Portuguese Golden Visa Program 2022

The Portuguese Golden Visa scheme was introduced in 2012 and has fast become the most popular scheme in Europe if not the world. With an investment of €500,000 into property, an individual can obtain a Portuguese residency permit for themselves, their spouse and any dependent children (under the age of 24) as well as dependant parents and dependant parents-in-law.

In order to meet the Portuguese Golden Visa requirements, the investor cannot be an EU or EFTA citizen and as of 2021 it is now available to UK citizens. The visa itself can be renewed every two years, as long as the investor spends a minimum of two weeks in Portugal within the two year period. After a period of 5 years, the investor can apply for permanent residence and citizenship. Although the requirement to spend time there every two years falls away, the investor will need to prove they have ties to the country and pass a basic language assessment. What is most attractive about this scheme, is that it will ultimately allow the individual to live, work, study and travel anywhere within the EU / EEA.

There are also numerous tax benefits, which you can read more about here.

It is possible to obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa through the reduced investment option. This option requires an investment of €350,000 into a property that is at least 30 years old or that is located in an urban rehabilitation area and needs to be renovated. These projects will need to be approved by the SEF.

Alternatively, an investor may perform one of the following investment options

  • Invest €350,000 into a venture capital or private equity fund
  • Transfer €350,000 to a company with a registered office in Portugal as investment capital, as well as the creating 5 jobs for Portuguese nationals for at least 3 years
  • Transfer a minimum of €1,000,000 
  • Job creation for at least 10 Portuguese citizens (no fixed minimum investment)
  • Transfer a minimum of €250,000 as an investment or in support of the arts as well as maintenance or recovery of national cultural heritage
  • Transfer of a minimum investment of €350,000 to assist in private or public research carried out by scientific institutions 

However you go about obtaining a Portuguese Golden Visa, the application process will go something like this

  • Apply for a NIF (Portuguese fiscal number)
  • Open a bank account
  • Choose your investment option and proceed with the necessary steps
  • Put together all required documents 
  • Ensure documents are translated into Portuguese and are legalized
  • Complete and submit the application for the Golden Visa with the help of your lawyer
  • Pay the Golden Visa processing fee
  • SEF will come back to you with a preliminary approval 
  • Make an appointment for your biometrics
  • Attend your biometric appointment with all necessary documentation  
  • Upon approval, your residence card will be issued
  • Repeat the process after 2 years (between 30 and 90 days before your card expires)
  • After an additional 3 years (5 in total) you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship. 

In January 2022, some changes were made to the way in which a residential property investor can apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa, namely, major cities such as Lisbon, Porto and coastal towns are no longer eligible for the program. Individuals can still purchase commercial real estate or invest in a venture capital or private equity fund as before as no changes have been made in this regard.

You can read more about buying property in Portugal here.