Golden Visa Portugal - Everthing you need to know

The golden visa has become of the most important source of foreign direct investment in Portugal. Launched in 2012 the investor visa program has been actively promoted internationally by the Portuguese government. With your Golden Visa permit, you will be registered with the Schengen Area central system which will enable you to enter all European countries without the need for an additional visa.

Investors  first receive a one-year residence permit, which can then be extended every two years. You do not have to spend a long time in Portugal. Seven days a year are enough which can be easily integrated in a holiday or business trip.


Since the launch of the golden visa programme’s in 2012, more than 4,200 Portuguese golden visas have been given out, representing more than EUR 2.5 billion investment in the country. 

After five years, you can apply for permanent residency and citizenship. The Portuguese passport is a top-notch travel document allowing visa-free travel to 182 countries.

What are the benefits of getting a golden visa in Portugal?

There are many benefits for the Golden Visa program’s. The main benefits are listed below:


  • You will be registered with the Schengen Area central system which will enable you to enter all European countries without the need for an additional visa  (26 European countries)
  • The program is not blacklisted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Many European countries have golden visa programs even Germany
  • After five years, you can apply for the Portuguese citizenship
  • Family reunion is possible which means that certain depdendent family members can also get Portuguese residency
  • Access Portuguese healthcare and European education system.
  • You have the security of a second residence in a safe and stable country
  • You only need to spend seven days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent years in Portugal (consecutively or non-consecutively
  • You have the option to become a non-habitual resident of Portugal and pay little or no tax for 10 years


The Portuguese Non-Habitual Tax Regime grants qualifying individuals the possibility of becoming tax residents of a white-listed jurisdiction whilst legally minimizing income tax on certain categories of non-Portugal income for a period of 10 years. Golden Visa holders automatically qualify for the Portuguese Non-Habitual Tax Regime (NHR).


The Golden Visa Portugal extendable to family members like: 

  • Spouse or legal partner;
  • Children under 18 years of age;
  • Dependent children under 26 as long as they are unmarried and enrolled as full-time students;
  • Parents of either spouse if over the age of 66 years old (or 55 and dependent); and/or
  • Siblings under the age of 18 years from either spouse or partner if legally responsible

What are the requirements for the golden visa in Portugal?

The requirements for the investor visa are:

  • An investment in Portugal
  • Clean criminal record in Portugal
  • No previous refusal of entry or visa to the EU
  • Sufficient medical insurance if you decide to stay in Portugal

The following investments meet the criteria for the golden visa:

  • Capital transfer of at least  1 million EUR  into Portugal
  • The creation of at least 10 job positions in Portugal
  • The purchase of real estate property in Portugal worth at least EUR 500.000 EUR  (reduced to 400.000 EUR if it is located in a low-density area). You can chieve this option also with more than one property which is from an investment point of view even better because rental returns do not grow proportionally with the property value
  • The purchase of real estate property in Portuguese urban regeneration areas or that is at least 30 years old to the value of at least 350.000 EUR (reduced to 280.000 EUR if located in a low-density area). In this option you have to invest some part of the money into renovations. Such projects need to be approved by SEF as qualifying for the reduced investment amount and it is critical to ensure the right project and legal advice is obtained before embarking on such investment
  • Investment of at least 350.000 EUR in scientific research in Portugal
  • Investment of at least 250.000 EUR in Portuguese arts, culture and heritage
  • Investment of at least 500.000 EUR in small and medium businesses in Portugal

A lower density area which gives you a 20% reduced investment complies to the NUT3  level with fewer than 100 inhabitants per kilometre squared or GDP per capita less than 75% of the national average.


Note that you can not get a bank loan or mortgage in Portugal to buy a property. You have to prove that you bring the capital 100% to Portugal. Of course you can apply for a mortgage in your own country.

What is the process and costs of getting and maintain the golden visa ?

First you have to realized the investment in Portugal. After the investement you can start to apply for the golden visa. The application is made by your lawyer and it takes up to 6 months for approval. If you also want to apply for your family members, it will be done at the same time. The first applicant pays 532,70 EUR processing fee, each additional family member pays 83,10 EUR.


You can find a cost simulation for the 350k and the 500k solution for a family of four here.


Along with the Portuguese golden visa application, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Passport or valid travel ID
  • Proof of legal entry into Portugal (eg. Schengen short-stay visa)
  • Proof of health insurance (issued within the last three months)
  • Criminal record certificate from country of origin/residence (issued within the last three months)
  • Evidence of compliance with tax and Social Security obligations
  • Receipt of payment of the Portuguese golden visa fees.

The applicants need to show commitment to maintain their investment for a minimum of five years, plus evidence of their investment


The Portuguese golden visa application can be submitted online via the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service’s (SEF) website. The application takes up to 6 months for approval.


You need the following certified documents from a Portuguese consulate or the embassy of your country translated into Portuguese

  • Criminal certificate from country of origin 
  • marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate of children 

Once your application has been approved, you will pay an authorization fee of 5324,60 EUR per applicant. After 10 days you will receive your residence card, which is valid for 1 year.  


The residence card is renewable for two-year periods. In the second year you must submit your biometric data (fingerprints, etc.), present a current criminal record and pay a fee of 2662,30 EUR per applicant. In addition, the cost of the renewal process is 532.70 EUR for the main applicant and 83,10 EUR for each additional family member.


 For the final application for the 4th and 5th year, you must submit your biometric data, present a current criminal record and pay a fee of 266,30 EUR per applicant. In addition, the cost of the renewal process is  532, 70 EUR for the main applicant and 83,10 EUR for each additional family member. After the last renewal process, you can renew your golden visa or apply for a permanent residence permit.

How to find properties for the golden visa?

Buying property in Portugal is the most favorite option for most applicants to get the golden visa in Portugal. However, local real estate agents are quite aware of the budget requirements and often tend to sell foreign investors overpriced properties. 


Pearls of Portugal is  specialized in finding the best real estate for our clients and making the purchase as cheap and safe as possible. We work 100% for the buyer. We offer all services related to the purchase of real estate for our customers. We quarantee absolute confidentiality 

Portugal is also a very good location for investments. In addition to the returns from tourist rental, there are also excellent conditions for the classic rental of housing and commercial space.

Golden visa properties in Portugal - Types of properties

Touristic Rental ( Alojamento Local)

In contrast to other European countries, tourism and the provision of housing enjoy a positive reputation in Portugal. Accordingly this is also promoted by the municipalities. As a private person you can very easily register a small business for the rental and apply for the nedded licenses. This usually takes about 2 days.


From the investing point of view, apartments in the two major cities of Porto and Lisbon, but also in the classic holiday regions such as the Algarve or Alentejo, are particularly suitable. For apartments in cities there are clear requirements for successful letting. Appropriate apartments must be centrally located with access to the subway. In addition, it must be a historic and renovated building in very good condition.


Established apartments generate an average of 25-35 TSD EUR per year. The management of the apartment is taken over by professional administrators which manage of all important tasks of the rental. These are remunerated with 20-30% of your turnover. After taxes the landlord remains with about 65% of their turnover as profit. Corresponding properties are around 250.000 EUR as minimum  investment.


Commercial properties had a rather weak development in the recent years. The purchase costs for good locations are therefore around 1000 EUR per square meter. Nevertheless the market is interesting as the conversion of commercial space to official living space has become much easier due to the lack of housing. This will soon lead to a sharp increase in conversions and thus in a higher demand für comercial places.


In addition, commercial real estate such as a shops is interesting because you can already acquire the appropriate properties with fairly low budgets. Smaller stores cost around 35.000 EUR in the big cities. The gross return for related properties is around 10%, which is a solid return compared to more expensive investment opportunities. In addition, the commercial space can be rented in the long term and has no high renovation costs.

Long term renting

Similar to other European countries there is a very strong lack of housing in urban areas in Portugal. The rate of privatley owned properties used to be 95%. In recent years, the market has developed into a strong rental market. Particularly in demand are smaller apartments in classic residential buildings which are not located in the center but in connection with the inner cities.


The entry prices for 2-3 bedroom apartments are around 150 TSD EUR and are therefore much more affordable than in other major European cities. The rents are usually at 8-11 euros per square meter. With the investment of 300 TSD EUR one comes to a gross rent of approx. 1500 EUR per month.


Portugal is a classic holiday destination with a strong increase in demand from foreign tourists. The market for hotels and the supply of hotel real estate is correspondingly well developed. Objects with 10-20 beds can already be purchased with  400.000 EUR. Smaller objects can also be purchased much cheaper. Many investors focus less on a traditional main building but on the construction of mobile units through which the capacity can be successively expanded.


In addition to the efficient management of the hotel and the location the underlying concept behind capital investment is most decisive. There are a lot of classic hotels in Portugal. In order to prevail on the market, it is therefore necessary to occupy a niche or a strong feature in the market. This should already be considered when searching for the right property. For smaller budgets the construction of a hostel in the big cities or a pilgrim hostel in the north of Portugal is suitable.

Agricultural Land and properties

Portugal has a long tradition in agriculture and is well known for its wine and olive oil production. There exist also many smaller markets with higher margins like cork trees or nuts like almonds that have stable markets. General fruits like oranges or all kind of vegetables are not recommendable because of the strong competition in Europe especially from Spain.


Farm land in Portugal is usually less expensive because the plots are located more in the interior parts of Portugal. This makes also the acquisition of houses much more cheaper as they are required for the golden visa approval.