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The Golden Visa Program

The Golden Visa program

Find out how to get your Golden Visa in Portugal

Launched in 2012 with the aim of attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Portuguese Golden Visa program proved to be a real success, becoming one of the most popular in Europe and the world to obtain a temporary residence permit through one of the investment types provided for in Law no. 23/2007, of July 4th.


Who is eligible for the Golden Visa Program?

Any non-EU or EEA citizen of a Third State may apply for a temporary residence permit for investment activity.


What are the advantages and benefits of a Golden Visa?

Golden visa holders benefit from a series of advantages, namely:

  • Travel and circulate freely in the EU countries of the Schengen area, without the need for a visa for this purpose;
  • Free entry into Portugal with no need for a residence visa, also allowing the applicants to live, work and study in the country, if they so wish;
  • Extend the Golden Visa to family members through family reunification. Family members who can apply for the Golden Visa together with the investor are:
    • - Spouses;
    • - Underage children;
    • - Children of legal age, as long as they are full-time students, single and financially dependent on the investor;
    • - Parents and in-laws;
    • - Stepchildren and adoptees.
  • At the end of five years, golden visa holders can apply for:
    • The granting of a Permanent Residence Permit, in compliance with the legal requirements of the Foreigners Law and Regulatory Decree No. 84/07 of 5 November in force;


  • The acquisition of Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, subject to the requirements of the Nationality Law (Law No.37/81, of 3 October, as amended).
  • Tax Benefits:
    • - Portugal offers a favourable tax regime for foreigners who wish to become tax residents in the country.
    • - The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) is a special status that aims to attract professionals who carry out activities with high added value or intellectual property, as well as people benefiting from pensions obtained abroad. This regime was approved in 2009 and, in order to enjoy it for 10 consecutive years, the foreign citizen must be considered a resident under the Portuguese law and not have been taxed as a tax resident in Portugal in the five years preceding the application for the status.


What is the duration of the Golden Visa?

From April 2020, residence permits for initial investment activity became valid for two years (used to have an initial duration of one year) and subsequent renewals became valid for three years each (used to have a duration two years).


What are the requirements that an investor must fulfill to maintain a Golden Visa?

For the purpose of renewing the Residence Permit for Investment Activity (ARI), the applicant must meet, among others, the following requirements:

  • Maintain the investment for a minimum period of 5 years;
  • Remain and demonstrate compliance with the minimum periods of stay in Portuguese territory, namely:
    • a) 7 (seven) consecutive or interpolated days in the first year;
    • b) 14 (fourteen) consecutive or interpolated days in subsequent two-year periods.

- Passport or another valid traveling document

- Proof of legal entry and permanence in the national territory
- Proof of health insurance

- Signed application enabling verification of the Portuguese Criminal Records by SEF

- Criminal Record Certificate from the relevant authority of the applicant's home country or from any other country where he / she resided for over a year, requirements of the investment activity

- Investment activity for a minimum period of five years attested by a bona fide declaration signed by the applicant


Family Regrouping

The holders of this residence permit for investment may apply for family regrouping under the provisions of the General Law.

The process of family regrouping will take three months.

Family regrouping is authorised for the following members:

- spouse

- Underage children (-18)

- Adult children that are single and studying in a Portuguese School.

Other situations are also possible but must be verified beforehand with the Portuguese Authorities and the Portuguese Law.


Expenses to be paid for the Golden Residency Permit

533€ - Reception and analysis of the application for Golden Visa concession or renewal (Investor)

533€ - Reception and analysis of the application for Golden Visa concession or renewal (family reunion)

5.325€ - Golden Visa Approval (Investor and family members)

2.663€ - Golden Visa Renewals (Investor and family members)


What changes to the Golden Visa regime will take effect from January 1, 2022?

Decree-Law No. 14/2021, of 12 February, implemented changes to the golden visa legal regime in Portugal, which will come into force on January 1, 2022, and will apply to all of residence permit for investment activity applications required after that date.

However, the renewals of processes approved under the regime currently in force, as well as subsequent requests for family reunification will not be affected by the restrictions provided for in the aforementioned Decree-aw.

The amendments refer to two distinct aspects. On one hand, the minimum amounts required for some types of investment will be increased, namely:

  • In the case of capital transfers in an amount equal to or greater than 1 Million, this amount will be raised to 1.5 Million Euros;
  • As for the transfer of capital that is applied in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions, integrated in the national scientific and technological system, it will be in an amount equal to or greater than €500,000.00 (before it was €350,000.00);
  • With regard to the transfer of capital intended for the acquisition of participation units in investment funds or venture capital funds dedicated to the capitalization of companies, which are incorporated under Portuguese law, whose maturity, at the time of investment, be it for at least five years and at least 60% of the value of the investments is carried out in commercial companies headquartered in national territory, the minimum value will correspond to €500,000.00 (before it was €350,000.00);
  • Finally, with regard to the transfer of capital for the constitution of a commercial company headquartered in the national territory, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a commercial company headquartered in the national territory, already established, with the creation or maintenance of jobs, with a minimum of five permanent ones, and for a minimum period of three years, the minimum amount will be € 500,000.00 (before it was € 350,000.00).

On the other hand, it is the types of investment in real estate that will suffer the most relevant restriction on golden visas.

From January 1, 2022, properties acquired for housing only allow access to the golden visa regime if they are located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira or in the interior territories, identified in the annex to Ordinance no. 208/2017, of July 13th. Therefore, property investments for housing carried out in large cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, as well as in coastal cities and areas, including most of the Algarve, are excluded from this regime.

However, there is no restriction on real estate investments made in any area of the Portuguese territory, when the properties are intended for other uses permitted by law, such as commerce, services or industry (such as logistics activities, commercial establishments, offices and coworking spaces, tourist apartments).

It means that, if after January 1, 2022, an applicant acquires, for the minimum amount required for the investment type, a property for services in Lisbon/Porto/Algarve, he may apply for a residence permit for investment activity, without any restriction. It should also be noted that real estate investment types will not suffer any increase in the minimum amounts.



Whether you’re thinking of retiring, owning a second home in Europe or you’re just looking to invest, we specialize in helping people like you find the right properties in the Algarve, the top spot in Portugal. With a network of expert advisers, we’ve got the resources to make it happen.

We hope this information was useful. 


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