10 Questions on Portugal's Golden Visa Programme

02 Oct 2023

According to the Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), the Portugal Golden Visa program has generated over €7.1 billion in investment for Portugal since it was launched in 2012. Of this amount, over €6.3 billion was invested in real estate.

Question 1: What is the Golden Visa Programme?

Portugal’s Golden Visa programme is essentially a government scheme which offers citizens of non-European Union countries the opportunity to obtain residency – and potentially, citizenship – in Portugal once they have invested in Portuguese property. It is dealt with by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, or the Servico de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) and has helped Portugal generate foreign investment and employment in the country.

Porto, Portugal - September 25, 2013: View to Porto riverside. The Douro riverside is full of nice colorful old houses with restaurants to have a small break and enjoy the day.

Question 2: What are the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program?

The benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program include:

  1. The right to live, work, and study in Portugal
  2. Free movement within the Schengen Area
  3. The possibility of obtaining Portuguese citizenship after five years

Question 3: Who is eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa program?

To be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa program, applicants must be non-EU citizens and must make one of the following investments:

  • Purchase of real estate worth at least €500,000 (€280,000 or €350,000 reduced option in the low-density areas or urban regeneration areas)
  • Capital transfer of at least €1 million
  • Creation of at least 10 jobs
  • Investment of at least €350,000 in research and development
  • Investment of at least €250,000 in the arts and culture

Question 4: How much does the Portugal Golden Visa program cost?

The cost of the Portugal Golden Visa program depends on the type of investment that is made. For example, the minimum investment for real estate is €500,000, and the minimum investment for a capital transfer is €1 million.

Question 5: How to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program?

To apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program, applicants must submit a completed application form, along with supporting documentation such as a passport, proof of address, and proof of investment. Applications can be submitted online or through a Portuguese embassy or consulate.

Lisbon, Portugal cityscape in the Alfama District.

Question 6: How long does it take to get a Portugal Golden Visa?

The processing time for a Portugal Golden Visa application is typically 2-3 months. However, it is important to note that the processing time can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the workload of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

Question 7: What are the requirements for maintaining a Portugal Golden Visa?

To maintain a Portugal Golden Visa, holders must spend at least seven days in Portugal per year. Additionally, holders must renew their visa every two years. To renew their visa, holders must submit proof that they have met the residency requirement and that they have paid the applicable fees.

Question 8: Can I get Portuguese citizenship through the Golden Visa program?

Yes, holders of a Portugal Golden Visa can apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years. To apply for citizenship, holders must meet the following requirements:

  1. They must have held a Portugal Golden Visa for at least five years
  2. They must have spent at least seven days in Portugal per year during the five-year period
  3. They must have a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language and culture
  4. They must have a clean criminal record

Question 9: What are the tax implications of the Portugal Golden Visa program?

The tax implications of the Portugal Golden Visa program vary depending on the applicant's residency status and other factors.

Resident taxpayers in Portugal are subject to Portuguese income tax on their worldwide income. However, there are a number of tax benefits available to resident taxpayers, such as the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime. The NHR regime allows new residents of Portugal to benefit from a reduced tax rate on certain types of income, such as foreign-sourced pension income and foreign-sourced investment income.

Non-resident taxpayers in Portugal are only subject to Portuguese income tax on their Portuguese-sourced income.

It is important to seek professional advice from a qualified tax advisor to understand the specific tax implications of the Portugal Golden Visa program.

Question 10: Is the Portugal Golden Visa program a good investment?

Whether or not the Portugal Golden Visa program is a good investment depends on the individual applicant's circumstances and goals.

The program offers a number of benefits, such as the right to live, work, and study in Portugal, free movement within the Schengen Area, and the possibility of obtaining Portuguese citizenship after five years. However, the program also has some costs, such as the investment requirement and the application fees.

It is important to weigh the benefits and costs of the program carefully before making a decision.

If you are interested in the Portuguese Golden Visa programme, IP Global is happy to help investors through the process. Simply contact us here.

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