Portugal’s Golden Visa offers residency with the most economical investment option

Portugal’s Residence Permit Program also referred to as the Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most sought-after immigrant investor schemes in the world. As a five-year residency by investment scheme for non-EU nationals, it has pumped over €4 billion into the Portuguese economy.

While the Portugal Golden Visa Program offers several investment routes, including investing a minimum of €350K in property, the most economical investment route is to make a €280K investment in the rehabilitation of real estate in low-density areas.

While the investment criteria are strict and the list of rehabilitation projects are limited, it can be extremely rewarding to choose this investment path to Portuguese residency.

The 280k low-density golden visa investment option

Investors can opt to invest in real estate in need of rehabilitation and restoration starting from €350,000. The property in question must at least be more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation.

A cheaper option is to invest €280K+ in renovations projects in low-density areas. These designated areas are split according to the region’s population. If the area hosts less than 100 occupants per 1,000 square meters, it counts as a ‘less densely populated area’. Another requirement to look out for is the gross domestic product per capita – it must be equal to or less than 75% of the national average.

Low-density areas include the interior regions in Portugal, with the exception of coastal areas south of the River Lima and North of the River Sado. Madeira and Azores are also excluded.

Advantages of investing in low-density areas

There are many benefits to investing in low-density areas and being rewarded with the golden visa.

These include:

Lower investment threshold with excellent rental return yields Lower investment threshold with excellent rental return yields
Real estate prices significantly lower in low-density areas Real estate prices significantly lower in low-density areas
Healthy property market with rental units being particularly profitable Healthy property market with rental units being particularly profitable

Investing in low-density areas

Since the required capital to invest in low-density areas is low, investors are increasingly attracted to this option. Away from the densely-populated crowds and coupled with a booming student population, makes buying a property for renovation a lucrative opportunity.

The majority of investors are not just looking to buy property and convert it into a second home, but to also capitalize on Portugal’s booming rental market and tourism industry. Options like Airbnb have been the focus of investment for many Portuguese and foreigners alike. In 2019 alone, local property owners earned a combined €377 million through the Airbnb platform.

Best low-density areas to invest in

At present, the most popular regions to invest in are the Alentenjo, Douro Valley, and Peneda Gerês. All offer fantastic investment prices, with good opportunities to branch in hospitality, outdoor tourism or cultural and religious tourism.

Reselling chancesPrices per m2Prices fluctuationTourism industryRenting returnsTourism returns
Peneda GerêsMediumLowLowHighLowHigh
Douro ValleyMediumMediumLowMediumLowMedium
AljezurHighHighLowHighMediumHigh

Map showing Portugal’s low-density areas

As indicated, the map below shows the regions in blue that are classified as being within the low-density zone. Areas that fall outside the low-density zone are highlighted in white.

 

The full list of 165 counties and 72 parishes considered low-density are also outlined below.

Low-density counties in Portugal:
1. Abrantes
2. Aguiar da Beira
3. Alandroal
4. Alcácer do Sol
5. Alcoutim
6. Alfândega da Fé
7. Alijó
8. Aljezur

9. Aljustrel
10. Almeida
11. Almodôvar
12. Alter de Chão
13. Alvaiázere
14. Alvito
15. Ansião
16. Arcos de Valdevez
17. Arganil
18. Armamar
19. Arouca
20. Arraiolos
21. Arronches
22. Avis
23. Baião
24. Barrancos
25. Bej
26. Belmonte
27. Borba
28. Boticas
29. Bragança
30. Cabeceiras de Basto
31. Campo Major
32. Carrazeda de Ansiães
33. Carregal do Sal
34. Castanheira de Pêra
35. Castelo Branco
36. Castela de Vide
37. Castro Daire
38. Castro Marim
39. Castro Verde
40. Celorico da Beira
41. Celorico de Basto
42. Chamusca
43. Chaves
44. Cinfães
45. Constância
46. Coruche
47. Covil
48. Crato
49. Cuba
50. Elvas

51. Estremoz
52. Évora
53. Fafe
54. Ferreira do Alentejo
55. Ferreira do Zêzere
56. Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
57. Figueiró dos Vinhos
58. Fornos de Algodres
59. Freixo de Espada à Cinta
60. Fronteira
61. Fundão
62. Gavião
63. Góis
64. Gouveia
65. Grândola
66. Guarda
67. Idanha-a-Nova
68. Lamego
69. Lousã
70. Marção
71. Macedo de Cavaleiros
72. Mangualde
73. Manteigas
74. Marvão
75. Meda
76. Melgaço
77. Mértola
78. Mesão Frio
79. Miranda do Corvo
80. Miranda do Douro
81. Mirandela
82. Mogadouro
83. Moimenta da Beira
84. Monção
85. Monchique
86. Mondim de Basto
87. Monforte
8. Montalegre
89. Montemor-o-Novo
90. Mra
91. Mortágua
92. Moura

93. Mourão
94. Murça
95. Nelas
96. Nisa
97. Odemira
98. Oleiros
99. Oliveira de Frades
100. Oliveira o Hospital
101. Ourique
102. Pampilhosa da Serra
103. Paredes de Coura
104. Pedrógão Grande
105. Penacova
106. Penalva do Castelo
107. Penamacor
108. Penedono
109. Penela
110. Pedo da Régua
111. Pinhel
112. Ponte da Barca
113. Ponte de Sor
114. Portalegre
115. Portel
116. Póvoa de Lanhoso
117. Proença-a-Nova
118. Redondo
119. Reguengos de Monsaraz
120. Resende
121. Ribeira de Pena
122. Sabrosa
123. Sabugal
124. Santa Comba Dão
125. Santa Marta de Penaguião
126. Santiago de Cacem
127. São João da Pesqueira
128. São Pedro do Sul
129. Sardoal
130. Sátão
131. Seia
132. Sernancelha
133. Serpa
134. Sertã

135. Server do Vouga
136. Soure
137. Sousel
138. Tábua
139. Tabuaço
140. Tarouca
141. Terras de Bouro
142. Tondela
143. Torre de Moncorvo
144. Trancoso
145. Valpaços
146. Vendas Novas
147. Viana do Alentejo
148. Vidigueira
149. Vieira do Minho
150. Vila do Rei
151. Vila do Bispo
152. Vila Flor
153. Vila Nova da Barquinha
154. Vila Nova de Cerveira
155. Vila Nova de Foz Côa
156. Vila Nova de Paiva
157. Vila Nova de Poiares
158. Vila Pouca de Aguiar
159. Vila Real
160. Vila Velha de Ródão
161. Vila Verde
162. Vila Viçosa
163. Vimioso
164. Vinhais
165. Vouzela

Low-density parishes in Portugal:

Águeda
União das freguesias de Belazaima do Chão, Castanheiro do Vouga e Agadão
União das freguesias do Préstimo e Macieira de Alcoba
Amarante
Ansiães
Candemil
Gouveia (São Simão)

Jazente
Rebordelo
Salvador do Monte
União das freguesias de Aboadela, Sanche e Vázea
União das freguesias de Bustelo, Carneiro e Carvalho de Rei
União das freguesias de Olo e Carnadelo
Vila Chã de Marão
Amares
Bouro (Santa Marta)
Goães
União das freguesias de Caldelas, Sequeiros e Paranhos
União das freguesias de Vilela, Seramil e Paredes Secas
Caminha
Dem
União das freguesias de Arga (Baixo, Cima, e São João)
União das freguesias de Gondar e Orbacém
Castelo de Paiva
Real
Condeixa-a-Nova
Furadouro
Guimarães
União das freguesias de Arosa e Casteiões
Loulé
Alte
Ameixial
Salir
União das freguesias de Querença, Tôr e Benafim
Marco de Canaveses
Várzea, Aliviada e Folhada
Ourém
Espite
União das freguesias de Freixianda, Ribeira do Fárrio e Formigais
União das freguesias de Matas e Cercal
União das freguesias de Rio de Couros e Casal dos Bernados
Pompal
Abiul
Ponte de Lima
Anais
Ardegão, Freixo e Mato
Associacão de freguesias do Vale do Neiva
Bárrio e Cepões
Beiral do Lima
Boalhosa
Cabaços e Fojo Lobal
Cabração e Moreira do Lima
Calheiros
Estorãos
Friastelas
Gemieira
Gondufe
Labruja
Labrujó, Rendufe, e Vilar do Monte
Navió e Vitorino dos Piães
Poiares
Serdedelo
Porto de Mós
São Bento
Santarém
União das freguesias de Casével e Vaqueiros
Silves
São Marcos da Serra
Tavira
Cachopo
Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo
Tomar
Olalhas
Sabacheira
União das freguesias de Além da Ribeira e Pedreira
União das freguesias de Casais e Alviobeira
União das freguesias de Serra e Junceira
Vale de Cambra
Arões
Junqueira
Valença
Boivão
Fontoura
União das freguesias de Gondomil e Safins
União das freguesias de São Julião e Silva
Viana do Castelo
Montaria
Viseu
Calde
Cavernães
Cota
Ribafeita
São Pedro de France
União das freguesias de Barreiros e Cepões

Speak to one of our consultants

Our team has a 100% success rate when it comes to Golden Visa applications, and will make sure that you find the right investment for your requirements.

Your dedicated account manager will accompany you throughout the process, saving you time when it comes to making your application. Our team has years of experience and will help you avoid the difficulties that befall many Portuguese Golden Visa investors.