €250,000, but the timeline to citizenship takes five years at least. There are also several investment options open to investors with the Portuguese Golden Visa.
What are the benefits of Portugal's Golden Visa?
There are many benefits to Portugal’s Golden Visa program. You have permanent free entry and movement throughout the Schengen Area (26 European countries). After five years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided that you meet all the requirements under Portuguese Nationality Law. Also, your dependent children and dependent parents qualify for the same benefits as you.
What are the tax benefits of Portugal's Golden Visa?
There are many tax benefits to Portugal’s Golden Visa. These include investors only getting taxed on their worldwide income if they reside in Portugal for more than 183 days in any given year. Portugal also offers the NHR scheme, an attractive tax program providing tax-free incentives for up to ten years, depending on your income bracket.
What's the Portuguese Golden Visa business investment option?
The Portuguese Golden Visa business investment option offers investors the opportunity to generate ten jobs for a Portuguese business or single-member company. The Portuguese business investment can be reduced to generating eight positions if its located in a low-density area.
What are the Portuguese Golden Visa healthcare benefits?
There are many Portuguese Golden Visa healthcare benefits. If you are a holder of the Golden Visa in Portugal and are residing in the country (i.e., where you spend more than 183 days every year in the country), you are covered by Portugal’s healthcare system, with amazing discount rates. You will need to register at your local health center (Centro de Saúde). If you aren’t living in Portugal, you will need private health insurance in Portugal to cover you.
What's the best Portuguese Golden Visa investment option?
If you ask the experts, we can say without a doubt that the best Portuguese Golden Visa investment option is a residential real estate investment. Over 92 percent of applicants seek this investment route. The minimum investment is €500,000, which must be made on any type of property or in any number of properties in Portugal’s designated interior areas.
Do I need to do the Portuguese Golden Visa language test?
Portuguese Golden Visa applicants do not have to take the Portuguese Golden Visa language test in order to obtain a residency permit, although they must complete the test in order to gain citizenship. The test can be adapted for those under the age of ten and those with learning difficulties.
What's the Portuguese Golden Visa minimum investment?
The Portuguese Golden Visa minimum investment is €250,000 (investment into the arts), and you can choose from a range of investment routes.
Can a Portugal Golden Visa application be made with a mortgage?
The answer is a little complicated. Simply put, a Portugal Golden Visa application can be made with a mortgage as long as the minimum investment amount is not covered by the mortgage. For the investment, you will need to use your existing capital.
For example, if you wanted to buy a residential property in a high-density interior area of Portugal (minimum €500,000), you could buy a property for €750,000 with a mortgage for €250,000. The remaining payment of €500,000 would need to be made using your own capital.
However, while the law states that it is possible to have a mortgage on the amount that exceeds the minimum Golden Visa investment, in reality, there are practical aspects that need to be taken into account when defining the total amount that needs to be invested and financed by the investor.
A loan will necessarily incur increased costs with interest and expenses, and these costs, taken together with the financed amount, will determine the total cost of the loan.
The total amount of the loan is the amount that will be registered as encumbered on the property, and this amount cannot affect the amount invested.
Therefore, it is not well-advised to finance the entire amount that exceeds the minimum investment, as the total cost of the loan will always be greater than the financed capital. As such, we recommend adding a margin to the invested capital that covers the incremental financing. The specific margin to be added will depend on the financing conditions and the macroeconomic situation at the time.
How to obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa permanent residence?
To obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa permanent residency, you must make and maintain your qualifying investment for a minimum of five years. You must also spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal for the first year, then no less than 14 days each subsequent two-year period (this is called the stay requirement). You must also have a clean criminal record to get the Portuguese Golden Visa permanent residence card.
Can I obtain citizenship with a Golden Visa in Portugal?
Yes, you can get both permanent residency and citizenship with a Golden Visa in Portugal after holding your investment for five years. You will need to ensure that you fulfill all the requirements set out under Portuguese nationality law.
What's the Portugal Golden Visa processing time?
The Portugal Golden Visa processing times usually takes between three to six months for the approval and issuance of your residence card. Once your Golden Visa is issued, your residence card is valid for two years.
What are the Portuguese Golden Visa requirements?
The Portuguese Golden Visa requirements are straightforward. To qualify for the program, you must fulfill the following:
- Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA national
- Minimum investment of €250,000, with a range of investment routes to choose from, including real estate, investment funds, and company creation
- Have a clean criminal record
- Spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal for the first year, then no less than 14 days for each subsequent two-year period (this is called the stay requirement)
What is the SEF agency?
The SEF agency is the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service. They are a security service within the Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for documenting foreigners in Portugal, including issuing residence permits, residency renewals, and extending visas to foreign nationals in Portugal.
Should I consult a Portugal Golden Visa lawyer for the application?
While you can do the Portugal Golden Visa application yourself, we strongly recommend that you consider working with a Portugal Golden Visa lawyer. This is because they know the rules and regulations inside out and can support you from the beginning to the end of your Golden Visa application.
What are the Portugal Golden visa fees?
Regarding Portugal Golden Visa fees, for the initial application, a single applicant can expect to pay between €5,000 to €8,000. Dependents younger than 18 years old can be included in the application free of charge. Additional fees will occur for dependents aged 18 years and older, which will cost between €500 to €2,000.
With renewals, legal fees for a single applicant will cost between €1,000 to €2,500. Additional fees will occur for dependents aged 18 and above and cost around €500-€2,000. Children are free of charge.
Note that additional fees may apply depending on the investment you wish to make and whether you hire a lawyer to help you with your application which we highly recommend.