portugal golden visa

Portugal’s Golden Visa: Residency and Investment Opportunities

What is Golden Visa

The Golden Visa Program is merely an immigration program provided by numerous nations worldwide. The best part is that you can get residency without having to live there for a long time. The program is open to people from all over the world, from Europe to the Middle East.

Is that intriguing? Here’s a catch. In order to obtain the visa, you will need to make an investment. Wealthy individuals have the opportunity to invest in another nation through the program.

Citizenship is the next step after the investment. The amount of money required to obtain a visa varies from country to country. However, the minimum amount that is required is at least $200,000 Investment is the first step. You can then finish the application process.

This will assist you and the members of your immediate family in becoming legal residents. Without the hassle of the entire immigration program, the program has helped thousands of families obtain residency in countries like Portugal, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, Malta, Turkey, the United States of America, and the United Arab Emirates.

Let us provide you with all the necessary information regarding the Portugal Residency Program.

Portugal Golden Visa Programme

The Portugal Golden Visa Program was introduced in October 2012. It soon gained recognition all over the world. It is commonly known as the residence permit for investment activity (ARI).

It’s a project with the aim to promote investment opportunities for non-EU citizens. The scheme also provides them with the added benefit of residency.

Similar to the schemes offered by other European countries, the Portugal ARI is basically a fast-paced way to get permanent residency. It allows non-EU residents to invest or donate to recognized platforms in exchange for permanent residency. The program offers residency for up
to five years. But once you have the visa, the process for permanent residency speeds up too.

Portugal introduced the program golden and digital nomad visa during the economic downfall. The crises would have wrecked Portugal’s economy and international standing. Hence, they fund a way to save themselves. The scheme attracted thousands of international applicants who brought money to the country and got access to residency, healthcare, and education. It’s a win-win situation for both parties and that’s how it has become so popular.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced that the Government will no longer issue Golden Visas to stop real estate speculation.
After a council of ministers exclusively dedicated to housing, Antonio Costa told a journalist at the Palacio Nacional Da Ajuda in Lisbon that the government would eliminate the “granting of new Golden Visas.” Regarding the Golden Visas that have already been granted, only if they are the owners’ own and permanent home and his descendant, or if the property is placed on the rental market for a long time, the prime minister announced. (Lisbon, 17th February 2023, Source: The Portugal News)

Why Portugal Though?

We know other European and Schengen countries offer similar schemes. So, the first question that pops into our minds is why should we choose Portugal. For starters, the Golden Visa program offered by Portugal requires relatively less investment. Moreover, the application process is easier too.

Some other reasons that make Portugal a great place to live are:

  • Safety And Security: Portugal is one of the safest countries to live in. It has low crime rates including less ate crimes too. The citizens are known to be friendly to people of different ethnicities and religions. It’s a family-friendly country with people that will make you feel right at home. Also, it’s ranked the 3rd safest country to live in!
  • Moderate Climate: Living abroad has its perks and drawbacks. Yet, one of the most hated cons is the weather. The
    countries are either too cold or too hot. That’s why Portugal is the ideal choice for people who love moderate temperatures. The summers aren’t too hot so you can enjoy all you want. The winter season comes with lots of rain and snow. It’s the best time for cozy nights in front of the fireplace.
  • Affordable Cost Of Living: Unlike most European countries, living in Portugal doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. The necessities are extremely affordable. Even the things considered a luxury in other countries are available easily.
  • Rights to other EU countries: One of the best advantages of getting ARI is the right to enter and leave other EU countries as you, please. You will have all the rights of a legal citizen in Portugal and other 26 EU countries too!
  • Education And Healthcare: Portugal is famous for providing quality education and healthcare. It’s not only affordable but
    one of the best in the world. You have the option to take courses in Portuguese and English. Although, courses taught in English are comparatively more expensive. And rightfully so, to live comfortably you have got to learn the language.

Healthcare is also easily accessible to everyone. Public hospitals offer free of charge consultations with the top doctors and specialists in the country. Furthermore, health insurance covers almost all the costs if you are looking to get checked in a private clinic.

Hopefully, we have convinced you why Portugal is an ideal choice for citizenship by investment scheme. Now, let us tell you about the pros of the visa itself!

Benefits Offered By The Portugal Citizenship By Investment Program

1. Visa-free Access to Schengen Countries

One of the top benefits that attract people to Portugal ARI is that it offers visa-free access to the rest of the Schengen countries. You can travel to Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and other 188 countries without the need to apply for a different visa.

2. Quick Route To Citizenship

The Golden Visa offers a five-year stay plan which accelerates the citizenship process. You will be eligible to apply for PR with this program in no time.
Right To Pursue Education And Career The Visa Residence Program makes you a citizen. It further opens several doors and opportunities. You will have the right to live peacefully and work under any organization. You will be able to study at any of the top Portuguese universities. And you’ll be eligible for
scholarships too.

3. Access To Free Healthcare

Public hospitals in Portugal offer free healthcare to residents. You’ll be able to take advantage of the ARI program to get your rights and get access to healthcare. Short Stay Requirement Unlike other countries, the Portugal residence program has minimum requirements. They provide the opportunity to stay in your home country. To stay eligible for ARI, you only have to maintain an appearance for 7-14 days annually in Portugal.

4. Becoming A Tax Payer

The scheme grants you legal residency which means you’ll become a taxpayer too. Don’t be scared though. The tax benefits state that you don’t have to pay tax unless your investment is generating a minimum amount of income per year. Or if you are staying for more than 183 days annually in Portugal.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the program you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The main applicant must be over 18 years of age
  • You must be a non-EU or non-Swiss applicant
  • Must be able to make a qualifying investment
  • No prior criminal record
  • Must spend a minimum of seven days in the country
  • Must invest a minimum amount of €250,000.
  • The money you invest must be truly yours.
  • Must be financially able to assist yourself and/or family members that come with you to the country

Investment Options For Portugal ARI

Real estate

The minimum requirement for investing in real estate is €280,000. You can invest in either commercial or residential property. For newer real estate, you must invest at least €500,000. For properties that are older than three decades, you can start by investing €280,000. You also have the option of selling the property when the five-year plan is completed.

New Business

To invest in a new business you must be able to invest as much to create at least 5 jobs. To own a new company, the investor must be able to create and maintain a minimum of 10 new job openings.

Investment Fund Units

If you don’t plan to live in the country, the best option for investment is to invest in a fund unit. An investment fund raises money to support local residential or commercial areas. The minimum requirement for investment fund units is €500,000.

Capital Transfer

You can transfer a minimum of €1.5 million in capital to Portugal.

Supporting Research Or Cultural Heritage

If no other option interests you, you can also make donations. You can donate to ongoing government-funded research or to universities. Other options include donations to restore the cultural and heritage sites of the country.


The applicant is to stay in Portugal for at least seven days during the first year and seven to fourteen days afterward. You have to present the proof of investment that you have made. You must maintain the investment for the duration of the residence permit.

The documents required for the application process are mentioned below:

  • Copy of passport or government-issued travel document
  • Proof of investment (deed or sale agreement)
  • Proof of fund subscription (if invested in a fund unit)
  • Previous criminal record
  • Sworn declaration of compliance with requirements and eligibility criteria.
  • Declaration from the bank of transfer of funds to Portugal
  • Proof of health insurance if you plan to reside in the country
  • Application form

A Simple Guide About The Application Process

Choose The investment Type

The first step is to decide the type of investment you’d like to meet. You can visit the country and see for yourself or you can appoint a legal team to do it for you.

Collect All The Necessary Documents

Once you have decided on the type of investment, you must collect all the required documents necessary for investment, getting NIF, bank account, and for the application process too.
This also includes documents of family members that will be applying with you.

Get An NIF Number And Set up A Bank Account

The next step is to obtain the tax identification number (NIF). you can apply for the NIF through a third party that handles the application process for you or you can visit the local tax office of the Portuguese tax authority and get it yourself.

Make The Investment

Now is the time that you will have to complete the investment by paying up for it.


Once you have completed the transaction and secured your investment, you can begin to fill out the application form. We recommend you do this through a service provider so that it’s done perfectly.

Apply online and wait for your appointment.

Schedule The SEF Appointment

When your application is approved by the SEF, they will provide you with several dates on which you can schedule an appointment for biometrics and verification. You must bring all the members who have applied for the Residency by Investment Program for biometrics.

Receive Your Portugal Residency

Now, you wait patiently to receive your Golden Visa. You might have to wait for at least three to four months. However, once you and your family members have the Portugal Visa and card in your hands, you are officially legal citizens of the country!

Apply For Citizenship And Passport

After completing five years of the program, you become eligible to apply for permanent residence. It may take up to a year, but you will be able to get it in no time! When you have officially become a citizen, you can liquidate your investments and live life as you please (within the legal boundaries, of course).

All You Need To Know About Costs And Fees

Apart from the investment you make and fees associated with the bank transfer, you will have to pay some government and legal fees for the application process. They are as followed:

  1. A processing fee that you will have to pay at the beginning of the application and once during each renewal. It’s €533 + €83 per dependent.
  2. Initial Application fee only at the beginning of the application, €5,325 per person. Dependents younger than 18 years don’t have to pay the initial application fee. Renewal Application fee during each renewal. It costs almost €2,663 per person.

That’s all the information you need to know before applying for the Portugal Residence Permit Programme. We recommend linking up with a consultant agency that can guide you throughout the process and make it easier for you.

Golden Visa Programme; A Comparison Of All Countries

CountryMin. InvestmentInvestment TypeEligibility CriteriaBenefits
Switzerland CHF200,000-lump sum tax.
-New swiss company.
-Old business investment.
-Legal adult.
-Belonging to a non-EU country.
-Swiss Health insurance.
-No history of criminal activities.
-Proof of source of income rent/own a property in the country.
-No residency requirement for
Golden Visa.
-Citizenship after 12 years of living.
-Dual citizenship is allowed by the Swiss government.
Portugal€250,000-Real estate.
-Investment fund units.
-Capital transfer.
-New business.
-Over 18 years of age.
-Non-EU or non-Swiss applicant.
-Make a qualifying investment.
-No prior criminal record.
-Must spend a minimum of seven days in the country.
-Must be financially able to assist yourself and/or family members that come with you to spend the minimum number of days in the country.
-Only need to stay for seven to fourteen days per year in the country.
-Eligible to apply for citizenship after 5 years.
-Freedom to travel visa-free to the EU/Schengen zones. Tax is applicable only if you live in the country for 183 days.
-Work permit issued.
-Free healthcare in public hospitals
Spain€500,000-Real estate.
-Spanish public debt.
-Bank deposit.
-New business investment.
-+18 years of age.
-No history of criminal records.
-Health insurance in Spain.
-No minimum stay requirement.
-Allowed to work and live Family members can get Visa-free travel to Schengen states and Access to healthcare and education.
-Permission to buy more properties in Spain.
-Permanent residence after 6 years of Citizenship after 10 years of PR.
Turkey$400,000-Real estate.
-Government bonds.
–New Company.
-Capital transfer.
-Bank deposit.
-Real estate.
-investment fund.
-Legal adult.
-No criminal record
-Never stayed in Turkey illegally.
-Completed the investment.
-Access to business opportunities in EEC.
-Eligible to apply for a US E2 investment visa.
-You’ll be granted a
-Turkish passport in less than six months.
-Permanent residency as soon as you get the visa.
-Visa-free travel to 110 EU and other countries.
Greece€300,000-Real estate.
-Capital transfer.
-Investment bonds.
-Company investment.
-Bank deposit.
-+18 years of age.
-No history of criminal records.
-Health insurance from a certified company in Greece.
-No residency requirement.
-Citizenship after 7 years of residency.
-Visa-free travel to Schengen states.
-Low investment options for the visa.
Ireland€1 million-Enterprise investment.
-Investment Funds.
-Real Estate.
-Investment Fund.
-+18 years of age.
-Clear criminal record.
-Proof of net worth (minimum net worth of €2 million).
-Character certificate from authorities.
-Irish citizenship after living in the country for five years.
-Visa-free travel to the EU and other countries worldwide.
-Access to healthcare and education minimum stay requirement of only one visit per year.
Malta€98,000-Real Estate-A legal adult (18 years old).
-No prior criminal record.
-Must be able to show proof of investment.
-The investment must be through your own money.
-Must be able to support family members in Malta.
-Permit to live and work freely in Malta.
-Access to healthcare and education.
-Visa-free travel to almost 140 countries.
-Your citizenship will be passed on to the children.
United Arab Emirates500,000
-Real estate.
-Investment fund.
-Over 18 years old.
-No prior criminal record.
-Must be able to show proof of income.
-Must be able to show proof of investment.
-Valid commercial or industrial license.
-Medical insurance.
-Quick path to citizenship.
-A long-term visa is valid for 10 years.
-Permission to sponsor spouses and children.
-Access to healthcare and education.
-Several discounts on property, healthcare, schools, and banking.
UnitedStates Of
-New U.S.-based company.
-Investment in the regional center.
-Legal adult.
-Clear criminal record.
-Must fulfill the minimum investment requirement.
-10 new jobs if creating a new enterprise.
-Proof of source of investment.
-Visa-free travel to 183 countries.
-Citizenship after 8 years.
-Minimum 3 visits in five years.
-Permit to live and work freely.
-Access to health care and
-Access to the Green Card which can be renewed.
*Note: The fees can change during the time of application as per the country’s government policy.

Golden Visa Programme In Other European Countries

Spain Golden Visa


Spain is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in Europe. So, it’s only fair to get excited when you know you can become a resident in less than a decade through the Golden Visa.

Similar to Portugal, Spain’s Programme requires investment for the application process. The only difference is that to apply for a Spain visa, you must invest at least €500,000. An investment like this will help you and your family obtain a ticket to Spain and its beautiful culture!

Spain also has a flexible number of stays required to complete the application process. You can connect with any of the firms, choose an investment option, set up a bank account, and complete the investment. Once you have invested, the application form is quite easy to fill out. The processing time is 20 days for application After that, you will have your hands on Spain’s residency and visa card in no time!

Turkey Golden Visa


Launched in 2016, the Turkey Citizenship by Investment program is one of the most successful schemes offered by the country. It provides a right to live and work, enter and leave the country as you, please. And the best part is that in almost five years you will be eligible for PR.

You can invest a minimum of $400,000 in real estate or transfer your capital to a Turkish bank as an investment. One advantage that the Turkish residency scheme offers that makes it different from others is that it doesn’t have a minimum stay policy. Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to stay in the country to complete the application, you can simply invest, travel to the country whenever you want, and come back to apply for permanent residency.

Once you have the visa, Turkey grants permanent residency in less than 6 months. The only catch is that you have to hold your investment for 3 years even after the citizenship.

Greece Golden Visa


The Greece Golden Visa Program offers a five-year resident visa in exchange for a minimum investment of €300,000 in real estate. If you hold the investment after five years, you can get your residency renewed.

The program is comparatively faster than others in the region; you can probably get your application approved in less than two months.

The biggest advantage is that dependents under the age of 21 can be included in the family application. The only con is that you can only apply for citizenship after 7 years of residency. But that’s also quite early compared to normal routes of residency.

malta golden visa


Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is an Island country that became a part of the EU in 2004. The country also offers a citizenship-by-investment scheme with quite a few perks.

The biggest difference between the Golden Visa offered by Malta and other European countries is the fact Malta offers two routes. One includes getting citizenship through investment. While the other scheme grants permanent residence the moment your visa is approved. Yes, that means you won’t have to wait for years to get PR!

In order to be eligible for Malta Residence Permit Program you have to be over 18 years old. You must be able to make an investment ranging from €100,000 to €600,000. The amount of investment required depends on the type of program you opt for.

To get Permanent residence by investment, you must invest €98,000 in an investment fund. You can also donate at least €2,000 to a local NGA.

For citizenship by investment program, investments range from €500,000 to €750,000, depending on the years your application is valid.

switzerland golden visa


Ranked as the third best country for living, it is only fair that people from all over the world want to relocate to Switzerland. To accommodate immigrants and also help the economy, the government launched the Swiss Residence Program. It allows people to live in the country just by paying taxes that range from CHF 200,000 to CHF 600,000 per annum. However, this program doesn’t allow you to work during your stay.

The country also offers another program by the name Swiss Business Investor Program. It requires immigrants to start a new business. To qualify for residency, your business must generate a turnover of CHF 1 million. To become legible for permanent residency, you must live in the country for 10 years.

ireland golden visa


The Irish government put in motion the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) in 2012. It offers an opportunity for non-EU citizens to invest in the country and become a citizen in return. The program provides excellent benefits to wealthy individuals who can invest a minimum amount of €1 million for 3 consecutive years in any Irish company or real estate.

Other than that, you are also allowed to invest in healthcare, education, art, history, or culture. An endowment of €500,000 that benefits the local public of Ireland is one of the easiest ways to get residency by investment.

One drawback of the program is that you can’t apply whenever you want. In a year, only five to six opportunities are open for application. If you are fast enough to grab that opportunity, you’d be set to become an Irish resident in no time.

Final Thought

Residency by investment offered by countries is one of the most sure-fire ways to obtain a visa and citizenship. The program offers multiple benefits and treats you like a local citizen. After all, It is one of the most popular programs worldwide for a reason.

To better understand and decide which country you want to apply for, conduct complete research about every country that offers a similar scheme. Then, create a pros and cons list and compare them. If you are still confused, consult with professionals who promise to make your application process easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main difference that makes Portugal’s Golden Visa better than Spain’s is that it has lower investment criteria. Moreover, you can get citizenship after 5 years of Golden Visa in Portugal. For Spain citizenship, you must wait 10 years.

It depends on the agency you choose for your application process. Since cryptocurrency is gaining quite a traction, many agencies allow payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other renowned cryptocurrencies.

For Portugal Golden Visa documents and applications, you must legalize them and get them translated through a certified translator before submission.

The members that are eligible to be included in your application are as followed:
● Spouse
● Children under 18 years (21 years for Greece Golden Visa) and dependents under 26 years (No need to be able to support themselves but must be full-time students and must not be married).
● Parents, only if they are over 65 years old.

Not all requirements must be met by family members. They must have all the necessary documentation. They must have a clear criminal record too. However, children and dependents don’t need to set up a bank account or get NIF.

No, you can not pay the investment through a loan. To become eligible for the Golden Visa, the investment must come from your own money. You must also prove a source of income and proof of investment through documentation while applying.

No, any new changes will always be for the new applicants. Old investments will not be affected by these changes.

People who don’t live in the country don’t have to pay taxes unless they are generating income from investments in Portugal. For residents, you must adhere to any and all income that is obtained abroad and in the country.

You’ll be considered a resident if you live in Portugal for 183 days or more. The days do not have to be consecutive. As long as you are spending 183 days per year, you will become a taxpayer citizen.

No, just as you cant invest through loans, you can’t also invest through financial aid and mortgages.

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