The most common route in the Portugal Golden Visa Program is through buying a property.
The advantage of this option is that the property can be rented out or operated for commercial, agricultural or tourism purposes.
It is important to note that due to a recent change in the Portuguese immigration law in 2020, the initial residence permit that was valid for one year is now valid for two. Likewise, the renewal permit became valid for three years instead of two.
Acquiring the golden visa is a straightforward process once you have all the required documents to hand, however there are some particular aspects of the application process of which investors need to be mindful.
For instance, the transfer of funds to buy the property needs to come from an authorised Portuguese credit institution. If you transfer from your overseas bank account directly to the seller’s account, you could put the whole application in jeopardy.
1. Life within Portugal Golden Visa Program
After you have been granted the golden visa, the obligations are minimal: maintain the property for at least five years from the date of issuance of the residency title and stay in the country for an average of 7 days a year. After 5 years of holding a golden visa, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
2. New Rules - Update 03/21
The rules of the golden visa program in Portugal will change on July 1st 2021 with a “transitional regime during 2021 and 2022”. Until 2022, you can still become a Portuguese Resident and later obtain citizenship through investment in real estate in all areas of Portugal. However, from 2022, investment in property located in any so-called 'high-density population centres' such as major cities like Lisbon or Porto or areas such as the Algarve and the Silver Coast will not have the same incentive. Qualification for the Golden Visa programme will be restricted to more sparsely populated areas in the interior of the country or in Madeira or the Azores.
The purchase of real property with a value as follows;
- €500k - any property;
- €350k - (i) a property built over 30 years ago + (ii) for refurbishing (€350k includes the purchase of the property and the costs of the renovation project)
- €280k - (i) the property must be located in one of Portugal’s designated low-density areas + (ii) construction dating back more than 30 years + (iii) for refurbishing (includes the purchase of the property and the costs of the renovation project)
Capital Investments Another change in 2022 relates to capital investments in Portugal, with increases across the board:
- Capital Transfers: €1m > 1.5m
- Investment Funds: €350k > €500k
- Business Investment: €350k > €500k
- Research Investment: €350k > €500k