Gain European Residency In Portugal Through Property Investment

Are you a third party national (non-EU/EFTA) looking for residency in Portugal? 

The Portugal Golden Visa Scheme is a residency and/or citizenship through investment system that allows you and your family to live and work permanently in Portugal, with all the inherent rights and benefits that status confers. 

But that’s not all, because once you capitalise on this prized opportunity for Portuguese residency, you’ll also benefit from free movement in the wider Schengen area, so it’s also effectively a shortcut to EU citizenship. 

At Property Lisbon, we have a wealth of experience assisting all types of clients in finding high quality properties that are not only excellent investments, but also eligible for this life-changing scheme.

Furthermore, although the scheme applies across Portugal, investing in Lisbon property instantly plugs you in to the capital’s outstanding commercial and cultural opportunities. 

Interested? This guide contains everything you need to know about the program, will help you work out if you’re eligible and clarify the application process.

Contact Us Today To Talk About Your Golden Visa

Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program (ARI) is a citizenship by investment scheme which encourages investment from buyers outside of the EU. Here’s some crucial information:

  • Once you buy a certain type of property in Portugal, you become eligible for a Golden Visa – this is the first step in an immigration route which enables you to apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after six years. This unlocks a number of fantastic personal, financial, and business advantages for you and (if relevant), your spouse and children (provided they apply before they’re 18).
  • Since the scheme’s introduction in 2012, it has had a fantastic impact on the Portuguese economy – as of 2020 it has supposedly generated over $5bn in revenue!
  • In addition to the capital it has injected into the Portuguese economy, Golden Visa also represents a fantastic opportunity to invest in property in one of Europe’s most desirable locations and enjoy a beautifully balanced lifestyle where everything from the climate to the cuisine is first-rate.

The Golden Visa Portugal program is internationally recognized as one of the world’s best citizenship by investment programs for a number of reasons, but since similar schemes are available for other countries, why should you choose Portugal? Here are a few excellent reasons:

  • Portugal is known for its weather, a beautiful Mediterranean climate that tourists flock to, as well as a picturesque landscape that’s peppered with beautiful beaches and lush countryside. This, combined with Portugal’s rich history, fascinating culture, and fantastic cuisine, gives the country its tourist-trap status and makes it one of the most attractive prospects for investors and holidaymakers alike.
  • Portugal is also considered one of the safest European countries to live in, with fairly low crime rates. It boasts an excellent healthcare system, strong educational programs, and well-connected transport systems (including airports) all of which combined means that residents tend to have a very good quality of life.

Those in possession of a Portuguese Golden Visa are granted a temporary residency permit in Portugal for one year, which is then renewable for each subsequent two-year period. However, the visa also enables you to apply for permanent residence after five years, and citizenship after six (certain conditions apply).

Ready To Start Your New Life In Portugal?

Aside from the country’s obvious appeal, the Golden Visa scheme is a uniquely appealing opportunity for investors for a number of other attractive reasons you might not realise. Here’s a rundown:

  • First of all, its flexibility. The residency permit entitles the investor to reside in the country of Portugal for the subsequent five years, but they are not required to do so for the duration. Maintaining their residency for the first five years and beyond requires only a minimum amount of time spent in the country (seven days during the first year, then a minimum of 14 days in each subsequent year), and after the initial five-year period, Golden Visa holders may apply for permanent residency in the country, or a Portuguese citizenship. It also grants third-country nationals a temporary residency permit which many be used to conduct business activities with the visa waiver to enter the national territory of Portugal.
  • The Golden Visa also grants family reunions in Portugal – investors may bring family members, provided they fulfil certain conditions. This includes parents and in-laws, provided the Visa holder can prove they are responsible for their financial support.
  • Investors with residency rights may also be eligible for Portugal’s non-habitual residency (NHR) status, which offers a number of highly attractive tax advantages.

    Firstly, that the holder may benefit from special personal income tax treatment for ten years. Certain professions, including those in medicine and science, are able to enjoy a 20% flat tax rate, while other incomers are subject to normal Portuguese income tax rates of 14.5% - 48%.

    The NHR scheme has no minimum stay requirements, although Golden Visa holders with NHR status must still fulfil the conditions of the Golden Visa permit in order to retain it.

    NHR status grants tax exemption for monetary gifts or inheritances to direct family members, as well as exemption from wealth tax and certain NHR status holders may be able to enjoy a tax exemption on their foreign source income. This includes pensions from international sources. The 2020 Portuguese budget introduced a 10% flat rate for foreign pensions to be taken in Portugal, but that’s still far lower than the Portuguese income tax rate. Please note that UK Government service pensions fall outwith NHR rules as they are taxable in the UK only – seek specialist advice from an international financial advisor if you fall under this category.

Want to Find Out More About Golden Visas?

Anyone is eligible to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa program after purchasing an eligible investment property, provided they are not themselves a Portuguese or EU/EFTA citizen.

So if you’re a third country national who buys the type of property specified in the rules, either in the capacity of an individual businessperson or through a company or other legal entity set up and registered in Portugal, and you fulfil all associated requirements (which we can easily provide information on), you can proceed with a process that will change your life for the better.

For those interested in applying for the program, there are multiple levels with differing minimum investment requirements.

1) €500,000 – this is the most popular investment option amongst buyers, and all properties which meet or exceed this value automatically qualify the buyer for the Golden Visa scheme.

2) €350,000 – in order to qualify the investor for the Golden Visa scheme, this category of property must meet certain conditions:
i. it must be located in one of the urban areas of Portugal
ii. it must have been constructed over thirty years ago, and/or be in need of refurbishment
iii. the sum of the property value and renovation costs must add up to over £350,000 worth of investment

However, if you’re looking to economise even further, properties meeting these criteria which are located in ‘low-density’ areas need only amount to a minimum value of €280,000 including residential costs in order to qualify the buyer for the Golden Visa.

To apply for the program, you’ll also need to meet certain additional requirements in order to qualify. These can vary according to their level of investment, but as a rule, all investors are required to fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your funds must originate from outside Portugal.
  • You must have no adverse references in the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Services.
  • You must not have a criminal record.
  • Once your application is successful, you must spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal during their first investment years. In order to renew your permit after this period, you must spend a minimum of fourteen days in Portugal every two years in order to qualify.
  • The investor must spend a minimum of seven days in the country of Portugal during the first investment year.
  • The investor must spend a minimum of fourteen days in Portugal every two years in order to renew their permit after the five year period and must maintain their investment for a minimum of five years in order to apply permanent residency and/or citizenship.

The necessary documentation required in order to fulfil a permanent residency permit once invested may vary according to the level of investment.

For the highest available level €500,000) the program investor will need to provide the following documents:

  • Final deeds of purchase, or a promissory contract.

  • A declaration issued by a financial institution that is accredited or registered within the national territory of Portugal by the Bank of Portugal, that confirms an international bank transfer of capital for the purposes of purchasing or as payment for the initial deposit of property sales agreement.

  • A certificate issued by the Land Registry office (within the prior forty-five days) which is comprised of registrations, endorsements and entries in force that serve to prove the ownership of the given property free of any encumbrances, or a certificate of registry that is comprised of the provisional records of purchase, when legally feasible, with the initial deposit.

An excerpt of the commercial register which has been issued within the prior forty-five days, in cases where the investment is made by the means of a single-member limited company of which the Portuguese Golden Visa program applicant is the sole proprietor.

All documentation needs to be issued within ninety days prior to the investor submitting their online application, unless specified otherwise. Anything which has been issued by a foreign entity must be legalised with an apostille if the investor’s country of origin has signed the Hague convention, as an example.

Additionally, any documents that are not written in Portuguese must be translated and certified as true and genuine by a qualified professional.

interested In The Golden Visa Scheme?

Check Out These Eligible Properties!

Yes – there are a few additional costs you should be aware of. Aside from the initial property investment, these can include the following:

  • The down payment for the property, made in cash.
  • Costs incurred from obtainment of legal documentation.
  • Taxes, stamp duty charges and fees in Portugal.
  • You should set aside 9-10% of your budget for taxation purposes – the main component being the Property Transfer Tax (IMT).
  • If investors’ family members who are also eligible for the Golden Visa program seek to apply, this will incur national government fees of €5,147.80 each. The renewal fees every two years will incur costs at fifty percent of those rates.


There’s an additional processing fee of €514.80 for the primary application and renewal and an additional processing fee for each family also of €80.20.

Processing the application will require a lawyer, so you should always budget for legal fees – per family, these generally amount to €6000 - €8000.

Whilst the program is available exclusively to non-EU residents, Golden Visa investors may benefit from Portugal’s EU membership as well as the country’s own fantastic benefits.

These include:

  • The right to live, work, study and conduct business within the EU.
  • The ability to travel visa-free through twenty-six countries of the Schengen Zone.
  • Family reunion in the EU (this is the right for you to sponsor certain eligible family members to move permanently to an EU nation). 

If, after six years under the Golden Visa scheme, you choose to apply for Portuguese citizenship, you’ll also secure permanent access to these rights.

The Golden Visa Portugal program allows the following family members to join the holder of the Golden Visa in Portugal:

  • Spouse.
  • Dependent children who are minors (including adopted children).
  • Adult children who are still dependent/engaged in full time study.
  • Financially dependent parents either of the Golden Visa holder or their spouse.
  • Minor dependent brothers or sisters who are under the legal guardianship of the Golden Visa holder.


Under the Golden Visa scheme, these family members share the same rights as the initial investor themselves, and also become eligible for permanent residency after the five-year period. They, like the initial investor, may also apply for full Portuguese citizenship after six years of legal residency in Portugal.

What Is Portugal’s Golden Visa Program?

Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program (ARI) is a citizenship by investment scheme which encourages investment from buyers outside of the EU. Here’s some crucial information:

  • Once you buy a certain type of property in Portugal, you become eligible for a Golden Visa – this is the first step in an immigration route which enables you to apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after six years. This unlocks a number of fantastic personal, financial, and business advantages for you and (if relevant), your spouse and children (provided they apply before they’re 18).
  • Since the scheme’s introduction in 2012, it has had a fantastic impact on the Portuguese economy – as of 2020 it has supposedly generated over $5bn in revenue!
  • In addition to the capital it has injected into the Portuguese economy, Golden Visa also represents a fantastic opportunity to invest in property in one of Europe’s most desirable locations and enjoy a beautifully balanced lifestyle where everything from the climate to the cuisine is first-rate.

Why Choose To Live in Portugal?

Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program (ARI) is a citizenship by investment scheme which encourages investment from buyers outside of the EU. Here’s some crucial information:

  • Portugal is known for its weather, a beautiful Mediterranean climate that tourists flock to, as well as a picturesque landscape that’s peppered with beautiful beaches and lush countryside. This, combined with Portugal’s rich history, fascinating culture, and fantastic cuisine, gives the country its tourist-trap status and makes it one of the most attractive prospects for investors and holidaymakers alike.
  • Portugal is also considered one of the safest European countries to live in, with fairly low crime rates. It boasts an excellent healthcare system, strong educational programs, and well-connected transport systems (including airports) all of which combined means that residents tend have a very good quality of life.

Those in possession of a Portuguese Golden Visa are granted a temporary residency permit in Portugal for one year, which is then renewable for each subsequent two-year period. However, the visa also enables you to apply for permanent residence after five years, and citizenship after six (certain conditions apply).

Ready To Start Your New Life In Portugal?

Benefits Of Getting A Golden Visa

Aside from the country’s obvious appeal, the Golden Visa scheme is a uniquely appealing opportunity for investors for a number of other attractive reasons you might not realise. Here’s a rundown:

  • First of all, its flexibility. The residency permit entitles the investor to reside in the country of Portugal for the subsequent five years, but they are not required to do so for the duration. Maintaining their residency for the first five years and beyond requires only a minimum amount of time spent in the country (seven days during the first year, then a minimum of 14 days in each subsequent year), and after the initial five-year period, Golden Visa holders may apply for permanent residency in the country, or a Portuguese citizenship. It also grants third-country nationals a temporary residency permit which many be used to conduct business activities with the visa waiver to enter the national territory of Portugal.
  • The Golden Visa also grants family reunions in Portugal – investors may bring family members, provided they fulfil certain conditions. This includes parents and in-laws, provided the Visa holder can prove they are responsible for their financial support.
  • Investors with residency rights may also be eligible for Portugal’s non-habitual residency (NHR) status, which offers a number of highly attractive tax advantages.

    Firstly, that the holder may benefit from special personal income tax treatment for ten years. Certain professions, including those in medicine and science, are able to enjoy a 20% flat tax rate, while other incomers are subject to normal Portuguese income tax rates of 14.5% - 48%.

    The NHR scheme has no minimum stay requirements, although Golden Visa holders with NHR status must still fulfil the conditions of the Golden Visa permit in order to retain it.

    NHR status grants tax exemption for monetary gifts or inheritances to direct family members, as well as exemption from wealth tax and certain NHR status holders may be able to enjoy a tax exemption on their foreign source income. This includes pensions from international sources. The 2020 Portuguese budget introduced a 10% flat rate for foreign pensions to be taken in Portugal, but that’s still far lower than the Portuguese income tax rate. Please note that UK Government service pensions fall outwith NHR rules as they are taxable in the UK only – seek specialist advice from an international financial advisor if you fall under this category.

Want to Find Out More About Golden Visas?

Who is eligible for a Portuguese Golden Visa?

Anyone is eligible to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa program after purchasing an eligible investment property, provided they are not themselves a Portuguese or EU/EFTA citizen. 

So if you’re a third country national who buys the type of property specified in the rules, either in the capacity of an individual businessperson or through a company or other legal entity set up and registered in Portugal, and you fulfil all associated requirements (which we can easily provide information on), you can proceed with a process that will change your life for the better. 

Which Types Of Properties Count As Eligible Investments?

For those interested in applying for the program, there are multiple levels with differing minimum investment requirements.

However, if you’re looking to economise even further, properties meeting these criteria which are located in ‘low-density’ areas need only amount to a minimum value of €280,000 including residential costs in order to qualify the buyer for the Golden Visa.

What Other Requirements Are There For The Golden Visa?

To apply for the program, you’ll also need to meet certain additional requirements in order to qualify. These can vary according to their level of investment, but as a rule, all investors are required to fulfil the following conditions: 

  • Your funds must originate from outside Portugal.
  • You must have no adverse references in the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Services.
  • You must not have a criminal record.
  • You must not have a criminal record. Once your application is successful, you must spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal during their first investment years. In order to renew your permit after this period, you must spend a minimum of fourteen days in Portugal every two years in order to qualify.
  • The investor must spend a minimum of seven days in the country of Portugal during the first investment year.
  • The investor must spend a minimum of fourteen days in Portugal every two years in order to renew their permit after the five year period and must maintain their investment for a minimum of five years in order to apply permanent residency and/or citizenship.

What Documents Do I Need To Provide For A Golden Visa?

The necessary documentation required in order to fulfil a permanent residency permit once invested may vary according to the level of investment. 

For the highest available level €500,000) the program investor will need to provide the following documents: 

Final deeds or purchase, or a promissory contract.

  • A declaration issued by a financial institution that is accredited or registered within the national territory of Portugal by the Bank of Portugal, that confirms an international bank transfer of capital for the purposes of purchasing or as payment for the initial deposit of property sales agreement.
  • A certificate issued by the Land Registry office (within the prior forty-five days) which is comprised of registrations, endorsements and entries in force that serve to prove the ownership of the given property free of any encumbrances, or a certificate of registry that is comprised of the provisional records of purchase, when legally feasible, with the initial deposit.
  • An excerpt of the commercial register which has been issued within the prior forty-five days, in cases where the investment is made by the means of a single-member limited company of which the Portuguese Golden Visa program applicant is the sole proprietor.

All documentation needs to be issued within ninety days prior to the investor submitting their online application, unless specified otherwise. Anything which has been issued by a foreign entity must be legalised with an apostille if the investor’s country of origin has signed the Hague convention, as an example.

Additionally any documents that are not written in Portuguese must be translated and certified as true and genuine by a qualified professional.

interested In The Golden Visa Scheme?

Check Out These Eligible Properties!

Are There Any Additional Costs With A Golden Visa?

Yes – there are a few additional costs you should be aware of. Aside from the initial property investment, these can include the following:

  • The down payment for the property, made in cash.
  • Costs incurred from obtainment of legal documentation.
  • Taxes, stamp duty charges and fees in Portugal.
  • You should set aside 9-10% of your budget for taxation purposes – the main component being the Property Transfer Tax (IMT).
  • If investors’ family members who are also eligible for the Golden Visa program seek to apply, this will incur national government fees of €5,147.80 each. The renewal fees every two years will incur costs at fifty percent of those rates.

There’s an additional processing fee of €514.80 for the primary application and renewal and an additional processing fee for each family also of €80.20.

Processing the application will require a lawyer, so you should always budget for legal fees – per family, these generally amount to €6000 – €8000.  

What Are The Benefits of EU Citizenship?

Whilst the program is available exclusively to non-EU residents, Golden Visa investors may benefit from Portugal’s EU membership as well as the country’s own fantastic benefits.

These include:

  • The right to live, work, study and conduct business within the EU.
  • The ability to travel visa-free through twenty-six countries of the Schengen Zone.
  • Family reunion in the EU (this is the right for you to sponsor certain eligible family members to move permanently to an EU nation).

If, after six years under the Golden Visa scheme, you choose to apply for Portuguese citizenship, you’ll also secure permanent access to these rights. 

Which Family Members Can Join You Under The Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa Portugal program allows the following family members to join the holder of the Golden Visa in Portugal:

  • Spouse.
  • Dependent children who are minors (including adopted children).
  • Adult children who are still dependent/engaged in full time study.
  • Financially dependent parents either of the Golden Visa holder or their spouse.
  • Minor dependent brothers or sisters who are under the legal guardianship of the Golden Visa holder.

Under the Golden Visa scheme, these family members share the same rights as the initial investor themselves, and also become eligible for permanent residency after the five-year period. They, like the initial investor, may also apply for full Portuguese citizenship after six years of legal residency in Portugal. 

Next Steps

If you’ve got to the end of our Golden Visa guide, firstly, congrats and secondly, we hope we’ve spurred your interest in this superb scheme. 

Your next step is to drop us a line and we’ll get back to you for a chat whenever it’s convenient for you.

With the Portugal Golden Visa, your new life in the sunshine is closer than ever! 

Portugal Golden Visas FAQs

The application process is not complicated per se, but it does involve collecting and collating a lot of supporting documentation – in your home nation and in Portugal. When the application is assessed by authorities, it may be rejected if crucial supporting documents are missing, therefore it’s vital to work through the process in a careful, precise and logical manner. You’re free to gather together all of the supporting evidence and apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa program on your own, but since you’re going to invest a significant amount of money during this process and your future life plans depend on it’s success, you need to be sure that you’ve answered and evidenced every mandatory requirement so that your application is granted.

The best way to ensure success and a smooth and speedy process is by seeking guidance from local professionals like Property Lisbon. Our insider knowledge of the local property market, intimate knowledge of property laws and strong connections to a network of legal professionals specialising in this niche mean that we’re perfectly placed to offer you the help you need at each stage of the process.

We have helped many investors just like you to secure the Portuguese Golden visa, gain Portuguese residency and citizenship and start new, exciting lives with their families here. We can’t wait to support your application and help you enter the next chapter of your life.

The requirements of the Portuguese Golden Visa program may vary according to your individual level of investment – there are currently three categories based on property values of €500,000, €350,000 and €280,000.

However, there are some procedural requirements which all Portuguese Golden Visa program investors are required to fulfil, regardless of the route. 
Firstly, there’s a mandatory requirement that you must retain your Golden Visa property investment for a minimum of five years and secondly, the provenance of your investment funds must be in a territory outwith Portugal.

Furthermore, you should have no adverse immigration record with either Portuguese Immigration services or with the authorities of any immigration service from any other Schengen nation and you shouldn’t have a criminal record in any nation.

Once your Golden Visa is granted, you have to spend at least seven days in Portugal during the first year of the process and a minimum of 14 days in Portugal every two years thereafter for your permit to be renewed.

Naturally, the main cost incurred in the Golden Visa process is incurred from the property you purchase, but there are other costs inherent in the application process too.

For example, you’ll have to factor in your down payment for the property (which is made in cash), and there may be fees associated with the evidential documentation you have to submit, for example if you’re having a professional cast their expert eye over them.

Purchasing property in Portugal also attracts certain taxes, stamp duty charges and fees. These costs vary, but to provide a ballpark figure for you to work with, we recommend setting aside between nine and ten per cent of your budget to cover taxation costs. The main component of taxation is the Property Transfer Tax (IMT).

Portuguese government fees for the actual application for the Golden Visa are € 5,147.80 per family member and please remember that you’ll need to pay renewal fees every two years at 50% of this original cost. Additionally, a processing fee of €514.80 Euros for the main applicant and €80.20 Euros for each family member is applied each time you renew.

Last but not least, you need to budget for your lawyer fees, which typically add up to around € 6000-8000 per family by the end of the Golden Visa process.

The Portugal Golden Visa Portugal program facilitates family reunion by allowing certain family members to join the main investor as permanent Portuguese residents.

For example, the scheme can allow you to settle in Portugal with your spouse, minor dependent children, minor adopted children, mature children who are still financially dependent on you and/or engaged in formal study, dependent parents of you or our spouse and, finally, minor dependent siblings who are under your legal guardianship.

These family members are conferred the same initial rights as the main investor, will be eligible for permanent Portuguese residency after five years and for Portuguese citizenship after being resident for six years. By the end of this process, you and your family could have full rights as Portuguese and EU citizens, with all the outstanding benefits this brings.

We’ve prepared a simple timeline that clearly shows the process from start to finish and explains what you should expect at each stage:

  • 1-4 months: invest in your property and apply for the Portugal Golden Visa scheme.
  • Year 1: your Golden Visa permit is issued for the duration of one year.
  • Years 2 & 3: your permit is renewed for two year periods in each of these years.
  • Year 5: you obtain permanent Portuguese residency for yourself and relevant family members.

Certainly – simply drop your details in the box below and we will calculate the cost specification and get the information back to you swiftly.

NEED MORE INFO ABOUT THE COST

Please fill in the form on the right and we will get back to you with the cost specification.

our Future Is Unwritten – Grab Your Golden Visa Opportunity Today!

LISBON PROPERTY AGENT
Golden visa Portugal
Service Type
Golden visa Portugal
Provider Name
PROPERTYLISBON.COM,
Avenida da Liberdade,Lisbon,Lisbon-1250-1400,
Telephone No.+351 213 471 603
Area
Lisbon Portugal
Description
Golden visa Portugal Citizenship visa Portugal | Schengen visa investment

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