family reunification visa portugalThe Portugal Golden Visa Program for Australians is an excellent way to gain residency in Europe. Since its inception in 2012, the program has become one of the most popular investment schemes of its kind, providing investors with an array of benefits, including greater financial and personal freedoms, access to excellent education and healthcare, and an affordable, yet high quality of life.

While the Portugal Golden Visa Program has been incredibly popular amongst Chinese, Brazilian, Turkish, South African, and Russian investors, other nationalities are beginning to diversify the pool of nationalities investing in the program.

Since 2020, Australian citizens have been turning their eyes towards Portugal, mostly as the result of the strict lockdowns back home, as a way to move out of the country and live in Europe. As a result of the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa for Australians, the wide range of investment options, and the easy application process, Australians are choosing Portugal over other European countries.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll provide you with everything you will need to know about Portugal’s Golden Visa program if you are applying from Australia.

Read this guide to learn about:

  • The key benefits of the Golden Visa for Australian citizens
  • The Portuguese Golden Visa requirements and eligibility criteria
  • An overview of the application process
  • The benefits of living in Portugal and more

What is the Golden Visa Program in Portugal

The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment program created by the Portuguese government in 2012 to attract foreign investment and fuel the Portuguese economy.

Also known as the Residence Permit Program, the Portuguese Golden Visa allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit in Portugal by making a significant investment in the country.

The Golden Visa Investment Program allows qualifying investors and their family members to live, work, and study in Portugal.

It’s important to note that, while real estate acquisition and certain types of capital transfers no longer qualify for the Golden Visa Portugal, there are other qualifying investment options available for Australian Citizens.

Currently, the Portugal Golden Visa for Australians provides residency through investment funds, investment into research or heritage, job creation, or by making another qualifying investment into the country.


The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation, which took effect in October 2023, eliminated the purchase of real estate and real-estate-related funds as qualifying investment options for the program. 

However, several attractive investment routes still maintain their eligibility for the program. To learn more, please refer to our comprehensive guide: Portugal Golden Visa

For more information, including continuous updates on this visa category, please refer to our articles:Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far and Golden Visa Changes.

Benefits of Portugal Golden Visa for Australians

There are several benefits to the Portuguese Golden Visa Program, including the following.

  • Access to the 27 countries in the Schengen area
  • Visa-free travel to 172 countries
  • Affordable investment options, beginning at 250K
  • Qualify for an EU passport in five years, provided you fulfill all the requirements
  • A good investment in a buoyant market can reap real returns on your money
  • A short stay requirement
  • Option to become a non-habitual resident and benefit from the advantageous tax scheme for ten years

Important Note: The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime is no longer available for new applicants in 2024. However, the NHR will be replaced by a new tax regime. Read more here: Is The Portugal NHR Program Ending?

Below is a more detailed overview of the excellent benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa for Australian citizens.

Your whole family can benefit

You can extend your Portugal Golden Visa application to include your family members. This includes your spouse, and children under the age of 18, and can also cover children above the age of 18 who are full-time students and who are financially dependent on you.

Low physical presence requirement

The Golden Visa program typically has a low minimum stay requirement in Portugal (14 days every two years), making it accessible to investors who do not want to live in the country full-time.

Live, work, and study in Portugal

If you hold the Portugal Golden Visa, you’ll be able to live, work, and study in the country. This also applies to your family members, meaning that your children can benefit from the excellent education system in Portugal.

Possibility to obtain Portuguese citizenship after five years

One of the biggest pull factors of the Portugal Golden Visa for Australian citizens is that, after five years of keeping their investment in Portugal, Golden Visa holders can get a permanent residence permit, whereby they can apply for Portuguese passport. With a Portuguese passport, you’ll be able to live, work, and study in any EU country.

Affordable cost of living

In general, the cost of living in Portugal is much more affordable than in Australia. According to data from Numbeo, last updated in July 2022, when comparing Lisbon with Canberra, consumer prices in Lisbon are around 37% lower than in Canberra (not including rent), rental prices are around 24% lower in the Portuguese capital, and groceries are around 52% cheaper in Lisbon.

You can see more about the cost of living in Portugal here.

Travel easily around Europe

If you are looking to live in Portugal full-time, then you’ll easily be able to discover much of Europe, and enjoy the vibrant mix of cultures on the continent. The country is well connected, with affordable flights so, for the jet-setting types, you’ll have plenty to get your teeth into.

A relaxed vibe

Yes, we know that Australia is known for its welcoming and relaxed way of life, but you’ll find that Portuguese culture also embraces a laid-back lifestyle. Going out for a coffee, enjoying nature, or savoring a nice dinner with friends, there is little of the busy city rush going on in Portugal.

With a low cost of living, yet a high quality of life, Portugal ticks all the boxes. Ranking 4th in the 2021 Global Peace Index, the county is also very safe. The sublime climate is just the cherry on top.

Global Citizen Solutions recently launched its pioneering Global Passport Index. One of the indices to measure a passport’s rank is the Quality of Life Index. You can see that Portugal clocks in at number 12.

Top-quality healthcare

Portugal has universal health coverage through its publically financed public health service,  Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS). Basic healthcare is available to all residents of Portugal and is administrated through local and regional health centers and hospitals, including all services with the exception of dentistry.

Healthcare in the country is excellent and has improved by leaps and bounds recently. Increasingly, medical staff and doctors speak very good levels of English, particularly in the Algarve which has seen an influx of expats over the years.

Education in Portugal

If you are considering moving to Portugal with your family and you have children of school age, you will find that there are many international schools in the country. Education in Portugal is very good, from primary level all the way through to university further education.

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

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Portugal Golden Visa Requirements for Australian citizens

The Portugal Golden Visa is open to non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens, and applicants will need to be over the age of 18. You will also need to show a clean criminal record to qualify.

Golden Visa eligibility criteria for Australians

To be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa program, the main applicant must:

  • Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA nationals
  • Be able to prove the source of their investment funds (there’s a minimum investment amount of €250,000)
  • Have a criminal record certificate proving the absence of conviction in a crime punishable in Portugal for one year or more
  • Spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal for each two-year period (this is called the stay requirement). Note that while there are no strict stay requirements, you must maintain your investments in Portugal and meet the program’s renewal criteria to keep your residency status valid.

Portugal Golden Visa Investment Options for Australians

To get the Portuguese residence permit, then an investment must first be made before the application can be filed. The minimum investment amount is €250,000.

In brief, here are the investment options available for the Portugal Golden Visa:

  • Fund Subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000
  • Scientific Research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (5 of them permanent)
  • Real estate investment: Acquire a real estate property worth more than €500,000 in Portugal (THIS GOLDEN VISA ROUTE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE).
  • Real estate purchase: Buy real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing for a total value equal to or above €350,000 (THIS GOLDEN VISA ROUTE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE).
  • Capital transfer: Make a capital transfer of a value equal to or above €1.5 million (THIS GOLDEN VISA ROUTE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE).

Portugal Golden Visa investments in 2024

The Portugal Golden Visa 2024 is poised to shift its focus towards investment funds, with a diverse array of sectors offering distinct investment mandates. This change will likely open up new opportunities for investors seeking a more varied portfolio within the program.

A qualifying investment in private equity funds or the Portuguese Golden Visa venture capital fund is just one of the Portugal Golden Visa investment opportunities for Australians and an upcoming pathway to acquiring Portuguese citizenship. 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 within the eligibility scope of the Golden Visa.

For the Portuguese Golden Visa fund investment route, you can choose from the energy, industry, and technology sectors. You can find out more about the expected changes and opportunities in our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide.

To learn more about Portugal Golden Visa’s investment fund option, please refer to our guide: Portugal Golden Visa Investment Fund

Portugal Golden Visa Process for Australians

Portugal’s Golden Visa documents

required documentsHere’s a list of the Golden Visa Portugal required documents:

  • 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)
  • A certified copy of the clean criminal record or a police clearance letter from your country of origin
  • A completed form authorizing AIMA 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.

Golden Visa application process

Golden Visa applicants must follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Gathering the necessary documents
  2. Decide on which investment you will move forward with
  3. Acquiring a Portugal taxpayer identification number (NIF)
  4. Opening a Portuguese bank account and transferring funds to it. To help you with this process, here’s a guide on how to open a bank account in Portugal.
  5. Completing your fund investment
  6. With your qualifying investment made and your paperwork ready, you will submit your pre-application online.
  7. After analyzing your pre-application, AIMA (former SEF, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service) will provide you with a set of available dates for the biometrics appointment.
  8. After your biometrics, it takes around six months for your investment visa to be approved.

You’ll then be granted a temporary residency permit, also known as the Golden Visa permit, which is valid for a period of two years. This Portuguese residence permit must be renewed every two years. At the end of the fifth year, you can apply for a permanent residency permit and/or Portuguese citizenship.

After becoming a Portuguese citizen, you can get a Portuguese passport.

Cost of Portugal Golden Visa for Australian applicants

The investment is the primary cost of the Golden Visa. Apart from that, there’s also the application and processing fees, which are €581.76 and €5,812.11, respectively.

Can Australian Citizens get Portuguese Citizenship with the Portugal Golden Visa?

Yes, the Portugal Golden Visa for Australians allows Australian nationals to apply for citizenship after five years.

In the first stage, you will be given a temporary residence permit in Portugal, which is valid for a period of two years. To maintain your status as legal resident in the country, there is a short stay requirement and you will just need to stay in Portugal for 14 days in total in two years.

Armed with your Portugal Golden Visa, you will be able to travel freely within the Schengen Area. Following two years, you will need to apply to renew your Golden Visa permit, which will then be valid for three more years.

After you have completed this five-year period, then you will be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Note that in order to obtain citizenship in Portugal, you will need to pass a basic Portuguese A2 exam.

Global Citizen Solutions: Who we are and how we can help you

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique residency and citizenship by investment consultancy, 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.

The Portugal Golden Visa for Australia is an excellent option to secure EU residency. Get in touch today to see how we can understand your objectives and help you move towards becoming a global citizen.

Portugal Golden Visa Application Process for Australians

How to get started with the Portuguese Golden Visa program

Global Citizen Solutions has created a step-by-step guide that includes everything from opening a Portuguese bank account and getting a Portuguese NIF, to a detailed timeline of the Portuguese Golden Visa program processing time. Discover more about the Portugal Golden Visa requirements and how to begin a golden visa application in our complete Portugal Golden Visa 2023 Guide.

Frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa Program for Australians:

Do Australians need a visa for Portugal?

Under the Schengen Convention, citizens of Australia who intend to travel to any Schengen country, including Portugal, whether it is for business or tourism, are authorized to stay in the Schengen Zone for a maximum of 90 days, without a visa, during any six-month period.

After spending 90 days in the Schengen countries, travelers will need to remain outside the Schengen area for at least 180 days before they can re-enter.

Is there any other Portugal visa Australia passport holders can apply for?

While the Portugal Golden Visa for Australian citizens is an excellent way to secure Portuguese residency, you will need to make a qualifying investment in the country. If you are looking for a more affordable option, then the Portugal D7 Visa is a good option to consider.

Also known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa, the D7 is designed for pensioners, retired foreign citizens, and other foreigners who are living on a recognized stable income and want to legally reside in Portugal.

Can Australians live permanently in Portugal?

Yes, Australians can live permanently in Portugal provided they apply for a residence visa. One option is through the Golden Visa program, which offers residency and citizenship pathways through investment in Portugal.

How long can Australians stay in Portugal?

Australians can stay in Portugal for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without needing a visa for tourism or business purposes.

Can Australian Citizens get Portuguese Citizenship with the Portugal Golden Visa?

Australia allows for dual citizenship and when you secure your Portugal Golden Visa, then you’ll be able to apply for citizenship after five years, provided that you meet all the requirements.

How to move to Portugal from Australia?

You can move to Portugal from Australia through options like the Golden Visa program, employment sponsorship, study visas, family reunification, or retirement visas.

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