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 has historically been by far the most popular investment route for individuals to secure residence permits for themselves and their family members, with many people buying properties in the Algarve as well as major cities such as Lisbon and Porto. However, real estate no longer qualifies as Portugal Golden Visa investments.

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of the Golden Visa and some of the alternative investment options that are available in 2024.


The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation, which took effect in October 2023, eliminated the purchase of real estate and real-estate-related funds as qualifying investment options for the program. 

However, several attractive investment routes still maintain their eligibility for the program. To learn more, please refer to our comprehensive guide: Portugal Golden Visa

Portugal Golden Visa: An Overview

What is Portugal’s Golden Visa Program?

Portugal’s high quality of life, gorgeous climate, and tax incentive schemes make seeking Portuguese residency in this stunning European nation worth it.

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is an attractive residency by-investment program that rewards non-EU nationals with a temporary residence permit in exchange for qualifying investment in the country.

To be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa program, applicants need to meet certain conditions:

  • Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA nationals
  • Be able to prove the source of their investment funds (there’s a minimum investment amount of €250,000)
  • Have a criminal record proving the absence of conviction in a crime punishable in Portugal for one year or more
  • Spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal for each two-year period (this is called the stay requirement)

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.

Important note: The Portuguese Golden Visa through real estate acquisition (including commercial real estate investment) is no longer available to Golden Visa investors. If you are interested in applying for the program, there are many other investment options on the table. 

Portuguese Golden Visa Benefits

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 as Golden Visa applicants.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some extra benefits of securing this visa and gaining residency in a stunning, peaceful European country.

  • Acquire EU residency with visa-free travel to all of Europe and the Schengen Area.
  • Portuguese citizenship (which is essentially EU citizenship) can be 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 investment during this period.
  • Despite the ending of the real estate pathway and the capital transfer option, there remain several attractive investment options on the table.
  • Immediate family members are eligible for Portugal’s Golden Visa Program.
  • Live and work in Portugal.
  • The minimum stay requirement is just 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.

About The Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Investment

Before the new rules came into force on 7 October 2023, eliminating the residential properties for Portugal Golden Visa, the following real estate investment routes were available to investors.

  • Real estate purchases in designated interior areas of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property was located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, a 20 percent discount would apply (amounting to €400,000 and €280,000, respectively).
  • They could buy commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal worth €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the commercial property was located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount would apply.
  • They could 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.

In this Golden Visa Portugal real estate map, you can see all the real estate routes (including investing residential real estate and commercial real estate) that were available to investors before the changes.

As we have mentioned, residential real estate investments are no longer available. If you are interested in securing a Golden Visa in Portugal, there are many other options to choose from, such as investment funds or an investment into a cultural production.

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide by local experts

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The Time to Invest in Portuguese Property is Now

While you can no longer invest in a Golden Visa property, if you are interested in securing a second home or even relocating to Portugal, we can help. Our real estate division, Goldcrest, is an independent buyer’s agent in Portugal. They work solely for the buyer, providing on-the-ground support in property scouting, property matching, and property securing. Alongside this, there are many other options to secure residency in Portugal, such as the D7 Visa and the Digital Nomad Visa.

Golden Visa Investment Pathways: Alternatives To Real Estate Purchases

Fund<br> Subscription
Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000
Scientific<br> Research
Science or technology research contribution of at least €500,000
Job<br> Creation
Company incorporation and creation of ten jobs amounting to a minimum value of €500,000
Cultural Investment
Cultural Investment
Support the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with an investment of at least €250,000 (or €200,000 if located in a designated low-density area)

Golden Visa Fund investment subscription

As investing in Portugal for residency through property is no longer available, investment funds are an excellent option to consider. In recent years, this investment type has been increasingly popular amongst Americans.

To be eligible for the program through the investment fund route, foreign investors must transfer a minimum of €500,000 into a Portuguese investment fund or venture capital funds. These funds should primarily focus on providing capital to companies incorporated under Portuguese law, with a required minimum maturity period of five years at the time of investment.

Regarding the residency requirement, individuals seeking the Golden Visa must spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal during the first year of their investment and, subsequently, a minimum of 14 days for each two-year period following the initial year.

It’s essential to maintain your investment activity over the entire five-year period to retain your residence permit, after which you can apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship after five years.

For further details on the various investment options available, please refer to our comprehensive article: Portugal Golden Visa Investment Fund.

Scientific research

scientific-research-Investment into scientific research with a minimum investment of €500,000 is another Golden Visa investment option. This option entails channeling your investment towards cutting-edge research projects, from medical breakthroughs to environmental solutions.

The research project must be conducted by public or private scientific organizations that are part of the national scientific and technological system.

The other eligibility requirements for this option are:

  • Investment duration: Maintain the investment for a minimum period of five years.
  • Project eligibility: The research project should focus on areas of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) that align with Portugal’s strategic priorities.
  • Legality and transparency: The investment must be made through legal channels and should be transparent and verifiable.

Job creation

Individuals can also qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa by investing a minimum of €350,000 in a Portugal-registered company or creating ten full-time jobs amounting to a minimum value of €500,000. This requirement is reduced to eight full-time jobs in Portugal’s low-density areas. These jobs must be in line with Portugal’s labor and social security standards.

The other eligibility requirements for this route are:

  • Job retention: Maintain the created jobs for a minimum period of three years.
  • Business viability: Establish or invest in a company that has a viable business plan and the potential to generate sustainable employment.
  • Legality and transparency: Ensure that the investment and business operations comply with all applicable laws and regulations in Portugal.

Cultural investment

For an investment of  €250,000 into a qualifying cultural production project, which will need to be approved by the Portuguese government, investors can be eligible for the Golden Visa in Portugal.

To qualify via this pathway, you need to either make an investment into an artistic project — a Portuguese feature film, for example, could qualify — or make a non-refundable donation to a foundation of national heritage and cultural significance.

If the project is based in low-density areas in Portugal, then there is a 20 percent discount, making the minimum investment requirement amount €200,000.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Portugal Golden Visa Properties

What Portugal Golden Visa properties can I buy?

It is no longer possible to invest in real estate to become eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa. Portugal still has a thriving property market, offering greater value for money than other countries in Western Europe.

Why invest in property for the Portugal Golden Visa?

Investing in real estate is no longer a valid option for obtaining the Portugal Golden Visa. However, now that property investment is ineligible, there are many other options, including investment funds and cultural production.

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), and the program facilitates family reunions, meaning that your family members can be included in the application.

Portugal also has a high quality of life and progressive legislation.

How long can you stay in Portugal with the Portugal Golden Visa?

With a Portugal Golden Visa, you can maintain your residence permit as long as you 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 with the Golden Visa?

You’ll first secure temporary residence for yourself. With the renewal of your 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 in 2024?

In 2024, the investment options are:

  • Fund subscription: 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; the minimum investment is reduced to €2500,000 if the project is located in a low-density area
  • Scientific research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000 (20 percent discount if located in a low-density area)
  • 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 jobs (five of them permanent).

Are Algarve Golden Visa properties still eligible?

The Portugal Golden Visa program no longer accepts a real estate investment as a qualifying option. Although buying properties in the Algarve is no longer a viable way to qualify for the program, the region remains popular among people who are interested in buying holiday homes as well as investors who intend to secure additional rental income.

Are Portugal Golden Visa properties in Lisbon still eligible?

Real estate investments are no longer considered an eligible option to become a Portugal Golden Visa holder. However, buying property in Lisbon remains popular because the city is very livable, providing a high quality of life. It’s also an attractive place to buy real estate for those seeking rental income, particularly because the city is a hub for digital nomads.

Has the Golden Visa Portugal been suspended?

No, the Portugal Golden Visa requirements for investment have changed, with the real estate and capital transfer options no longer eligible, but the program remains operational with various other investment options available.

How much do you have to spend on a property in Portugal to get the Golden Visa?

You can’t get a Portugal Golden Visa by purchasing a property. As of 7 October 2023, Portuguese real estate (including commercial and residential property investments) no longer qualifies.

Can I get residency in Portugal if I buy a house?

No. As of 7 October 2023, you can no longer apply for residency by buying property in Portugal. If you want to apply for the Portuguese Golden Permit, you can explore other avenues such as subscribing to an investment fund or investing in cultural projects.

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