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. This visa is for non-EU investors who invest a minimum amount as defined by law. Since the launch of the golden visa program in 2012, more than 4,200 Portuguese golden visas have been given out, representing an injection of more than €2.5 billion into the Portuguese economy.
Investors from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland don’t require a golden visa but will need to register their stay. Take a look at our guide for Portuguese residency for EU citizens and family members.
Portuguese investment visa requirements
Any non-EU/EFTA national can apply for 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 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 €1 million into Portugal
- Creation of at least 10 job positions in Portugal
- Purchase property in Portugal worth at least €500,000
- Acquire real estate in Portuguese urban regeneration areas at least 30 years old to the value of at least €350,000
- Investing at least €350,000 in scientific research in Portugal
- Investments of €250,000 or more in Portuguese arts, culture, and heritage
- Investing at least €500,000 in small- and medium-sized 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.
What is a golden visa, anyway?
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-year periods. After five years, golden visa holders can then apply for permanent residence in Portugal; after six years, they can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
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 family reunion, meaning certain family members can also get Portuguese residency
- access Portuguese healthcare and education
- freely invest in Portuguese property
In addition, Portuguese investor visa holders are exempt from paying tax on worldwide income if they live in Portugal for less than 183 days per tax year. Read more in our guide to taxes in 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). Online pre-registration is required.
If a legal representative organizes your pre-registration appointment for you, then 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 the closest Regional Directorate or local branch of the SEF. Before visiting, make an appointment with the SEF (+35 1 214 236 625; Monday through Friday, 9:00–17:30).
Along with the Portuguese golden visa application, you will need to submit the following documents:
- passport or valid identification document
- 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 Portuguese 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 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): €514.80 (plus €80.20 per family member)
- Initial golden visa: €5,147.80
- Initial golden visa for family members: €5,147.80
- Renewal of golden visa: €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 also allows family reunion. This permits the following family members to join the golden visa holder in Portugal:
- minor dependent children
- minor adopted children
- full-age dependent children who are 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 Portuguese citizenship after six. 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, Portuguese golden visa holders can apply for permanent residence in Portugal after five years of residence; they can apply 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.