Latest (ALL) Portugal Golden Visa Options from €200K – €1.5m
IMPORTANT: Portuguese authorities announced drastic changes to the country’s Golden Visa program on February 16 2023. Official details are still forthcoming. Check back here soon for more information, or get in touch to discover your alternatives to Portugal’s Golden Visa…
The year 2021 saw a raft of changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa program. In addition, a number of innovative new program options came online since then, too.
Below, we highlight all of the Portugal Golden Visa options for 2023. We also include a number of comparative perspectives to help you determine which of the options could be right for you.
What are the new Golden Visa investment requirements for 2023?
NOTE: The new investment thresholds and area exclusions took effect on January 1, 2022. However, these requirements have not been updated across all of the SEF web pages yet.
REAL ESTATE – COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL
€280,000 – €500,000+
10 Jobs – No minimum investment prescribed
Comparing your various Golden Visa options…
Comparative tables best viewed on desktop.
|Program Track||Minimum Layout||Key Benefits||Key Disadvantages|
CULTURAL PRODUCTION GOLDEN VISA
(Either donation based or film production investment based).
NOTE: We presently have only a handful of €200;000 Artistic Production Golden Visa client slots available for a project in the Portuguese interior.
Guaranteed yield of 4% p.a. Principal capital guaranteed. Government pre-approval issued before capital needs to be committed.
Contact us now to avoid missing out.
|€200,000+ if he project will be based in a NUTS III level location (i.e. low density).
(This is defined as an area with less than 100 inhabitants per km2, or in an area with a GDP, per capita, of less than 75% of the national average).
€250,000+ (urban areas)
|The Cultural Production track is the only GV option to feature a fast, pre-approval process – only 15 days – involving an authorized governmental entity before any capital has to be committed. (Contact us now for more details on this option.)
This pre-approval system offers applicants unparalleled peace of mind. The Cultural Production Golden Visa also offers a faster path towards residency approval than the traditional property based Golden Visa.
Applicants utilizing the latter track has seen significant approval delays due to structural changes at SEF, the country border control and immigration directorate.
(Thankfully, these bottlenecks are now being dealt with as of June 2022. The expected timeline for Cultural GV applications is around 8-10 months.)
|This is a relatively new program with no track record of investors gaining their Golden Visas or making a profit – yet.
As of 2 October 2022, at least 14 investors are awaiting pre-approval from the Portuguese authorities to make an eligible investment and proceed with their Cultural Golden Visa applications.
The application process is much simpler than with real estate investments (1 visit required, vs 2).
And while feature film funding investments traditionally carry significant downside risk, innovative pre-selling of content to distribution networks significantly mitigates such risks.
The film sector in Portugal has also obtained special concessions to keep on filming despite pandemic regulations, so future productions shouldn’t be materially impacted by future pandemic restrictions.
REAL ESTATE GOLDEN VISA
(Depending on property’s age and location):
Governmental Program Guidance – €500K Properties option
Governmental Program Guidance – €350K Properties option
Check which areas are eligible for Golden Visa property investments by looking at this population density resource for Portugal.
To review the residential property eligibility at a parish level, consult the official government decree (in Portuguese).
NOTE: There are a number of guaranteed buy-back options (available after 6 years) at both the €280K and €350K price points.
These are offered by established Golden Visa developers, particularly in the touristic segment.
Contact us if you’d like to find out more.
|A powerful Plan B option combining flexible second residency AND a second home (or commercial property asset) in the world’s third-safest country.
A traditional asset class known, understood and previously utilized by a large percentage of applicants.
The peace of mind of owning a real asset in a growing market where both rental and sales demand currently outstrips supply.
For those opting to purchase residential real estate, a Golden Visa investment can deliver potential yield, and/or afford property owners the lifestyle benefit of spending time staying in their own vacation property.
Achieve effective portfolio diversification and jurisdictional risk hedging.
(The expected timeline for property based GV applications is around 12-14 months.
|Significant costs associated with asset acquisition, maintenance and repairs, management and eventual exit.
Projected yield may be impacted by pandemics, travel bans and air travel challenges, but also by increased regulation of short-term letting platform Airbnb.
Most buyers spend a significant amount of time shopping around for the right property, which slows the overall Golden Visa application process down considerably.
The Portuguese property market is overheating in 2022, which makes finding quality, value-for-money properties harder. Expect to pay a premium, or to deal with the additional complexities and delays of buying off-plan.
PORTUGUESE INVESTMENT FUNDS GOLDEN VISA
View a list of all of the Portuguese Golden Visa Investment Funds for 2022 here.
Governmental Program Guidance: Portuguese Investment Funds option
|€500,000+||The investment fund category has steadily grown in popularity since residential real estate in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve is no longer eligible, thus reducing the expected yield from residential real estate.
Investment funds can potentially deliver superior returns to real estate investments – and especially if these properties are residential units located in the Portuguese interior regions.
While fund-based Golden Visa investments clearly require significant due diligence, the application process tends to be significantly faster than with property based applications.
The exit costs are also far lower than with property (if there are any at all).
The expected timeline for fund based GV applications is around 12 months.
|As with any kind of investment, Portuguese funds carry a degree of potential risk: You may not be able to recoup your full principal, and there is the risk of far more significant losses, depending on the exact nature of the fund you choose to invest in.
If you choose the fund-based Golden Visa track, you won’t be able to access your capital until the investment reaches maturity. Whereas with a real estate investment, you can sell the property as soon as you meet the program’s requirements for permanent residency and/or Portuguese citizenship.
JOB CREATION GOLDEN VISA – 10 JOBS)
|No minimum investment required. Create at least 10 new jobs (8 jobs if the business is situated in a low density territory.
A low density area is defined as being situated in a NUTS III level location, with less than 100 inhabitants per km2, or an area with a GDP, per capita, of less than 75% of the national average).
|Given that no minimum investment threshold is required this option could work well for Golden Visa applicants planning to launch a business that will create permanent jobs in Portugal.
This is not a very viable option if you’re looking for a low-effort Plan B.
But depending on the nature of the business and its capitalization and operational expense requirements, this could be THE cheapest Golden Visa option.
|Unlike with a real estate based Golden Visa investment, this track is most likely not going to be a “passive” investment.
Realistically, getting a Golden Visa will be a secondary benefit for Job Creation Golden Visa applicants.
And for individuals who will need to spend the majority of any given calendar year in Portugal in order to run their fledgling business, the D7 or D2 Visa categories may be viable options as well…
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES GOLDEN VISA
|€500,000+||Secure your Plan B while making a meaningful soci0-economic and/or technological contribution to your new second home country.
Gain the opportunity to plug into the Portuguese research sector.
Potentially develop, package and scale high-value intellectual property (IP) in collaboration with a Portuguese research institution.
|In many instances, this option essentially entails a non-refundable donation to fund research activities. So for most Golden Visa applicants, this option will not make much sense.
However, in the case of successful patenting and royalty payments, potential returns can be negotiated.
In contrast, the HQA Visa (see below) offers a similar but more structured approach to this, at a far lower price point, and with the ability to own 100% of all IP created during the research project.
NEW OR EXISTING COMPANY CAPITALIZATION GOLDEN VISA
Governmental Program Guidance: “Constitution of a Commercial Company” option
Create 5 new permanent job positions (if a new company)
Create 5 new OR preserve 5 existing jobs (if capitalizing an existing Portuguese enterprise).
|Enjoy full control by launching your own company.
Target higher potential yield than you could expect with a real estate based Golden Visa.
Opt for low/no operational involvement by capitalizing an existing Portuguese enterprise.
|Launching a brand new venture abroad necessarily comes with the potential risk of losing your entire principal. This option may therefore make the most sense to seasoned serial entrepreneurs.
Investing in a mature, established business could be a more viable option that requires less (or no) operational involvement.
However, depending on the nature of the business being invested in, the risk of partial – or total – loss of capital can nonetheless be significant also.
HQA VISA (LEGAL BASIS: D3 VISA VISA)
Discover the benefits of Portugal’s Highly Qualified Activity Visa program here.
|€175,000+||A lower price point than any of the Golden Visa investment options (€175;000 vs €200;000+).
Full Golden Visa flexibility, with similar minimum stay requirements.
Lower capital layout = lower opportunity cost.
A white-glove, concierge style solution – be as hands-on, or as hands-off, as you choose to be.
A fast process – visa approvals issued in under 30 days.
|Unless your research project and venture becomes commercially successful, the €175,000 fee is a sunk cost.
While you can leave the operational management of the project and business to your incubation partner, you will need to be involved in strategic decision-making.
Unless your enterprise achieves commercial success, your only material underlying asset will be the IP created during the research project.
CAPITAL TRANSFER GOLDEN VISA
|€1.5 million||The most passive of all the ARI investment options.
Enjoy a faster, simpler application process than with the Golden Visa property track.
Effective currency hedge.
No need for extensive market research (on property) or due diligence (on investment funds / companies).
|Significant opportunity costs.
Capital tied up for at least 6 years.
Bank accounts in Portugal are only guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Fund (Fundo de Garantia de Depósitos) for deposits of up to €100,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated on November 14, 2022…
The answer to this question, unequivocally, is yes.
As of this writing, the Portuguese Golden Visa program is still going strong.
It’s not secret that Brussels despises Golden Visa programs. But according to EU legislation, it is up to each country in the bloc to determine whom they naturalize, and on what grounds.
Critics of the program jump at every single opportunity to proclaim the demise of the Golden Visa – and yet, it has been running as one of the world’s top residency by investment programs for the past decade.
While the program became more restrictive as of January 1, 2022 – residential real estate in Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve no longer qualifies – the program is still very much open and accepting applications from around the world.
The Portuguese Prime Minister was recently quoted as saying that “there are programs that we [Portugal’s government] are currently re-evaluating and one of them is the gold[en] visa which, probably, has already fulfilled the function it had to fulfil.”
And yet, there are a plethora of potential reasons for making this statement.
To divert attention from other issues.
To be seen taking criticisms of the program by the socialists seriously.
To pander to populist public sentiment.
Regardless, it is worth considering that Portugal has been run by socialists for years…
And that it was a socialist government that introduced this program in the first place…
And that no matter how politically unpalatable the program may be in some quarters, it played a large part in getting Portugal out of the post 2008 doldrums.
This is a government that clearly grasps the fact that more income gives you more options.
Enables you to invest in public infrastructure.
To govern better.
They clearly also grasp basic economics, and understand that abruptly cutting off a reliable and significant supply of foreign direct investment would have catastrophic consequences for the country.
So no matter what statements are made to the media – when it comes to the crunch, this government, today, still stands in support of the Golden Visa program.
And that while pressure from the EU and socialist lobbyists will no doubt continue unabated, the Golden Visa program will nonetheless continue being an economic boon to the country for the foreseeable future.
To be technically correct, one would have to refer to the validity of the Portuguese Golden Residency Permit – NOT the Portuguese Golden “Visa”.
As a Golden Visa applicant, you will typically use a regular C-category Schengen Tourist Visa to enter Portugal for your biometrics appointment with SEF.
Thereafter, you will receive a temporary residency permit that is good for two years (24 months). The second temporary residency permit, issued upon renewal, is good for an additional three years (36 months) – that’s a total of five years of temporary residency.
After five years of temporary residency, you can apply for either permanent residency or citizenship, OR you can opt to renew your temporary residency for an additional three years.
In contrast, the Greek Golden Visa is issued with a validity of five years, and is renewable in five-year increments.
Choosing the best Portuguese Golden Visa option will depend on your unique situation, objectives and requirements.
However, if you’re looking for the cheapest, fastest Golden Visa option, and one which has a guaranteed yield of 4%, along with a capital guarantee in 2023, then the Cultural Golden Visa needs to be on your radar.
Priced at only €200,000 for projects in low-density areas, and €250,000 elsewhere in the country, this “artistic support” option is the only GV option to offer a government pre-approval step before capital has to be committed.
And unlike the Cultural Heritage Preservation option, this option is NOT a non-refundable donation, i.e. it’s a for-profit investment.
You can learn more about the latest available Golden Visa options, and explore the Cultural Golden Visa here.
According to data released by SEF.pt, 77 ARI (Golden Visa) residency permits were issued to successful primary applicants during August 2022.
An additional 125 permits were issued for dependents of primary applicants on the basis of family reunification.
As of the end of August, 806 primary applicants have been approved for residency visas under the Golden Visa program since the beginning of the year.
During August, the top 5 source countries for the Golden Visa program has been:
|Country||Number of Golden Visa Residency Permits Issued||Reporting Month: August 2022|
|United Arab Emirates (UAE)||10|
Of the 77 applicants, 64 opted for real estate based investments, whereas 13 chose the capital transfer route.
The average investment per primary applicant was €515,117.
Image credit: SEF.pt
As of 15 September 2022, the cheapest Golden Visa investment option is the relatively unknown “artistic support” Golden Visa, a.k.a. the Cultural Golden Visa.
Investments in eligible cultural production projects (e.g. feature film production) are priced at €250,000 for films shot in urban areas, and only €200,000 for projects situated in low-density areas, typically in the Portuguese interior. Apart from being the cheapest Portuguese Golden Visa, the Cultural Production track is also the only one to offer pre-approvals by the Portuguese Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The Cultural Golden Visa option also offers a deed-backed capital guarantee, and a guaranteed return of 4% p.a. Filming does not commence until a pre-sales agreement has been finalized with the distributor, which significantly reduces the risk of financial under-performance.
To learn more about Portugal’s Golden Visa program, visit the official program web page (on SEF.pt), by clicking here.
To learn more about the online application process for the Golden Visa, visit the following SEF page.
To view ALL the latest Golden Visa investment options for 2022/2023, including the new Cultural Golden Visa stream (NON-Donation), priced at only €200K, click here.
If you’re investing in COMMERCIAL property in Lisbon for a Golden Visa in 2022, the answer is yes. If you’re looking to invest in residential property, the answer is no. The same applies for Porto, the Algarve and most of the coastal regions.
In light of Russia invading Ukraine, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece are no longer accepting applications from Russians. And as of 24 August, 2022, there is not indication available as to when this ban my be lifted either.
(There is, however, at least one European Golden Visa program currently accepting Russian applications. Contact us to learn more.)
And in the meantime, also be sure to familiarize yourself with the new €200K Portuguese Cultural Golden Visa option.
But there are also other viable alternative Golden Visa and Citizenship By Investment options for Russians, e.g. the Turkish Citizenship By Investment program (although this may soon expire…)
Antigua and Barbuda lifted their ban, only to re-suspend both Russians and Ukrainians again recently.
Grenada is presently accepting Russian CBI applicants though.
While Russians are still eligible to apply for the D7 Visa Program, they are not currently able to open bank accounts in Portugal, and obtaining a NIF has become more challenging also (both of which are required to obtain the D7).
Latvia opted to keep their program open in light of the other EU Golden Visa Programs rejecting Russian nationals (but placed a ban on Russian and Belarusian applications for 15 months.)
Yes, you can. Some service providers may allow you to pay for your professional fees in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. And since at least one Portuguese bank recently obtained a crypto license, you can now pay for your Golden Visa investment in crypto as well.
Golden Visa vs D7 Visa: Which would be best for you?
|CONSIDERATION||PROPERTY GOLDEN VISA||CULTURAL GOLDEN VISA||D7 VISA|
|Minimum Investment||€280K+ ; €350K+; €400K+; €500K+||€200K (Non-Urban), €250K (Urban)||€0|
|Application Process Duration||12 – 18 months||8 – 10 months||4 – 6 months|
|Road to Permanent Residency & Citizenship||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum In-Country Stay Requirement Per Yer||1 Week||1 Week||6 Months+|
|Portuguese Language Test Required||No||No||No|
|Non-Habitual Residency Program Eligibility||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Professional Services Fees||€20,000 – €30,000+||None/Included||From €2,495|
|Passive Income Required||No||No||Yes|
|Capital guaranteed||Typically not||Yes||N/A|
|Guaranteed return||Variable between 1.5% – 3%, IF applicable||4% p.a.||N/A|
|Medical Insurance Required||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Portuguese Tax Number (NIF) Required||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Additional program requirements and documents list
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IMPORTANT: All documents mentioned below, unless otherwise indicated, should ideally not be older than 3 months. All documents not issued by a Portuguese entity must be legalized and apostilled (if your home country or country of residency subscribes to the Hague convention.
Moreover, any document that is not in Portuguese needs to be translated and certified. A notary can assist you in this matter.
While the following documents list is not fully comprehensive, it will give you a clear indication of the documents to be compiled for your Golden Visa application:
A valid passport or government issued identification and travel document
Proof of legal entry into Portugal (e.g. a Schengen Tourist Visa (C-Type)
A clean criminal record certificate issued by your country of origin or current residence. IMPORTANT: The certificate cannot be older than 3 months at the date of your Golden Visa application.
Proof of EU-wide comprehensive health insurance covering you for the period during which your entry visa is valid (investigate products like AXA Schengen or similar providers).
A declaration by a Portuguese bank or financial institution confirming that the requisite funds have been transferred.
A Portuguese NIF; the local Portuguese tax number.
Certificates outlining your good standing issued by Portugal's Tax and Customs Authority and the Portuguese Social Security system.
Evidence of having completed your mandatory Golden Visa investment.
If you chose to acquire a property, then a deed or promissory sale agreement with proof of the deposit being paid.
If you opted for the fund-based route, then evidence of your subscription to the fund, issued by the fund manager.
If you opted for the job creation route, then company registration documents and copies of the employment contracts and the particulars of the positions that have been created.
If you opted for the Cultural Production visa, then evidence of your shareholding in the purpose-created production company, along with documentary evidence of your capitalization thereof.
A sworn declaration stating that you'll comply with the minimum investment requirement, i.e. that you'll hold your investment for a period of at least five years.
A duly completed and signed authorization form giving SEF permission to conduct a criminal record check on you within Portugal.
The Golden Visa application process at a glance
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR INVESTMENT
After you've made sure that a D7 or HQA Visa - both cheaper options - won't work for you, go ahead and select your preferred Golden Visa investment. Historically, the vast majority of GV applicants went for the property option, but since the new requirements kicked in, the fund investment option has been growing in popularity.
STEP 2: COMPILE YOUR APPLICATION DOCUMENTS
Gathering all the required documents in the correct format is vital to ensure your applications's success (see the list of required documents below). Beware - the devil is often in the details. Working with a professional service provider is highly advisable, as getting anything wrong at this stage can lead to significant delays and additional costs.
STEP 3: APPLY FOR YOUR PORTUGUESE NIF
Getting you Tax Identification Number - the so-called Número de Identificação Fiscal, or NIF, for short - is one of a host of important steps required to make an investment and apply for your Golden Visa. You can apply for this tax number, fast and from outside of Portugal, by granting a power of attorney to your Golden Visa lawyer.
STEP 4: OPEN A PORTUGUESE BANK ACCOUNT
While opening a Portuguese bank account from abroad has historically been a difficult process, it's very recently become even harder. Moreover, prominent banks like Millennium BCP and Atlantico Europe are both no longer offering bank accounts to foreign nationals outside of Britons, Ukrainian refugees holding temporary protection status, and - thankfully - Golden Visa applicants.
STEP 5: COMPLETE YOUR GOLDEN VISA INVESTMENT
Complete your required investment in close consultation with your Golden Visa consultant. Especially if you're opting for the residential property investment option, make sure that the area and property you wish to invest in will comply with the new program criteria. If you're investing in a fund, be sure to discuss the implications with your trusted financial advisor.
STEP 6: SUBMIT YOUR PRE-APPLICATION ONLINE TO SEF
Once your investment has been made and your documents have been compiled, you can submit your pre-application online to SEF, the Portuguese immigration authority. Your Golden Visa consultant can do this on your behalf, and will let you know if any documents are missing. Assuming all is in place, you can expect your SEF biometrics appointment date to be issued within 3 months.
STEP 7: ATTEND YOUR SEF BIOMETRICS APPOINTMENT
After analyzing your Golden Visa pre-application - and assuming everything is in order - SEF will require you to schedule a biometrics appointment. You then need to attend an in-person appointment at the SEF branch in question, along with any dependents, to have your biometric data captured and formalize your Golden Visa application.
STEP 8: RECEIVE YOUR GOLDEN VISA RESIDENCY
Within a period of 2 to 3 weeks after your SEF appointment, your Golden Visa residency cards will be issued by the Portuguese authorities. Your law firm or Golden Visa consultant will collect these and ensure you receive them. Your residency cards are initially valid for two years. After the first renewal, they'll be good for 3 years at a time.
STEP 9: RENEW YOUR RESIDENCY PERMIT AFTER 2 YEARS
Once you've held legal residency for 5 years, you can apply for Portuguese permanent residency (PR) or citizenship. To apply for citizenship, you must speak basic Portuguese and show real-world ties to the country. Alternatively, you can simply continue renewing your GV residency, but then you'll have to maintain your investment.
Why choose to work with us?
✓ A track record of success – over 350 immigration clients successfully assisted.
✓ A 1-stop shop for Portuguese Golden Visas - Property, Artistic Production, GV Funds, Artistic Production Funding, etc. ).
✓ Based in Portugal with trusted service provider relationships countrywide.
✓ Value-added services: Bank account opening, NIF applications, Social Security registration, rental contract review, SEF appointment bookings and accompaniment, drivers license applications - and a lot more.
✓ Key operations based in Braga, with representation in Lisbon and Porto.
Secure your Plan B with a Portuguese Golden Visa from only €200,000. Contact us today.
DID YOU KNOW?
During 2022, year-to-date, Americans were the top recipient nation for Portuguese Golden Visas, accounting for 18.5% of total approved applications...
Russian citizens: The ban on Russian applicants will not last forever. Get in touch now to join the waitlist and get served first once it becomes possible again.