So does Portugal’s Golden Visa lead to citizenship? OK, so let’s start off with the short answer… Yes (it can).
But, there is a big but! The Portuguese Golden Visa only leads to citizenship if and when the required conditions of the Portuguese Citizenship Law are met. I will highlight these conditions further down in the article.
Is the Portuguese Golden Visa a Citizenship By Investment Program?
First of all, it is important to understand what kind of investor program the Portuguese Golden Visa is.
A number of countries in the Caribbean and also Turkey, Vanuatu and Montenegro offer what are traditionally known as ‘Citizenship By Investment’ programs. In these jurisdictions once approval is granted investors are instantly rewarded with citizenship and receive their passports in a matter of months.
However, Portugal’s Golden Visa is a residency by investment program and should not be confused with a ‘Citizenship By Investment/ Golden Passport Program’. That said, it does offer a very attractive pathway to citizenship in Portugal.
After how many years of residency can a Golden Visa investor apply for citizenship in Portugal?
5 Years. (Subject to meeting the citizenship law requirements)
Upon meeting the requirements of the Golden Visa, investors are issued with a local residency permit that is initially valid for 2 years. This permit must be renewed every 2 years meaning that the investor and his family members will be required to renew their Golden Visa residency permits at least twice prior to being eligible to apply for citizenship.
In order to renew their residency permits investors and their dependent family members must meet the same criteria in which they applied under. This means that the investor must maintain his investment throughout the Golden Visa period and family members must remain dependent on the main applicant in order to remain eligible and successfully renew their permits.
What is the criteria for Golden Visa Investors and their families to become eligible for citizenship in Portugal?
Golden Visa residents are eligible for citizenship if they meet the following criteria:
- The main golden visa applicant has maintained their investment for at least 5 years in Portugal.
- To become eligible for citizenship applicants must have spent at least 7 days per year in Portugal for a period of 5 years.
- Applicants must also be able prove a basic A2 Level of Portuguese Proficiency.
Why should one choose the Portuguese Golden Visa over other investor programs on the market
- The Portuguese Golden Visa offers the fastest route to citizenship of any of the Golden Visa programs on the market. Well.. unless you are from a Latin country or the Philippines, in which case you can become eligible for citizenship Spain after just two years of residency.
2. The Portuguese Golden Visa offers by far the most cost effective investor program with a pathway to citizenship in an EU country. Both Bulgaria and Malta offer Investor programs with quicker routes to citizenship (investors can fast-track their applications and apply for citizenship after just 2 years of residency). However both these options require a capital of around least 1 Million EUR compared with 280,000 EUR-500,000 EUR in Portugal.
3. While it is possible to acquire citizenship in countries like Grenada, Dominica, Vanuatu, Montenegro and Turkey in less than 6 months, Portugal offers a far stronger passport. As citizens of an EU country, new Portuguese Citizens gain the right to live, work, study and conduct business across all 27 EU Member nations. Portugal with its Tier 1 passport therefore offers the Gold Standard within the investment migration industry.
If ‘Does Portugal’s golden visa lead to citizenship?’ is just one of the questions that you have, please feel free to reach out via WhatsApp or our Webchat Service below!