March 29, 2022
Reading Time: 4 min

Foreigners Increasingly Choose Portugal for Second Citizenship

Portugal is the second EU country in terms of the number of naturalized citizens in 2020. Statistics are published by Eurostat. We tell you why foreigners prefer to live in the western most country in Europe.

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Editor-in-chief, content creator

Foreigners Increasingly Choose Portugal for Second Citizenship

Foreigners Increasingly Choose Portugal for Second Citizenship

Eurostat annually reports on new citizens of the region. In 2020, 729,000 people received the citizenship of EU member states. This is 3% more than in 2019.

The statistics of naturalized citizens is calculated using a special coefficient. It represents the ratio of the number of people who acquired the citizenship of a country during the year to the number of stateless people living in the same country at the beginning of the year.

The highest naturalization rates are registered in Sweden: the state issued 8,6% of passports per 100 permanently residing foreigners. In second place is Portugal with a coefficient of 5,5%.

Most EU passports were received by Moroccans, Syrians, Albanians, Romanians, Brazilians, Turks, Ukrainians and Indians.


Portugal’s naturalization rate of 5,5% is above the EU average of 3,5% in 2020.

Source: Eurostat

How many foreign citizens live in Portugal

The number of foreigners living in Portugal has increased for the sixth year in a row. In March 2022, 714,123 foreigners live in the country, according to SEF, Portugal’s migration service.

To live in Portugal, foreigners receive a residence — a residence permit or permanent residence. The status gives the right to live, work and study in Portugal, and also allows you to enter the country legally, even when the borders are closed.

Permanent residence in Portugal can be obtained only after 5 years of residence in a country with the status of a temporary residence permit. You can get a residence permit in different ways, for example, by study, work or for investment.

Residence permit in Portugal by investment is the fastest way to become a resident of the country. The term for obtaining the status is from 4 to 6 months. And the conditions for investors are simpler than for applicants for a residence permit on other grounds.

Conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal


Residence for investment

Other types of residence

For how long to live in a country

7 days per year

183 days per year

Participation of family members



Knowledge of Portuguese language



Permanent residence for citizenship



Residents of Portugal travel around the Schengen countries without visas and can stay in any state of the region for up to 90 days in half a year. Together with the investor, members of his family can obtain a residence permit: spouse, children under 26 years old and parents over 65 years old.

The investor and his family are entitled to apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years of obtaining a residence permit card. The Portuguese passport gives you even more opportunities to travel: with it you can visit 187 countries of the world without visas, including the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Australia.

Why Portugal is in demand among foreigners

Portugal attracts by a pleasant warm climate, safe and comfortable environment for raising children.

The cost of living in the country is lower than in other EU countries, according to the portal Numbeo.com. The products are fresh and of high quality: vegetables and fruits are available all year round, and seafood is delivered to shops and restaurants every day.

The Portuguese are friendly to immigrants: they are responsive and friendly, always ready to help. Portugal occupies a high position every year in the Global ranking of peaceful countries: in 2021 it has scored a 4th place in the list.

In Portugal, everyone will find something to do: beach holidays and water sports, hiking along scenic routes and excursions to city attractions. The country has entertainment centers, small cafes and souvenir shops.

How to get a residence permit in Portugal for investment

Portugal has a residence permit program by investment — Golden Residence Permit Program. To obtain a residence permit, the investor chooses one of eight investment options:

  • purchase of real estate — from 500,000 €;

  • purchase of a property older than 30 years for renovation — from 280,000 €;

  • transfer of capital to Portugal — from 1,500,000 €;

  • purchase of shares in investment funds — from 500,000 €;

  • investments in scientific projects — from 500,000 €;

  • investments in culture and art — from 250,000 €;

  • opening a business and creating five job vacancies — from 500,000 €;

  • opening a company and creating 10 job vacancies — the amount of the minimum investment is not set.

Purchase of a real estate is the most popular option among investors. It is chosen by 90% of golden visa recipients. Real estate is allowed to be sold after 5 years, which means that the investor will be able to return the investment. If desired, real estate can be rented out and receive additional income, real estate can be rented out and additional income can be generated.

Alina Mishurenko

Alina Mishurenko,

Editor-in-chief, content creator

Nowadays the demand for purchasing a home in Portugal is increasing. Applicants under the residence permit program can only buy residential properties in the interior regions of the country, the Azores and Madeira.

For citizens, residents and other foreigners, the choice of housing is not limited. According to the portal Idealista.com in February 2022, about 14% of homes were bought within a week. Another 15% of homes were on the real estate market from two weeks to a month, 25% — from one to three months, 33% — from three months to a year, and only 13% of houses were sold for more than a year.

Home purchasing has the fastest speed in Faro and Funchal, followed by Porto, Évora, Setúbal and Coimbra. Below the national average are Leiria, Braga, Aveiro, Lisbon, Castelo Branco, Vila Real and Santarem.

Immigrant Invest has its own base with proven real estate. Investors can choose both a residential property and a commercial one, based on their goals.

Immigrant Invest  — licensed agent of the residence permit program in Portugal for investment. If you want to become a resident of Portugal and buy property in the country, please contact investment program experts for advice, please contact our investment program experts for advice.