Digital nomads, entrepreneurs, investors, the list goes on and on when it comes to the type of applicants investing in the Portugal Golden Visa scheme and acquiring a residence permit. While there are a number of eligible pathways to secure Portuguese residency, investing in Portugal Golden Visa properties is by far the most popular investment route to secure residence permits for yourself and your family members.
In this guide, learn about what it takes to buy Portugal Golden Visa properties with the ultimate question- what real estate qualifies?
Portugal Golden Visa: In Brief
Portugal’s high quality of life, gorgeous climate, and tax incentive schemes make seeking Portuguese residency in this stunning European nation worth it. The Portugal Golden Visa is an attractive residency by investment initiative that rewards non-EU nationals with a temporary residence permit in exchange for a qualifying investment in the country. With a Portuguese residence card, you can legally live, work and study in Portugal, with the option to become a permanent resident and apply for citizenship in Portugal after five years.
Learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa in our Golden Visa Portugal Ultimate Guide.
Important note: The Portuguese Golden Visa is coming to an end. If you are interested in applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa program, we strongly recommend you begin your application now.
You can consult our article on the Golden Visa ending to stay updated.
Benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa Property Investment Option
Think of a lifestyle upgrade, excellent weather, friendly people, and proximity to the coast. These are just some of the reasons why non-EU nationals are coming to Portugal in droves and snapping up properties here.
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some extra benefits of opting for the real estate investment route of the Portuguese Golden Visa.
- Buy property worth €500,000 (or €400,000 if in a low-density area) and secure the Golden Visa. Note that the residential real estate investment needs to be located in a designated interior area of Portugal. For the commercial real estate investment option, there are no location restrictions.
- Acquire EU residency with visa-free travel to all of Europe
- Portuguese citizenship (EU citizenship essentially) is granted after five years, provided you meet all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law (pass a basic language test, hold clean criminal records) and maintain your Golden Visa Portugal investment during this period.
- Invest in a dynamic real estate market
- Potential to earn the investment back with high return rates
- Huge variety of property types to invest in across the country
- Immediate family members are eligible for the Golden Visa
- Live and work in Portugal
- Minimum stay requirement of seven days during the first year and 14 days in the subsequent years.
- With the Portugal Golden Visa, you could potentially be eligible for Portugal’s NHR tax regime.
Property Investment Options Under the Golden Visa
To qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa, the following real estate investment routes are available:
- 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, a 20 percent discount applies (amounting to €400,00 and €280,000, respectively).
- Buy commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal worth €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 percent discount applies.
- Buy residential real estate or commercial properties anywhere on the Portuguese autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.
Important notice: The Portugal Golden Visa Program significantly changed in January 2022, which has meant that some property investment options have been revoked or become more expensive. For a complete overview of the changes, consult our Portugal Golden Visa changes guide here.
Furthermore, as we have already mentioned, prospective Golden Visa investors should note that the government in Portugal has stated that the Golden Visa in Portugal is ending. If you are interested in securing a Golden Visa in Portugal, we strongly advise that you begin the application process now.
Where to buy property in Portugal to get a Golden Visa?
When it comes to buying property in Portugal, there is plenty of real estate options for investors interested in the real estate route. From luxury villas right on the darling coastline of the Atlantic Ocean in Sagres to spacious country houses in the Alentejo, right down to purchasing plots of land that you can turn into your dream farmhouse in the north of the country, the options are boundless. But what properties qualify for acquiring the Portuguese residence permit? Below, we cover the options.
Portugal Golden Visa Properties: Prime locations
Some of Portugal’s prime property locations for Portugal’s Golden Visa program include:
- Lisbon (commercial real estate only)
- Porto (commercial real estate only)
- Sintra (commercial real estate only)
- Braga (commercial real estate only)
- Faro (commercial real estate only)
- Sagres (commercial and residential)
- Douro Valley (commercial and residential)
- Alentejo (commercial and residential)
- Peneda Gerês (commercial and residential)
- Aljezur (commercial and residential)
Note: As we’ve mentioned, there are location restrictions for property investments in place. Commercial real estate investments can be made anywhere in Portugal, but residential real estate investments must be located in designated interior areas of Portugal.
Here’s a Golden Visa Portugal real estate map showcasing which areas of Portugal qualify for what type of real estate investment.
What makes buying a property in Portugal for the Golden Visa so attractive is that you can essentially buy a second home, or holiday home and qualify for the program. You can turn it into a short term rental income opportunity, with the added flexibility to spend only seven days a year on average in Portugal to retain your residence permit. To top it off, your immediate family members are eligible to relocate with you. It’s a win-win situation for many real estate investors.
Portugal Golden Visa Properties: Low-density areas
Investors can opt to invest in real estate in need of urban rehabilitation and restoration starting from €350,000. The property in question must be at least more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation. Note that certain location restrictions apply, depending on whether the rehabilitation project is classified as commercial or residential.
However, this isn’t the cheapest option out there.
The most economical investment route is to make a €280,000 investment in the urban rehabilitation of real estate in low-density areas. While the investment criteria are strict and the list of urban rehabilitation projects is limited, it can be extremely rewarding to rebuild an apartment building or flat and make it your own.
Some classified low-density areas include:
- Douro Valley
- Peneda Gerês
- Castelo Branco
For more information, check out our Portugal Golden Visa low-density investment guide here.
Madeira and the Azores
The Madeira and the Azores islands may be autonomous regions of Portugal, but they’re a sure-proof way to secure an excellent property investment deal. With thousands of tourists flocking to these Atlantic Ocean islands each year, the options are endless when it comes to buying a property here and converting it into a short-term rental investment opportunity. In addition, both islands have strong expat communities, so if it’s relocation you’re after, you’re in good hands.
The good news is that the Golden Visa changes from January 2022 have not affected real estate investment opportunities in Madeira and the Azores. This means that investors aren’t restricted in choosing a residential property of their choosing, with Portuguese real estate prices being lower than in mainland Portugal. However, an important thing to note here is that the islands of Madeira and the Azores are considered high-density, so no discount can be applied to your property investment.
Golden Visa Changes from January 2022
For more information about the new Portugal Golden Visa requirements for prospective Golden Visa applicants, speak to one of our specialists today.
The Time to Invest in Portuguese Property is Now
Did you know? Our real estate division, Goldcrest, has a 100 percent success rate in matching applicants with their dream homes and Portugal property investment opportunities for the Golden Visa. As an independent buyers agent, Goldcrest solely works for the buyer, providing on-the-ground support in property scouting, property matching, and property securing.
Frequently Asked Questions about Portugal Golden Visa Properties
What Portugal Golden Visa properties can I buy?
Villas, houses, apartments, duplexes, land, entire buildings, or hotels, there are various property types on the market. You’ll be spoiled for choice.
Why invest in property for the Portugal Golden Visa?
Aside from Portugal’s stable real estate market, the thriving tourism industry in Portugal means you can potentially acquire a good return rate on your investment if you let out your property. Buying a property is not just a good investment move, it is a lifestyle move, enabling you to own a dream home or holiday home in sunny Portugal. Remember that there are location restrictions in place, and if you are looking to buy residential property to qualify for the program, it needs to be located in an interior area.
What are some of the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program?
Key benefits include acquiring permanent residency and, potentially, citizenship after five years (provided you fulfill all the criteria), affordable property prices, and the fact that your family can be included in the application. Portugal also boasts a high quality of life and progressive legislation.
How long can you stay in Portugal if you own a property?
Purchasing real estate in Portugal through the Portuguese Golden Visa enables investors to secure residence permits as long as they stay in the country for seven days in the first year, followed by 14 days in each subsequent two-year period.
Can you get a Portuguese passport if you buy a property?
Provided that your property investment qualifies under the Golden Visa program, you’ll first secure temporary residence for yourself. With the renewal of your Golden Visa permit in the fifth year, you’ll be eligible to apply for citizenship and a passport.
Put simply, the Portugal Golden Visa process can ultimately can grant you citizenship through naturalization, provided you maintain your investment for five years and fulfill all the requirements under Portuguese nationality law.
What are the rules for Golden Visa qualifying investments from 2022 onwards?
Regarding real estate, the qualifying investments from January 2022 onward are the following:
- €500,000 for property in high-density areas. Note that residential property needs also to be located in an interior area of Portugal. For commercial real estate, there are no location restrictions.
- €400,000 investment in property in low-density areas. Note that residential property needs also to be located in an interior area of Portugal. For commercial real estate, there are no location restrictions.
- €350,000 investment in property in high-density areas requiring rehabilitation. Note that residential property needs also to be located in an interior area of Portugal. For commercial real estate, there are no location restrictions.
- Portugal Golden Visa €280,000 properties in low-density areas requiring rehabilitation. Note that residential property needs also to be located in an interior area of Portugal. For commercial real estate, there are no location restrictions. This is the minimum investment amount to qualify for the Golden Visa through real estate.
- Buy residential real estate or 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.
Other investment routes are the following:
- Fund Subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000.
- Capital Transfer: Make a capital transfer minimum investment of at least €1.5 million
- Scientific Research: Science or Technology research minimum investment of at least €500,000
- Job Creation: Company incorporation and creation of ten jobs amounting to a minimum value of €500,000
- Investment into the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000 (reduced to €200,000 if the project is located in a low-density area – this is the minimum investment required to apply for the Golden Visa).
Are Algarve Golden Visa properties still eligible?
The new rules that came into play in January 2022 restricted eligible areas. In much of the Algarve, it is no longer to invest in residential real estate. However, some areas, such as Sagres, still qualify. If you are looking to invest in commercial properties, there are no location restrictions. Do note that the Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end. If you are interested in applying for the program, you should lodge your application now.
Are Portugal Golden Visa properties in Lisbon still eligible?
The new rules that came into play in January 2022 restricted eligible areas. In Lisbon, it is no longer to invest in Portugal Golden Visa residential property.
If you are looking to invest in Portugal Golden Visa commercial property, there are no location restrictions. Do note that the Portugal Golden Visa is coming to an end. If you are interested in applying for the program, you should lodge your application now.
Has the Golden Visa Portugal been suspended?
Following a ministerial meeting held on 16 February 2023, the Portuguese government presented a package of measures to respond to various concerns within the scope of the housing policy in Portugal. It was in this context that the measure of apparently ending the Portugal Golden Visa program was grafted. You can read more in our article: Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far.