Who can get a golden visa in Portugal? This guide explains requirements for a Portuguese golden visa, plus details on Portugal’s golden visa program and Portuguese citizenship by investment.
The golden visa in Portugal is designed to encourage investment from non-EU/EFTA nationals. The Portuguese golden visa offers a fast-track to obtaining a residency permit in Portugal, alongside other benefits, for non-EU investors who invest a minimum amount as defined by law. Since the launch of the golden visa programme’s in 2012, more than 4,200 Portuguese golden visas have been given out, representing more than EUR 2.5 billion investment in the country
Investors from the EU/EEA or Switzerland do not require any Portuguese golden visa but will need to register their stay. Switch to our guide on Portugal residency for EU citizens and family members.
This guide explains the requirements for a golden visa in Portugal, as well as the benefits, how to apply for a Portuguese investor visa, costs, rules for family members and when you can claim Portuguese golden visa citizenship.
Golden visa in Portugal: requirements
Any non-EU/EFTA national can apply for apply for a golden visa in Portugal, or Portuguese investor visa, provided they make at least one of the investments below, either as an individual business person or via a business set up in Portugal or another EU member state.
You must fit at least one of the following categories to claim Portuguese residency by investment:
- Capital transfer of at least EUR 1 million into Portugal
- The creation of at least 10 job positions in Portugal
- The purchase of real estate property in Portugal worth at least EUR 500,000
- The purchase of real estate property in Portuguese urban regeneration areas at least 30 years old to the value of at least EUR 350,000
- Investment of at least EUR 350,000 in scientific research in Portugal
- Investment of at least EUR 250,000 in Portuguese arts, culture and heritage
- Investment of at least EUR 500,000 in small and medium businesses in Portugal.
Portugal’s investor visa covers shareholders of companies already set up in Portugal, or in another EU state with a stable residence in Portugal and tax obligations fulfilled. The investment established for the golden visa has to be maintained for a minimum of five years from the date when the Portuguese golden visa is established.
Portuguese golden visa program
The idea of Portugal’s golden visa program is to attract foreign investment and boost the Portuguese economy. The visa is also known as the ‘Resident Permit for Investment’ as it ‘fast-tracks’ Portuguese residency.
Holders of a Portuguese golden visa are given a temporary residence permit in Portugal for one year, which is renewable for two-year periods. After five years, holders of Portuguese golden visa, can apply for a permanent residence permit in Portugal, while after six years they can apply for Portuguese citizenship by investment, if all other legal requirements are met.
Those who hold a Portuguese golden visa are entitled to:
- 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.
- visa-free entry to Schengen area countries.
- family reunion, meaning certain family members can also get Portuguese residency.
- access Portuguese healthcare and education.
- freely invest in Portuguese property.
An additional tax benefit to the Portuguese investor visa is that holders will not have to pay tax on worldwide income if they live in Portugal for less than 183 days per Portuguese tax year. Read more in our guide to taxes Portugal.
How to apply for a Portuguese golden visa
The Portuguese golden visa application can be submitted online via the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service’s (SEF) website. An online pre-registration is required which can be made at the following link.
If your Portuguese golden visa pre-registration is being made by a duly appointed legal representative, then it needs to be completed through the following link. Upon the completion of the registration, the legal representative is required to deliver a power of attorney signed by the Portuguese golden visa applicant.
You can also deliver your Portuguese golden visa application in person (by the applicant or appointed legal representative) to the closest Regional Directorate or local branch of the SEF. A list of local SEF branches is available here. Before visiting, you need to make an appointment with the SEF (+35 1 214 236 625; Mondays to Fridays 9am–5.30pm).
Documents for a Portuguese golden visa
Along with the Portuguese golden visa application, you will need to submit the following documents:
- Passport or valid travel ID
- Proof of legal entry into Portugal (eg. 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 commitment to maintain their investment for a minimum of five years, plus evidence of their investment, for example:
- a bank statement for financial investment
- employment contracts for job creation
- deeds of purchase for real estate investment.
To renew a Portuguese golden visa, applicants may be asked to additionally provide evidence that they have complied with the minimum stay requirements during the period. Full details of what is required for each type of investment can be found here.
Processing time for a Portuguese golden visa is typically several months. Once a Portuguese golden visa has been processed, the SEF contacts the applicant (or their legal representatives) to set up an appointment.
Portuguese golden visa costs
The costs of getting a Portuguese golden visa include the following:
- Processing fee (application and renewal) – EUR 514.80 (plus EUR 80.20 per family member)
- Initial golden visa – EUR 5,147.80
- Initial golden visa for family members – EUR 5,147.80
- Renewal of golden visa – EUR 2,573.90
Portuguese golden visa fees are payable directly to the SEF.
Portuguese golden visa scheme for family members
The Portuguese golden visa scheme allows family reunion, permitting the following family members to join the golden visa holder in Portugal:
- Minor dependent children
- Minor adopted children
- Full-age dependent children who are still engaged in study
- Dependent parents of either the golden visa holder or spouse
- Minor dependent brothers or sisters who are under guardianship of the golden visa holder.
Family members receive the same rights, and will also be eligible for permanent residence after five years and Portuguese citizenship after six years in Portugal. Read more about getting a family visa or Portuguese spouse visa.
Portuguese golden visa citizenship and permanent residence
In line with general requirements for all residents, holders of a Portuguese golden visa can apply for permanent residence in Portugal after five years of residence, and for Portuguese 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 basic level knowledge of the Portuguese language.
Read more about Portuguese citizenship by investment.