Second citizenship

Portugal golden visa options: which one to choose?

Portugal golden visa program is one of the most flexible and diverse in terms of conditions. Investors can choose from several options, and the amount of investment varies significantly depending on the conditions.

The most popular Portugal golden visa options are purchasing real estate, shares in investment funds, and doing business. Today we will consider the advantages of all three options.

Portugal golden visa investment options: buying property, purchasing shares in investment funds, investing in business

Portugal golden visa by the purchase of real estate: the most popular option

Portugal remains popular with property buyers from all over the world. The most active are the Chinese, Brazilians, South Africans and Russians.

Every quarter, the cost of objects grows by 5—8%, and the number of real estate transactions reaches 30—35 thousand. Lisbon "squares" are growing most actively in price — up to 15% per year.

The Portugal golden visa program offers investors several property options:

  • from €500,000: for real estate in the primary or secondary market;
  • from €400,000: for objects in low-density areas;
  • from €350,000: for objects that are at least 30 years old or located in renovation areas;
  • from €280,000: objects over 30 years old or included in the renovation program, located in low-density areas.

The price of real estate in low-density regions, for example, Beira and Serra da Estrela, is not growing at the same rate as Lisbon or Algarve. Therefore, they are not so attractive for investment. However, buying an object over 30 years old for €350,000 as a resale property attracts many foreigners.

Portugal golden visa changes

From 2022, it is impossible to get Portuguese residency by purchasing residential real estate in large and coastal cities popular among tourists — Lisbon, Cascais, Porto and others.

It is allowed to buy property in the country’s interior regions and autonomous areas — in Madeira and the Azores.

Restrictions do not apply to commercial real estate. It can be bought in any Portugal region.

Portugal golden visa: fund investment option

If the investor does not want to live in Portugal and purchase real estate, the golden visa fund option is the best way to get a residence permit card.

An investor has to pay €500,000 to an investment or venture fund registered and operating in Portugal.

Two investment conditions are essential:

  1. The maturity of the shares at the time of investment must be at least five years.
  2. The investment fund must invest at least 60% of its money in Portuguese companies.

Golden visa fund options suitable for applicants for a Portuguese residence permit differ in the type of portfolio assets, the size of commissions and fees, the frequency of dividend payments, profitability and investment model.

The type of assets in the golden visa fund option:

  • residential real estate — residential buildings in Lisbon and resort towns;
  • commercial real estate — hotels, shopping, and office centres;
  • commercial enterprises in Portugal — manufactories, IT start-ups or wineries;
  • several types of assets at once — the fund can invest 50% in industrial facilities, 25% in agricultural land, and 25% in commercial premises. 

Investments in funds can generate income as the Portuguese economy grows steadily. Immigrant Invest lawyers conducted Due Diligence on Portuguese funds suitable for investment under the Portugal golden visa program. As a result, we selected 15 funds whose management companies have a high business reputation.

Portugal golden visa: business investment option and job creation

Business investment. At the end of 2017, the Portuguese government offered wealthy foreigners a new opportunity — an investment of €500,000 in a company registered and operating in Portugal.

€500,000
The minimum amount of investment in a Portuguese business

For many investors, it's an excellent opportunity to open a business in Europe and establish relationships with partners worldwide because Portuguese companies have a good reputation.

Investors are offered two golden visa options for investing in a business:

  1. Opening of a new company.
  2. Increase in the authorised capital of an existing company.

The investor keeps the investment in the company for at least three years. After receiving investments, the company has to open five new job positions for Portuguese citizens.

Tourism remains the most popular area of business activity among investors. It brings Portugal 10% of its GDP, and entrepreneurs serve 20 million tourists annually.

Among other industries attractive for investment:

  • grape growing and wine production;
  • growing olives, citrus fruits;
  • production of cork tree bark;
  • production of meat, poultry and products from them;
  • furniture manufacturing;
  • production of ceramic products, tiles;
  • port logistics;
  • fishing and fish processing.

Job creation. According to the option requirements, investors must create ten jobs in a Portuguese business to get a Portugal golden visa. The positions need to be newly created and full-time. The business needs to be a limited company with a single owner. And that one owner will qualify for the visa, along with their family members.

This option is very popular with those who wish to found a start-up or a tech company. Many entrepreneurs choose to establish their new companies in Lisbon due to its bustling lifestyle and capable workforce, plus it is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe to live in.

Portugal golden visa: other investment options 

Capital transfer. Transfer of capital of at least €1.5 million to Portugal or a Portuguese business. To use this investment option, it’s necessary to cooperate with banks in the country. More than 150 banks operate in Portugal and provide financial services to individuals and businesses.

Investment in research. A minimal amount of investment in scientific or technological research is €500,000. The research needs to be conducted by an accredited national institution in Portugal.

Supporting culture and art. A minimum investment of €250,000. Investments in artistic works or support for the arts, the renovation or reconstruction of the national heritage through local and central governments that carry out creative activities.

Golden visa government fees and costs

In addition to the minimum investment you make and the necessary expenses related to the investment property transaction, you will have to pay legal fees and government application fees.   

Golden visa associated costs

PropertyFundsBusiness
Investment€500,000€500,000€1,500,000
Taxes and fees6 to 8% is the tax on the transfer of property rights;

0.8% is stamp duty;


0.3 to 0.8% annual property tax
Up to 7.5% is a commission when investing in a fund;

0.5 to 3% is a yearly fund commission from profits;

0% is the tax on investment income for tax non-residents of Portugal and 14% for tax residents
The income tax rate in Portugal is 48%.But investors can get a special Non-habitual Resident (NHR) status for 10 years. An NHR is not taxed in Portugal on income earned in other countries, and their tax on income earned in Portugal is reduced to 20% 
Program fees€400+ is medical insurance;

€533 is an application fee;

€5,340 is a fee for a residence permit card
€400+ is medical insurance;

€533 is an application fee;

€5,340 is a fee for a residence permit card
€400+ is medical insurance;

€533 is an application fee;

€5,340 is a fee for a residence permit card

Which Portugal golden visa option to choose?

The first place in popularity among foreign investors in Portugal is the purchase of real estate options, the second is funds, and the third is business. Each option solves specific problems, so the choice is individual.

PropertyFundsBusiness
Suitable for people who want to save and increase capital without unnecessary risks. It is possible to live or not live in the purchased object, rent it out and come to Portugal for vacation.Suitable for people who want to participate in business remotely, do not change their residence and live in their home country.Suitable for wealthy people who want to move to Portugal, become tax residents and control the business locally.

Step-by-step procedure to get Portugal golden visa by real estate purchase option

Let’s consider the stages of obtaining a residence permit for investment in real estate as the most popular way among applicants.

  1. Preliminary check. Immigrant Invest certified Anti Money Laundering Officer carries out practically the same Due Diligence check as the program department. Our verification allows us to identify all potential stumbling blocks in advance and reduce the risk of the application for a residence permit being rejected to 1%.
  2. Real estate selection. It can be done remotely. Immigrant Invest’s real estate specialists select several properties for the investor to consider. When an investor chooses a priority option, we negotiate the terms of the purchase-sale of the property with the seller on behalf of the investor.
  3. Visiting Portugal. The investor needs to visit Portugal to see the selected property and choose the appropriate option. Within two or three days, they can open a bank account, get an individual taxpayer’s number at the tax office and draw up a power of attorney for their lawyer in Portugal.
  4. Making an investment. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers accompany the purchase process up to its conclusion and are responsible for the legality of the transaction. The investor’s lawyer in Portugal signs a preliminary sales contract. After transferring the money, the lawyer in Portugal receives the ownership certificate for the property through a power of attorney. 
  5. Collection documents. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers provide the investor with an individual list of documents that must be provided to apply for a residence permit. They also fill out the relevant state forms, translate and certify documents and collect the documents related to ownership of the property. This takes up to two weeks. Electronic copies of the papers are sent for consideration to the SEF, the Portuguese Immigration Office. There, the application is considered for 4—6 weeks.
  6. Submission of biometric data. The investor with family members needs to come to Portugal to submit their biometric data for residence permit cards and submit original documents. The biometrics are recorded in advance in the SEF electronic register. After that, SEF will issue a confirmation document to them. You cannot enter or leave the country until the residence permit cards are received.
  7. Application approval and receiving residence permit card. SEF checks the documents of the investor and their family. This takes up to six months from the date the original documents and biometric data are submitted. When approval is received, the investor pays the fee for the residence permit cards. 
  8. Renewing residence permit. The investor and their family members must spend at least seven days a year in Portugal. The residence permit has to be renewed every two years. You need to collect the same documents and submit them in electronic form with biometrics, and obtain new residence permit cards.

Portugal golden visa benefits

It doesn't matter which investment option you choose. In any case, you get the following benefits as a golden visa holder.

  1. Getting an investor residence permit by a simplified procedure: within 4—6 months and without passing any exams.
  2. A visa-free Schengen is open with the possibility of living in any country of the zone for 90 days every six months.
  3. If you decide to become a tax resident of Portugal, having lived in the country for more than 183 days a year, it's possible to receive tax benefits for 10 years.Portuguese Immigration Office. There, the application is considered for 4—6 weeks.
  4. If you remain within the framework of the previous residence, you must spend only 35 days within 5 years, for example, coming on vacation in Portugal.
  5. After 5 years of residence in the country, it's possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. There are no such short periods in any European country, while there is no need to renounce the first citizenship.

If you plan to get a Portugal residence permit but have not chosen the option yet, please contact our company. We will study your goals and objectives in detail and offer the best investment option.

Frequently asked questions

What is the most popular golden visa option?

Purchasing real estate is the most popular option. The golden visa program offers investors several property options:

  • from €500,000 — for real estate in the primary or secondary market;
  • from €400,000 — for objects in low-density areas;
  • from €350,000 — for objects that are at least 30 years old or located in renovation areas;
  • from €280,000 — objects over 30 years old or included in the renovation program, which are located in low-density areas.
Who can participate in the Portugal golden visa program?

The applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • to be a non-EU citizen;
  • to be of legal age;
  • does not have a criminal record;
  • the investment funds must not come from sources in Portugal;
  • does not have debts in Portugal;
  • to have valid health insurance.
What is the cheapest investment option for Portugal golden visa?

The option to create ten jobs may be the cheapest since no minimum investment is required. But remember that the employees must be kept on throughout the whole golden visa process and must be paid full-time salaries. The average salary in Portugal is between $1,200 and $2,000.

Supporting culture investment option is also cheaper than others — $250,000. But there is no demand among the investors. The most popular investment option is buying real estate for $280,000 costs.

Can foreigners buy Portugal real estate?

Yes. Portugal has no restrictions on foreigners buying property there. But it’s necessary to open an account in a Portugal bank and register a taxpayer number in Portugal.

Can I buy multiple properties to qualify for the Portugal golden visa?

Yes. You can buy multiple properties as long as the combined value is €500,000 minimum and €400,000 in a low-density area.

For what reasons can they refuse to grant a Portugal golden visa?

The reasons are:

  • having a criminal record;
  • providing false information;
  • submitting an incomplete set of documents.
Can I get Portugal citizenship by investment?

Not. An investor can obtain a Portugal residence permit by investment. But after five years of having the golden visa, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. To obtain citizenship, you need to pass a Portuguese language test.

Portugal golden visa options: which one to choose?

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