HomePortuguese Golden Visa Program - Lincoln Global Partners

The Portuguese Golden Visa which has contributed hugely to a now booming European Real Estate Market, and is one of the world’s most popular investment migration programs. This gives HNWI’s the chance to secure residency in a stable and safe EU country, with visa-free access to the Schengen area and an attractive route to citizenship.

Despite having a small population of 10 million residents, Portugal is one of Europe’s leading countries for tourism winning awards annually and attracting in excess of 20 million tourists each year. With a stable, domestic, real estate rental market as well, investors can enjoy high rental yields on both short-term and long term lets.

Portuguese Golden Visa Program Changes

On April 15th, 2023 the Portuguese government published the final wording of the “More Housing” bill which included closing the golden visa program among many other reforms. After several months of harsh proposals, rumors and heated debates around what could happen, a final decision by parliament was made on July 19th, 2023. PLOT TWIST: On August 21st, just a month after the “final” wording, Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo vetoed the Golden Visa changes approved just last month and is sending the bill back to parliament to be reworded. This means the real estate and bank deposit golden visa pathways will remain open at least until October.

Our blog post, explains the latest news on the Portuguese Golden Visa overhaul.

Under the approved Mais Habitação bill, the following changes will occur:

Eliminated Investment Options:

  • All real estate investment options, whether direct or indirect, will be eliminated. The bank/capital transfer option is also no longer available. 

Remaining Investment Routes:

  • €500,000 in collective investment structures, such as funds not directly or indirectly related to real estate.
  • Investing in existing companies and contributing to job creation with a minimum investment of €500,000.
  • Donations and other liberalities in the artistic and/or scientific domains.

Other Implications:

  • Pending SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) applications will be evaluated based on the laws in place at the time of submission.
  • The minimum stay requirement to maintain residence permits will remain at an average of 7 days per year.
  • Renewals of residence permits will follow the same initial rules as before.
  • Family reunions will be guaranteed under the same terms as main applications.

Effective Date:

  • The law will take effect the day after its official publication in the Assembly Gazette, expected to happen in October.
European Residency Programs

Portuguese Golden Visa
Key Benefits

Visa Free Travel to the Schengen area
Golden Visa investors increase their global mobility and can travel visa-free for a period of 3 months every 6 months across the 26 Schengen area countries.
Fast route to Citizenship
Golden Visa investors who meet the minimum stay requirements can apply for permanent residency and/or citizenship after just 5 years.
Minimal stay requirements
Golden Visa investors only require physical presence in Portugal for 7 days during the first year and 14 days in the subsequent two year periods.
NHR Tax Regime
New residents in Portugal can apply for "non-habitual resident" (NHR) tax status in which foreign sourced income from certain professional and business activities and pension income is exempt from taxation.
Access to high quality education
Golden Visa investors can enroll their dependent children in high quality public and private schools in Portugal.
Access to a high quality healthcare system
Golden Visa investors and their families who live in Portugal for at least 183 days per year are covered by Portugal's national healthcare system at reduced rates.
Diversify your investment portfolio and earn income
By investing in real estate or investment funds clients can diversify their investment portfolio and potentially earn passive income in a strong foreign currency.
Portuguese Golden Visa Program

Portuguese Golden Visa Program
Investment Routes
From €280,000

Your investment routes to residency in Portugal
Residential Real Estate Investments in designated interior areas of Portugal from €400-500k

The most common route for investors to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa program is to invest in real estate in Portugal.

Investors can qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa by purchasing a minimum value of €500,000 into residential property located in ‘designated interior areas’ of  Portugal as well as autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores.

If the residential property is located in a ‘low density area’ in Portugal then the minimum investment requirement is reduced by 20% to €400,000.

Residential property investments in Lisbon, Porto and most of the Algarve are no longer Golden Visa eligible.

Real Estate Investments into Commercial Property Investments from €400-500k

Investors who purchase at least €500,000 worth of commercial property in any part of the country are eligible to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa.

If the commercial real estate is located in a ‘low density area’ in Portugal then the minimum investment requirement is reduced by 20% to €400,000.

Residential Properties undergoing renovations from €280-350k

Investments made into renovation residential projects in qualifying ‘designated areas of Portugal’ that are either at least 30 years of age OR located in a designated area of the urban rehabilitation the minimum investment requirement is reduced to just €350,000.

In the case that the renovation residential property is located in what is considered a ‘low density area’ then a further 20% reduction to the minimum investment is applied with the minimum requirement dropping to just €280,000.

Such projects are particularly hard to come by, however we have complied a portfolio of properties across Portugal for our Golden Visa clients that includes a number of fantastic €280,000 projects. Click here to check them out!

Commercial Properties undergoing renovations from €280-350k

Investments made into commercial projects undergoing renovation in qualifying ‘designated areas of Portugal’ that are either at least 30 years of age OR located in a designated area of the urban rehabilitation the minimum investment requirement is reduced to just €350,000.

In the case that this commercial property is located in what is considered a ‘low density area’ then a further 20% reduction to the minimum investment is applied with the minimum requirement dropping to just €280,000.

Investment Fund & Private Equity Funds from €500k

Investments of €500,000 into the acquisition of units of investment funds are or venture capital funds are eligible to qualify for the Golden Visa Program. The funds must have a maturity of at least five years and a minimum of 60% of the investment portfolio must be into Portuguese companies. Click here to read more about the PGV investment fund route.

Bank Deposit of at least €1,5 million

Investors can qualify for the Golden Visa program by transferring capital to a minimum of €1,500,000 into a Portuguese bank account.

Other Investment Options

Third Country Nationals can also qualify for the Portuguese Visa with the following investments:

  • €500,000 investment into research activities.
  • €250,000 investment in the arts or in the reconstruction or refurbishment of national heritage projects.
  • Setting up a local business that creates a minimum of 10 new jobs.
  • Transferring capital of at least €500,000 into a business. (must create 5 jobs)
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Portuguese Golden Visa Program Investment Options

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Portuguese Golden Visa Program

Process to Citizenship

The process to obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa usually takes from 6-9 months.

Golden Visa Investors who spend at least 7 days per year in Portugal for a period of 5 years are eligible to apply for citizenship. Basic A2 level in Portuguese is required.

STEP 1Initial consultation

Contact LGP for an initial consultation, discuss the Golden Visa program and it's benefits and explore the wide array of investment opportunities on the market.

STEP 2Client onboarding

LGP runs mandatory background checks on clients prior to the client onboarding process. Upon approval LGP will send the client a letter of engagement and begin the client onboarding process.

STEP 3Open bank account and obtain tax no.

Upon appointing our lawyer in Portugal as your tax representative the Golden Visa process begins. From here the lawyer will apply for your Portuguese tax number and open your Portuguese bank account in Portugal. (Remotely or in Portugal)

STEP 4Making your Investment

Golden Visa investments must be made from the applicants Portuguese bank account. Upon funding their local bank account in Portugal applicants must proceed to make their investment.

STEP 5Preparing and submitting your application to SEF (Pre-approval process)

LGP will assist you to prepare your application. Once all of the required documents have been gathered they should be uploaded to the border agency SEF's online portal and submitted for pre-approval. At this point you can book an appointment to visit Portugal for the applicants to submit the original documents and biometrics.

STEP 6Trip to Portugal for biometrics

Our lawyer will meet you in Portugal and travel with you to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), so that you can submit your original documentation with you and your families biometrics.

STEP 7Receive your residency card and enter Portugal

Upon successfully obtaining approval, our lawyer will collect your Golden Visa residence permits and courier them to your address. The investor and their family must then visit Portugal anytime within one year for at least 7 days in order to fulfill residency requirements.

STEP 8Golden Visa renewals

Investors and their family members must stay at least 7 days per year in the country in order to renew their Golden Visa Permit after the second and fourth years.

STEP 9PR & Citizenship applications

After 5 years of holding a Golden Visa residence permit investors and their family members who spend at least 7 days per year in Portugal, can apply for permanent residency and/or citizenship. (Subject to an A2 basic level of Portuguese)

Asked Questions

Checkout our FAQ's or reach out to us directly via the contact form at the bottom of the page with further questions.
Who can apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa Program?

All third country (Non EEA) nationals over the age of 18 are entitled to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa Program.

Can I include my family members on my application as dependents?

Under family reunification, Golden Visa investors can include the following family members on their applications:

-The spouse of the main applicant.

-All legal Children under the age of 18.

-Dependent children under the age of 26. These children must be both unmarried and enrolled in full time education in order to qualify.

-Parents of the main applicant and spouse over 66 years of age.

-Dependent parents over aged 55 or over.

-Siblings of the main applicant under the age of 18 years of age when the main applicant is legally responsible for them.

Are there any other requirements to be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa?

Yes, applicants must prove that they have a clean criminal record in both their home country and Portugal. Besides making the qualifying golden visa investment itself, all of the applicants funds must come from outside of Portugal.

What other costs and fees are involved in the Portuguese Golden Visa Program Investment Process?

Legal fees associated with processing the Golden Visa for the applicant and their family are applicable and will vary based on the family composition and individual circumstances. Additionally, a government processing fee of 70 Euros per applicant is also applicable.

When purchasing real estate in Spain, investors should be mindful of various taxes, stamp duty, and associated fees. A recommended budget of around 12-13% of the property’s total value is suggested, with the primary component being Value Added Tax (IVA). Conveyancing fees, typically around 1.0% of the property purchase price, should also be considered in the budgeting process.

How long does the process take?

The Golden Visa application process usually takes between 6-9 months. Note that Covid-19 pandemic may have an impact on these application times.

Do real estate investments in Lisbon and Porto qualify for the Golden Visa Program?

The Portuguese Government proposed changes to the Golden Visa law back in February 2020. If these changes come into play then investments made into real estate in Lisbon and Porto may no longer qualify investors for the Golden Visa program from the start of 2021.

It has been unofficially reported that because of the COVID-19 pandemic these plans will be scrapped, however conflicting reports suggest that these plans will go ahead.

Either way, it has been confirmed that investors who purchase property in Lisbon or Porto this year this year will be eligible to apply for the Golden Visa. We therefore suggest that anyone looking to qualify with a real estate investment in Lisbon or Porto should do so this year.

Is the Portuguese Golden Visa a temporary or permanent residency permit?

The Portuguese Golden Visa is a temporary residency permit in Portugal. The first residency permit must be renewed every 2 years, however applicants who spend at least 7 days per year in Portugal are eligible to apply for permanent residency and/or citizenship after a period of 5 years. 

Those that decide not to apply for permanent residency or citizenship can continue to renew their Golden Visa permit indefinitely so long as they meet the 7 days per year minimum stay requirement, to maintain their investment.

When can I sell my investment?

Investors need to maintain their investment for at least 5-6 years while residing in Portugal on the Golden Visa, if they want to maintain their residency rights in Portugal. Once the investor has obtained permanent residency or citizenship they have the right to stay permanently in Portugal and they can therefore sell their investment.

How can I obtain citizenship in Portugal through the Portuguese Golden Visa Program?

Golden Visa investors and their dependents who spend at least 7 days per year in Portugal over a 5 year period are eligible to apply for citizenship, subject to having an A2 level of Portuguese proficiency.

This is a very basic level of Portuguese, that can easily be achieved by the majority of individuals over a 5 year period. We recommend that our clients begin having weekly Portuguese lesson at least 2 years before they apply for citizenship.

When the applicant feels ready they can partake in the CIPLE Portuguese proficiency test, which is the mandatory exam that must be passed before applying for citizenship.

You can read more about the Portuguese language test for citizenship here.

Can I work in Portugal on the Portuguese Golden Visa?

Yes, Portuguese Golden Visa applicants and their family members gain the right to live, work and study in Portugal. They can also travel visa-free to the Schengen Area.

What documentation is required for the Portuguese Golden Visa application?

The documents required to submit a Golden Visa application include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Golden Visa application form
  • Certified passport copy of all applicants (and other ID documents)
  • An official police report from your home country (less than 90 days old)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Deed or contract of the purchased property/investment
  • Declaration of the transfer of funds from your Portuguese Bank
  • Authorizing document for SEF to check your Portuguese criminal records
  • Golden Visa application processing fee receipt
  • Compliance Declaration confirming you meet the GV investment requirements
  • Letter of good standing from Portuguese Tax and Social Security Authorities.
Can the investment be made through my company?

Yes, investments can either be made by the individual applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa program or from a Portuguese LLC incorporated by the investor in Portugal.

Do Golden visa residents automatically become a tax resident in Portugal?

No,  since you are only required to spend 7 days per year in Portugal in order to maintain residency you will not automatically become a tax resident in Portugal. Non-tax residents in Portugal are only taxed on their locally sourced income and not taxed on their worldwide income.

That said, Golden Visa investors can apply under the NHR tax regime to become non-habitual tax resident in Portugal which offers a number of benefits.

Those that permanently relocate to Portugal and spend at least 183 days in Portugal will automatically become tax residents in Portugal. 

What is the NHR and how can it benefit me?

Non Habitual Residency is a highly favorable tax status available to new residents in Portugal offering reduced tax rates and exemptions for a period of 10 years.

Under NHR, many types of foreign sourced income are exempt from taxation in Portugal including most foreign rental income, capital gains, dividends and interest provided they may be taxed outside of Portugal. Certain types of foreign employment income are also exempt, while pensions are taxed at 10%.

Portuguese Non Habitual Residents are also not subject to inheritance tax, gift tax or wealth tax in Portugal.

For Portuguese sourced employment or self employment income non-habitual residents are charged a flat rate of 20%, regardless of the level of income. In comparison, under the ordinary tax system in Portugal the highest income bracket is taxed a whopping 48%.

What are the requirements to maintain my residency in Portugal?

Golden Visa Investors are required to spend at least 7 days per year to maintain, and be able to renew their residency permits in Portugal. Investors who meet these minimum stay requirements will be eligible to apply for citizenship after 5 years.

If I invest into a property that has not been completed will I still qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa?

It does not matter if the property that you invest in has not yet finished construction. As long as you invest the minimum amount required by the law then an investment whether under construction or pre-construction will still qualify for the Golden Visa program.

Can I invest in multiple properties and qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa?

Yes, investors can qualify with an investment into multiple properties so long as the total value of the investment exceeds the minimum requirement.

Can I finance my Portuguese Golden Visa investment?

If the funds are financed by a bank outside of Portugal then yes you can use these funds for your Golden Visa investment.

Can I make the Portuguese Golden Visa investment from my company?

Only investments that are made by the investor personally or through a Portuguese Limited Liability Company incorporated by the investor in Portugal are eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa Program

European Residency SolutionsWhy Portugal?

Golden Visa Program from 280,000 EUR

Located on the South Western edge of Europe, Portugal is one of the most historically-rich countries in the continent. The geographically blessed nation is home to breathtaking golden beaches, captivating cities and medieval castles villages.

The country with its Mediterranean climate, high standard of education and low levels of crime making it a nice country for families looking to relocate to Europe. Portugal is well connected, in close proximity to all major European business hubs and has a lower cost of living than its European counterparts.

A decade ago, after the financial Crisis, the Portuguese economy reliant on intervention from the EU looked bleak. Yet spurred on by the country’s economic reformations Portugal engineered a remarkable recovery to position itself as and one of Europe’s hottest tourist destinations. The Golden Visa Program which was introduced in 2012 played a key part in Portugal’s recovery and as of January 2020 has attracted a total of 4.8 Billion Euros of foreign investment into the economy since its inception.


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