The Golden Visa scheme runs across many countries in the European Union, including Greece, Spain, and Portugal and aims to allow any non-EU citizen to obtain temporary residency in the country through their financial investment that can eventually lead to permanent residence or citizenship.
In October 2012, Portugal launched their Golden Visa Scheme with the main aim of attracting international capital to help its financial situation after it went into recession circa 2008. The scheme has since raised €6 billion for the Portuguese economy. The scheme, similar to how it is run in other parts of Europe, allows people the opportunity to become permanent residents of Portugal in just 5 years.
This is our complete guide on the Portuguese Golden Visa and how you could get one by investing in Portuguese real estate. If you just want to look at properties in Portugal take a look at Silver Coast Properties in Portugal.
How do I qualify for the Golden Visa in Portugal?
The Golden Visa has investment criteria that must be met. Investment categories include purchasing properties, transfer of capital, starting a business in Portugal, and donation. It is important to note that you must own the money you wish to invest. All these criteria have different minimum requirements of investment to qualify for.
The most popular route to obtaining residency is by buying a house in Portugal.
How much must I spend on the property to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa?
Unlike the Golden Visa scheme in Spain which has a fixed baseline of €500,000, the requirements to qualify in Portugal are dependent on the property that you purchase and its location.
The baseline for a standard property is a minimum of €500,000 investment. However, if this property is in a low-density area, you get a 20% reduction to a €400,000 minimum.
You also have the option to purchase real estate that is older than 30 years old, in an urban area that is being rehabilitated and you renovate it, your minimum requirement drops again to €350,000. Similarly, if this property is in a low-density area, the minimum amount drops by 20% again to €280,000. This is one of the lowest minimum investments to qualify for a Golden Visa across the whole of Europe.
Additionally, the purchase doesn’t have to be a singular property. You can purchase multiple properties and as long as the total amount meets the minimum amount you will qualify for the visa. You can also split the payment between multiple people, as long as both parties pay an amount that meets the minimum requirement to qualify. For Example, if two people buy a property worth €1,000,000 they must pay €500,000 each to both qualify for their golden visas.
Can I travel around Europe with my Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa will give you the right to travel around the EU’s Schengen area. After your 5 years of temporary residence, you can apply for citizenship which will give you a Portuguese passport. This will give you visa-free access to 188 countries.
Do I have to move countries if I get a Golden Visa?
Getting a Portuguese Golden Visa doesn’t mean that you have to move overseas to Portugal. In order to keep your permanent residence permit, the visa requires you to stay in the country for a minimum average of 7 days a year.
However, the Visa does give you the complete right to live, work, and study in Portugal. If you choose to move full-time, you will need to have some valid medical insurance but you will gain access to all public services (inclusive of education and healthcare). Your visa comes with a work permit to be able to work anywhere or even start up your own business.
Who will my Golden Visa Cover?
Your golden visa to Portugal will cover yourself and any of your immediate family. Such as your spouse, your children under the age of 18, or if you have any dependent children aged 18-26 (provided they are in full-time education and aren’t married). The visa applicants' parents are also covered as long as they are aged over 65.
Will I Have to Pay Income Tax?
A Golden Visa doesn’t immediately mean that you become a tax-paying resident of Portugal.
You are not required to pay income tax unless you spend more than 183 days (over half the year) in Portugal per annum. However, the Portuguese tax system is favourable towards foreign residents as it offers certain tax exemptions for the first 10 years of your residency. However, you will have to pay tax on any income related to your investment if it generates any income. For example, if you were to rent out the property you initially invested in, you would be required to pay rental income taxes.
What is the process for getting a Golden Visa for Portugal?
The process of becoming a permanent resident or citizen through your Golden Visa can be a lot quicker in Portugal than in other countries that offer the Golden Visa scheme as it only takes 5 years.
Years 1 and 2
Your first two years of holding your golden visa require that you maintain your initial investment, such as property ownership and you must also spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal over those two years. After these years, you can renew it for three more years.
Years 3 to 5
Once you have renewed your visa, the next three years also require you to keep your investment, and also you must spend a minimum of 21 days in Portugal over those three years.
At the end of these five years you are given multiple options:
- You can apply for permanent residency in Portugal
- You can apply for Portuguese Citizenship
- Continue with your Golden Visa as a temporary resident
If you do choose to become a permanent resident or citizen, you are no longer required to maintain your initial investment
Potential Scrapping of the Golden Visa Scheme in Portugal (2022)
It is worth noting that at the start of November 2022, the Portuguese government did express its intention to scrap this scheme. It has yet to be confirmed, however, prime minister Antonio Costa, said: ‘(The Golden Visa Scheme) has probably fulfilled its function’. This makes the current time the perfect opportunity to apply for the Golden Visa whilst it is still available.
Russian nationals have already been suspended from the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme due to the political conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.