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Portugal’s Cultural Golden Visa: Everything You Need To Know in 20242024-05-07T13:53:08+00:00
A Definitive Guide to Portugal's Cultural Production Golden Visa

Support artistic production in Portuga and qualify for Portugal’s Cultural Golden Visa:

☑ Most affordable Golden Visa – only €200K (low density areas) or €250K (urban areas).
☑ Fastest Golden Visa – get approved in 12 months, vs. up to 24 months+ for a property GV.
☑ Government pre-approval issued before principal has to be committed.
☑ Client applications are submitted to the Ministry of Culture by an authorized public entity – NOT by a lawyer or service provider.

VIEW SEF PROGRAM GUIDANCE AND LEGAL BASIS HERE

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UPDATE: The Portuguese authorities opted to amend the Golden Visa program in 2023.

While the Real Estate options are to be scrapped, the Cultural Production Golden Visa, as well as the Research, Job Creation and Fund Investment streams have been retained in 2024.

Get in touch now  for more information or to start your Golden Visa application today. Also be sure to check out the new Hungarian Residency By Investment program if you’re looking for a faster, property based alternative without the application back-log currently being experienced on the Portuguese program.

In addition, consider the Greek Golden Visa, priced from just €250,000, or the Portuguese €400,000 Job Creation Golden Visa, if you don’t wish to invest in a Golden Visa Fund…

Portugal’s New Cultural Production Golden Visa: €200K Option (NON-donation)

Everything you need to know about the country’s artistic funding Golden Visa track – including how to start applying for it…

Looking for the fastest and most affordable Portuguese Golden Visa option in 2024?

One with a far lower capital outlay? And that enjoys processing priority over the Golden Visa fund and property streams?

If you’d like to make a high-impact contribution to the arts in Portugal, while creating a lasting legacy and securing your Plan B, then the Cultural Golden Visa may be just the option for you.

While this boutique program track was only launched post-pandemic, it is already garnering significant interest from  art aficionados around the world.

And as the only GV option to offer a government pre-approval step before capital has to be committed, it also offers unrivalled peace of mind.

Since the Golden Visa program rules governing residential property investments have become a lot more restrictive, we’ve seen the emergence of a number of innovative new Golden Visa investment options in 2022 – including this artistic funding Golden Visa.

You can view the legal basis for the Cultural Golden Visa here, and SEF’s guidance on the program here.

This Golden Visa option is priced at only €200,000 for projects that investment in “artistic production” in low-density areas in the Portuguese interior, and €250,000 elsewhere in the country. This makes the “artistic production” Golden Visa, as the program is also frequently referred to, one of the cheapest Golden Visa program in Europe.

Let’s get into the details below…

The Cultural Golden Visa program at a glance

Discover why this Golden Visa option has garnered so much attention in 2024…

PROGRAM MECHANISM

Fund a Portuguese feature film project to qualify for a Golden Visa

PROGRAM COST

€200K (Low Density Location) OR €250K (Urban Location)

(INVESTMENT TERM 

Minimum 5 Years

(Early exits subject to penalties)

ROI

Potential returns possible on certain projects

Principal capital guaranteed on certain projects.

PEACE OF MIND

Government pre-approval. Application submission by government entity.

Artistic Production Funding vs Fund Investment

Consideration Cultural Golden Visa (Artistic Production Option) Fund Investment Golden Visa
Type Investment (When Available), or Donation Investment
Program pricing €250K (Standard);

€200K (Low-Density Areas)

€500K
Guaranteed annual yield Potential returns possible on some projects. None
Minimum term 5 years Typically 5 years+
Exit fees None Variable
Government pre-approval step before capital is committed Yes No
Application submitted by government entity Yes No
Typical timeline to residency card issuance 8-10 months 16-24 months
Family eligibility Yes Yes
Path to Permanent Residency or Citizenship Yes Yes
Minimum in-country stay requirement On average, 1 week (7 days) per year for 5 years (until PR or citizenship status has been obtained). On average, 1 week (7 days) per year for 5 years (until PR or citizenship status has been obtained).

Artistic Production Funding
vs Cultural Heritage Donation

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CONSIDERATION Artistic Support Option  (Film Funding) Cultural Heritage Preservation Option
Category Investment (When Available) Donation
Application Process Duration €250K (Standard);

 €200K (Low-Density Areas)

€250K (Standard);

 €200K (Low-Density Areas)

Minimum term 5 years N/A – Non-refundable donation
Potential ROI Possible on some projects N/A – donation (sunk cost)
Principal capital guaranteed Yes – on some projects No – principal is forfeited
Government pre-approval step before capital is committed Yes Yes
Typical timeline to residency card issuance 8-10 months N/A – only two applications processed to date.
Family eligibility Yes – spouse, dependent children and parents Yes – spouse, dependent children and parents
Path to Permanent Residency (PR) or Citizenship Yes Yes
Application submitted by government entity Yes Yes
Minimum in-country stay requirement On average, 1 week (7 days) per year until PR or citizenship status is obtained On average, 1 week (7 days) per year until PR or citizenship status is obtained

Cultural Golden Visa: Program background

Where did this artistic support funding option come from, and why do I only hear about it now?

The legislation supporting the creation of an “Artistic Production Funding Golden Visa” has been in existence since 2015 (Also see Order 2360/2017). Yet while it was still possible to buy residential properties in Lisbon and Porto for as little as €280K or €350K, most applicants preferred buying a Portuguese vacation home as a way to obtain their golden residency status. (Owning a real asset in a rapidly appreciating European market was a no-brainer for the majority of applicants.)

For the past 10 years, property values in Portugal have been growing in the high single digits. And given pre-pandemic tourism demand in the country, Golden Visa holders were able to sweat their residential property assets effectively – so their ROI was good. 

But as of the end of 2021, new program regulations took effect, which meant that Lisbon, Porto and the massively popular Algarve region in the South were no longer eligible locations for residential Golden Visa property purchases. (You can, however, still buy commercial property in these locations to qualify for a Golden Visa.)

This change effectively reduced the “lifestyle” focus when it comes to Golden Visa property selection: Returns tend to be  inferior in the country’s interior, and most people prefer being closer (or in) the large urban centers of Lisbon, Porto and Faro.)

So for a large percentage of applicants, capital preservation, projected yield and opportunity cost, rather than any associated lifestyle benefits, are now once again the key considerations. 

Combined with the fact that the minimum threshold for fund-based investments went up from €350K – which was on a par with the “standard” property option –  to a whopping €500K, many prospective applicants are now searching for cheaper Golden Visa options. 

Moreover, given that your capital will be locked up for at least 6 years (and possibly more), the opportunity costs on these higher amounts are quite significant.

Another challenge has been the fact that the property based Golden Visa has not been treated as a priority residency category by SEF, which, since the pandemic, has led to processing delays of up to two years for scores of applicants.

So what other options are there then? 

The cheapest Golden Visa option would be to start an active business and create 10 jobs in Portugal – but this option is neither attractive nor viable for the majority of applicants. (There is, however, also the Job Creation Golden Visa to consider.)

Hence, previously, that left only the €250K Cultural Heritage Preservation option, a non-refundable donation that has literally only been used by four GV applicants to date. 

However, the same supporting legislation, namely Law 63/2015 of 30 June 2015, which came into effect on 1 July 2015, also makes provision for a €250K investment “support of artistic production” (see Section VI). This could include, as two simple examples, the funding of a feature film or a touring stage production.

And if the artistic production is based in a low-density area, a 20% discount applies, making the minimum capital investment requirement only €200K. (This is similar to the 20% discount convention that applies to GV properties based on their location.)

So to qualify by funding a movie filmed and produced in Lisbon, you’d need to invest €250K. Whereas for a film set and produced in a low-density part of the Portuguese interior, you’d only need to commit €200K.

The problem was that no productized option leveraging the above legislation previously existed. But that changed around the time of the pandemic, with the introduction of a “Cultural Golden Visa” option, which meets the Golden Visa criteria via an innovative funding mechanism for Portuguese feature films.

Critically, these productions are pre-sold to media outlets and distribution channels. This significantly mitigates the risk of these productions’ financial under-performance. In fact, some projects of this nature can guarantee the principal amount.

Essentially, the Cultural Golden Visa option is THE most affordable Portuguese GV option on the market, and some non-donation projects are anticipated soon. It’s consequently received significant interest from migrant investors the world over.

(While Russian applications are not currently accepted, we encourage prospective Golden Visa investors from Russia to get in touch regarding some potential alternatives and solutions.)

What’s more, during the pandemic period, when property based Golden Visa application processing ground to a halt, the Cultural Golden Visa’s application processing at SEF remained unaffected, thanks to this being a priority residency category.

How many Golden Visas have been issued via the Cultural Heritage option?2022-09-14T22:55:45+00:00

As of 15 September 2022, only four Portuguese Golden Visas have been granted in exchange for investment in Cultural Heritage Projects such as the Serralves Institute in Porto, and the Fundação Côa Parque, responsible for a pre-historical archeological park in the Alto Douro region

However, these early adopters have effectively been treating these contributions as a sunk cost, or a donation, which for the majority of applicants does not make any sense.

In contrast, the market’s response to the packaged Cultural Production Visa – a €200K  (€250K for urban projects) for-profit option that involves investment in pre-sold feature film production – has been both immediate and profound.

While no applicants have obtained Golden Visa residency status as of this writing – the Cultural Golden Visa was only brought to market post-pandemic – a significant number of applicants are presently awaiting pre-approval from the Portuguese Ministry of Culture.

And already it seems clear that this option will become the Golden Visa investment of choice for both philanthropists, patrons of the arts, as well as for-profit social impact investors seeking to diversify their residency, optimize taxation, and use Portugal as a beachhead for breaking into the European single market.

 

Why choose the Cultural Golden Visa option?

LOWEST PRICE

Priced at either €200K or €250K, the Cultural Golden Visa is the most affordable program of its kind in Portugal (and on a par with the current Greek Golden Visa price.

DECENT PROJECTED ROI …

Equals lower opportunity cost. Principal capital guaranteed by notarized deed and projected yields of around 3% p.a. on some projects.

PEACE OF MIND

Obtain governmental pre-approval in 15 days before any capital has to be committed. This is the only GV option offering this step.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Cultural Golden Visa applications have to be submitted to the Ministry of Culture by an eligible public entity. It cannot be done by a lawyer or citizenship planning firm.

FAMILY ELIGIBILITY 

Include your spouse, minor children, as well as your elderly parents and those of your spouse as part of your residency application. 

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

If preferred, applicants can be credited as official co-producers of the the film in the final credits, and can attend shoot days, exclusive events, etc.

EU TRAVEL FREEDOM

Enjoy freedom of movement and visa-free access to 26 Schengen countries with your family as a Portuguese resident.

PATH TO CITIZENSHIP

The Cultural Golden Visa program offers a clear path to eventual permanent residency (PR) and/or Portuguese Citizenship.

THE ULTIMATE PLAN B

We live in highly uncertain times. Secure your Plan B in a safe, non-polarized, livable and affordable EU country today.

So are there any downsides to be aware of?

There are a number of disadvantages to this non-donation artistic support option to factor in:

RELATIVELY NEW OFFERING: Given that this commercial offering was launched during the final months of the pandemic, it is still quite new. Hence, while several cultural projects and at least 19 applicants are presently awaiting pre-approval from the Portuguese authorities (expected by October 31st, 2022), only 4 applicants have previously obtained a Golden Visa via the Cultural Heritage stream – and they were all donations.

To be clear, no applicants have obtained residency on the basis of a film investment (yet), however this is now imminent.

LIMITED APPROVED PROJECTS = LIMITED CLIENT SLOTS: Dealing with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and the immigration authority, SEF, can be quite time consuming. Hence getting qualifying projects approved takes time, and the number of applicants slots are dictated by the required project budget.

While the rate of project approval is rapidly improving, film project due diligence takes time.

And it is likely that the supply of approved film projects will remain fairly limited short term. While the Cultural Golden Visa’s attractive price point has already garnered a massive amount of interest across the globe, we anticipate that it will remain a boutique offering short term, given the above approval constraints.

PROCESSING DELAYS AT SEF: While every effort is made to expedite Cultural Golden Visa applications – and these have been getting processed up to 12 months faster than property based Golden Visa applications –  the current delays at SEF are well known.

The delays caused by application backlogs are being cleared by SEF, however you should nonetheless  be prepared for your application, in total, to take up to 12 months+.

Cultural Production Golden Visa Program Costs

Program Costs Standard Option (€250K) Reduced-cost Option (€200K – Low Density Areas)
Initial client onboarding fee (refundable upon process completion) Service fees are refundable if process is unsuccessful. Contact us for more information. Service fees are refundable if process is unsuccessful. Contact us for more information.
Capital commitment (minimum 5 years) €250,000 €200,000
Initial 2-year residency permit issuance fee Individual: €5,424.60;

Couple: €10,649.20

Individual: €5,424.60;

Couple: €10,649.20

Renewal of residency permit – good for an additional 3 years Individual: €2,666.30;

Couple: €5,322.60

Individual: €2,666.30;

Couple: €5,322.60

Legal fees (not included) Approximately €6,000 Approximately €6,000
Total capital layout Individual: €269,090.90;

Couple: ~ €275,000

Individual: €219,090.90;

Couple: ~ €225,000

The Cultural Golden Visa application process

Process Step Time Required Responsible entity
1. Collection of applicant’s information for due diligence vetting 1 Week Cultural Golden Visa Consultant
2. Contract signature and payment of onboarding fee (deductible) 1 Week Applicant / Cultural Golden Visa Consultant
3. Appointment of legal representative 1 Day Cultural Golden Visa Consultant / Lawyer
4. Obtain Portuguese Fiscal Number (NIF) 1 Week Cultural Golden Visa Consultant / Lawyer
5. Submission of application for pre-approval and adjudication 15 Days Cultural Golden Visa Consultant / Town Hall
6. Bank account opening 1-2 Weeks (typically) Cultural Golden Visa Consultant / Lawyer
7. Company Incorporation 1 Week Lawyer
8. Qualifying transfer of capital 1 Month Applicant / Lawyer
9. Gathering of all relevant documentation 1 Week Applicant / Lawyer
10. Application to Immigration Services (SEF) 1 Month  Lawyer
 11. Biometrics appointment Typically 3-6 months later Applicant / SEF
12. Residency card issuance Typically 4-6 weeks after biometrics appointment SEF

Lock in your Plan B with a Portuguese Golden Visa from only €200,000. Request more information now.

Russian citizens: One European Golden Visa program is still accepting Russian applicants.  Contact us to find out more.

Simply complete the below form and one of our expert consultants will get back to you.We look forward to being of service and helping you make your Portuguese Plan B dreams a reality.

    Portugal Cultural Golden Visa Overview for 2024 compiled by…

    Andre Bothma Administrator
    Founder D7 Visa
    Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Andre is a seasoned digital entrepreneur with extensive experience working in the demand-side of the Residency and Citizenship By Investment industry. He has been writing about Golden Visas, Citizenship By Investment and investment migration programs for over six years, and has frequently written and been interviewed by industry-leading RCBI publication, IMIDaily.com. Andre is a D7 Visa holder and Portuguese resident himself. Having identified a gap in the market for affordable European immigration solutions outside of Golden Visas, he launched D7 Visa to help more foreign individuals and families settle in Europe without the need for property investment. Andre is a regular contributor to the pages of Sovereign Man, a leading international diversification publication catering to a global audience. He is also one of the earliest global promoters of the HQA Visa Program and the Cultural Golden Visa program (Portugal) as well as the Hungarian Golden Visa. Andre spends half his time in Porto, Portugal.
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