The 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 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 Portugal Golden Visa’s wide range of investment options, and easy application process, they are choosing Portugal over other European countries.
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. 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.
In the first stage, you will be given a temporary residency in Portugal, which is valid for a period of two years. To maintain your status 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 renew your Golden Visa, 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 citizenship. Note that in order to obtain citizenship in Portugal, you will need to pass a basic Portuguese A2 exam.
The Portugal Golden Visa for Australians provides residency through buying real estate, capital transfer, job creation, or by making another qualifying investment into the country. This investment scheme allows you to immigrate to Portugal and, according to Portuguese nationality law, after five years of permanent residency, this can lead to citizenship and a Portuguese passport.
Portugal Golden Visa for Australians: Benefits
There are several benefits to the Portugal Golden Visa scheme, including the following. We’ll delve into more advantages of the program later in the article.
- Access to the 27 countries in the EU
- 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
Golden Visa Program in Portugal
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.
The initial step for the Portugal Golden Visa is to make a qualifying investment in Portugal. Regarding the Portugal Golden Visa for Australians, you will find that there are many different options available including real estate acquisition, fund investment, capital transfer, and others.
To get the residence permit, then an investment must first be made before the application can be filed. In brief, here are the investment options:
- 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% 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% 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 in 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
- Donation: Support the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000.
Note that residential real estate must be located in interior areas of the county. This change to the Golden Visa came into force on 1 January 2022, ruling out Lisbon, Porto, and much of the Algarve. However, there are many beautiful parts of Portugal that remain ripe for the picking, where you can find excellent properties in exceptional parts of the country. What’s more, if the property is situated in a “low-density” area as well, then a 20% discount will apply. You can find out more about what qualifies as an interior area in our article here, which also includes information regarding the difference between interior areas and “low-density” areas.
For commercial properties, however, there are no location requirements.
Advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa for Australians
As previously mentioned, there are an array of excellent benefits to the Portugal Golden Visa. Here, we’ll provide you with some of the key advantages.
Your whole family can benefit
You can extend your Portugal Golden Visa application to include your family members. This includes your spouse, children under the age of 18, and can also cover children above the age of 18 who are full-time students and that are financially dependent on you.
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.
Portuguese citizenship after five years
One of the biggest pull factors of the Portugal Golden Visa for Australians is that you can apply for citizenship after five years, provided you have held your investment for this time period. 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 Portugal 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 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 was the Quality of Life Index. You can see that Portugal clocks in at number 12.
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 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.
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.
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Frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa 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 Australians 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.
Pensioners, retired foreign citizens, and other foreigners that are living on a recognized stable income can apply for the D7 Visa, allowing you legally reside in Portugal.