Portugal Golden Visa Requirements: Explained in Detail

Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most popular Golden Visa programs in the world. Investors can easily get residency and later potential citizenship after investing in the country. In this guide, you can find the necessary steps to obtain the Portugal Golden Visa.

Eligibility to Portuguese Golden Visa

First of all, the program is only available for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens. Also, you need to be at least 18 years old and have a clean criminal record to apply for this program. The clean criminal record must be both from your home country as well as Portugal. Also, you must submit the required fund from outside of Portugal. 

Requirements of Golden Visa Portugal

  • You need to make a qualifying investment in the country, to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa. There are a few investment options offered to investors. These include:
    • Investment in real estate,
    • Venture capital fund,
    • Transfer of capital to the related authorities,
    • Company establishment,
    • Donation to the protection of cultural heritage and art
  • You must be able to show evidence that you have made the minimum amount of investment in the country. Furthermore, you have to maintain the investment as long as you hold your Golden Visa status along with your family. After obtaining permanent residency or citizenship, you don’t have to maintain the investment anymore. 
  • Another requirement is related to the minimum duration of your stay in Portugal. On average, you need to stay in the country only for around seven days in a year. According to a recent change in residence permits, the initial residence permit is now for two years. This means that you need to stay in Portugal for at least fourteen days within two years. You will renew your residence permit for another three years. In this case, you need to spend at least 21 days in Portugal within these three years. 
  • You need to obtain a Portuguese tax number (NIF) and a Portuguese bank account, to make your investment. 
  • There is also a list of required documents you need to provide during your application. You will find the list of the necessary documents in the next sections below. 

Portugal Golden Visa for Different Nationalities

Investors from various countries are interested in the Portugal Golden Visa program. 

Portugal Golden Visa for Americans

American citizens can obtain the Portugal Golden Visa. In fact, the number of US citizens applying for the program is increasing gradually. Tax residents of the US can benefit from some tax advantages through having Portuguese real estate. Business people from the US can also benefit from this program. They can expand their business in Portugal through the company formation option. In this way, they can benefit from favorable tax regulations as well.

Portugal Golden Visa for UK Citizens

British citizens in the UK will lose some rights after Brexit comes into effect. So, at the end of 2020, UK passports will lose the right of mobility within the Schengen area. This is why UK citizens now consider Portugal as an alternative. Portugal offers them both a comfortable lifestyle and eventual European citizenship. 

While only non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can apply for the program, UK citizens can also apply for it as of December 31st, 2020. In this way, they will obtain the right to visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. 

There has already been a huge interest from UK citizens in Portugal. According to the Portuguese Immigration and Service’s (SEF) data, around 35,000 registered UK expats live in Portugal. It is estimated that the total number of these citizens is almost twice this number. 

Portugal Golden Visa for South Africans

South Africa ranks 4th in terms of the number of investments made. Since the start of this program, around 400 South Africans obtained residency through the Portugal Golden Visa program. 

Portugal Golden Visa is a great option for South Africans as well, especially regarding the safety in the country. Many South African investors decide to leave their country due to the high crime rates in their country as well. Comparatively, Portugal offers them a safe environment in terms of both politics and economics. 

Portugal Golden Visa for Hong Kong Citizens

Citizens from Hong Kong can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa as well. Portugal Golden Visa can be especially useful for Hong Kong citizens if they do not want to relocate. 

Costs of the Fund Option

Investment in a venture capital fund is one of the investment options for Portugal Golden Visa. You can find the required fees for the fund option below:

  • Minimum investment amount: €350,000
  • Performance fee: 35% of the profit. It can vary depending on the fund. In general, the performance fee is between 20% and 50% above a hurdle on the profit
  • Management fees: Annual rate of 1,5%. It varies on the fund. In general, the annual management fee is between 1% and 2% of the invested amount
  • Legal fees: Varying depending on different variables. However, the fees do not differ between different investment routes.

Required Documents

After you invest in one of the investment options, you can now apply for your Golden Visa. To qualify for your Portugal Golden Visa, the required documents are as follows:

  • Passport copy, or another travel document issued by government
  • Proof of evidence regarding the completion of qualifying investment. 
  • Declaration from Portuguese financial institution approving the transfer of funds
  • Proof of healthcare insurance
  • Criminal record of the current country of residence
  • A completed form authorizing SEF to access the criminal record in Portugal
  • A sworn declaration on compliance with the minimum investment requirements for the necessary time period of five years
  • Documents outlining good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority & Social Security system
  • Payment receipt of ARI (residence permit based on investment) application.

Potential Golden Visa Changes in 2021

According to a recent budget proposal, there may be some changes in relation to real estate purchases for Portugal Golden Visa. Portuguese authorities are planning to exclude Lisbon and Porto as location options for real estate purchases. This means that you will not be able to buy real estate in Lisbon or Porto as of 2021, to qualify for a Golden Visa.

The measure will not affect the existing investors or the ones who already started their application process until 2021. As of 2021, It is uncertain if and when the changes will come into effect.

Golden Visa in Portugal At a Brief Glance

The Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency by investment program. Between 2012 and 2021, roughly 9,500 investors obtained residency in Portugal. The program is available only for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. 

After you make a qualifying investment in the country, you can apply for a Portugal Golden Visa. You’ll obtain residency in Portugal following the approval of your application.

At first, you obtain a temporary residency. Yet, you can apply for permanent residency after you fulfill the minimum stay requirement at the end of five years. Similarly, you can apply for citizenship after five years of successful residency in Portugal. In the case of citizenship, you will also be an EU citizen and have a right to live and work in any EU country. Visa-free travel to 186 countries is another benefit of citizenship. Furthermore, you can include your dependent family members in this program as well. They can benefit from all the rights that you can.


What are the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program?

It offers residency and potential citizenship in Portugal. You can include your dependent family members as well. Visa-free travel to 186 countries is another advantage in the case of citizenship. 

Can a UK citizen apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program?

UK citizens may apply for this program as of January 2021, following Brexit coming into effect. 

Can I buy real estate to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa?

You can definitely buy property to be eligible for residency in Portugal. As long as you pay the minimum investment amount, you can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa. 

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