Portugal Golden Visa Program 2021:
The Ultimate Guide

Looking to obtain Portuguese residency by investment in 2021? Established in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa Program is one of the world’s flagship investment residency programs.

With eligible investment options priced from only €280,000, it is also one of the most affordable EU Golden Visas on the market.

Find out more about the program’s benefits below, or complete the enquiry form to request a consultation with a Portuguese immigration specialist.

Compare ALL Citizenship-By-Investment Options At A Glance...

Download our Citizenship By Investment Comparison Sheet to see at a glance which options are right for you…

Citizenship By Investment Program Comparison

It could potentially help you save tens — or even hundreds of thousands — of Dollars by picking the best passport for your personal situation at the lowest price.

Inside, you’ll find…

  • The differences between the programs (number of visa-free countries, price, investment options, taxation, …)
  • Which countries you can enter without a visa with each passport (and the differences between them)
  • And much, much more

The Portuguese Golden Visa at a glance

Legal basis: Ordinance No. 305-A / 2012 of October 4, 2012, and the updated Act 63/2015, in particular. 

Known in Portuguese as the “Autorização de Residência para atividade de Investimento” (ARI), the Golden Visa program enables foreign nationals to obtain Portuguese residency by investing in property or creating jobs. 

Launched in 2012, the program has become one of the most popular investor residency programs of its kind in the world. As of November 2020, the program has processed over 8,000 primary applicants and around 15,000 dependents on the basis of investments worth over €5.2 billion.

The Golden Visa offers a clear path to citizenship, subject to meeting the program requirements and being able to pass a basic Portuguese language proficiency test. You don’t need to be fluent, the requirement is only A2 level. You can also meet this requirement by submitting an appropriate diploma from a language school or college, etc. 

The first Golden Residency holders were naturalized during 2019. That means it only took them a maximum of seven years, soup-to-nuts, to gain citizenship. Contrast that with neighboring Spain, which normally requires a decade or more to become a citizen.

To date, around 50% of total applicants were Chinese, however the program has also proven popular among Turkish, Russian, South African and Brazilian nationals. The pandemic has negatively impacted the Portuguese program, however to a lesser degree than reported by other European countries offering Golden Visas.

The Portuguese Golden Visa recently received a welcome boost from the announcement that Portugal was on track to enter an E-2 Treaty with the USA. This treaty agreement will permit Portuguese citizens to invest in or start a business in the US, and live there on a long-term, non-settlement basis.

While the program has been of immense value to Portugal, it has also received local criticism as one of the key factors contributing to rocketing property prices in Lisbon and Porto. A number of local press outlets reported in late 2019 that the government was considering scrapping these two cities as eligible locations for Golden Visa investments.

However, given the impact of COVID-19 on their tourism driven economy, these plans appear to have been put on ice until further notice…

A word of caution…

Investment residency and citizenship programs are constantly going through changes. Sometimes they become more expensive (USA EB-5 and Malta Residency Visa Program)…

Sometimes they become more difficult to qualify for… And sometimes, they can get terminated at short notice (Cyprus and Moldova).

Applicants who are already in the process of applying are typically approved and grandfathered in, provided that they meet all relevant program criteria… while those who didn’t apply in time lose out. 

So if you’re considering applying for any investment residency or citizenship program, it is advisable to act immediately so as to avoid missing the boat…

While the “standard” Golden Visa property investment requirement is €500,000, you also have the option to invest only €350,000 in a property, provided that it is 30 years or older or situated in a government specified urban regeneration zone.

We’ll discuss all of the investment options available in more detail below…

Interested in learning more?

Sovereign Man Confidential offers step-by-step guidance on gaining second residency or citizenship by investment – in many instances, without the need for significant investments. 

Find out more about the many benefits of Sovereign Man Confidential membership here.

Key program benefits

While it is not the cheapest investment residency program in Europe, the Portuguese Golden Visa program has increasingly been leaving competing EU programs in the dust – and with good reason. 

Consider the following advantages of choosing Portugal as your own back-up plan…

1. The perfect Plan B destination:

Portugal is one of the best travel and second home locations in the world. Offering visa-free travel to 26 EU countries, security, stability and a low cost of living, Portuguese residency ticks most of the boxes for a lot of people.

2. Low minimum stay requirements:

With a minimum stay requirement of only 1 week per year, the Golden Visa program is the ultimate back-up plan in case things go seriously wrong in your home country.

3. Bring your family:

Include your spouse, children under 18, and even your financially dependent parents over the age of 66 under your Golden Visa application.

4. Attractive taxation regime:

Benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime – enjoy preferential low tax rates for the first 10 years. Portugal also has no wealth taxes.

5. Proven road to citizenship:

After having maintained your Golden Visa residency for a period of five years, you’ll become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and a passport (subject to passing the basic Portuguese language test).

6. Work in Portugal (if you want to):

Unlike as is the case in Greece, both you and your spouse are allowed to work in Portugal under the Golden Visa program — should you choose to.

7. No educational requirements:

Unlike with many other residency by investment programs, having a tertiary qualification is not a prerequisite to apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal.

8. Peace of mind:

The Portuguese Golden Visa program is one of the most established and respected investment residency programs in the world. Working with a reputable investment immigration firm, you can obtain Portuguese residency safely and with ease.

Golden Visa investment options 2021

As of 16 November 2020, investors have the following investment options for obtaining the Portugal Golden Visa. Applicants need only choose one:

Property Investment

  • €500,000+ in property, or;
  • €350,000+ in property (30 years old and requiring upgrades, OR situated in Urban Regeneration Zone), or;
  • The €350,000+ may be reduced by 20% to only €280,000, provided the property is situated in a sparsely populated area (less than 100 inhabitants per sq. km., or where the GDP per capita is below 75% of the national average).

Job Creation

Create at least 10 full time, sustainable jobs for Portuguese citizens.

Fund Investments

Invest €350,000+ in investment funds or venture capital fund of funds, in line with the program’s regulations.

Capital Transfers:

Transfer at least €1 million into a Portuguese bank account; invest in other qualifying securities as outlined here.

Research Investments

Invest a minimum of €350,000 in research activities conducted by either public or private institutions to create scientific or technological advances that benefit Portugal.

Green Investments

Invest €500,000+ in green technologies,  renewable energy, carbon offsetting or low-density agriculture.

Additional program requirements

In addition to making the requisite investment, you also have to meet the following requirements to obtain Portuguese residency under the program.

To be eligible to apply, you have to:

  • Be a citizen of a country outside of the EU and the European Economic Area
  • Be 18 years or older at the date of application
  • Have a clean criminal record in your country of origin (or current residence)
  • Be of good international standing (you are not allowed to be on any international watch lists)
  • Have comprehensive, EU-wide health insurance cover, both for yourself and your dependent family members
  • Prove that the funds being used for the investment were legally obtained

The application process at a glance

Given that a large percentage of applicants opt to buy a residential property on the open market when applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa, the entire process typically takes at least 12 months to complete.

The application process typically looks like this:

  • Step 1: Select and contract your preferred Portuguese investment migration firm
  • Step 2: Work with your case advisor in compiling your application file
  • Step 3: Complete the requisite investment to qualify for the program
  • Step 4: Book your consular appointment
  • Step 5: Submit your application and supporting documents
  • Step 6: Receive approval and your Portuguese residency permit.

Ready? Start your Portugal Golden Visa application today.

Investments from only €280,000. Fees from around €30,000.
Contact us now for more information.

Copy link