Portugal Golden Visa Changes, Updates & New Rules for 2022

This article is the ultimate source regarding Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022. We keep you informed of all the latest updates and new rules concerning the Portugal Golden Visa to ensure you’ve got all the relevant information.

Portugal Golden Visa changes for 2022

The Portuguese government has rolled out new regulations concerning the Portugal Golden Visa. Portugal’s new law restricts the ‘qualifying’ areas for real estate investment within Portugal, as well as making investment options more expensive. The changes took effect on 1 January 2022.

The Portuguese government has explained these changes as a necessity to evenly spread foreign investment to other parts of Portugal. With the Lisbon and Porto real estate market thriving, the government is now focused on developing the property market in Portugal’s interior areas.

Real estate changes

  • Investors aren’t able to invest in residential property in popular urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
  • Applicants can only 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% discount applies.
  • Investors can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a commercial rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
  • Investors can 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.

Capital transfers changes

  • Capital transfer amount requirement has increased from €1 million to €1,5 million.
  • Investment Fund minimum subscription requirement has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Investment in scientific research has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Investment into an existing Portugal-registered business has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Arts donation of €250,000 stays the same.

It’s important to note the difference between interior areas and low-density areas. Check out the map below explaining the differences.

Portugal - Interior Areas & Low Density Areas - Global Citizen Solutions

**Note, that it’s possible for an area to be interior and high-density. In this case, you can purchase a residential property but no discount applies.**

For a more comprehensive overview of what interior and low-density areas in Portugal qualify for a Golden Visa, check out our guide to the Portugal Golden Visa low-density investment options here.

What Should Investors Expect From Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2022


While stakeholders have vocalized opposition against the changes, they’re not necessarily seen as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Rather, the Portugal Golden Visa changes are designed to drive investment in Portugal’s interior areas, relieving pressure from metropolitan locations and encouraging foreign investment into other areas of the country.

Since 1 January 2022, investors can no longer buy residential properties in popular urban areas of the country like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as in coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.

Some experts predict that alternative investment routes to Portuguese residency will become more popular, namely the investment fund option.

What Has Not Changed?

The following Golden Visa investment options have not changed under the Portugal new immigration law 2022:

  • To kickstart a company in Portugal and employ at least ten new local employees
  • €250,000 contribution in arts

In a nutshell, if you submitted your golden visa application in late 2021, you would have been grandfathered into the current legislation. This includes future renewals of your status.

Property sector to be affected by Portugal Golden Visa new rules

There was hope that the Portugal Golden Visa suspended changes would not go ahead as professionals from the property sector have expressed concerns that the changes could harm the property market. However, the Golden Visa new rules are going to help boost low-density areas and balance out the property market.

Fantastic Portugal Golden Visa low-density areas with high growth potential such as the Douro Valley, Aljezur, and Peneda Gerês provide excellent property locations for investors and their families. For only €280K, individuals can invest in low-density areas renovation projects and become eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Will the Portugal Golden Visa changes impact existing investment in Porto and Lisbon?

If you are in the process of purchasing a property in a thriving urban area you will not be impacted by the Portugal Golden Visa updates. However, if you are interested in purchasing a property in Lisbon, Porto, or parts of the Algarve, you can only only buy commercial property, not residential.

Other Golden Visa investment routes will not be impacted by the visa updates and remain available. If you are not particularly interested in investing in real estate, the Portugal investment fund golden visa is a very attractive investment route. For a minimum investment of €500,000, you can become a Portuguese resident with the fund investment Portugal.

Portugal digitalizes Golden Visa applications

The Portuguese government has also announced that Golden Visa applications will now be digitalized. All documents are to be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number. The change will help reduce bureaucracy and create a faster application process.

Portugal Golden Visa timeline graph

Portugal Golden Visa Timeline - Global Citizen Solutions

Portugal Golden Visa brief history

Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residency by investment schemes in Europe. The scheme allows investors and their families to obtain residency permits in exchange for a qualifying investment. Since its launch, the Portugal Golden Visa has been a true success with 9,389 investors and 16050 family members benefiting from the program.

Portugal Golden Visa statistics show that as of 2018, Portugal is positioned 3rd in the world in terms of top residency-by-investment programs — second only to Spain and Quebec. The reasons for the program’s success are multiple. Portugal ranks first as the best country in Europe for expats due to its great quality of life, excellent weather, and freedom.

In addition, the program offers several attractive investment routes suiting various investment goals — such as purchasing real estate, investing in venture capital, research, or an existing business.

For more information on Portugal’s golden visa scheme, visit our Golden Visa Portugal 2022 Ultimate Guide.

How can we help you?

As professionals dedicated to assisting you in acquiring the Portugal Golden Visa, Golden Citizen Solutions will continue to closely monitor Portugal Golden Visa changes as they unfold and keep you updated on the matter.

In the meantime, you can always stay updated about the Portugal Immigration Policy 2022 and the latest updates by visiting the Portugal Immigration Agency’s website (SEF).

With a 100% success rate when it comes to Golden Visa applications, we can ensure that you find the right investment for your requirements.

 

Frequently asked questions about Portugal Golden Visa changes

What are Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022?

The Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022 regard real estate and capital transfer investment options. Since January 2022, applicants are be blocked from buying residential property in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve as well as in coastal areas like Setubal and the Silver Coast. Capital transfer amount requirement have increased from €1 million to €1,5 million. Requirements for Investment Fund, investment in Research and investment into an existing Portugal-registered business have increased from €350,000 to €500,000.

What do Portugal Golden Visa new rules mean for my investment options?

Portugal Golden Visa new rules don’t affect other investment options. You can still apply for a Golden Visa via all other investment routes such as the Portugal investment fund for example.

Will The Portugal Golden Visa Program Be Canceled?

The Portugal Golden Visa is not suspended in 2021. The Portugal Golden Visa latest news is that the only suspension is in relation to the ability to apply to the program by purchasing residential property located in urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. Also most investment options have become more expensive.

Simply put, individuals are no longer able to buy residential property in major cities in Lisbon, Porto, or coastal towns on Continental Portugal. Only residential property investments in interior areas are eligible. Note that commercial real estate remains eligible throughout Portugal.  possibly rural or low-density areas are eligible.

Does Portugal Golden Visa lead to citizenship?

While the Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency-by-investment scheme, it is possible to secure Portuguese citizenship. To do so, you will need to hold your investment for five years and apply for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship.