Apply for Portuguese citizenshipThe Portuguese government launched the Portugal Golden Visa in 2012 to attract foreign investment into the Portuguese economy. In the decade or so since then, it has become one of the world’s most popular residency-by-investment programs, attracting thousands of non-EU nationals to apply each year and secure European residency through strategic investments.

The demand for the Portugal Golden Visa for Indians is strong, and it’s growing, with an almost 70 percent increase in Golden Visas being issued to Indian nationals from 2019 to 2022.

It’s clear to see why the program has become so popular. Along the Iberian Peninsula’s western coast, Portugal has an extensive history, stunning landscapes, a thriving economy, and a lower cost of living in comparison with other Western European countries.

With its temperate climate, warm-hearted locals, and burgeoning tech and startup scene, Portugal appeals to many investors and is regarded as a great country to relocate to for those seeking an enhanced quality of life.

This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of the Portugal Golden Visa for Indian investors. From the minimum investment requirements and residency benefits to the processing timeline and possible alternatives, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Portuguese Golden Visa.

Portugal Golden Visa Benefits for Indian Citizens

Relatively affordable investment options: In comparison with other Golden Visa programs, the Golden Visa in Portugal has a lower investment threshold. For example, you can qualify with a €200,000 donation to an artistic production or a national cultural heritage project if it’s based in one of the country’s ‘low density’ areas (regions with fewer than 100 inhabitants per square kilometer or GDP per capita of under 75 percent of the national average).

European residency: The Portugal Golden Visa grants Indian investors and their families the right to live, work, and study in Portugal and travel visa-free within the Schengen Area. This includes 27 European countries, making exploring and conducting business across Europe easier.

High-quality education opportunities: Portugal has a robust and high-quality education system. Golden Visa holders can access world class schools, universities, and research institutions for themselves and their dependents, providing excellent educational opportunities in both public and private institutions.

Access to the European market: Portugal’s strategic location within the European Union allows Indian investors to explore European business opportunities. With the visa free access to the Schengen Area granted by the Golden Visa, successful applicants gain greater access to new markets, partnerships, and investment prospects.

Thriving tech and startup scene: Portugal is experiencing rapid tech and startup ecosystem growth. Indian entrepreneurs and professionals can tap into this thriving scene, fostering innovation and collaboration.

Low cost/free healthcare: Portuguese healthcare is known for its high standard and accessibility. Golden Visa holders can benefit from quality medical services and healthcare facilities. With a Portugal Golden Visa, investors and their family members can be eligible for treatment under the Portuguese healthcare system, known as the SNS (Serviço Nacional de Saúde).

Family reunification: The Portugal Golden Visa allows Indian investors to include their family members in the application, promoting family reunification in Europe.

Path to permanent residency and citizenship: After five years of holding the Golden Visa, investors can apply for permanent residency. Moreover, after six years of residency, they may become eligible for Portuguese citizenship, offering additional rights and benefits.

Diverse culture and lifestyle: Portugal has a rich cultural heritage, offering a pleasant with picturesque landscapes, historical landmarks, and a welcoming local community.

Retirement destination: Portugal is attractive for retirees due to its pleasant climate, affordable cost of living, and retiree-friendly policies.

Tax benefits: Portugal offers various tax incentives and exemptions for some foreign residents, making it an appealing destination for investors seeking tax optimization. Though the Non Habitual Tax Resident scheme is ending, a new program, known as the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation is now available.

English proficiency: English is widely spoken and understood in Portugal, making it easier for Indian investors to communicate and integrate into the local society.

Overall, the Portugal Golden Visa enables access to many benefits, providing Indian investors and their families with a unique opportunity to establish a prosperous and fulfilling life in a country that embraces diversity and innovation, and provides a high standard of living.

Portugal Golden Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens

indian passport rankingPortugal’s Golden Visa has its own set of requirements that every applicant must fulfill to apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa. Let’s have a look at them:

Pre-requisites: You’re required to be at least 18 years old, and the funds for the investment should arrive from outside of Portugal (you can’t take a loan from a Portuguese financial institution to apply).
Residency requirement: Maintain the investment for a specific period to be eligible for the Golden Visa. During the first year, you must stay in Portugal for at least seven days; in each subsequent two-year period, you must spend at least 14 days in the country.
Clean criminal record: Provide a clean criminal record from your country of residence
Valid travel documents: Possess a valid passport and other necessary documents
Proof of funds: Demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Portugal
Health insurance: If you intend to relocate to Portugal with the visa, you will need to prove that you have private health insurance.

By meeting these requirements, Indian investors can apply to gain European residency and access the numerous benefits of living, working, and studying in Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa Investment Options for Indians

The Portugal Golden Visa program presents an opportunity for Indian investors seeking to gain European residency through strategic investments. As an Indian national, you can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa by fulfilling the following investment requirements:

Portugal Golden Visa investment options

Investment fund subscription

Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund (such as a mutual fund, private equity fund, or venture capital fund) regulated by the CMVM, which is the Portuguese Securities Market Commission, worth at least €500,000. It’s worth noting that real estate related funds no longer qualify for the visa program.

Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage

For this Golden Visa route, please note that you will need to make a qualifying investment (a donation of at least €250,000 or €200,000 in one of Portugal’s low density areas) in an eligible arts or reconstruction of national heritage project, which will need to be pre-approved by the Portuguese government through GEPAC.

Investment in scientific research projects

Invest at least €500,000 in research carried out by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system.

Creation of ten jobs

Under the Portuguese Golden Visa program, investors are obligated to create at least ten full-time jobs. In low-density population areas, this number is reduced to eight. All these positions must be in line with Portugal’s labor and social security standards.

Share capital and job creation

Incorporation of a commercial company or reinforcement of the share capital of an existing Portuguese business, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (including five permanent jobs).

Since October 2023, real estate investments and capital transfers have not been eligible investment pathways for the Portugal Golden Visa.

Required Documents for the Portuguese Golden Visa

The following Golden Visa Portugal documents required can change at the discretion of the Portuguese government. The supporting documents must be submitted by Golden Visa applicants for the initial application and each renewal.

The following documents are required to apply for the Golden Visa Portugal:

  • Golden Visa application form
  • Copy of a valid passport and travel documents
  • Declaration from your bank in Portugal confirming the transfer of funds from abroad into your Portuguese bank account
  • Proof of health insurance in Portugal (only required if the investor resides in Portugal)
  • A background check or a police clearance letter from your country of origin
  • A declaration of honor compromising to maintain the investment for five years
  • Documents showing a good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority (the Portuguese tax authorities)
  • Document showing non-enrollment or a good standing with the Social Security
  • 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.

Legalizing documents

Portugal Golden Visa documents and the Portugal Golden Visa application form must be legalized and translated into Portuguese, and then certified.

Note that documents can be legalized by the Portuguese Consulate or apostilled according to The Hague Apostille Convention, where applicable.

Translating Portugal Golden Visa documents

Original documents must be accompanied by a translation in Portuguese, certified by one of the following three agents: a Portuguese Consulate, a Portuguese lawyer, or an official notary.

Global Citizen Solutions has a team of legal experts who can translate your Golden Visa documents into Portuguese to ensure that they meet the program’s requirements.

Portugal Golden Visa Step by Step Process for Indians

d2 visa vs portugal golden visa

Before applying for the Golden Visa Portugal

Here’s a breakdown of the preliminary steps to apply for the Golden Visa:

Initial research and preparation

During this stage, potential investors research the Portugal Golden Visa program, explore different investment options, and seek advice from immigration consultants and/or a law firm if desired.

Investors gather the necessary documents and funds required for the chosen investment option.


Once you’ve decided on your investment, you’ll need to gather the necessary papers for yourself and any dependents that will be included in the application.

Make sure all the documentation is in order and submit it for review. Global Citizen Solutions can do this for you on your behalf. 

Open a Portuguese bank account and acquire a NIF

We will designate a fiscal representative for you in order for you to get a Portuguese tax number (NIF), from a tax office in Portugal. This tax identification number will be used if and when you become a tax resident and need to pay taxes in Portugal.

We can help you to open a bank account in Portugal once you have obtained your NIF. This is something we can accomplish remotely before you arrive with your Golden Visa in Portugal.

Make the investment

We can start securing your investment and will walk you through the documentation needed to secure a successful investment.

Portugal Golden Visa application process

Below is a breakdown of the step-by-step process for the Golden Visa application:

Apply online

Submit your application online.


If you meet the relevant standards, your application will be pre-approved.

GCS-ICONS-88-2Biometrics visit

It takes around two months from the moment you plan your interview to be able to attend a biometrics collecting session in person.

Golden Visa issuance

Following your biometrics appointment, it takes about four months for AIMA (the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service, which replaced SEF) to carry out necessary procedures, such as a background check, and authorize your Golden Visa.

You should then pay the government permission application cost. We can then collect the residency cards on your behalf and mail them to you.

The Golden Visa residence permit is typically valid for two years and can be renewed for subsequent two-year periods.

Residence permit renewal

The Portugal Golden Visa initially grants a residence permit that is valid for two years. After this period, the permit can be renewed for subsequent two-year periods as long as the investor maintains the qualifying investment and meets the residency requirements.The renewal process involves submitting updated documents and demonstrating continued compliance with the investment criteria.

Golden Visa Portugal Timeline for Indians

The timeline for obtaining Portugal’s Golden Visa for Indian investors can vary based on several factors, including the completeness of the application, the type of investment chosen, and the processing efficiency of the relevant authorities.

On average, the timeline can take approximately six to eight months, but it’s essential to understand the various stages involved in the Golden Visa process.


Portugal Golden Visa Cost for Indians

Other-Expenses-while-buying-real-estateThe cost associated with obtaining Portugal’s Golden Visa for Indian investors involves several components, including investment amounts, processing fees, legal fees, and consultancy fees, as well as other miscellaneous expenses.

Investment costs

Here’s a breakdown of the investments that you can make (note that, under the new rules, the capital transfer and real estate investment options no longer qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa program):

Fund investment: 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 (or €200,000 in a low density area).

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 time 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 (five of them permanent)

Golden Visa fees 

The Golden Visa processing fees vary depending on the number of family members included in the application. The processing fee, or the legal fee, for a single applicant may cost from €5,000 to €8,000.

Dependents under 18 years old can be included in the application free of charge. An additional fee of €500 to €2,000 may apply on dependents over 18 years.

Legal and consultancy fees

Many Indian investors seek guidance from experienced immigration consultants or legal experts to navigate the complex application process. Legal and consultancy fees can vary depending on the services provided, the law firm you work with, and the case’s complexity.

Travel and living expenses 

Investors and their families may incur travel and living expenses when visiting Portugal for the initial application process and during the required residency periods.

Miscellaneous expenses

Other miscellaneous expenses may include document translation, medical insurance premiums, and additional requirements specific to the investor’s circumstances.

e2 visa document checklistIt’s important to note that the total cost of the Portugal Golden Visa can vary based on individual choices, such as the investment option selected, the number of family members included in the application, and the level of professional assistance sought.

Proper financial planning, due diligence, and research are essential to understand the full scope of costs involved.

Portugal Golden Visa Eligibility Requirements for Indians

Indian nationals must fulfill the investment requirements of Portugal’s Golden Visa. Applicants must maintain the investment for the required period to be eligible for the Golden Visa and subsequent permanent residency.

Becoming a Portuguese Citizen with a Golden Visa

portugal safety tipsOne of the major benefits of Portugal’s Golden Visa program is that Golden Visa holders have a clear pathway toward Portuguese citizenship.

After holding the Golden Visa for five years with legal residency status, investors can apply for permanent residency in Portugal.

Investors may also be eligible to apply to become a Portuguese citizen (which is essentially acquiring European citizenship/EU citizenship) and a Portuguese passport, subject to meeting the necessary requirements.

Engaging the services of experienced immigration consultants can streamline the process and help investors navigate any potential challenges, ensuring a smoother and more efficient timeline for obtaining the Portugal Golden Visa.

Portuguese citizenship eligibility

In order to apply to become a Portuguese citizen, it’s necessary to maintain a clean criminal record as well as to reach a basic understanding of the Portuguese language. It’s possible to meet the Portuguese language requirement either through a language or course or by taking a Portuguese language test

The permanent residency application is subject to approval by the Portuguese authorities and requires proof of continuous residency during the Golden Visa period.

Benefits of permanent residency and citizenship

A Portugal Permanent Residence permit allows individuals and their families to live and work in Portugal without any time limitations.

Permanent residents can enjoy the benefits of the Portuguese healthcare, social security, and education systems.

Portugal Permanent Residence Visa holders can also travel visa-free within the Schengen Area, comprising 27 European countries.

The New Nationality Law: Positive News for Golden Visa Holders

In January 2024, the Portuguese parliament approved crucial amendments to the nationality law, providing relief to numerous applicants affected by delays in the processing of residency applications by SEF, now AIMA. This significant revision focuses on the waiting period necessary for Portuguese nationality applications.

The law, published on March 5, 2024, is set to take effect on April 1, 2024.

What are the alterations to the nationality law?

Previously, according to Article 6, Paragraph 1 of the Nationality Law, individuals seeking Portuguese nationality through naturalization had to maintain residency in Portugal for a minimum of five years, among other prerequisites. The commencement of the five-year period for nationality application was dependent on the issuance of the initial residency permit.

With this recent legislative development, the revised Article 15, now encompassing Paragraph 1 of the nationality law, explicitly states that the time between the submission of the temporary residency permit application and its final approval will be considered in calculating the necessary legal residency period for nationality, provided the residency permit is granted.

Positive Impact on Portugal Golden Visa Applicants

portugal golden visa for UK citizensThe substantial adjustments to Portugal’s nationality law create a sense of anticipation regarding positive changes for Golden Visa applicants.

Previously, applicants were subject to the stringent requirement of a minimum five-year residency period starting from the issuance of the initial residency permit. This often led to prolonged waiting times, with candidates experiencing delays due to processing backlogs at the former SEF.

This means that individuals facing delays in residency approvals due to factors such as COVID-19, the Ukrainian War, and the restructuring of the Portuguese immigration department will now have their waiting period taken into account. Consequently, they can apply for Portuguese nationality at an earlier date. For instance, individuals planning to apply for Portuguese residency in 2024 would meet the five-year residency requirement for citizenship by 2029, regardless of potential delays in processing the residency application.

This change represents a significant stride towards improving the overall experience for Indian nationals intending to relocate to Portugal or those seeking Portuguese citizenship through naturalization.

Alternatives Programs for Indian Investors

While the Portuguese Golden Visa route is a popular and attractive option for Indian investors seeking European residency, exploring other potential alternatives is essential before making a final decision. Different countries offer different residency permits and citizenship by investment programs (as well as some Golden Visa programs), each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Here are some alternative options that Indian investors may consider:

Malta Residence by Investment Program (MRIP) and the CES program:

Malta offers investment programs that grant residency and citizenship to investors and their families. The program requires a significant investment and other financial contributions. Malta citizenship provides visa-free access to 172 countries, including the Schengen Area and the United States. Read more about the Malta Residency by Investment Program and the Citizenship by Investment (CES) program here.

Cyprus Residency by Investment Program

Cyprus offers a residency by investment program that requires a substantial investment in real estate property and other eligible assets. For those interested in purchasing real estate as a route to residency, this program could be worth considering. You can read this informative blog on Cyprus Residency by Investments Program to gain more in-depth knowledge about residency in Cyprus.

Greece Golden Visa Program

The Greece Golden Visa program allows investors to obtain residency by investing in real estate with a minimum value of €250,000. Greek residency allows visa-free travel within the Schengen Area.

Spain Golden Visa Program

Spain offers a Golden Visa program that grants residency to investors who invest at least €500,000 in real estate. Spanish residency allows visa-free access to the Schengen Area.

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs

Several Caribbean countries, including Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, offer citizenship by investment programs. These programs require a financial contribution to the country’s development fund or an investment in approved real estate. Caribbean citizenship provides visa-free access to numerous countries, making it an attractive option for global mobility.

The choice of the best alternative will depend on the investor’s specific goals, investment preferences, desired level of global mobility, and family considerations. Each program has its own eligibility criteria, investment requirements, and processing times, so thorough research and consultation with experienced immigration advisors are crucial before deciding.

Global Citizens Solutions: How can we help you?

Expats and Indian investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for a Portuguese Golden Visa, which is why having an expert on hand is worthwhile to provide personalized Portugal visa assistance throughout the application process.

Our specialists can help you with the following:

Expertise and knowledge: Our Portugal immigration consultants are well-versed in the intricacies and requirements of Portugal’s Golden Visa program. We stay updated on the latest regulations and can provide accurate information and advice to Indian investors.

Tailored solutions: Your personal consultant will assess your individual needs and preferences and discuss the most suitable investment option for your specific circumstances. This tailored approach ensures that Indian investors make informed decisions that align with their goals.

Document preparation and review: Our immigration consultants assist Indian investors in gathering and preparing the necessary documents, ensuring that the application is complete and meets all requirements. We review all paperwork to minimize the risk of errors or omissions that could lead to delays.

Application assistance: Our consultants guide Indian investors through each step of the application process, from submitting the initial application to securing your Golden Visa and beyond. 

Language support: Portuguese may not be familiar to Indian investors, and language barriers can be challenging during the application process. Our immigration consultants offer language support in English and Portuguese and can translate documents to communicate clearly with Portuguese authorities.

Legal compliance: Our immigration consultants ensure that Indian investors adhere to all legal requirements and maintain compliance with Portuguese immigration laws, reducing the risk of complications or visa refusals.

Liaison with authorities: Global Citizen Solutions’ consultants act as intermediaries between Indian investors and Portuguese authorities, facilitating communication and ensuring that any queries or issues are addressed promptly.

Post-approval support: After obtaining the Golden Visa, our consultants continue to assist Indian investors with residency renewals, permanent residency applications, and any other immigration-related matters.

Peace of mind: By entrusting the process to Golden Citizens Solutions, Indian investors can know that their application is in capable hands, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their investment plans.

For detailed information on our services for the Portugal Golden Visa and the benefits of working with us, read more.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Portugal Golden Visa Program for Indians

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency by investment program that offers Indian investors and their families the opportunity to obtain residency in Portugal through strategic investments in the country. It is popular because of its low minimum investment thresholds compared to other Golden Visas as well as it short minimum stay requirements.

What are the investment options for the Portugal Golden Visa?

  • Fund subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund (qualifying investment funds are typically venture capital funds, private equity funds or mutual funds) 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 full time jobs (five of them permanent).

It’s important to note that capital transfers and real estate investments are no longer eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa.

How long does it take to get the Portugal Golden Visa residence permits?

The Portugal Golden Visa processing time is usually between 12 to 24 months for the approval and issuance of residence permits.

Can Indian investors include family members in the Golden Visa application?

Yes, Indian investors can include their spouses, children, and dependent family members in their Golden Visa application.

Can Golden Visa holders work in Portugal?

Yes, Golden Visa holders have the right to live and work in Portugal without needing a separate visa, but there is no requirement to work in the country.

What are the residency requirements for the Golden Visa?

Investors must spend at least seven days in Portugal during the first year and 14 days in each subsequent two-year period with a Golden Visa permit.

Should you fail to meet these residency requirements, you could lose your residency status in Portugal and your investment.

Can Golden Visa holders travel to other European countries?

With a valid Golden Visa residence permit, a Golden Visa holder can travel visa-free within the Schengen Area, which includes 27 European Union countries.

There are European countries outside of the Schengen Area, such as the UK and Ireland, that you would need to apply for a separate visa to travel to.

Is Portugal visa-free for Indian citizens?

No, India is not a visa-free destination for Indian citizens. Indian citizens need a visa to enter Portugal for tourism, business, or other purposes.

Can Indian investors apply for permanent residency in Portugal?

After holding the Golden Visa for five years, an Indian investor can apply to become a permanent resident in Portugal, subject to meeting the required criteria, such as meeting the stay requirement and maintaining their Golden Visa investment.

Is Portuguese citizenship possible for Indian investors?

Yes, after five years of continuous residency as a legal resident, an Indian investor may be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship (effectively becoming an EU citizen), subject to additional requirements such as proficiency in the Portuguese language at A2 level, which is considered a “basic” level of proficiency.

Can Indian investors seek assistance from immigration consultants?

Yes, immigration consultants can provide guidance and support throughout the Golden Visa application process.

Because a Golden Visa application requires a lot of paperwork and can be quite a long process, seeking assistance from immigration consultants is a good idea, making the process simpler and ensuring your application has a greater chance of success.

What are the benefits of holding the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portuguese Golden Visa grants long-term residency in Portugal, with the option to apply for citizenship after five years. Plus, you can bring your family along. This visa also allows visa-free travel throughout the Schengen Zone, eliminating the need for a separate Schengen Visa.

Who is eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa?

To be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Nationality: You must not be a citizen of Portugal, Switzerland, or any European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country.
  • Age: You must be 18 years old or older.
  • Criminal record: You must have a clean criminal record, both in Portugal and your home country.
  • Investment: You need to make a qualifying investment in Portugal. This can include buying real estate, investing in a fund, creating jobs, or making a donation.
  • Funds source: The investment funds must come from outside of Portugal.

There’s also a minimum stay requirement. You only need to spend seven days in Portugal during the first year and fourteen days every two years after that to maintain residency.

Is the Portugal Golden Visa ending?

No, the Portugal Golden Visa is not ending. Despite changes in recent years, including the discontinuation of real estate investments and capital transfers as eligible investment pathways, the program continues to welcome thousands of international investors to establish residency in Portugal each year.

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