Since launching in 2012, 9,389 investors and a further 16,050 qualifying family members of international investors have obtained residency through the Portugal Golden Visa programme. This has made it one of the most popular Golden Visa programmes of its kind in Europe. So far €5.63bn has been invested into this programme and investing in Golden Visa-eligible property is the most popular way to apply for a Golden Visa, accounting for around 94% of the total revenue.
Though 2020 was not a record-breaking year for the Golden Visa programme overall, May saw the highest ever volume of applications made in a single month and 2020 was the best year for the investment fund route on record with 48 visas granted. Indeed, only 55 visas have been granted this way since records began. It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings as UK citizens are now eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa programme and it has been confirmed that the scheme is set to change in July 2021.
It has been announced that the Golden Visa programme, in its current form, is set to change on 1st July 2021. Though the precise details of the changes are yet to be confirmed, across the industry it is expected that the changes will be based on those put forward at the beginning of 2020, meaning that after 1st July, it will no longer be possible to combine a Golden Visa application with property investment in coastal areas like Lisbon or Porto.
Alongside our legal contacts in Portugal, we are keeping a close eye on the situation and will continue to update this page when we have more information.
The Portuguese Golden Visa programme is the adopted name for Portugal’s largely real estate-led residency programme which grants non-EU nationals and their families the ability to travel freely to countries within the Schengen zone. After five years, it is then possible to apply for a Portuguese passport and European residency.
The Golden Visa scheme is open to anyone who is not a Portuguese, EU or EFTA citizen. The scheme is particularly popular with investors from China who account for more than 50% of visa applicants.
There are several ways to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa, but the most popular method is through a real estate investment of €500,000 or more. 90% of Golden Visas are awarded this way.
In addition, applicants will need to maintain the investment for at least five years and stay in Portugal for seven days per year until you apply for full citizenship or residency.
In addition to your €500,000+ real estate investment, there are some are administration fees which you will need to take into consideration. The application fee during the petition phase costs €533.90 per applicant. During the granting phase, all applicants will need to pay €5,336.40 each for their initial residency permit. You can expect to renew your visa twice after your 1st and 3rd year as a resident. This renewal process costs €2,668.20 per applicant.
While obtaining a temporary residency permit is almost immediate (around 1 year), full citizenship is possible after 5 years. Additional requirements for citizenship include passing an A2 Portuguese test, having a clear criminal record, paying all relevant taxes and showing a decent connection to living in the country.
Yes. Following the UK’s departure from the EU, UK citizens can now apply for Portuguese Golden Visas for themselves and immediate family members.
Properties can be either commercial or residential. Off-plan properties are eligible for the Golden Visa scheme too.
At the moment, there are no geographical restrictions on the Golden Visa programme. However, the government has proposed no longer offering this incentive to those who invest in properties in coastal areas, like Lisbon or Porto, in order to funnel foreign investment into the centre of the country and to the islands.
The Golden Visa programme is set to change on 1st July 2021. The exact details are yet to be confirmed but it is generally expected that the changes will mirror those proposed in 2020, meaning it will no longer to combine a Golden Visa application with a real estate investment in Lisbon or Porto beyond this date.
Yes, as long as the total amount invested is €500,000 or more.
Yes, but all individuals must invest at least €500,000 each to be eligible for the visa.
You do not necessarily need to become a Portuguese tax resident if you apply for a Golden Visa. However, it might be advantageous to become a tax resident as Portugal has a lucrative Non-Habitual Residential tax scheme. Providing that certain conditions are met, the NHR scheme can significantly reduce your taxes during the first 10 years of residency.
No, you do not need to take a language test in order to become a resident. However, you will need to take a test if you decide to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
Yes, you can include certain family members on the same Golden Visa application, in fact, 15,431 Golden Visas have been granted to family members to date. Qualifying family members for a Golden Visa include:
In order to qualify for a Portugal Golden Visa, you will need to stay in Portugal for 7 days during the first year of investment and in the subsequent years, you must stay in the country for at least 14 days.
Yes, if you hold a Golden Visa you are a Portuguese Resident which means that you are free to work and live in Portugal.
You will need to pay the minimum investment amount (€500,000) in cash but it is possible to take out a mortgage on the remaining sum.
No. It is understood that the upcoming changes will only affect those who apply for a visa via real estate investment.
As soon as you have received your first residency card, you are free to travel unrestricted throughout the 26 countries which make up the Schengen area.
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