The Golden Visa: A New Dawn

Passport With Stamps (1)

Portugal’s Golden Visa is one of the most popular investment programmes for non-EU nationals looking to secure Portuguese residency and EU citizenship.

Largely real estate-led, this programme has brought in an impressive €5.96bn of foreign investment since its creation nearly a decade ago and almost 27,000 investors and eligible family members have received a Golden Visa to date and there are many more visas expected to be issued this year.

Whilst plans to update the Golden Visa programme were delayed amidst the height of the pandemic in 2019, it was officially confirmed at the start of the year that the programme would be changing. In particular, the minimum sums of investment and the locations in which residential properties would qualify for the Golden Visa will change. The keyword here is “change”. The sun is not truly setting on the Golden Visa programme, the programme is simply evolving and there are still some great opportunities to access it via fund or real estate investment.

3 routes to securing a Golden Visa in Portugal in 2022

Those who wish to take advantage of the Golden Visa programme before changes come into effect at the beginning of 2022 should have their application completed and submitted by 1 November 2021. Any applications beyond this date are unlikely to be processed in time to meet the end of 2021 deadline. You can still take advantage of the Golden Visa programme and all the benefits it brings, but will need to do so with the 2022 changes in mind.

Here are 3 ways in which you can secure a Golden Visa in Portugal in 2022:

Panoramic view over the city of Lisbon, the castle, the Tagus and the iconic 25 de Abril bridge
1. Commercial property investment

One of the most important changes to Portugal’s programme is that those purchasing residential properties in high-density coastal regions like Lisbon will no longer be eligible for a Golden Visa in 2022. Interestingly, commercial properties, such as supermarkets, offices and logistics facilities, in high-density areas will not be affected. This means that you can technically still apply for a Golden Visa by investing €500,000 or more in Lisbon’s thriving commercial property market.

Golden Visa programme aside, there are a number of different reasons to invest in Portuguese commercial property - it offers reliability, steady returns and the ability to hedge against inflation.

At Athena Advisers, we scour the market and handpick the best commercial opportunities by looking for properties with AAA tenants, strong yields and long leases between five and 20 years. Discover our selection of commercial properties for sale in Portugal and do get in touch with our commercial property expert David Moura-George to learn about our other opportunities.

2. Investments via funds

Investment via real estate acquisition leads the way when it comes to securing a Golden Visa in Portugal and back in 2019 just 7 visas were awarded via fund investment. However, this is changing. The fund investment route has become increasingly popular over the past two years with 48 visas issues via fund investment in 2020 and 42 visas (and counting) in 2021.

Though the minimum sum of investment will be rising from €350,000 to €500,000 come 2022, it will still be possible to apply for a Golden Visa by investing in a fund, even if the fund invests in residential properties in major cities like Lisbon or Porto. Investing through a fund has a number of advantages over traditional real estate acquisition such as lower buying costs and it is very hands-off which can make it appealing to those seeking a hassle-free investment. If you would like to learn more about applying for a Portugal Golden Visa by investing in a fund to help you decide whether it’s the best option for you, please do get in touch.

3. Beyond Lisbon

If you had dreams of applying for a Golden Visa and having a beautiful Portugal address for holidays or even relocation, do not despair as residential properties are not totally off the table in 2022. Whilst properties in Lisbon won’t qualify for a Golden Visa next year, properties in the interior or low-density regions such as Comporta, Melides and the Azores will still be eligible for the Golden Visa programme and are all wonderful destinations in their own right with plenty of lifestyle appeal. In 2022, the minimum sum of investment will be increasing to €500,000 (the same investment value as the fund).

Once Portugal’s best-kept secret only known to the most discerning of travellers, Comporta has made a name for itself as the ultimate barefoot getaway with its miles of sunbaked coastline, rustic traditional restaurants and, of course, its laidback, unpretentious attitude. One of the most exciting property opportunities in Comporta at the moment is Estates at Spatia, Comporta, a stunning collection of new-build villas in a secluded location. 

A green gem in the Atlantic, the Azores archipelago is a world apart with its lunar-like landscapes and verdant rolling hills. It is the ultimate lifestyle investment for those seeking a beautiful destination to recharge and re-engage with nature. 

If you would like to find out more about Golden Visa opportunities in Portugal, be it properties or fund investments, please get in touch.

The rugged coastline of the Azores at dusk
Lake Azores Portugal (1)