How to invest in Portugal and get citizenship – The Ultimate Guide

Invest in Portugal for Citizenship

Thinking to invest in Portugal for citizenship but don’t know where to begin? This ultimate guide walks you through everything you need to know about investing in Portugal so that you can obtain residency and/or citizenship in Portugal.

The guide covers:

Why invest in Portugal for citizenship?

There are several reasons to invest in Portugal to gain citizenship. Foreign investment in Portugal is gaining international traction due to Portugal’s open access to key markets, skilled human resources, competitive labor costs, and top infrastructures.

Foreign investment in Portugal advantages

Portuguese legislation that protects investors
Portuguese legislation that protects investors
Portugal has a liberal foreign investment scheme and offers a favorable legal framework for foreign investors.
Ripe business opportunities
Ripe business opportunities
Portugal’s vivacious tech startup scene ― boosted by accelerator funding and tech incubators ― has attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world.
Skilled and cheap labour force
Skilled and cheap labour force
If looking to start a business venture in Portugal, then the cheap but skilled labour force will ensure you get optimal returns on your investment.
Tax advantages
Tax advantages
Investors can get great tax incentives, alleviating some of the burdens that come with doing business abroad.

Portugal real estate market outlook

In recent years, Portugal has become a preferred market for real estate investors, and their citizenship-by-investment Golden Visa scheme has proved to be very popular. A 2019 study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers identified Lisbon as the most interesting European city for property investment.

As Portugal’s real estate market has expanded, opportunities to make a profit from real estate investments have skyrocketed. With foreign property ownership requirements and mortgage rates being so reasonable, investors buying into the property market are benefitting from significant capital gains.

Portugal also offers an attractive rental market. In 2019, more than 27 million tourists visited Portugal. This unprecedented growth in the tourism industry has led to a higher demand for rental properties and a surge in rental prices. Investors have caught on. Breaking into property letting has become a viable business model, attracting more and more investors. 

What’s more, if you are looking to live in Portugal, the country has an excellent quality of life and performs very well in the Human Development Index, ranking in the very high human development category.

Portuguese Residency by Investment

Since its inception in 2012, over 20,000 Golden Visas have been awarded to families from across the world, and over €4 billion in funds have been raised, making it one of the most popular passport by investment programs in the world.

The Golden Visa scheme grants qualifying investors and their family members the right to work, study and live in Portugal and permits free movement in Europe’s Schengen Area. 

Opportunities to gain permanent residence or/and citizenship are possible. To gain either permanent residence or citizenship you will need to ensure the qualifying investment is kept for at least five years.

Interested to know more about the Golden Visa and how it works? Check out our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide below.

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Portuguese residency by investment benefits

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is a fantastic opportunity for foreign investors to expand their portfolios, obtain a high quality of life, and get EU residency in a short time frame, while also providing the same benefits to their family members.

Access to 26 nations in the EU & visa-free travel to 183 nations Access to 26 nations in the EU & visa-free travel to 183 nations
5 years until you qualify for a European passport 5 years until you qualify for a European passport
Option to become a non-habitual resident and pay little to no tax for 10 years Option to become a non-habitual resident and pay little to no tax for 10 years
Short stay requirement ― no need to permanently reside in Portugal throughout your investment cycle Short stay requirement ― no need to permanently reside in Portugal throughout your investment cycle
Your dependent children and dependent parents qualify for the same benefits Your dependent children and dependent parents qualify for the same benefits
A second residence in a safe, stable country A second residence in a safe, stable country

Our Golden Visa consultants are here to help

With our head office in Lisbon, our team at Global Citizen Solutions has a 100% success rate with Golden Visa applications. With our extensive knowledge of the Portuguese market and legal system, we can provide you with personalized advice throughout the process, ensuring that you always make the best possible decisions with your investment. Our pricing is competitive and transparent, which means you will always know what to expect.

Get in touch with a member of our team for a free initial consultation to discuss your Golden Visa options and discuss the best way to obtain Portuguese residency or citizenship through the program.

 

Golden Visa tax benefits

The Golden Visa scheme offers strong tax incentives for investors looking to get residency in Portugal. Investors only get taxed on their worldwide income if they are residing in the country for over 183 days in any given year. Despite this, even if you declare yourself to be a registered resident in Portugal, you can benefit from the Non-Habitual Resident scheme and enjoy tax-free privileges for up to ten years.

How to enjoy NHR status in Portugal? Your complete guide to the NHR scheme.

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Apply for Portuguese citizenship: how Portugal visa investment works

To apply for Portuguese citizenship, all you need to be is non-EU/non-EEA, or a non-Swiss citizen who can make a qualifying investment in the country. You can either make the investment independently or through a government-approved legal entity.

Apply for Portuguese citizenship

Portugal’s Golden Visa investment requirements

Along with making your qualifying investment, you must fulfill some investment program requirements. 

These include:

  • Maintain the investment for a minimum period of five years
  • Spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal during the first year, then no less than 14 days in each subsequent two-year period.

Best foreign investment in Portugal

When thinking about the best foreign investments, Portugal’s Golden Visa offers several attractive investment options. These include: 

Invest €500K or more in a commercial property of your choosing in Portugal. (investment amount reduced to €400K if located in a low-density area of Portugal) Invest €500K or more in a commercial property of your choosing in Portugal. (investment amount reduced to €400K if located in a low-density area of Portugal)
Invest €500K or more in residential property located in Portugal's designated interior areas. (investment amount reduced to €400K if located in an interior AND low-density area of the country) Invest €500K or more in residential property located in Portugal's designated interior areas. (investment amount reduced to €400K if located in an interior AND low-density area of the country)
Invest €350K in commercial renovations projects anywhere in the country (investment amount reduced to €280K if located in a low-density area of Portugal) Invest €350K in commercial renovations projects anywhere in the country (investment amount reduced to €280K if located in a low-density area of Portugal)
Invest €350K in residential renovations projects in Portugal's designated interior areas. (Investment reduced to €280K if located in an interior area AND low-density area of Portugal) Invest €350K in residential renovations projects in Portugal's designated interior areas. (Investment reduced to €280K if located in an interior area AND low-density area of Portugal)
 Contribute €500K in investment funds Contribute €500K in investment funds

Portugal Golden Visa qualified investment fund

Investing in private equity funds or venture capital funds is a viable way to obtain residency in Portugal to increase share capital. The respective funds are managed by corporate experts who are accredited by the country’s regulatory body, the CMVM. An allocated funds manager ensures that the fund investments are managed properly in start-ups or medium-sized projects with strong growth potential. 

For the Portugal Golden Visa qualified investment fund, you can choose from a range of sectors ― including but not limited to ― energy, industry, technology, and real estate. 

Investment funds for the golden visa benefits

There are various benefits to choosing to invest in funds to obtain Portuguese residency.

These include:

  • Funds are managed by vetted experts that are regularly audited
  • Portuguese residency starting from a €500K investment 
  • Venture capital funds are tax-efficient
  • Investment can be done remotely
  • Some funds offer a minimum return hurdle-rate

Portugal real estate investment 

Buying real estate in Portugal to get residency is one of the most popular investment options that many foreign investors take to gain Portuguese residence and citizenship as part of the Golden Visa program.

Portugal is viewed as a prime location among foreign investors, with a booming real estate market and high rental yields. Many expats buy properties in the country to serve tourism purposes, a second home, or a retirement destination. Combined with its safe and solid economic status, investors looking for stable medium to long-term gains are highly attracted by Portugal. Having residence and investing in the country provides an array of advantages.

Portugal real estate investment GCS

Advantages of investing in newly-built property

  • Five-year guarantee by Portuguese developers
  • Energy-efficient
  • Fiscal incentives
  • Easier to sell and rent
  • Modern features
  • Good insulation and equipped with air-con
  • Potential upside in the value of up to 30% from purchase to delivery

Invest in the country for Portuguese citizenship – residential property located in Portugal’s interior areas + the autonomous islands of Madeira & Azores

Invest in residential property located in Portugal’s interior areas of Portugal for the Portuguese Golden Visa starting from €500,000.  The amount is reduced to €400,000 if located in an interior part of Portugal AND low-density area. Note, the autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores are eligible for a real estate investment.

Advantages of investing in Portugal’s low-density areas

  • More competitive pricing for sqr meter
  • More variety
  • Can be renovated to taste
  • Fiscal incentives
  • Can maintain its quaint and unique characteristics

Buy property and get Portugal EU residency

When considering investment risks, return potential, and market prospects, buying property to get Portugal EU residency is highly recommended. Foreign investors who’ve bought a property in the country have been rewarded with a Portuguese residence permit, giving investors the right to work, study and live in Portugal, and visa free travel to any country or territory in Europe’s Schengen area.

If you’re unsure about what it takes to secure property in Portugal, check out our ultimate guide to buying property in Portugal below.

Take a look at our How to buy Property in Portugal Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Global Citizen Solutions pick: What is the best place to invest in Portugal for citizenship?

While the best place to invest in Portugal as part of the citizenship-by-investment scheme, it depends on a lot of factors, if you’re looking at buying real estate, then consider Porto, the second-largest city in the country.

  • Liquidity is on the rise so finding a home is easier than buying property in Lisbon
  • Porto offers competitive advantages in terms of labor costs and cheaper living standards
  • Lower property prices for high returns
What is the best place to invest in Portugal for citizenship

Note that other Golden Visa options include capital transfer, investment into scientific research, company incorporation and the creation of ten jobs, and a donation to the arts. These are each viable ways to gain residence. The investments costs for each can be found below:

  • Capital transfer: 1.5M
  • Investment into scientific research activities: 500k
  • Company incorporation and the creation of ten jobs: 500k
  • Arts donation: 250k

Procedures and time frame of the Portugal Golden Visa Residence Permit Program

The Portuguese Golden Visa application processing time usually takes between three to six months to be approved and for your residence card to be issued. Once your Golden Visa has been issued, your residence permit will be valid for two years.

The Golden Visa requires the primary applicant to travel to Portugal two times during the Golden Visa application procedure:

  1. To choose the qualifying investment option, begin the legal process, and open a Portuguese bank account. A Portuguese bank account is recommended to avoid international transaction fees.
  2. To provide biometric data and original documents. The other family members can also come and provide biometric data.

There will also be processing fees that you will need to pay. When the residence permit is received, the client must provide the biometric data and updated original documents when it needs to be renewed.

How can we help you?

Speak to one of our Golden Visa consultants today, where we can advise you on the best investment options to achieve your objectives and set you forth on a path of success.

Frequently asked questions about investing in Portugal for citizenship

What is the Portugal Golden Visa program?

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.grants qualifying investors and their family members the right to live, work, and study in Portugal and permits free movement in Europe’s Schengen Area.

How to get Portugal citizenship?

To get Portugal citizenship, you must go through the Portugal Golden Visa program and hold your investment for a minimum of five years in the country. Provided that you meet these requirements, you can get a Portuguese passport in five years.

How long does it take to get Portugal citizenship?

To get Portugal citizenship, it takes roughly five years.

How to get Portugal residence by investment?

To get Portugal residence by investment, you must first make a qualifying investment and meet the minimum investment threshold of €250,000 (arts donation). At present, most investors choose to invest in funds or real estate, with costs starting from €280K in a commercial or residential rehabilitation project located in Portugal’s interior and low-density areas of Portugal.

Can I buy property to get a EU passport?

No, you cannot buy property to get an EU passport in Portugal. You can invest in a rehabilitation project for €280,000, depending on what area of Portugal you pick. You must then hold this property investment for five years, after which you can apply for a Portuguese passport.

What are the Portugal residency requirements?

One key advantage of the Golden Visa in Portugal is its very low ‘stay requirement’. In order for you to maintain your Golden Visa residency, you will only need to spend seven days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent years (consecutively or non-consecutively) in Portugal.

What are the Portuguese citizenship benefits?

There are many Portuguese citizenship benefits, including the right to work, live and study anywhere in the EU, as well as the right to access quality healthcare, education, work opportunities, and vote in Portugal.

Can you buy a Portuguese passport?

No, you cannot buy a Portuguese passport but the Portugal Golden Visa program offers you a direct route to European Citizenship after 5 years.

What is the Golden Visa price?

Excluding legal costs, the Golden Visa price starts from €250K.