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Portugal Golden Visa: The Definitive Guide 2023 ⭐

Portugal Golden Visa

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Portugal Golden Visa: The Definitive Guide 2023

Portugal’s Golden Visa initiative, launched in October 2012, has become a leading choice for residency through investment, attracting over 12,000 applicants.

In the recent update of September 2023, significant changes are on the horizon. While the new law won’t have retroactive effects, it will soon exclude real estate purchases and related funds as qualifying investments. However, specific Portuguese funds will remain eligible. Legal experts advise swift action to secure your place in the program.

Explore the Path to Portugal’s Golden Visa with Get Golden Visa! Are you considering Portugal’s Golden Visa? At Get Golden Visa, we’ve assisted numerous investors and families from 37 different countries in obtaining their Golden Visas in Portugal.

What Is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa program, officially known as the residence permit for investment activity (ARI), stands as a residency by-investment initiative tailored for non-EU citizens.

Launched in October 2012, this program aimed to attract international capital into Portugal, addressing a crucial need following the 2008 economic crisis. It has proven highly successful, raising over €6 billion since its inception.

Portugal offers an idyllic landscape, expansive coastlines, a sun-soaked climate, welcoming locals, and delectable cuisine. What makes it even more appealing is its high quality of life at an affordable cost. These aspects draw international investors, granting them the opportunity to live, work, and study in the country.

Moreover, the Portugal Golden Visa program paves the way for permanent residency or citizenship within just five years.

Why Choose Portugal’s Golden Visa?

  1. Affordable Investment Options: Select from a range of affordable investment options for your residence permit.
  2. Flexible Stay Requirements: Spend only seven days per year in Portugal to maintain your residence permit.
  3. Schengen Zone Access: Enjoy visa-free travel within the Schengen states.
  4. Fast-track Citizenship: Become a Portuguese citizen in just five years, one of the quickest paths in Europe.
  5. Global Mobility: Gain visa-free access to 188 countries with a Portuguese passport.

Living, Working, and Studying in Portugal:

  • Live, work, and study in Portugal with your Golden Visa.
  • Access public services, including healthcare and education.
  • Work permits allow you to start your own business in Portugal.

Family Reunification:

  • Extend the Golden Visa to your family, including your spouse, children, and dependent parents.

Citizenship and Passport:

  • Apply for citizenship after holding the Golden Visa for five years.
  • No outstanding tax payments and clean criminal records are prerequisites.
  • Pass a basic language test in Portuguese.

Tax Benefits and Overall Advantages:

  • Portugal Golden Visa holders are tax-responsible only if they spend over 183 days per year in Portugal.
  • Benefit from the non-habitual residency (NHR) program, offering income tax exemptions for the first 10 years.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Available for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.
  • Minimum age requirement: 18 years old.
  • Clean criminal records are mandatory.
  • Investment funds must originate from outside Portugal.

American Applicants:

  • US citizens can apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa.
  • Explore real estate advantages and tax incentives for American investors.

For personalized assistance and guidance on Portugal’s Golden Visa Program, contact us today. Let us help you make Portugal your new home!

UK Applicants:

British citizens, both within the UK and globally, are strategizing in light of Brexit’s impact on their travel freedom. With UK passports losing their Schengen Area privileges in 2021, UK residents are turning to Portugal for its attractive perks: unrestricted travel across Europe, an appealing lifestyle, and the opportunity for European citizenship through investment.

Starting from January 1st, 2021, UK citizens gained eligibility for Portugal’s Golden Visa program, granting them the right to travel freely within the Schengen Area.

Portugal Golden Visa Investment Choices:

What Investments Qualify for the Golden Visa? The Portugal Golden Visa program provides diverse investment options, including:

  1. Real Estate Acquisition (Soon to Stop)
    • Purchase real estate worth over €500,000 in Portugal.
    • In low-density areas, the minimum drops to €400,000.
    • Renovate properties over 30 years old in urban rehab zones for €350,000 (€280,000 in low-density areas). Multiple properties can fulfill the minimum requirement.
  2. Fund Subscription (Soon to Stop for Real Estate Funds)
    • Invest a minimum of €500,000 in a qualifying Portuguese fund.
  3. Capital Transfer (Soon to Stop)
    • Transfer at least €1.5 million to Portugal.
  4. Company
    • Establish ten new full-time jobs in a self-owned Portuguese business.
    • In low-density areas, create eight jobs in a self-owned business.
    • Invest €500,000 in an existing Portuguese business, creating a minimum of five new full-time jobs for three years.
  5. Donation
    • Contribute €250,000 to preserve national heritage in Portugal.
    • Invest €500,000 in research and development activities in Portugal.

Note: Residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal towns don’t qualify, but commercial properties in these areas are eligible.

Regarding Loans:

You cannot use a loan from a Portuguese institution for the minimum investment. However, you can secure the amount as a loan from a non-Portuguese financial entity and transfer it. If your investment surpasses the minimum, you can take a loan from a Portuguese bank for the exceeding amount.

Real Estate vs. Funds:

Selecting Your Path for Portugal Golden Visa Investment Deciding between real estate and funds for your Golden Visa investment can be challenging.


Golden Visa Portugal Criteria Minimum Residence Obligation

The Portugal Golden Visa program boasts a minimal residency demand. Golden Visa residents are expected to spend an average of seven days annually within the country.

Validity Period Stay Requirement
Initial GV Residence Permit Two (2) years Fourteen (14) days within two years
Subsequent GV Residence Permits Two (2) years Fourteen (14) days within two years

Important Update:

Since April 2020, initial residence permits have been extended to two years (formerly one year), followed by subsequent permits also valid for two years each due to legislative changes in Portuguese immigration law. If this change becomes permanent, the initial two-year card will mandate at least fourteen days of physical presence in Portugal within the two-year period. Renewal cards will require a similar fourteen-day presence in Portugal within their two-year validity.

Maintaining Your Investment for Five Years You must provide evidence of your individual investment meeting the minimum required amount. As the primary applicant, you must uphold this investment as long as you and your dependents hold Golden Visa residency status. Upon becoming a permanent resident or Portuguese citizen, the investment no longer requires maintenance, allowing you to liquidate your chosen investment.

Required Documentation To apply for the Portugal Golden Visa Program, you need to submit:

  1. Copy of a passport or government-issued travel document,
  2. Proof of the qualifying investment made individually:

→ For real estate: a deed or promissory sale agreement with proof of deposit payment,

→ For investment fund: proof of fund subscription from the fund manager.

  1. Declaration from a Portuguese financial institution confirming fund transfer,
  2. Proof of healthcare coverage:

→ If in Portugal, from the National Health System,

→ If outside Portugal, from an internationally covered insurance company.

  1. Criminal record from your current country of residence,

→ Issued within three (3) months of form submission.

  1. Completed form authorizing SEF to access criminal records in Portugal,
  2. Sworn declaration of compliance with the minimum investment requirements for five years,
  3. Documents confirming good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority & Social Security system,

→ Issued within 45 days of form submission.

  1. Receipt of ARI application payment.

Unless stated otherwise, ensure all documentation is issued within three months of your Golden Visa application submission.

Legalization of Documents Documents from non-Portuguese entities must be legalized, and if the subject country is part of the Hague convention, the legalization must have an apostille.

Translation of Documents Any original document not in Portuguese must be translated and certified, typically by a notary.

Fee Overview:

Provided below is a breakdown of the government application fees for the Portugal Golden Visa program:
Frequency Amount
Processing Fee Once at the beginning and then at each renewal €533 per applicant (+ €83 /dependent)
Initial Application Fee Once at the beginning €5,325 per person
Renewal Application Fee At each renewal €2,663 per person
Legal Fee Progress payments Differs between Law Firms and investment types

Bank Account and NIF Registration

Portugal mandates that you, as the main applicant, fund your investment through a Portuguese bank account. Hence, having an account in a Portuguese bank is obligatory. You’ll also need an NIF number, which serves as your tax identification in Portugal, to initiate this process.

Obtaining an NIF Number:

  1. Provide proof of address from your country of residence.
  2. Bring your government-issued ID and proof of address to a Finanças office in Portugal.
  3. Receive your NIF number instantly within an hour.

Alternatively, you can grant your lawyer power of attorney, allowing them to handle this step without your physical presence in Portugal.

Opening a Portuguese Bank Account:

Portuguese banks offer convenience for non-residents and foreigners. The associated banking and maintenance fees are relatively low compared to other European countries. Follow these steps:


  • Passport or government-issued travel document
  • NIF number
  • Portuguese phone number
  • Proof of address from your country of residence
  • Proof of income/payslip


  1. Visit the bank branch to initiate your account setup.

It’s a straightforward process. Most law firms collaborate closely with specific banks and branches, ensuring swift progress. Seeking advice from your legal representative can expedite the procedure.

How Can Reliance Immigration Assist you?

Reliance Immigration Services, the foremost firm specializing in Portugal, operates with a dedicated office and representatives in the UAE.

More than 300 families have utilized our expertise to transform their Portuguese aspirations into reality.

Schedule your complimentary meeting with our expert to steer clear of common mistakes and pitfalls that often hinder first-time buyers.

Enquire Now

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