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Portugal Golden Visa

3 min read

Portugal Golden Visa

It has been many centuries since Portugal and Spain famously divided the new world between them (without consulting the natives' mind you) but Portugal remains a country with unique cultural and historical significance. From incredible architecture to world-famous cuisine, to amazing beaches there is so much in Portugal to discover and enjoy.

The climate is quite reasonable owing to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean which moderates temperatures. Residents of Portugal enjoy mild winters and relatively sunny summers without excessive rainfall.


Portugal golden visa

Portugal’s Golden Visa program is a method for foreign investors to acquire residency in Portugal after making a sizeable investment in real estate, business, or the financial markets. Founded in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa was designed to attract foreign investment to the Portuguese economy, creating jobs and enabling Portuguese businesses to draw upon a greater pool of loanable funds. While initially, the majority of investments made under this program were in the real estate market, in recent years many applicants have been choosing to invest in the Portuguese equities market instead. This program has attracted € six billion in foreign investment and has been responsible for tremendous economic growth.


Qualifying investments

There are a number of ways to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa.

  • One way is to invest €500,000 in real estate (or €400,000 if the area you are purchasing real estate in is deemed low population density with less than 100 people per km squared).

  • Another approach is to transfer €1.5 million to a Portuguese bank.

  • Alternatively, you can invest €500,000 in a venture capital fund that has a primary focus on Portuguese companies.

  • Or you can invest €250,000 in an artistic or cultural venture.

  • Finally, you can also invest €350,000 in purchasing and renovating residential buildings which are thirty years of age or older. And this figure drops to €280,000 if you are dealing with a low-density area.

Note that to qualify for this visa, you cannot purchase residential real estate in coastal regions, as the government is trying to encourage more development inland. However, there are no restrictions for commercial investments.

Business people looking to take advantage of the Portugal Golden Visa can also qualify, by starting a business that creates at least ten new jobs, investing €500,000 in a new business, or increasing the share capital of a firm that is registered in Portugal.

*Legal Fees and additional expenses are not included in these Investment Options


Map of Spain and Portugal

Map of Spain and Portugal

benefits of the Portugal golden visa

There are many benefits to the Portugal Golden Visa program. With it, you acquire the right to reside and work in Portugal for a year, and you can extend your residency so long as your investment remains in place. With this comes the privilege of visa-free travel to many nations, including the coveted Schengen region. You can also bring your immediate family along with you.

This program is also a shortcut to Portuguese citizenship and a Portuguese passport. In fact, by taking advantage of the Golden Visa you can acquire Portuguese citizenship in as little as six years. You must obtain an A2 Portuguese language certificate, prove you have links to the country such as through your investment, provide documents such as proof of a Portuguese bank account, and have no criminal record. 

Another benefit is that you are only required to spend 7 days out of the year in Portugal, so other than that, you can travel to your heart's content across Europe or anywhere else that you want to go. You can also avail yourself of Portugal’s health care and educational systems for both you and your family. Residents of Portugal also get the benefit of being able to enjoy a very high quality of life. Between the great food, incredible weather, and high level of personal safety life is good in Portugal.


Related content: Greece Golden Visa


application process

  • Make your investment
  • Make an appointment with the SEF, the government agency in charge of immigration (or grant power of attorney to a lawyer who can pursue this on your behalf)
  • Pay all necessary fees



This investment visa is not open to everyone. The requirements are as follows:        

  • The primary applicant must be over 18
  • You must make one of the aforementioned investments
  • You must have a clean criminal history
  • You must keep your investment in place for five years
  • You must not be a citizen of the European Union

The D. Luís I Bridge is a metal structure bridge with two decks, built between 1881 and 1886

View of Douro River, Porto, Portugal

tax implications of Portuguese residency

Portuguese tax residents are taxed on worldwide income, with a very steep upper bracket of 48%. Non-residents pay a flat income tax of 25% on any income that stems from within Portugal. You are considered a tax resident of Portugal if you spend more than 183 days in the calendar year in Portugal. You are not required to become a tax resident of Portugal simply because you obtain residency there with the Portugal Golden Visa. Portugal has sales taxes, ranging from 4% to 23%, depending on what you are buying and where you are buying it. They also have property taxes ranging from around 0.4% for urban properties and 0.8% for rural real estate.


Related content: Spain Golden Visa



The Portugal Golden Visa does have relatively high investment criteria but in return, you get residency in an extremely desirable expat location. Portugal’s strategic location, its modern economy, high quality of social services, and relatively low cost of living all combine to make it an attractive country to have residency in. As a pathway to citizenship, the Portuguese passport offers visa-free travel to 187 countries around the world. With spectacular landscapes and a near-perfect climate, Portugal is the quintessential marriage of the modern technological age with old-world charm.



I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.



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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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