The Golden Visa is an economic strategy that aims to attract foreign investments to countries facing economic challenges, particularly those resulting from global crises. The Programme was initially proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2008 as a tool to strengthen and revitalize struggling economies and had a positive impact on the real estate market due to the diverse range of properties offered in Portugal. In Portugal since 2012, the Programme was created as a way of enabling non-EU citizens the right to gain a residency permit in exchange for a 6-year real estate investment. During its more than 10 years of activity in Portugal, the Golden Visa helped people live and work in the country and has added almost seven billion euros to Portugal's economy since its launch.
The Portuguese Golden Visa became one of the most popular residence-by-investment Programmes in the world because of the affordable property prices (one of the lowest of all EU capitals), together with Portugal appealing living conditions, being one of the safest countries in the world, with a high quality of life and a public health care system.
Those who gain access to Portugal's residence through the Golden Visa Programme only need to spend a minimum period of 14 days in the country, consecutively or intermittently, within each 2-year visa period, still keeping all the benefits of being an EU resident. The advantages of the Programme include visa-free unlimited travel within the Schengen Zone, and the option to live, work and study in Portugal.
Yes, the Portugal Golden Visa will be terminated in 2023, but until the law is put into effect, new applications are still eligible. The most up–to–date information on the changes in Portuguese Golden Visa ending dates to July 2023, when the Portuguese deputies voted the pack "Mais Habitação” – a bill of norms aimed to address the housing crisis in the country - putting an end to the eligibility to the Golden Visa through Real Estate investments.
Succinctly, the executive government passed the Proposed Law no. 71/XV/1st, a bill which includes specific measures to modify the existing regime for residence permits through property investment, putting an end to the Portuguese Golden Visa. The unpopular decision of putting an end to the programme was finally voted on on the 7th of July and decided that new applications for the Golden Visa are still being accepted until the law is implemented. The end of the Golden Visa, however, will not affect the renewal of authorizations already granted.
In 2023 alone, until April, the investment into real estate was already higher than in the same period of 2021 and 2022, with the registered amount of €184,547,354.32. And investors are still interested in Portuguese properties through Golden Visa investment. The real estate market in Portugal continues to bloom and is still a point of interest for investors. Until the Proposed Law no. 71/XV/1st is submitted and signed by the Portuguese President, and published in the Gazette (in Portugal, the Diario da República newspaper), new applications are still eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa.
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To obtain residency through real estate investment, the Portugal Golden Visa programme establishes clear requirements that applicants must meet. While these requirements are following the 2023 updates in the programme:
First, the Golden Visa is open to individuals who are not citizens of any European Union country. Second, eligible participants are expected to make a qualifying investment in Portuguese real estate, with specific minimum investment thresholds and eligible property types (see below the minimum amount to invest). The programme allows residential, commercial, or tourism-related properties. Lastly, applicants must provide comprehensive financial documentation to demonstrate the legitimate source of funds and their ability to support themselves and their family members during their residency in Portugal.
By meeting these requirements, individuals can embark on the path towards acquiring residency through the Portugal Golden Visa Programme. Once the residency permit is granted, individuals will have the right to:
Holders of a Portuguese golden visa card are given a temporary residence permit in Portugal for 2 years, which is renewable for another 2 years. By the end of the 5th year, holders of the golden visa can apply for a permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship, if all other legal requirements are met.
There has been a growing amount of enquiries for the Portuguese Golden Visa programme, and Portugal has proven to be extremely attractive; its relatively low cost of living with beautiful landscapes, rich history and culture along with a very high standard of safety and security have all been strong reasons why it has become so popular, especially along USA citizens, being the nations with more Golden Visa applicants in 2023.
While the process isn’t very complicated, it does involve gathering a lot of documentation - both in Portugal and in your country of origin. You may collect all the needed documents and apply for Portugal's Golden Visa on your own, but it would be beneficial and much faster to resort to local professionals. Portugal Homes' skilled professionals know the local property market and laws. Not only would we save you time and money, but our consultants can also advise you on the best investments available in the market, we are here to help you with preparing documentation, providing attorney services, and following your needs during the whole period of your temporary residence obtained with us.
The Golden Visa applications can be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number. This reduces bureaucracy and enables us to fasten your application process.
The Portugal Golden Visa Programme works like a European passport for the whole family. It allows family reunions, permitting the following family members to join the Golden Visa investor in Portugal:
- Dependent children;
- Adopted children;
- Full-age dependent children who are still engaged in study;
- Dependent parents of either the Golden Visa holder or spouse;
- Minor dependent brothers or sisters who are under the guardianship of the golden visa holder.
Family members receive the same rights and will also be eligible for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship after 6 years in the Golden Visa Programme.
Portugal Golden Visa by investment is governing the granting of Residence Permit for Investment (ARI / Golden Visa), enabling third-country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit to conduct business activities with visa waiver to enter national territory. Portugal residency by investment includes:
280k – This level of investment is available only for properties in low population density areas, i.e., interior territories or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira;
350k – At this level of investment, the applicant can purchase Real Estate located in urban areas but from January 2022 can only purchase a Golden Visa property in the interior territories or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira. Properties must be constructed more than 30 years ago and in need of refurbishment. The sum for property and reconstruction must reach the 350k minimum investment;
500k (and more) – You may invest in all types of Real Estate investments available in Portugal (until the new changes are put into place in January 2022 - read more here);
From January 2022, you'll still be able to invest in Commercial, Offices, and Touristic Developments in coastal areas of the mainland, and the 500k option will still be eligible for you anywhere in the Azores & Madeira. However, major cities like Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, Braga, amongst others, will no longer qualify or be eligible for Golden Visa investments.
If you are interested in purchasing a Golden Visa property in Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve, now is the time to do so as changes will come into effect on the 1st of January 2022.
The Portugal golden visa programme requirements may vary according to your level of investment, However, the investor is required to obey the following:
All third-country citizens who conduct an investment activity, as an individual business person or through a company set up in Portugal or in another EU Member State and who, in addition, are stably settled in Portugal, provided these citizens fulfill the quantitative requirements and the time requirements set out by the relevant legislation, may apply for a Residence Permit for Investment.
The investment can be made as an individual or through a legal entity meeting certain requirements. You will also need to meet the (minimal) physical presence requirements.
Anyone except Portuguese and EU/EFTA citizens - can apply for the Golden Visa Programme after completing a suitable investment into Portugal before asking for Portugal permanent residence.
You can bring your family members, including your spouse, as well as your children (as long as they are younger than 18 at the time of application, or enrolled in studies and being supported by you). In certain circumstances, you can even bring your parents and/or in-laws, as long as you can demonstrate that you are supporting them.
The amount of documentation needed to acquire Portugal's permanent residency by investment varies according to the level of investment. For a 500k investment you will need the following documents:
All documentation (unless otherwise noted) needs to be issued within 90 days before your online application.
Anything issued by a foreign entity has to be legalized (e.g., with an apostille if your country of origin has signed the Hague convention). Moreover, anything that’s not in Portuguese needs to be translated and certified.
Besides the level of investment in Real Estate, the applicant will have other associated costs such as the down payment for the property, which is made in cash, as well as the legal documentation necessary to submit, which may also have associated costs.
Buying real estate in Portugal attracts certain taxes, stamp duty, and fees. We recommend investors' budget for around 6%-8% in total, the main element being Property Transfer Tax (IMT).
Government fees per family member for application of the Golden Visa are 5336,40€. Renewal fees every two years apply at 50% of those rates. In addition, there is a processing fee on application and renewal of 533,90€ for the main applicant plus 83,30€ per family member. In addition, applicants need to plan for lawyer's fees, typically between 6000€ - 8000€ per family.
The news changes will be applied to all of the largest cities and developed areas from January 2022. You can check the key areas that the Government has allowed to remain open for property investment below:
Over the coming months, we will assess each of these areas and look at the structure and investment potential, giving you a report on each of the ones we believe has potential, giving you a steady return for your investment.
Invest and apply via the Portugal Golden Visa Programme.
Golden Visa application is valid for 2 years.
Portuguese Golden Visa renewal valid for 2 years.
Golden Visa 2nd renewal is valid for 2 years. By the end of year 5, you can apply for citizenship or permanent residency.
Want to know how much Portugal residency permit by investment program is going to cost? Simply fill in the details according to your requirements to receive a more accurate quote. Once you have submitted your information, we will be in touch to discuss your needs further.