Digital nomads, entrepreneurs, investors, high-net-worth individuals… 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 exotic 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 after five years, and Portuguese citizenship after six years.
Learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa in our Golden Visa Portugal Ultimate Guide.
Benefits of real estate investment
Think, 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:
- Buy property worth €500K (or €400K if in a low-density area) and secure the golden visa
- Acquire EU residency, with visa-free travel to all of Europe
- Portuguese citizenship (EU citizenship essentially) is granted after five years
- Invest in a dynamic real estate market
- Potential to earn investment back with high return rates
- Huge variety in 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 property 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 (amounting to €400K and €280K 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% discount applies.
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.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Portugal Golden Visa Program has significantly changed this year, 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
Where to buy property in Portugal to get a Golden Visa?
When it comes to buying property in Portugal, there is no shortage of real estate options for the golden visa holder. From luxury villas right on the darling coastline of the Atlantic Ocean to loft-style apartments in the heart of Porto, right down to purchasing plots of land that you can turn into your dream farmhouse… 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:
Note, there are now location restrictions for property investments in place. Commercial real estate investments can be done anywhere in Portugal but residential real estate investments must be located in designated interior areas of Portugal.
Here’s a 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 essentially a second home, or holiday home you can turn 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 at least be 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 €280K 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 Islands & 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, the golden visa changes have not affected real estate investment opportunities in Madeira and the Azores. Meaning, investors aren’t restricted in choosing a property of their liking, with property prices being cheaper than in mainland Portugal. However, an important thing to note here is that the islands of Madeira and Azores are considered high-density, so no discount can be applied to your property investment.
Golden Visa changes scheduled for 2022
For more information about the new Portugal Golden Visa requirements, speak to one of our specialists today.
Time to invest in Portugal property is now
Did you know? Our real estate division, Goldcrest, has a 100% 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.
What are some of the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program?
Key benefits include acquiring permanent residency after five years and Portuguese citizenship after five years, affordable property prices, and a four-month golden visa timeline to Portuguese residency.
How long can you stay in Portugal if you own a property?
Purchasing real estate in Portugal 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 each two-year subsequent period.
Can you get a Portuguese passport if you buy 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, on the fifth year, you’ll be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.