PORTUGAL GOLDEN RESIDENCE PERMIT
Table of Contents
Background and Guide - Portugal Golden Visa Programme
The Portugal Golden Residence Permit (Portugal Residence by Investment Program)
is designed to encourage investment from non-EU/EFTA nationals, who are High Net
Worth Individuals. In 2023, the Portuguese Golden Residence Visa Programme offers a
fast-track to obtaining a residency permit in Portugal for non-EU investors who
invest a minimum amount as defined by law, in Portugal Property (Real Estate), Private Equity Funds
or in Business.
Since the Portugal Residence by Investment Golden visa program started in 2012,
more than 4,200 Portuguese Golden visas have been approved, representing more than
€2.5 billion Euros investment in Portugal. The Portugal Golden Residence Permit
financial investment requirements have been established to boost economies in less
developed areas, as well as established and urban areas of Portugal.
In 2023, contact VisaConnect's specialist Consultants, together with our partner Portugal
Lawyers, by telephone or complete the online Form or visit us in our offices in Brisbane, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, UK and Lisbon, Portugal
for advice and assistance with your Portugal Golden Visa to obtain a Residency Permit in Portugal!
Why Invest in Portugal Business or Property, in 2023?
- English Speaking - English is widely spoken in Portugal. Generally,
Portuguese people speak fluent English. Studies have highlighted that when
English speaking levels are assessed at a global scale, Portugal ranks 15th out
of 70 countries.
- EU Member Country - Portugal is a Member of the European Union, since
1986, which allows for free movement of people, goods, services, and capital
within the internal market. In addition, Portugal has access to the Schengen
zone, in Europe. Portugal was one of the first countries to adopt the Euro
currency, on 1 January 1999. Also, Portugal enables open door access to Portuguese speaking countries,
including Brazil and Angola.
- Mild Climate - Portugal enjoys a mild climate all year round, with 220 sunny days in a year and
7.7 daily sunshine hours. Summers are hot and sunny, especially in the south, with an average July temperature in the Algarve of
- Portugal Ranks 6th in the Global Peace Index - 2022 - Portugal continues to be one of the most peaceful countries in the world in 2022, and has maintained its reputation as being one of the safest.
It is ranked in 6th place in the "Global Peace Index 2022", with 1.301 points score.
- Lisbon - Capital City - Lisbon has one of the highest rates in quality of life, low crime, good transport
links, international schools and health care. Lisbon is in an excellent European location,
with 5 airports, and has a spectacular shoreline, captivating scenery of seven
hills and rich heritage. It is a walkable city, with a relaxing vibe, and has
free museums, including: Gulbenkian and Jardim do Principe Real. In 2019, Lisbon was elected the Best City Break Destination, for the third
consecutive year. In 2021, Lisbon was ranked as the 3rd best city out of 420, by InterNations.
- Major Companies are Based in Portugal - Microsoft has based their
Language Development Centre in Portugal. Also, EDP, the energy provider in
Portugal, is the 4th largest company in wind power and the biggest company in the
energy business, within the Iberian Peninsula.
- Culture and History - Portugal possesses 14 sites registered at
UNESCO, including the cultural landscape of Sintra, Porto's historic centre, Luiz
I bridge and the Serra do Pilar or Hiéronymites monasteries, and the famous
- Beautiful Landscape - Located on the Atlantic Coast, Portugal has some
stunning landscapes. Its western coastline has intriguing rock formations that
soar out of the water below. Further inland there are mountain ranges such as
Serra da Estrela and Serra de So Mamede, plus national parks and nature
reserves, beaches on the south coast, and the volcanic islands of Madeira and the
- Food and Drink - Portugal has a great selection of fish and seafood
right on its doorstep. Portugal has many native wine grapes in its vineyards and
is home to the famous fortified wine known as port. You can enjoy some unique
gastronomical delicacies in Portugal, such as pastéis de nata (custard
- Golf Courses - Living in Portugal is heaven for golfing enthusiasts.
It is home to what are often described as the best courses in Europe or even the
world! The top-rated courses include Monte Rei, Oitavos Dunes and Oceanico.
- Low Cost of Living - Most expats consider the cost of living to be
lower in Portugal than in their home countries. This is most evident in terms of
grocery shopping, eating in restaurants and rent prices.
- Portugal's Property Market - In the first quarter of 2022, The Housing Index in Portugal increased to 182.64 points from 175.96 points in the fourth quarter of 2021. Portugal house prices grew 12.9% YoY in Mar 2022, following an increase of 11.6% YoY in the previous quarter.
YoY growth data is updated quarterly, available from Mar 2010 to Mar 2022, with an average growth rate of 6.3%. House price data reached an all-time high of 12.9% in Mar 2022 and a record low of -8.3% in Jun 2012.
- Pandemic of 2020 - 2022 effect on Real Estate Prices - In spite of the current pandemic setting, most of the market analysis focused on the evolution of the Real Estate segments point
to some positive indications: A. Levels of investment in premium sub-segments have not decreased; B. Levels of demand and new projected premium developments have not diminished; C. The market expects a sound recovery of these sub-segments
after the localized impact of the pandemic crisis. According to Cushman & Wakefield, in 2022, the demand from foreigners is expected to continue to rise post-pandemic and international clients will continue to see Portugal as a prime
location for investing in residential property.
- Housing Loans in Portugal, in 2020 - In the first seven months of 2020, €6.27 billion in new housing loans were granted, with a
monthly average of €897 million. This volume is 6% above the same period in 2019, showing that financing activity to the residential sector remained stable during the pandemic period.
- Free Healthcare - A World Health Organization (WHO) ranking of global
healthcare systems places Portugal’s at number 12. The National Health Service of Portugal
(Serviço Nacional de Saúde) is available to citizens as well as both temporary and permanent residents.
- Free Education - Excellent Universities - Education in Portugal is free and compulsory until the age of 18, when students complete their year 12. There are 24 International Schools in
Portugal that teach their curriculum in English. Most International schools follow International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Tuition fees for bachelor’s and master’s degrees average around €950 to 1,250 per year
(~US$1,140-1,500) while fees for doctorate programs are around €2,500 to 3,000 per year (US$2,400 to 3,600). The Universidade NOVA de Lisboa earned a place in the QS ranking of the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years old,
the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) has a world-class Masters in Management.
- Increasing Tourism Numbers - In February 2022, tourism rates recorded in Portugal showed significant increases compared to the previous month, indicating that the industry is marking its major comeback after almost two years of limited activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data published by the Portuguese Statistics Institute (INE),
accommodation facilities in the country received 1.2 million guests during the second month of the year, with those spending 2.9 million overnight stays. These rates represent increases of 507 per cent and 527.1 per cent, respectively.
- Gross Domestic Product - Gross Domestic Product of Portugal fell 0.2 in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter. This rate is 28 -tenths of one percent less than in the previous quarter, when changed 2.6%. The year-on-year
change in GDP was 6.9%, 50 -tenths of one percent less than the 11.9% recorded in the first quarter of 2022. The GDP figure in the first quarter of 2022 was $63,926 million, Portugal is number 35 in the ranking of quarterly GDP of the 53 countries monitored by 'Country Economy' reports.
- Economic Growth - 2022 and 2023 - Real GDP is projected to grow by 5.4% in 2022 and 1.7% in 2023. Robust public investment, boosted by EU funds, and the return of tourism exports are set to support the recovery.
- Tax Exemptions - The tax rule introduced in 2009 allows a flat rate of 20% personal income tax for activities
carried out in Portugal and a tax exemption, including pensions, on all foreign income.
- Low Cost of Living - The cost of living in Portugal is among the lowest in Western Europe. 9% cheaper than Madrid.
14% cheaper than Brussels. 22% cheaper than Munich.
- Technology in Lisbon - In 2018, Lisbon signed a 10-year contract with Web Summit to host the world's largest technology conference (until 2028), with
70,000 participants from 163 countries coming every year. This opened the way for Portugal to become the Silicon Valley of Europe. Also, High speed optic fibre internet is available across
Portugal, and wifi is easily available.
Requirements for Portugal Residence Permit for Investment (ARI / Golden Visa)
To be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa (Portuguese
Residency by Investment Programme), the applicant must meet at least one of the
categories listed below:
- Capital transfer of at least €1 million Euros into Portugal
- The creation of at least 10 Job positions in Portugal
- The Purchase of Real Estate (Property) in Portugal worth at least
- The Purchase of Real Estate (Property) in Portuguese Urban Regeneration
areas at least 30 years old, for refurbishing, to the value of at least €350,000
- The Purchase of Real Estate (Property) in Portuguese Urban Regeneration
areas at least 30 years old, for refurbishing,where the value of this investment may be reduced
by 20% to €280,000 Euros provided it is made in sparsely populated areas (less than 100 inhabitants per sq.km.,
or where the GDP per head is below 75% of the national average).
- Investment of at least €350,000 Euros in Scientific research in
- Investment of at least €250,000 Euros in Portuguese Arts, Culture
- Investment of at least €500,000 Euros in a Portugal Private Equity
Fund, as at 1 January 2022, to be eligible for the Portugal Golden visa.
- Investment of at least €500,000 in Small and Medium Businesses
Portugal Private Equity Fund - Features and Benefits
The main features of a Portugal Private Equity Fund are as follows:
- Structure - Type Fundo Capital de Risco | Venture Capital/Private Equity Fund
- Regulated by Comissao do Mercado de Valores Mobiliarios (CMVM) - Portuguese Securities Market Commission - Registration Code: 0000
- Fund Manager - Long history as trusted and experienced professionals in fundraising, deal flow and analysis and execution
of investments, in their sectors of specialisation.
- Investment Adviser or General Partner
- Legal/Tax Adviser
- Custodian Bank
- Fund Launch (Seed Investors)
- Subscription Period from date Until date - usually around 15 - 21 months
- Liquidation Period Starting - eg. First Quarter 2028
- Fund Term - usually 7 - 10 years, with possible extensions of 1 or 2 x 12 months.
- Current Fund Size
- Fund Size Target - eg. €35 - 60 Million
- Minimum Participation - for example: €50,000, €150,000 or full €500,000
- Full investment for Golden Visa
- Requirement- €352,500
- Setup Fee - 3-5%
- Fund Management Fees and Expenses - 1% (p.a.)
- Performance Fee - 5 - 12% or 20% with a hurdle rate of 3%
- Yearly Gross Yield or Fund Expected Return - 6 % - 15 % or Overall return distributed at Redemption
- Fund Focus - exclusive focus on Capital Preservation or focus on High Yield
- Yearly Expected appreciation - 4 - 8% (Conservative Scenario)
Tax and Fiscal Advantages of Equity Fund
The Tax and Fiscal benefits of a Portugal Private Equity Fund are as follows:
1. Witholding Tax - Tax Exempt
- Fund distributed Dividends to Non-resident Investors are Tax Exempt - No Witholding Tax.
2. Return of Capital - Tax Exempt
- Return of Invested Capital to Investors is Tax Exempt.
3. Fund Capital Gains - Tax Exempt
4. Interest - Tax Exempt
- Interests from Funds and Subsidiaries Finance to the Fund are Tax Exempt.
5. Tax Benefits of Investment over Purchase of Property
- Purchase of Property requires the following taxes, which are not required for a Private Equity Fund: Municipal tax on transactions, Stamp tax, Municipal tax on Real Estate, Capital Gains tax and Income tax on rents.
Fund Team and Track-Record
The following factors are important considerations in choosing a Fund:
- Leadership Team should demonstrate extensive executive management experience within tier-1 private and public
companies in markets such as venture capital, energy, water, banking, telecom’s, consulting and distribution.
2. Experience - 20 - 30 Years
- Extensive experience within the venture capital market and key institutions.
3. Funds Managed - >€500 m
- Funds managed directly by Fund Manager in previous Comapnies and Funds.
4. Returns of 15 - 20%
- Average returns of previous funds under direct management by members of the executive management team.
Property Purchase in Lisbon and Porto Not Allowed after 1
The objective of the law amendment of 22 December 2020, approved by Portugal's Council of Ministers is to
increase foreign investment across the interior of Portugal, specifically in low-density regions. Previously, the majority of
Golden Visa investment has been focussed within the main metropolitan hotspots,
namely Lisbon and Porto and coastal regions such as the Algarve.
This new law means that Properties acquired for residential purposes after 1
January 2022 are limited to the Azores, Madeira or any of the interior
regions of the country.
Therefore, Applicant Investors looking to purchase a
second home in the booming Lisbon and Porto residential market or in the coastal
areas are no longer considered eligible under the Golden Visa law.
Note that Commercial properties in Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve (offices, stores,
can continue to be considered as eligible investments.
New Amendments to the Portugal Golden Visa - effective from 1 January 2022
Outlined below are amendments to the Portuguese Golden Visa Program regarding Investment amounts:
1. Capital Transfer of funds to Portugal equal to or above €1.5 million euros
- Formerly, that amount was 1 million Euros.
2. The transfer of €500,000 Euros for the acquisition of participation units in investment funds or venture capital
- Purpose is for incorporation of a commercial company with registered address in Portugal, together with the creation of five permanent jobs, or to reinforce the share capital of an existing commercial company with registered address in Portugal, with the creation or maintenance of a minimum of five permanent jobs and for a minimum period of 3 years.
3. The transfer of €500,000 Euros for incorporation of a commercial company with registered address in Portugal
- This Investment amount was formerley €350,000. Also, the creation of five permanent jobs, or to reinforce the share capital of an existing commercial company with registered address in Portugal, with the creation or maintenance of a minimum of five permanent jobs and for a minimum period of 3 years.
4. The acquisition of Real Estate Properties
- These Investment amounts have not been increased, and remain at least, €500,000 or, at least, 350,000 if the construction was completed, at least 30 years ago or is located within an urban rehabilitation area and rehabilitation works will be performed. However, since 1 January 2022, the Golden Visa can only be granted for housing purposes if the real estate asset is located within the Autonomous Regions of Azores or Madeira or in less densely populated areas, listed and identified in specific legislation.
Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa
Outlined below are the benefits of obtaining the Portugal Residence Permit (Portugal Golden Visa):
- Permanent Free Entry to Portugal and the Schengen Area - Residence visa waiver for entering Portugal. Free Movement
in the 26 Schengen Area European countries
- Freedom to Live, Work and Study in Portugal
- Flexible Residence Requirements - The minimum stay requirements are 7
days in the first year and 14 days during each of the two subsequent 2-year
periods, whether or not consecutive, which is 35 days in 5 years.
- Become a "Non-Habitual Resident" of Portugal for Tax Purposes - Anyone
residing in Portugal for 183 days or more during a single calendar year must pay
taxes in Portugal on worldwide and local income. Non-residents - those who
reside in Portugal fewer than 183 days per year are not required to pay
tax on worldwide income.
- Eligible for Permanent Residence - After 5 years of having made the
initial investment, the applicant can apply for Portugal Permanent Residence
- Acquire Portuguese Citizenship - Option to acquire Portuguese
Citizenship and Portugal Passport, by naturalization, as per the Nationality Act, and obtain all
rights of an EU National, after 5 years of having made the initial investment.
- Dual Citizenship - You do not need to renounce your previous
nationality to become a Portuguese citizen.
- Portugal Passport is Ranked 6th in the World - The 2023 Q1 Henley Passport Index
ranks the Portugal Passport as 6th most powerful passport in the world, and it
allows visa free access to 187 countries worldwide.
- Family Residency - The Applicant's family members are eligible for
Residence, including: the spouse or partner, under-aged or financially dependent children and
Parents of Main Applicant or Parents in Law, who are financially dependent.
- Fast Processing Time - 3 to 6 months until the Golden Visa application
is approved, and the Residence Card is issued for an initial period of 1 year,
and renewed for periods of 2 years
Step by Step Process - Portugal Golden Visa
Outlined below are the Steps to obtain a Portugal Golden visa. Note that the Fees and Values listed below are subject to change:
1. Appoint a Visa Agency - VisaConnect
- we provide personal and cusomized assistance to you including: finding a Portuguese Lawyer, assistance with Document preparation, Co-operation with the Portuguese Lawyer to expedite the process, Introduction
to Portugal Funds or Properties, Checking and reviewing all Fund and Property Agreements, on your behalf, and assistance with Bank account opening and Golden visa application.
2. Appoint a Portuguese Lawyer
- Your trusted Visa Agency will introduce you to experienced Portuguese Lawyers for you to select based on cost, service and personal connection. Sign a Power of Attorney with the Portuguese Lawyers and certify
3. Due Diligence checks
4. Open a local Portuguese bank account and obtain a NIF (Tax ID Number).
5. Client Investor signs Funds document
- and Fund Manager approves the Investor. Then the Investor transfers money from his overseas bank account to his new Portuguese bank account and then transfers the funds from his local
Portuguese bank account to the Fund's account.
6. Make Fund or Property Investment (€ 500 K)
- and retain investment in Portugal for at least 5 years. The Fund Manager and Depository bank issue declarations for the Golden visa application.
7. Gather all required documentation from country of origin
- get documents legalized (e.g., with an apostille of the country of origin), translated into
Portuguese, less than 90 days before the submission of the online application.
8. Gather required documentation in Portugal
- along with proof of investment (Fund Subscription declaration).
9. Submit Application to SEF
- Fill out, upload documentation and submit the Golden Visa application for Temporary Residency on the SEF website.
10. Include Family in Application
-The main applicant can include their spouse, their children under 18 years old, their dependent adult children who
are full-time students up to 26 years old and not married, dependent parents of either spouse, any other dependents (e.g. such as minor siblings) to their application.
11. Pay Application processing fee
- Fee of €533.90 for the main applicant (plus €83.30 for each additional family member).
12. Pre-Approval from SEF
- Wait until SEF sends a pre-approval- usually within 3 months from date of Golden visa application, and then schedule 1 in-person biometrics appointment (fingerprints, etc.) and bring the original documentation (done for
13. Final Approval Payment
- After the final approval a payment of €5,336.40 is due for each applicant.
14. Temporary Residency card is issued
- valid for 1 year with 7 days mandatory stay. This initiates the Golden Visa 5 years term.
15. Renewal of Residence Permit
- this process should be renewed (90 days before the current residence card expires) - 3 additional times, each time valid for 2 years with 7 days mandatory
stay per year (or 14 days combined).
16. Renewal re-Processing Fees
- during the renewal process, all the applicants will pay a re-processing fee of €533.90 for the main applicant (plus €83.30 for each additional family member), must redo their biometrics, provide up-to-date
criminal records and pay an approval fee of €2,668.20 for each applicant.
17. Apply for Permanent Residency or Citizenship
- after the 5th year, the applicant should do a 3rd Temporary Residency renewal and in tangent apply either for Permanent Residency or Passport/Citizenship (otherwise
they may continue renewing the Temporary Residency every 2 years.
Supporting Documents for a Portugal Golden Visa
Outlined below are the supporting documents that must be provided to the Portuguese Immigration and
Borders Service (Servico De Estrangeiros E Fronteiras - SEF) for the Golden Residence Permit:
- of all applicants, certified copies.
2. NIF and Bank Account details
3. Portugal Visitor or Business Visa
- evidence of legal entry into
Portugal, such as a Schengen visa.
4. Health Insurance
- Minimum coverage of at least 30,000 EUR. It should
cover all member states of the Schengen Area and cover any expenses which might
arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention
and/or emergency hospital treatment or death. Coverage should be for the length of the Residency duration.
5. Criminal Record Certificate
- All applicants over 16 years of age. Issued
from your Country of Residence, within the last 3 months, before applying. Applicants must have a clean criminal record - they should not have any criminal
records in any country that they have previously resided in. Complete form to authorize SEF to retrieve Portuguese Criminal records.
6. Evidence of Dependent Children
- evidence may include a University letter
and confirmation of payment of tuition fees.
7. Receipt of payment of Visa Fees
- payment of the Portuguese Golden visa application fees.
8. Documents showing a good standing
- with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority and Social Security.
9. Evidence of having made the Investment in Portugal
- Bank statement for
financial investment, employment contracts for job creation or deeds of purchase
for real estate investment or Fund Subscription Declaration.
For information about the
Portugal Property (Real Estate) and how our Immigration Consultants and Portugal
Lawyers can assist you, click on the following VisaConnect website pages:
Office Address and Telephone - VisaConnect Portugal
Contact VisaConnect's Consultants at our Lisbon, Portugal office below:
Avenida do Atlântico, Nº 16, escritório 5.07,
1990-019, Parque das Nações
Telephone: (+351) 304 501 939
Useful Links - Portugal Golden Visa
Statistics 2021 - Portugal Golden Visa
Comparison of Portugal Golden Visa Programme with Other EU Programmes
Long Term Performance of Portugal Real Estate, Equity and Bond Assets