Visas & Immigration

Portugal’s Golden Visa program

Got some capital lying around? Discover what you need to know about Portugal’s golden visa program, including requirements and how to apply.

Aerial view of Porto, Portugal, on a sunny day.

By Expatica

Updated 9-4-2024

The golden visa is designed to encourage investment in Portugal from non-EU/EFTA nationals. It offers more lax immigration rules, fast-tracked citizenship, and tax advantages, alongside other benefits.

Since the launch of the program in 2012 to 2023, more than 12,700 golden visas have been given out, injecting more than €7 billion into the Portuguese economy. The largest number of applicants come from China, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Learn what you need to know about the topic, including:


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What is a golden visa?

The idea of Portugal’s golden visa program is to attract foreign investment and boost the domestic economy. The visa is also commonly referred to as the Resident Permit for Investment, as it fast-tracks Portuguese residency at a cost.

Portuguese golden visa holders receive a temporary residence permit for one year. Subsequent visa renewals last for two years. After five years, golden visa holders can apply for permanent residence in Portugal; after six years, they can apply for citizenship.

The Agency for Integration, Migrations, and Asylum (Agência para a Integração, Migrações e Asilo – AIMA) handles all immigration issues in Portugal, including golden visa applications.

Two men standing on a balcony of a Portuguese house
Photo: Motoki Tonn/Unsplash

Portuguese golden visa holders can:

  • Live and work in Portugal, provided they reside in Portugal for a minimum of seven days in the first year of residence and 14 days in each subsequent year
  • Gain visa-free entry to the entire Schengen Area
  • Apply for a family reunion, meaning certain family members can also get Portuguese residency
  • Access public healthcare and education
  • Freely invest in Portuguese property

In addition, investor visa holders are exempt from paying tax on worldwide income if they live in Portugal for less than 183 days per tax year.

What are the investment requirements?

Any non-EU/EFTA national can apply for a golden visa in Portugal. Applicants must make at least one of the investments below, either as an individual business person or via a business set up in the EU.

You must fit at least one of the following categories to claim Portuguese residency by investment:

  • A minimum of €500,000 subscription in a qualifying fund
  • Create at least 10 new full-time job positions in Portugal
  • Create a minumum of eight new full-time jobs in a low-density area in Portugal
  • Investments of €250,000 or more in preserving the national heritage
  • Investing at least €500,000 in a research and development activity

The Portuguese investor visa covers shareholders of companies already set up in the EU with a stable residence in Portugal and tax obligations fulfilled. The investment has to be maintained for a minimum of five years from the date when the golden visa is issued.

Required documents

Along with the application, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Passport or valid ID
  • Proof of legal entry into Portugal (e.g., Schengen short-stay visa)
  • Proof of health insurance (issued within the last three months)
  • Criminal record certificate from country of origin/residence (issued within the last three months)
  • Evidence of compliance with tax and social security obligations
  • Receipt of payment of the Portuguese golden visa fees

In addition to this, applicants need to show a commitment to maintaining their investment for a minimum of five years. Applicants must also provide evidence of their investment, such as:

  • A bank statement for financial investment
  • Employment contracts for job creation
  • Deeds of purchase for real estate investment

To renew a golden visa, applicants may need to provide evidence that they’ve complied with the minimum stay requirements during the period. Each investment type has its own specific requirements for proving this.

Processing time for a golden visa is typically several months. Once your application has been processed, the AIMA contacts the applicant (or their legal representatives) to set up an appointment.

How to apply for a golden visa in Portugal

The golden visa application can be submitted online via the AIMA. Online pre-registration is required.

If a legal representative organizes your pre-registration appointment for you, they must complete it through a different website. After registering, the legal representative must deliver a power of attorney signed by the visa applicant.

Portuguese golden visa applications can also be submitted in person by the applicant or appointed legal representative. To do so, you can schedule an appointment with the nearest Regional Directorate or local branch of the AIMA.

What are the costs of a golden visa?

As the name implies, golden visas are quite costly. The standard fee for submitting an application in 2024 is around €122. If your application is successful, you’ll be charged an extra €10,822.14.

Renewing your golden visa costs €121.95 for the application, plus another €5,412 to get it approved.

You can find a complete list of fees (in Portuguese) on the AIMA website.

Portuguese golden visa scheme for family members

The golden visa scheme also allows family to join you in Portugal. The following family members are eligible:

  • Spouse or registered partner
  • Dependent (step)children (if already adult, they must be studying)
  • Dependent parents of either the golden visa holder or spouse
  • Minor dependent siblings who are under the guardianship of the golden visa holder

Family members receive the same rights. They are also eligible for permanent residence after five years and citizenship after six.

Read more about getting a family visa or Portuguese spouse visa.

Citizenship and permanent residence

When you have a Portuguese golden visa, you can can apply for permanent residence after five years and citizenship after six years of residence.

There are certain criteria that need to be met, such as proof of income and accommodation, criminal record requirements, and a basic level of knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Useful resources