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Introduction to the Portugal Golden Visa

The most successful Residency by Investment programme in the world.

Portugal Homes is pleased to introduce an updated guide on the Portugal Golden Visa for 2024, with a specific focus on the latest programme updates. The Portugal Golden Visa remains a streamlined pathway for third-country investors, enabling them to secure a residency permit in the country by meeting the minimum investment requirements.

In addition to facilitating Portuguese Residency, the programme offers the potential for Portuguese citizenship after a 6-year period, presenting a valuable opportunity for investors seeking long-term benefits.

This guide aims to provide comprehensive insights into the latest developments, ensuring our clients and prospective investors are well-informed about this advantageous Residency by Investment programme. Explore the possibilities and benefits the Portugal Golden Visa offers in terms of residency and citizenship.

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa is an economic strategy aimed at attracting foreign investments, particularly in countries struggling with economic challenges. Originally proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2008, the programme serves as a tool to fortify and rejuvenate economies. Its impact on the real estate market in Portugal has been notable and largely positive across the country'ss diverse real estate market offerings.

Introduced in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa Programme allows third-country citizens to obtain a residency permit in exchange for a 6-year investment commitment.

With more than a decade of existence, the Golden Visa in Portugal has contributed more than 7 billion euros to the Portuguese economy.

The Portugal Golden Visa has gained immense popularity globally due to several factors, including property prices’ affordability, which are among the lowest in all EU capitals. Additionally, Portugal's attractive living conditions, renowned safety, high quality of life, and robust public healthcare system contribute to its allure.

The programme offers advantages such as visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone and the option to live, work, and study in Portugal, and many more, making it an appealing choice for investors. Portugal Golden Visa holders are also required to spend a minimum of 14 days in the country, either consecutively or intermittently, within each 2-year visa period.

2024 Update: Did the Portugal Golden Visa Come to an End?

No. The Portugal Golden Visa has not ended.

However, it suffered significant changes on the 6th of October 2023, when the Housing Bill (Pacote Mais Habitação) was enshrined into law. Essentially, the Housing Bill brought a series of changes, especially regarding the Real Estate option.

Under the new law, the Portuguese Golden Visa no longer provides Residency status through Real Estate investments.

The changes do not impact the renewal of previously granted Residency Permits.

The Portugal Golden Visa remains available through other options, including subscriptions to investment funds, donations to scientific programmes, artistic productions, and the recovery or maintenance of national cultural physical heritage, among others.

There are alternative investment-driven solutions to obtain Residency in Portugal. Contact Portugal Homes today to find out more information!

Learn more about the timeline and the context behind the changes to the Golden Visa programme:

  • 16th February 2023: The Portuguese government, led by then-Prime Minister António Costa, announces the Housing Bill (Pacote Mais Habitação): a proposal to stop the growing real estate speculation and high rents in the country. Among the various proposed changes is the end of Real Estate investments as an eligible option for the Portugal Golden Visa programme.
    • Context: It is important to note the Prime Minister's statement did not consider the Golden Visa's importance to the country and the essential role it played in generating critical amounts of income for the economy
  • 14th of April 2023: The final version of the Housing Bill is forwarded to the Portuguese Parliament for further public discussion.
  • 19th of May 2023. The Portuguese Parliament approves the Housing Bill and is forwarded to the President of the Republic.
    • Context: While the Parliament approved the Bill, it only did so because the majority of the deputies (members of parliament) belonged to António Costa’s Socialist Party (PS). The remaining deputies from other parties with parliamentary representation voted against the Housing Bill.
  • 21st of August 2023. The President of the Republic vetoes the Housing Bill. It is sent back to the Parliament for a fresh round of revisions and amendments.
    • Context: As the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, holds the power to either: ratify the law and enshrine it into law, veto against it, or forward it to the Constitutional Court for further clarifications on the matter. The President cast his veto power, claiming concerns about the Bill's viability and whether it would solve any of the issues the Bill addressed.
  • 22nd of September 2023. The Parliament reapproves the Housing Bill without any amendments.
    • Context: Even though the Housing Bill was sent back by the President of the Republic, the Parliament reapproved it without any amendments. The Bill was heavily contested by opposition parties, including Partido Social Democrático (PSD), Iniciativa Liberal (IL), Chega (CH), and other relevant associations and companies involved in the Real Estate market. More than 320 changes had been proposed, but the Socialist Party (PS) disregarded them, and due to its majority, proceeded to reapprove it.
  • October 6th 2023. The President of the Republic ratifies the Housing Bill.
    • Context: In Portugal's political system, the President can only cast a veto on a specific law once. After the Parliament reapproved the law, the President had no other choice but to ratify the law and enforce it into law.
  • October 10th 2023. The Housing Bill is published in the Portuguese Gazette
    • Context: The Housing Bill is enshrined into law, as Law 56/2023 of 6th October 2023. Real Estate investments are no longer eligible as options to obtain Residency in Portugal via the Golden Visa programme.

      Per the latest statistics, the Golden Visa, between 2012 and September 2023, brought more than €7 billion to the Portuguese economy. Out of this amount, the Real Estate investment option, by itself, was responsible for more than 90%, raking in almost €6,5 billion. So far, more than 12,000 Residency Permits have been issued through the Golden Visa, with more than 9,000 given to Real Estate investors. These recent changes to the Portugal Golden Visa reflect a significant shift away from investments. However, Portugal has other Residency by Investment solutions. Get started on your Portuguese Residency process and contact Portugal Homes now to take the first step!

New Alternative to Golden Visa - Portugal D2 Visa

The Portugal D2 Visa is a Residency by Investment programme and a new alternative solution to the Portugal Golden Visa.

The D2 Visa leads to Portuguese Citizenship and is designed to attract high-net-worth individuals to invest in the economy by opening a new business or branching out an existing one in Portugal.

With the end of the Real Estate option for the Golden Visa, the Portugal D2 Visa became the best, fastest, and most affordable way of obtaining Residency within the European Union with benefits such as family reunification and visa-free travel over the Schengen Zone, and the most cost-effective path to EU citizenship.

Though the D2 Visa and the Golden Visa are Residency by Investment programmes, they target different types of investors. Their goal is ultimately the same, which is to attract foreign capital to the Portuguese economy.

Here is a brief comparison of the programmes:

Process Time
3 months
18 months
Minimum Investment Amount
Regardless of the capital of the company formation, the programme only requires a single initial investment
Minimum amount to invest in the Golden Visa is €500k with investment funds. If the fund value decreases, more investment is required at renewals to keep the minimum amount at €500k
Renewal Period
D2 Visa renewal process done automatically online
Golden Visa Renewal requires presence in Portugal every 2 years
Government Fees
Government fees can be lower than €1k
Government fees can be as high as €30k for a large family
Process Time
3 months
Minimum Investment Amount
Regardless of the capital of the company formation, the programme only requires a single initial investment
Renewal Period
D2 Visa renewal process done automatically online
Government Fees
Government fees can be lower than €1k
Process Time
18 months
Minimum Investment Amount
Minimum amount to invest in the Golden Visa is €500k with investment funds. If the fund value decreases, more investment is required at renewals to keep the minimum amount at €500k
Renewal Period
Golden Visa Renewal requires presence in Portugal every 2 years
Government Fees
Government fees can be as high as €30k for a large family

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Advantages of the Golden Visa

Benefits of accessing the programme

Get the Portuguese passport

Live, Work and Study in Portugal

Travel freely in the Schengen Area

Residency in a Safe and Stable European Country

Low physical presence required

Family Reunification

Golden Visa Requirements

How to obtain EU Residency?

To obtain Residency by Investment through the Portugal Golden Visa Programme in 2024, you need to make a financial investment in Portugal and fulfil a list of requirements.
Once the residency permit is granted, individuals will have the right to:

  • Reside in Portugal during the whole duration of your visa;
  • Work, live, and study within Portugal;
  • Travel freely, without a visa, to the other 26 Schengen countries;
  • The right to family reunification in Portugal and the European Union.
  • Request Portuguese citizenship after 5 years, with the same rights as anyone in Portugal and the European Union; (Optional)

Holders of a Portuguese Golden Visa are given a temporary residency permit in Portugal for 2 years, which is renewable for another 2 years. By the end of the 5th year, they can apply for 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, beautiful landscapes, rich history and culture, and extremely high standards of safety and security have all been decisive reasons why it has become so popular, especially with US citizens, who applied the most for the Portugal Golden Visa in 2023.

Portugal Golden Visa Investment Options

The Golden Visa suffered significant changes during 2023, including the discontinuation of Real Estate investments as an eligible option. The programme remains available through other options.

The Portugal Golden Visa Programme is only open to third-country citizens. The applicant(s) must make an eligible investment in Portugal.

The new law in effect since October 2023 ratifies the options eligible only through:

  • Transfers of capital totalling €500,000 or more into eligible venture capital funds (excluding real estate investments);
  • Donation of €500,000 or higher for research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions.;
  • Donation equal to or exceeding €250,000 in support of artistic production, restoration, or preservation of the national cultural heritage;
  • Donation of €500,000 or more for the establishment of a commercial company within the national territory, accompanied by the creation of five permanent positions;
  • Creation of a minimum of 10 job opportunities.

It is important to mention that investing in funds presents a high-risk alternative for securing the Golden Visa. Applicants are required to commit a minimum of €500K. It is essential to note that if the fund's value decreases during the visa renewal process, the investor must replenish the fund to the initial €500K threshold.

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.

How to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa

The process is easy, but it does involve gathering a vast amount of documentation, both in Portugal and in your country of origin

You may collect all the needed documents and apply for the Portugal 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 are deeply familiarized with the country's laws.

Connecting with Portugal Homes is a time-efficient solution, and our consultants can also advise you on the best investments available on the market.

Portugal D2 Visa Information Brochure

The process is highly digital, as Golden Visa applications can be submitted digitally. Portuguese Taxpayer Numbers can also be applied online. This reduces bureaucracy and enables us to quicken your application process.

Portuguese Golden Visa for You and Your Family

The Portugal Golden Visa is similar to a EU passport. It allows family reunification, enabling the following family members to join the main Golden Visa applicant in Portugal:
  • Spouse
  • 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 of being in the Portugal Golden Visa.

Want to know more about the Golden Visa Programme?

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The Golden Visa Real Estate Process


What you need to know about it

1. Real Estate Investment Options

The Portugal Golden Visa enables third-country nationals to obtain a temporary residency permit to enter the national territory for investment purposes. However, real estate purchase is no longer available as an option for the Golden Visa, despite the guidelines established by the previous law for this option.

Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate purchase:

€280K – This option is the same as the above, though it receives a 20% discount if in a low-density area, e.g.: countryside territories, or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira.

€350k – This option is only available for properties with more than 30 years of construction age and in need of refurbishments or located in an urban rehabilitation area. The sum for property purchase and reconstruction must reach the 350k minimum investment.

€400K – This option is the same as the above, though it receives a 20% discount if in a low-density area, e.g.: countryside territories, or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira

€500K – The standard Golden Visa option, available to all types of Real Estate investments. From January 2022, this option no longer accepts Residential Real Estate purchases in main areas such as Lisbon and Porto, being only available for commercial and tourist properties.

The January 2022 changes in the law have made investments available only for commercial and touristic developments in Portugal's main areas. The €500K investment option for residential properties remains available in the countryside regions, Azores, and Madeira. Major cities like Lisbon, Porto, Braga, and the Algarve region, among others, will no longer qualify or be eligible for €500K Golden Visa real estate investments.

2. Requirements

The Portugal Golden Visa programme requirements may vary according to the Real Estate investment option. However, to keep the Golden Visa, the investor is required to:

  • Keep the real estate investment for a period of 6 years;
  • The funds must come from outside of Portugal;
  • A valid document for legal entry and stay in Portugal;
  • No references in Portuguese Immigration and Schengen Services;
  • No criminal record;
  • Stay in Portugal for a minimum period of 14 days, either consecutively or intermittently, within each 2-year visa period.

3. Who is eligible?

All third-country citizens who conduct a Real Estate investment, as an individual businessperson or through a company set up in Portugal, or in another EU Member State. In addition, foreign residents may also apply, provided they meet the requirements set by the law. You will also need to meet the (minimal) physical presence requirements.

As the main applicant, you can bring your family members, including your spouse, as well as your children (as long as they ar or enrolled in studies and being financially supported by the main applicant). In certain circumstances, you can even bring your parents and/or in-laws, as long as you can demonstrate that you are supporting them.

4. Documentation

The amount of documentation needed to acquire the Portugal Golden Visa varies according to the investment option. For a standard 500k investment you will need the following documents:

  1. Final Deeds of Purchase, or Promissory Contract;
  2. Declaration issued by a financial institution accredited or registered in national territory by the Bank of Portugal confirming an actual international bank transfer for purchasing or for payment as an initial deposit of the sale agreement;
  3. Certificate of the Land Registry Office issued within the prior 45 days, comprising the registrations, endorsements, and entries in force and proving the ownership of the real estate, free of any encumbrances, or certificate of registry comprising the provisional record of purchase, when legally feasible, with an initial deposit;
  4. Official Tax Description of the Real Estate, when Legally feasible;
  5. Excerpt of the Commercial Register issued within the prior 45 days in case the investment is made by means of a single-member limited company of which the applicant is the proprietor.

All documentation (unless otherwise noted) needs to be issued within 90 days before your online application.

Anything issued by a foreign entity must be legalised (e.g., with an apostille if your country of origin has signed the Hague convention). Moreover, anything that is not in Portuguese needs to be properly translated and certified.

5. Costs

Besides investing in Real Estate, the applicant will have other associated costs such as the down payment for the property, as well as the legal documentation necessary to submit, which may also have additional costs.

Buying real estate in Portugal also means paying specific taxes, stamp duty, and fees. We recommend investors to ready 6% to 8% of the investment, especially when considering the 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. Furthermore, applicants also need to plan for lawyer's fees, typically between €6000 - €8000 per family.

You can check all costs and taxes associated after you have purchased a property in Portugal

Timeline of Application

Timings for every step of the process

1 to 8 Months
Invest and apply via the Portugal Golden Visa Programme.

(due to the high number of applications, this process can take up to 18 months)

Year 1 & 2
Golden Visa application is valid for 2 years.
Year 3 & 4
Portuguese Golden Visa renewal valid for 2 years.
Year 5 & 6
Golden Visa 2nd renewal is valid for 2 years

By the end of year 5, you can apply for citizenship or permanent residency.

Golden Visa Statistics

Since 2012
Created in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa has solidified its position as one of the steadiest and lucrative Residency by Investment programmes within the European Union. Examining the data provided by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders (SEF), it is evident that the Residence Permits for Investment Activity (ARI) issued between October 2012 and September 2023 exceeded expectations.
12.000+ Visas Issued
In more than a decade's existence, the programme issued more than 12,000 Residency Permits for Investors and more than 20,000 for family members.

The countries with the highest number of residency permits showcase a subtle year-to-year shift. Not only do the figures indicate a change in the nationalities that apply most frequently, but there is also a difference in the volume of applications from these leading nations.

In 2021, China led the programme with 270 applications, followed by the United States with 101, and Brazil with 61. In contrast, 2022 revealed a different ranking, with 216 Golden Visas issued to US citizens. Chinese nationals followed closely behind, with 213 applications. Brazil completed the top 3, with 109 applications.

From 2012 to 2023, China led by far with 5407 visa applications, followed by Brazil with 1256, the USA with 781, Türkiye with 613, and South Africa with 574.

When one compares the statistics of the Portugal Golden Visa, and the evolution of investments from 2012 to 2023, positive changes are revealed, which have expanded the scope of investments.

The increased confidence and interest in the programme are evident in the growing pursuit of high-return opportunities within Portugal's real estate market. From October 2012 to September 2023 (the last available Golden Visa statistics), the investment in Real Estate reached incredible levels, having injected more than 6 billion euros in the Portuguese economy, and countless previously vacant and decrepit properties being refurbished.

Golden Visa Properties

Browse Our Portfolio of Properties That Qualified for the Golden Visa
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REF: PW298
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REF: PW2048
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REF: PW2166

How can Portugal Homes help you with the Golden Visa and Residency by Investment Programmes?

Portugal Homes, part of the Harland & Poston Group, is a leading company in Residency by Investment programmes in Portugal. Specialising in the Golden Visa, with more than 500 clients in Portugal alone, the company provides pathways for investors aiming to secure Portuguese Residency. Beyond the Golden Visa, Portugal Homes extends its expertise to the Portugal D2 Visa, an alternative designed to attract high-net-worth individuals to invest in the economy by opening a new business or branching out an existing one in Portugal.

Portugal Homes boasts a substantial presence not only in Portugal, but also on a global scale, operating in more than 20 countries with clients from all over the world. The company is proud to have cultivated an extensive network and accumulated invaluable experience.

This long-standing presence empowers Portugal Homes to offer solutions and support to investors worldwide looking for Portuguese Residency and Citizenship, making the process of obtaining EU Residency through property investment in Portugal a smooth and successful endeavour for all its clients.

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The New Alternative to the Golden Visa

Portugal D2 Visa

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Living in Portugal
Portugal Golden Visa Contact us