New Portugal Golden Visa Options 2022

ALL of the 2022 Program Options at a Glance

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 also.

Below, we highlight all of the important Golden Visa investment options for 2022. We also include a number of comparative perspectives to help you determine which of the options could be right for you.

CRYPTO PAYMENTS NOW ACCEPTED FOR GOLDEN VISAS.

What are the new Golden Visa investment requirements for 2022?

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

€280,000 (~$293,690+) – €500,000+ (~$524,450+)

INVESTMENT FUNDS

€500,000+ (~$524,450)

JOB CREATION

€500,000+ (~$524,450)

CULTURAL PRODUCTION

€200,000+ (~$209,780); €250,000+ (~$262,255)

CAPITAL TRANSFER

€1.5 million (~$1,573,100)

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

€500,000+ (~$524,450)

COMPANY SETUP

€500,000+ (~$524,450)

HQA VISA

€175,000+ (~$183,557)

Comparing your various investment options…

Program Track Minimum Investment Key Benefits Key Disadvantages

REAL ESTATE GOLDEN VISA

(Depending on property’s age and location):

  • Residential real estate in Lisbon, Porto, Algarve and coastal areas is NOT eligible for the Golden Visa program.
  • Commercial property in these areas, however, do qualify.

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).

€280,000 (~$293,690+);

€350,000+ (~$367,110+);

€400,000+ (~$419,560+);

€500,000+; (~$524,450+)

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.

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+; (~$524,450) 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).

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)

Governmental Program Guidance: Job Creation option

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…

CULTURAL PRODUCTION GOLDEN VISA

(Either donation based or film production investment based).

NOTE: We presently have only a handful of €200;000 Artistic Production client slots available for a project in the Portuguese interior. Targeted yield of 4%.

Contact us now to avoid missing out.

Governmental Program Guidance: Cultural Production option

€250,000+ (~$262,255);

OR:

€200,000+ (~$209,780) 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).

The Cultural Production track is the only GV option to feature a fast, pre-approval processonly 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.)

This is a brand new program with no track record of investors gaining their Golden Visas or making a profit – yet.

You should therefore expect some process related teething issues and/or delays. The application process should be much simpler than with real estate investments,

While feature film funding investments traditionally carry significant downside risks, innovative pre-selling of content to distribution networks can significantly mitigate such risks.

As 2020 and 2021 have shown, pandemics can wreak havoc with film and TV production schedules. Future pandemic disruptions could delay any potential return on investments, and may also negatively effect the investment’s overall performance.

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES GOLDEN VISA

Governmental Program Guidance: Research Funding option

€500,000+; (~$524,450) 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

€500,000+; (~$524,450),

AND:

Create 5 new permanent job positions (if a new company)

OR:

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)

Discover the benefits of Portugal’s Highly Qualified Activity Visa program here.

€175,000+; (~$183,557) 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

Governmental Program Guidance: Capital Transfer option.

€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 potential 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.

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Golden Visa vs D7 Visa: Which would be best for you?

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CONSIDERATION GOLDEN VISA D7 VISA
Minimum Investment €350,000+ €0
Application Process Duration 9 – 12 months 3 – 4 months
Family Eligibility Yes  Yes
Road to Permanent Residency & Citizenship Yes Yes
Minimum In-Country Stay Requirement Per Yer 1 Week 6 Months
Portuguese Language Test Required No No
Non-Habitual Residency Program Eligibility Yes Yes
Professional Services Fees €30,000+ From €3,495 
Passive Income Required No Yes

Additional program requirements and documents list

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 clients successfully assisted.

✓ Established, trusted service provider relationships in Portugal

✓ A commitment to helping clients find the most affordable solutions for their needs, always.

✓ One-stop shop for moving to Portugal - we offer application services for the D2, D7, HQA Visa and Golden Visa (including the Cultural Production option).

✓  Value-added services: Bank account opening, NIFs, 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 (Porto representation launching in Q3 2022).

Lock in your Plan B with a Portuguese Golden Visa from only €250,000. Contact us today.

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 Golden Visa overview compiled by...

    Andre Bothma Author
    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. 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. He is also one of the earliest global promoters of the HQA Visa Program. Andre spends half his time in Porto, Portugal.
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