The Golden Visa: A New Dawn
Portugal’s Golden Visa is one of the most popular investment programmes for non-EU nationals looking to secure Portuguese residency and EU citizenship.
Golden Visa has brought in €6bn of foreign investment since its creation nearly a decade ago and 27,500 investors and eligible family members have received a Golden Visa to date.
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 2021 that the programme would be changing. In particular, the minimum sums of investment and the locations in which residential properties qualify for the Golden Visa has changed. The keyword here is “change”. The sun has not truly set on the Golden Visa programme, the programme has simply evolved and there are still some great opportunities to access it via fund or real estate investment.
3 ways to secure a Golden Visa in 2022.
Commercial property investment
One of the most important changes is that those purchasing residential properties in high-density coastal regions can no longer apply for a Golden Visa. Interestingly, commercial properties, such as supermarkets, offices and logistics facilities, in high-density areas have not been 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 handpick the best commercial opportunities by looking for properties with AAA tenants, strong yields and long leases between five and 20 years.
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.
In 2022, the minimum sum of investment required has risen to €500,000 (it was previous €350,000) but unlike residential property investment, it doesn't matter if the fund that clients choose 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.
3. Investing 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 residential properties in Lisbon no longer qualify for a Golden Visa, properties in the interior or low-density regions such as Comporta, Melides and the Azores are still 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 has increased to €500,000 (the same investment value as the fund) for most locations.
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 sun-baked 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 beautiful collection of new-build villas in a secluded location.
A green gem in the Atlantic, the Azores archipelago feels like 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, and buying a property in the Azores will qualify you for a Golden Visa. Plus, property here qualifies for the Golden Visa programme at a lower rate of €400,000.
If you would like to find out more about Golden Visa opportunities in Portugal, be it properties or fund investments, please get in touch.