Portugal Golden Visa Residency by Investment Program 

Obtaining Portuguese Residency (Golden Visa Application)

Portugal offers a very appealing option for foreign investors, it’s known as their golden visa program. This is probably the most popular program of that kind in Europe due to its flexibility and multiple benefits.  

Portugal’s residency by investment program was first launched in 2012. and has been only increasing in popularity since then.  

What is Golden Visa in Portugal?

In order to get this visa, you will need to invest 500 000 EUR or 350 000 EUR in real estate in Portugal. If you decide to go with the lower investment, the property needs to be more than 30 years old or located in an urban renewal area. There is also an option of investing 1 million EUR in the country, in this case, you can invest it in anything you like. Other options include the creation of a minimum of 10 jobs, capital investment amount of 350 000 EUR in research activity, 250 000 EUR of investment in the reconstruction of national heritage, 500 000 EUR in an investment fund or venture capital. 

As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from! 

Real estate option is the most common form of residency investment visa in Portugal. If you decide to buy property in lower density territory, the value of your investment can be reduced by 20% (400 000 EUR instead of 500 000 EUR).  

It is reasonable why many investors choose real estate option when it comes to Portugal. It’s an attractive location and prices of property are only expected to go up in the future years. This means that you can make good interest while getting your residency permit in this country. However, it’s important that you keep your property for a period of at least five years in order to keep your residency. 

95% of all the money Portugal has generated from Golden visa program was from real estate investments.

Portugal residency by investment program opens the doors for your whole investor’s family, making it an amazing deal. The investor can include their spouse, dependent children, and parents with no additional investment needed. 

Golden Visa in Portugal requirements

Who can apply for Golden Visa?

Anybody who is NOT Portuguese an EU/EFTA citizen can apply for Golden Visa program, after completing the investment that is required.

This investment can be made as an individual, or through your company, if certain requirements have been met.

What are the requirements?

  1. You will have to keep your investment for at least 5 years.
  2. Spend a minimum of 7 days in the country during the first year, and then not less than 14 days in each following 2 year period.

As you can see, not so hard to follow!

What are the advantages of the Golden Visa?

This type of visa will grant lots of benefits for you and your family.

  1. Live and work in Portugal
  2. Move your family here
  3. Apply for permanent residency and dual citizenship after 5 years
  4. Access healthcare and education system in Portugal
  5. Travel freely in the entire Schengen area
  6. Potentially take advantage of the favorable tax regime

Residency and Citizenship

If an investor spends at least two weeks in a country every two years, they can renew this visa. After five years, you will be able to apply for permanent residency, and after six for their citizenship. Portugal’s passport is one of the best passports in the world, letting its holders travel to 186 countries and territories without a visa. 

An interesting part of this program is that an investor doesn’t need to actually live in Portugal to make it happen! It’s enough to spend only a week per year in the country.  

Portugal residency card will allow you to freely travel, get the education or work anywhere in the EU. You could go even further and get amazing tax savings if you actually reside in Portugal. You can take advantage of something that’s called Non-habitual Residence Scheme and pay very little tax, even zero in certain cases. Most of our clients that decide to get residency in Portugal do it largely because of this opportunity.

It’s interesting that most users of this residency program were from China in the past couple of years. Chinese investment in Portugal via golden visa program made 2 billion EUR to the country. This represents 60% of all money raised by this program since it started in 2012. 

In total 3588 golden visas were given to Chinese citizens, out of 5533 since this program is launched. The second place is taken by Brazilians with 473 visas issued, and third place is taken by South Africans with a total of 218 visas.

Non-habitual residency in Portugal

This European country offers big perks to new residents, where they have the opportunity to live in the country for 10 years with generous tax breaks.

What is non-habitual residency?

To put it in simple words, non-habitual residency is a tax holiday for your first ten years of living in this country. Portugal introduced this program in 2009. in order to attract wealthy individuals and valuable industries to their country.

The biggest perk of this program? It allows you to receive foreign income tax-free!

Tax-free foreign income in Portugal

Under NHR, most income from a foreign source is exempt from Portuguese taxation for ten consecutive years, which makes this country appealing for a lot of foreign entrepreneurs and more. Expats could receive pensions, capital gains, rental income, interest, dividends, and foreign employment income tax-free.

This can even apply if the income is not taxed in your home country.

In order to qualify for NHR, you must not have been a resident of Portugal in the past 5 years.


Having in mind all the benefits that the Golden Visa program can bring doesn’t surprise us why many people are interested in it. Living in the EU brings a lot of advantages for any individual from the third world, as well as to their families. Requirements to obtain this visa are quite flexible, and this program is not blacklisted by OECD, unlike many other similar programs.

On top of everything, you have the opportunity to get awesome tax benefits for 10 years via the NHR program. If you are looking for a second residency, that will also bring you tax benefits Portugal might be the best option for you.


Author: Michael Rosmer

Traveler, researcher, entrepreneur... For years I've traveled the world with an insatiable lust for learning how the world works, how to find the greatest advantages, the little hacks, insights and opportunities. I've been frustrated by others not being diligent, missing details and as a result sharing subpar information so here we are to give you a holistic picture hopefully free of biases and just giving you the practical details that will make a difference to you.