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How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022

01 February 2022

What is the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Portugal Golden Visa Program, also known as the Residence Permit Program, is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme designed for non-EU citizens. To date, this is one of the most sought-after alternatives for those who are seeking freedom, comfort, business and family security, asset security, quality healthcare and education systems, and much more!

flag of Portugal

The stats speak for themselves. Since its foundation, the Portuguese passport has attracted more than 10,000 investors from all over the globe. Many other countries lag in terms of this indicator, which means Portugal is high in demand. Only last year, 865 investors got Portugal residence permits. On the contrary, a Spanish residence permit faces a significant decrease.  Just 232 applicants in the first half of 2021. The same goes for the Italian Investor Visa “La Dolce Visa,” which saw only 40 applications in the same year. Too sad.

From January 1, 2022, changes to the Portugal Golden Visa came into force. 

Find out all the details and get the best offers during a free consultation with our immigration expert!

History of the Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa Program was launched in October 2012. The main objective was to attract quality foreign direct investments to the country. It was much in need after the 2008 economic crisis. And the Portugal Golden Visa was a clever move. The program went down like a bomb, raising €5,5 billion in just eight years. So the government just hit the spot with this initiative.

Golden Visa Program isn’t a new thing. As it was stated above, many countries offer their residence permit. However, Portugal has this something that goes right to people’s hearts.

Since the inception of the Portugal Golden Visa Program, thousands of families have relocated to Portugal. They started new lives. They opened up new opportunities. And all these changes cannot but rejoice.

So in this guide, you’ll learn:

  1. Why are non-EU citizens applying in the hundreds?
  2. Why is the Portuguese Golden Visa so in-demand?
  3. What are the benefits of this program?
  4. What areas of Portugal qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa?
  5. What is the difference between low-density and interior areas, and why  does this matter?
  6. And much more!
  7. Sit down, relax, and embrace the beautiful world of Portugal!

 Beauty of Portugal

TOP benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa

The benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program are one of the main reasons why foreign investors are so eager to seek a residency permit exactly in this country. Naturally, one of the winning benefits is that your dependent family can be included in the application. However, the rest cannot be overlooked either.

So why should you put Portugal first?

  1. The fastest way to get European Union citizenship (for your family and you)
  2. Visa free access to the Schengen area and the right to live, work, and study in Portugal
  3. Low stay requirement (only 7 days a year)
  4. Relatively affordable investment options
  5. Beneficial tax regime (NHR) for 10 years
  6. 100% return on investment with preservation of Portuguese residency (for some options) 
  7. Minimum investment from €250,000. Or €280,000 (for real estate) 
  8. Family members can be included in the application
  9. Great international and Portuguese schools and universities
  10. International quality healthcare clinics and hospitals
  11. No Portuguese language test (no need to know Portuguese language)
  12. Portugal is one of the most favorable countries for business
  13. Live in a safe country with affordable living costs and high quality of life

As you can see, the Golden Visa scheme has much to offer. This country never ceases to impress.

Just one thing as proof: Portugal was the first country to introduce a “game-changing” remote working legislation. The Portuguese government banned bosses from texting workers after business hours. Progressive? What do you think?

Actually, Covid has led investors to reevaluate their motives for investing. As a result, many people are now focusing on their families and healthy lifestyle rather than on benefits to their professional endeavors.

Portugal is also considered the 5th best country for wealthy retirees, according to US Ranking. Just read this inspiring story of the US entrepreneur, John Bandak, who relocated to the sunny Algarve.

How to start your path to getting a residence permit in Portugal?

Begin with an individual free consultation with Migronis experts!

Portuguese Golden Visa Options

Portuguese Golden Visa offers different options.

Real Estate Acquisition

The most popular option. Actually, more than 90% of applicants chose to get Golden Visa this way.

  1. Acquire real estate for at least €500,000
  2. In a low-density area, the price drops to €400,000
  3. Real estate in the Portuguese urban rehabilitation area will cost — €350,000. Must be at least 30 years old and be a renovation project
  4. The lowest price is in a low-density area — €280,000. The real estate should be also at least 30 years old and be a renovation project

For a full list of low-density areas that qualify for golden visa residents, see our map in section Low-density vs. High-density areas. Also, this section explores more detailed information on purchasing real estate in Portugal, where are the best places to buy, and why.

Capital transfer

In light of the ensuing changes, this option has become one of the most attractive. Transfer of at least €1,5 million to get permanent residency in Portugal. Compared to real estate, making a direct investment will save you time  and money. Simple and straightforward.

Donation

The cheapest option of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program. Support the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with at least €250,000.

Fun fact: throughout the whole life of the Portuguese Golden Visa, only one person got cultural heritage contribution-based Golden Visa. This is the cheapest option one so far. But applicants usually choose the real estate investment.

Wanna be the second lucky?

Job Creation (Entrepreneur Option)

The most overlooked option. However, if you fit the bill, you could definitely save your €500,000 and still get your permanent residence.

  1. Create and maintain 10 permanent jobs to qualify for Portugal's Golden Visa. The company should be owned by you as the main applicant.
  2. As for low-density areas, it will suffice to create 8 jobs
  3. You can also invest €500,000 in an existing business in Portugal and create five permanent jobs here

Does the Entrepreneur option suit everyone?

This option best fits certain types of entrepreneurs. They are growing their business or running it overseas. Maybe they don't want to spend their whole time in the new country, but Portugal's Golden Visa makes it fully possible. As for the smaller scale businesses, we advise seeing the alternatives.

Scientific Research

Make an investment of at least €500,000 in private scientific research institutions.

Golden Visa Presentation

We have prepared a presentation with a detailed description of how to obtain the Portugal Golden Visa!

 

How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis
How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis

Portugal Golden Visa Requirements

To qualify for Portugal's Golden Visa Program, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Be either non-EAA, non-EU, or non-Swiss. 

This simply means that a Portuguese citizen or a citizen of any EU or EEA country can't make a Portugal Golden Visa application.

It was known that earlier most of the applicants were Chinese. This number has decreased since Russia, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, and most other countries got in the game. At the same time, stats show that number of applicants from other countries (other than these five) is steadily on the rise in recent years!

  1. So the first thing to do is choose a suitable investment option and make an investment

If you choose a real estate investment route, as this is the most popular piece, then you should know that there are several ways. On the one hand, you can make a real estate investment as an independent individual. But on the other hand, you can be a qualifying legal entity.

Whatever you choose, it's better not to use your offshore company because of hefty transaction taxes.

  1. Have a clean criminal record
  2. Provide the necessary documentation

Portuga's processing is more straightforward than most CBI programs. What is more, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can do everything online. Apply online through the Immigration and Borders Services portal, or just seek legal assistance to save yourself the hassle.

  1. Fulfill the minimum residence requirement (7-14 days)

You should spend at least 14 days during the first 2 years. Then you need to renew your permit, and during the next 3 years, your stay requirement is only 3 weeks in the country. To put it simply, you can spend only 7 days per year in Portugal.

  1. Pay fees

You can pay all relevant fees via the Single Collection Document.

That's all! Just do it, and become one step closer to making your dreams happen.

Golden Gate Bridge

Who is eligible for a Golden Visa in Portugal?

While some basic requirements were listed earlier, now it's time to find out who is eligible for a Portugal Golden Visa?

As the main applicant, you may extend your Portugal Golden Visa to your family. Following members can be included:

  1. Spouse
  2. Children under the age of 18
  3. Dependent children under the age of 26 (if they are full-time students and not married)
  4. Dependent parents of the main applicant 65+

By no means Portugal is a progressive country. Another evidence is that same-sex partners can also be included in the Portugal Golden Visa application.

Changes to the Golden Visa Program in Portugal in 2022

The Portugal government has finalized new regulations concerning Golden Visa in Portugal. The objective of recent changes is to promote urban rehabilitation and offer the investor a series of benefits for contributing to the property's renovation in return. However, the main point of Golden Visa changes is to raise investment in the low-density areas. With Lisbon and Porto thriving, Portugal wants to focus on developing the property market in other regions. This should help the Portuguese economy.

There will be a transition period to allow anyone who has applied before 2022 to finalize their applications. However, keep in mind that Portugal Golden Visa changes have already come into effect.

One of the biggest changes affected the real estate market.

Real estate changes:

  1. Investors won't be able to buy residential real estate in high-density areas (such as Porto, Algarve, or coastal towns like Silver Coast)
  2. A residential property can be bought in low-density areas of Portugal The minimum investment starts from €500,000 or €350,000 in case of investing in a rehabilitation project
  3. Golden Visa applicants can buy commercial property anywhere in Portugal. The minimum investment starts from €500,000 or €350,000 in case of investing in a commercial rehabilitation project
  4. Both types of properties are available for the Golden Visa scheme in Portugal's autonomous islands — Madeira and Azores. The minimum investment starts from €500,000 or €350,000 in case of investing  in a rehabilitation project

The approved changes also refer to other aspects:

  1. Investment by capital transfer  increased from  €1,000,000 to €1,500,000
  2. Investment in research activities  increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  3. Investment by capital transfer for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds, designated for the capitalization of companies,  increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  4. Investment in existing Portugal-based business increased from €350,000 to €500,000

What Will Not Change?

  1. Art-donation option remained the same €250,000
  2. You can also set up a Portuguese company and hire at least 10 new employees

The real estate changes are closely linked to understanding of the entirely new conepts — low-density and high-density areas. Knowing these terms may help you to figure out what kind of real estate you can buy  and under what conditions.

Want a Portugese Resident permit? Calculate how much does it cost!

Low-density vs. High-density areas

Low-density and high-density areas are the most important concepts in the Golden Visa in Portugal. At least for real estate investments.

One of the reasons is that investing in property in a “low density” area means a 20% discount. So this option is cheaper.

But how can you tell whether the region you like is low-density? Let's get this sorted out!

High-density areas are those where you can buy commercial real estate to qualify for the Golden Visa in Portugal. These are big cities like Lisbon, Porto, etc. 

By contrast, low-density areas are defined as the territory units with less than 100 inhabitants per square km or a GDP per capita that is 75% or less than the national average. Here you can buy both residential and commercial property. But note that residential real estate can be bought only in these regions.

Thus, there are no location restrictions for commercial real estate. However, residential property can be obtained only in low-density areas.

The most popular low-density areas in Portugal

Alentejo, Beja, Viseu, Évora, Peneda-Gerês, and the Douro Valley are popular spots among tourists, and they offer affordable property prices.

TOP interesting facts about the low-density areas

  1. Alentejo is one of the top wine regions in Portugal. This region even has been named the Tuscany of Portugal
  2. Alentejo is home to the two UNESCO World Heritage sites
  3. Evora is a museum city with roots dating back to Roman times

Benefits of low-density areas

  1. Many attractive areas, like part of the Algarve or Silver Coast region, are defined as low-density areas
  2. You can save on your investment
  3. In these regions, you can buy bigger real estate because the prices are lower (2-3 units to rent)
  4. Even in these areas, prices have grown at least 5% per year. Portugal Golden Visa changes are expected to alter the market demand even more
  5. These areas are great for new beginnings, offering a high quality of life
  6. These are promising areas to develop eco-tourism and wellness

Commercial vs. Residential property

You might set your sight on commercial property. Or quite the opposite.

Whatever you choose, we want to focus your attention on each option.

  1. €280,000 —The property needs to be older than 30 years old, located in a low-density area, and subject to renovation
  2. €350,000 — Commercial rehabilitation projects in high-density areas
  3. €400,000 — New commercial properties in low-density areas
  4. €500,000 — New commercial properties in high-density areas (including Lisbon, Porto, Algarve)

Important! Commercial real estate also includes the opportunity to invest in hotel shares throughout the country. You invest in apartments, make a profit, and get a residence permit in Portugal. However, you cannot become the owner of these apartments.

Also, pay attention! Investors can continue to make qualifying investment for the residential and commercial properties in Madeira and Azores.

 Tower, Lisbon

Documents required for a Portugal Golden Visa

Here you can see the full list of documents you need to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Each and every one of them is important. So study them carefully not to miss anything important. 

  1. Birth certificate issued within the last 6 months (notarized copy + apostille)

Note! There is no such requirement in the official sources. However, sometimes SEF asks to send a more recent copy when submitting old documents

  1. International passport /Passport  (all documents should be issued within the last 6 months)

You need to provide a high-quality scan of all pages (sent to mail or chat, no need to print)

  1. Police clearance

A certificate from the country of citizenship is required for all applicants over the age of 16.

  1. Marriage certificate issued within the last 6 months (notarized copy + apostille)
  2. Declaration of cohabitation (if marriage is not registered)

A notarial form stating how many years you have been running a common household (Notarial statement + apostille).

Note! This requirement is also not listed in the official sources. However, if the marriage is not registered officially, then we recommend that you show the SEF as many documents as possible proving the joint household.

  1. Certificate of cohabitation

Document from a local authority stating that you have been living together for a certain time (Original document).

Note! This document is also not required officially.  The alternative is a joint tenancy agreement, joint bank account, hotel reservations for the last 2 years, etc.

  1. Certificate of marital status (Original document + apostille)
  2. Certificate of graduation (Notarial copy + apostille)
  3. Proof of dependency (for children)

Notarized letter confirming financial dependence of children written by the main applicant. Examples of accompanying documents: bank statements confirming the transfer of expenses for living, education, etc (The original document for children over 18).

  1. Proof of dependency (for parents)

Documents from any bank, Portuguese or foreign, on transfers to the parent's account, pension certificate, certificate of cohabitation, etc.

  1. Personal tax reference number (Notarial copy + apostille)
  2. Permission to obtain a permanent residence (for a child)

Consent is given by the other parent who is not participating in the program. A sample document is sent upon request (Notarial copy + apostille).

  1. A power of attorney for a child

(Notarial copy + apostille)

Consent is given by the other parent who is not participating in the program. A sample document is sent upon request.

Document guidelines

When you attach documents on the API portal, they should be in PDF format and a maximum of 4MB. In addition, the documents should be either in English or Portuguese. Otherwise, you need to send them to a certified translator and notarize this translation.

For more details, read our guide, where the best professionals in the field of Citizenship- and Residenship-by-Investment programs can help you to work out any difficulties.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Step 1: Decide on your investment option.

First things first. Portugal has 5 Golden Visa investment options, and each of them comes with various benefits and opportunities. Study everything thoroughly. Or consult with a licensed migration agency, such as Migronis.

A little hint: More than 90% of applicants have chosen a real estate investment. Nevertheless, try to consider all the variants.

  1. Step 2: Prepare documentation.

You need to gather all the documents for yourself, as the main applicant, and for all your dependents if you have any. Remember, all documents should be translated into English or Portuguese and notarized. This task you can delegate to your lawyers, and they help alleviate the boredom of this process.

  1. Step 3: Get a NIF and Open a Portuguese Bank Account.

These tasks are both important for a Golden Visa application.

  1. Step 4: End up with your investment.

To proceed with the Portuguese Golden Visa, it's highly important to make a qualifying investment. At this stage, you are welcome to pay up and lock in your investment in Portugal.

  1. Step 5: Submit Pre-Application.

If you've made a qualifying investment and done all the paperwork, you are ready to submit your pre-application online to SEF. In the majority of cases, your lawyers can do this on your behalf.

Standardly, this process takes up to 2 months from the time you submit documents.

  1. Step 6: Schedule and attend your SEF appointment.

If everything goes well, SEF will offer a set of available dates to make a biometric appointment. After that, you and your dependents need to be present physically at the corresponding SEF office. Here you'll submit your fingerprints, and this makes your application official.

  1. Step 7: Get Golden Visa.

Finally! You and other Golden Visa applicants (associated with the main one) can now receive Golden Visas.

Your legal representative will collect the cards and send them to you. Remember: each Portugal Golden Visa card is valid for 2 years. So you need to renew it at the end of the validity period.

  1. Step 8: Become a Portuguese citizen.

At the end of a 5-year period, you are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Become a Portuguese citizen

Applying for a Portugal Golden Visa

  1. The first step is receiving your Golden Visa Application. To do this, register online with the SEF’s portal. In case you signed an agreement with a legal representative, and they are applying instead of you, the ARI Portal will help out
  2. Complete the online application form
  3. Upload all the necessary documents. The set of documents varies depending on your type of investment.
  4. Confirm the submission of your application
  5. Pay the Golden Visa application fee. It is important that you can pay all fees via a single document —  Single Collection Document (DUC)
  6. To proceed, wait for some time for confirmation from the SEF. They'll schedule your appointment.
  7. Login to the ARI portal and go to the “Calendar” section
  8. Select a suitable date and time for your appointment.
  9. Print out the schedule receipt.
  10. Visit the selected SEF service desk and submit your biometric data (the physical copies of the required documents are also required).

Fees and Costs

Apart from the Golden Visa investment, you make all necessary fees. Maybe it doesn't taste like a pound cake, but it is essential. These fees are the price you should pay to get the best of the best.

One of the things to understand is that this investment program is not built on the pay and go principle. Golden Visa is not like entering the embassy, flashing some papers around, paying a $100 fee, and that's it. It requires a bit more effort and is designated for wealthy investors.

While it all depends on your investment type, it is still safe to say that you will pay about 9%-10% of your investment in fees. The most part comes from the Property Transfer Tax (in case you are investing in real estate).

All fees are divided into government and legal.

Government fees

Government fees  When you need to pay         Amount
Processing Fee         At the beginning and at each renewal €533 (+ €83.30 /dependent)
Initial Application Fee Only at the beginning      q€5,325 per individual
Renewal Application Fee At each renewal €2,663 per individual

Legal fees

Legal fees depend on your lawyers. These fees can be between €10,000-30,000 for a family of 4. The sum covers a five-year span. The good thing is that you don't need to pay in advance. It all depends on the completed tasks within the five years.

Portugal Golden Visa is a sizable investment, so it is always good to seek the best in the field to reduce all the risks. Migronis would be happy to guide you through all the application steps required to apply for the program successfully.

Costs

The cost of the Portugal Golden Visa is usually pegged to the investment route. And yes, Golden Visa does not come without a hefty price tag.

Here it is important to understand that Portugal Golden Visa investors are people of means who wish to be open for major world opportunities.

Portugal Golden Visa like Mercedes-Benz S-Class. And Mercedes-Benz S-Class is never cheap.

People choose it because of its quality and reliability. We don't want to drive

One way or another, the Portuguese Golden Visa cost starts from €250,000. So this is a minimum you should pay to change your life for the better. 

Wanna lower your tax burden? Then Portugal is just your place

The Validity of Portugal Golden Visa

Golden Visa is initially granted for 1 year. There are 2 renewals that happen after the 1st and 3rd years. Each renewal lasts for 2 years. After the 5th year, you can request a permanent stay, and the good news is that no extension is needed in the future. What is more, you can also request Portuguese citizenship at the end of that period.

Statistics on Portugal Golden Visa

During 2012-2021, Portugal's Golden Visa  has yielded about €5.8bn EUR from 9,767 main applicants and 16,615 family members. Below are some interesting facts and stats on the Portuguese Golden Visa.

Here you can see that the highest number of applications came from:

  1. China: 4,923 applicants
  2. Brazil: 1,021 applicants
  3. Turkey: 464 applicants
  4. South Africa: 403 applicants
  5. Russia: 375 applicants

These stats show that real estate remains the most prevalent investment option. The data was taken from the official website of Portuguese Golden Visa.

Portugal Golden Visa Statistics, by months and countries (November 2020—October 2021)

How to get Portugal Golden Visa: Definitive Guide 2022 — Migronis


What’s it like living in the Azores? Portugal

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get Portugal Golden Visa?

The processing time for the Golden Visa process is between 6-8 months.

How much is a golden visa for Portugal?

The price depends on the type of investment fund you choose, as well as your number of dependents. One should also bear in mind the fees associated with investment programs. The minimum price for a Portuguese Golden Visa starts from €250,000 (not counting Portugal Golden Visa fees).

How long can I stay in Portugal with a Golden Visa?

Portugal Golden Visa is valid for 5 years. But note: you should renew it after certain periods. After the 5-year period, you can either get Portuguese citizenship or a residence permit.

Can You Get Portugal Citizenship by Investment?

Unfortunately, you can't get Portuguese Citizenship-by-Investment. Portuguese Golden Visa is a five-year residence by investment program designed for non-EU citizens.

Interested in more detailed information?

  1. We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision
  2. We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the
  3. investor’s goal
  4. We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries
  5. Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about any additional fees and expenses
  6. We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chance of obtaining the desired citizenship
  7. We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result
  8. We are in touch 24/7

Curious? Don't hesitate to get in touch with our manager!

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