How to get Portuguese Citizenship through a Residency Investment

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Published on 29 April, 2024 • Last updated on 29 April, 2024

By Portugal Homes

How to get Portuguese Citizenship through a Residency Investment

Is there a direct Portugal Citizenship by Investment programme?

The short answer is: No. Citizenship by Investment programmes are commonplace in the Caribbean, where it is possible to apply for a second citizenship and get a Passport at the end of the application process. However, there are no Portugal Citizenship by Investment programmes.

The only way to obtain Portuguese Citizenship by Investment is through Residency. Portugal has two prime investment programmes that make getting Residency an easy and smooth process – the Golden Visa and the D2 Visa.

After 5 years, Portuguese residents are able to apply to Citizenship and the Portuguese passport - one of the most powerful in the world. Ranking #4 in the Global Passport Index, having Portuguese citizenship unlocks a series of untold benefits.

Changes in the Portuguese Nationality Law: Fast-Tracking the Portugal Citizenship Application Process

The Portuguese Nationality Law states any foreign national can become a Portuguese citizen after 5 years of Portuguese Residency. This has been the common law for many years, but it received an amendment on the 5th of March of 2024. The most significant overhaul concerned the waiting times until Portuguese Citizenship could be obtained.

Before the update, the 5 years started to count from the first issuance of the Residency Permit. Unfortunately, this inevitably meant a delayed process, and the 5 years could easily have turned into 6 or 7. After the update, the 5 years to Portuguese Citizenship are now counted from the moment the initial Residency Application is submitted, drastically reducing the waiting times to the expected 5 years.  

The most important part can be found in Article 15, Paragraph 4 of the Gazette: “For the purposes of counting the legal residence timeframe foreseen in this law, it is also considered the time since the moment the temporary legal residence permit has been requested, provided that it comes to be approved.”

This change became fully in effect as of the day it was enshrined into the official Portuguese Gazette on the 5th of March of 2024, reducing the waiting times to the expected 5 years to get Portuguese Citizenship.

Getting Portuguese Citizenship by Investment after the Portugal Golden Visa Update

For over a decade, the Portugal Golden Visa was the undisputed way to get Portuguese Citizenship by Investment. It had a Real Estate option, enabling individuals to get Portuguese Residency, the first step to Citizenship by Investment, through a minimum Real Estate purchase of €280,000. Countless preferred this option and the available data backs this up, as property investment generated €6,3 billion of the €7,4 billion total amount brought to Portugal by its Golden Visa programme.

Unfortunately, Real Estate investments were discontinued in 2023 via Law 56/2023 of the 6th of October of 2023. When this news broke, many outlets ran to assume the entire programme had been scrapped, which is empirically not true. Despite Real Estate having been the most sought-after option, the Portugal Golden Visa has several other avenues from which it can be obtained.

The Golden Visa remains available in 2024 through donations, contributions, the creation of job positions, and subscriptions to investment funds. Among these and others, the Portugal Golden Visa Investment Funds hold the most interest – especially due to the opportunity of generating massive returns.

Benefits of Portugal Citizenship by Investment

Having Portuguese Citizenship brings a series of countless advantages on every level that will undoubtedly benefit you in endless ways, and it begins earlier than you think.

You will first have to become a Portuguese Resident on the journey to EU Citizenship, and the benefits begin right then and there. Portuguese residents are able to travel visa-free to the other 28 countries in the Schengen Zone.

Once Residency grows into EU Citizenship, you will no longer need to worry about renewing your permit, and you can expect your international mobility to expand considerably. Long waiting lines at airports’ queues will no longer be an issue, nor will any concerns with getting a Visa to enter another country with the Portuguese passport in hand. Portugal has the World’s 4th Most Powerful Passport, unlocking visa-free entry to more than 170 countries out of the 193 recognised by the United Nations.

Living in Portugal means you can walk in Portuguese streets at night and not have to worry about your well-being, as Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. The Global Peace Index assesses several security key indicators, like criminal rates, incidences of terrorist acts, and political stability. In 2023, it determined that Portugal is the 7th Safest Country in the World, the ideal backup place for a Plan B.

You can stand tall and be proud of your children as they receive a diploma from a top-of-the-line European institution, knowing you have invested in their future and success. Portugal is consistently recognised internationally for its schools’ high standards and results and affordable tuitions, whether on an elementary or at a higher-level education.

Plus, you do not need to worry yourself whether you will have to give up your original passport – Portugal has longstanding, harmonious relationships with many countries, and it recognises Dual Citizenship, meaning you will be able to retain your passport, and pass on an even further enriching legacy to your children.

At the end of the day, Portugal is an astounding country to live in, and regardless of whether you are pursuing a Residency programme to get Portuguese Citizenship by Investment, the alternative to take the naturalisation path is worth your while. Even if it involves a bit more research – including what property and where to buy in Portugal.

Portugal Homes facilitates accessing all this, whether with the Golden Visa, the D2 Visa, or Properties for Sale - plus so much more. Getting started with it is easier than you think – and it begins with contacting Portugal Homes.

Portugal Golden Visa and the D2 Visa - The Best Investment Options to Get Citizenship in Portugal

For the longest time, the Portugal Golden Visa was the key to unlocking Portuguese Citizenship by Investment. The programme is still ongoing and active through options like subscriptions to Investment Funds and has a relaxed approach to stay requirements. The Golden Visa only asks investors to spend a minimum of 14 days every 2 years until Citizenship is achieved.

However, the Golden Visa is far from the only way to get Residency and Portuguese Citizenship by Investment. Despite not being as heavily marketed, the D2 Visa has existed for longer and is currently the best Golden Visa alternative.  

The D2 is a Residency Visa involving the creation or operation of a business in Portugal. Portugal Homes simplifies the entire process with its ready-made solutions, set to deliver Residency for you, and the Portuguese passport at virtually zero cost to you.

Portugal Homes’ D2 Visa Investment Options land you Residency with little to no effort on your behalf. Starting at €280,000, the same minimum amount as the Golden Visa, investing in the D2 is the first step on the journey to get Portuguese Citizenship by Investment.

How to Get a Portuguese Passport by Investment - What are the Requirements?

The first and foremost requirement to get the Portuguese passport & citizenship is simple: having 5 years of Residency. In this context, Residency is not the current country where you live and run your daily life, but rather a legal status entitling you to legally stay in a country for an extended period of time – more than 90 days, in the EU’s case.

Sometimes, the concepts may greatly overlap. Understanding where Residency and Citizenship differ is key – especially as legal statuses, and when researching the best option for you.

Other standard requirements include having a clean criminal record, a valid passport, a Portuguese bank account, and a Portuguese taxpayer number. There are further requirements when choosing to get Portuguese Citizenship by Investment through Residency programmes like the Golden Visa or the D2 Visa.

Showcasing a basic understanding of the Portuguese language will also be necessary. However, this requirement has been recently relaxed, with proof of taking an A2-level language course serving as an option to display fluency.  

Either programme will require proof of financial means, a residential address in the country, and other programme-specific documentation. While there is no other path to circumvent – Residency really being a must, the law makes it crystal-clear: everyone meeting the 5 years of Portuguese Residency criteria is entitled to become a Portuguese citizen.

Applying for Portuguese Citizenship with Portugal Homes

Portugal Homes is proud to state we have never had a Residency application rejected. During the 6 years Portugal Homes has existed, we have handled thousands of Golden Visa & D2 Visa candidacies with a 100% success rate. This directly translates into hundreds of millions in transactions over the years.

Portugal Homes has risen to become Portugal’s leading Real Estate and Residency & Citizenship by Investment consulting company, and we distinguish ourselves from the rest due to the care and commitment we pledge to all our clients – before, during, and after the process.  

We aim to forge relationships, and foster long-lasting connections – hence our After Sales department, a team exclusively dedicated to taking care of all your property & visa needs after the sale has been concluded.  

With Portugal Homes, the success of your application is all but guaranteed, and regardless of the visa you choose, we can take you to your new Portuguese Residency and Citizenship. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Portuguese Citizenship by Investment worth it?

Yes, absolutely. Having Portuguese citizenship unlocks the ability to live in Portugal, enjoy all its benefits, and the Portuguese passport, with enhanced global mobility and the ideal backdrop for a Plan B.

How much does I have to invest to get Portuguese Citizenship by Investment?

Citizenship cannot be obtained through direct investment means. However, it is unlocked after 5 years of Portuguese Residency – which can be obtained by investing in Portugal, whether through the Golden Visa options or through Portugal Homes’ own Mátria Co-Working D2 Visa solutions.

How long does it take to get Citizenship by Investment in Portugal?

This also depends on the residency programme. Current estimates put a Portugal Golden Visa submission to be evaluated and processed at 18 months. A D2 Visa, on the other hand, is being processed for between 3-6 months.

Does Portugal allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes. Portugal poses no restrictions on dual citizenship, meaning you will not have to give up your original citizenship to get the Portuguese passport.

Can I get Portuguese Citizenship by Investing in Real Estate?

Yes, you can, but not through the Golden Visa programme. As of the 6th of October 2023, the Golden Visa no longer accepts Real Estate investments in any way, shape, or form – including directly, or through the Investment Funds option. You can still qualify through the D2, with Portugal Homes’ own Mátria Co-Working, a commercial property, as the perfect example. Get in touch with us today and learn more about Mátria, the D2, and how Portugal Homes can guide you to becoming a Portuguese citizen!

How strong is the Portuguese passport?

Portugal has the 4th strongest passport in the world according to the Global Passport Index. It unlocks visa-free travel to more than 170 countries worldwide, including the 29 European countries in the Schengen Zone.

What is the minimum investment required for Citizenship in Portugal?

Portugal Homes’ custom-made D2 Visa solutions have a single investment amount of €280,000, the same amount as the Real Estate option which made the Portugal Golden Visa so widely coveted throughout the world.


Joana Balsa, new Marketing Director joining Portugal Homes and Harland & Poston Group

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