The new law came into effect on October 7, 2023, and real estate investments are no longer accepted as a qualifying investment for the Portugal Golden Visa. However, the good news is that there are several alternative ways of applying for the Golden Visa program.
Portugal Golden Visa changes
- Investments directly or indirectly related to Real Estate are no longer available
- Capital transfer with an amount of €1,000,000 is no longer available
- Ongoing applications pending in SEF will remain unaffected
- The minimum stay requirement will not change
Real estate route is no longer available
The last recent government decision has resulted in the exclusion of real estate acquisition options under the Portugal Golden Visa program. The most popular investments options are no longer available:
€350.000 – purchase real estate in rehabilitation projects. If the property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies and it can start from €280.000.
€500.000 – purchase of newer residential and commercial property in Portugal. If the property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies and it can start from €400.000.
Portugal Golden Visa eligible investments
1. Investment funds
Contribution of €500,000 or higher, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital fund of funds under the Portuguese legislation, whose maturity, at the moment of the investment, is, at least, of five years and, at least, 60% of the investments is realized in commercial companies with head office in national territory.
2. Business Investment
Minimum investment of €500,000 for constitution of a company in Portugal, combined with the creation of five permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a company already existing in Portugal, with the creation or keeping of minimum of five permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years. If the investment is located in a ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies.
3. Scientific research
Capital transfer with a value equal to or above €500,000 for investing in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system. If the investment is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies.
4. Cultural heritage contribution
Donation of a minimum of €250,000 for investing in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, through the local and central authorities, public institutions or, private foundations of public interest. If the investment takes place in a ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies.
5. Job Creation
Incorporating a company and creation of at least, ten jobs positions. If the investment is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20 percent discount applies.
Portugal Golden Visa Low Density Areas
In the case of Job Creation, Cultural Heritage Contribution, or Scientific Research, the minimum amount or quantitative requirement may be lower by 20 percent, if the investment take place in a low-density area.
What is the most affordable Portugal Golden Visa investment option?
The Cultural Golden Visa program in Portugal, also known as ”Artistic Production” Golden Visa is not widely known or utilized as an investment route mainly due to the absence of specific regulations and challenges around the procedures but is considered one of the more affordable options among the Golden Visa programs available in Europe.
With a minimum investment requirement of €250,000 or €200,000 if its applicable in low-density areas in the Portuguese interior, offers a comparatively lower threshold for investors seeking residency or citizenship through artistic endeavors in Portugal.
The Portugal Cultural Golden Visa offers two routes of investment:
Artistic Production Support: To qualify for the Artistic Support Funding investor needs to do an investment in artistic production such as a film or musical.
Cultural Heritage Preservation: Alternatively, to qualify for the Maintenance of National Heritage, the minimum amount must be donated to an eligible art foundation or a national heritage foundation.
Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa
The Portugal’s Golden Visa allows you visa-free entry and circulation through the Schengen Area.
Live, Work, Study
Once you become a resident in Portugal you are entitled to conduct any professional activity as an independent professional and you gain access to the National Education Service, schools, and vocational training.
Short stay requirement
The Portugal’s Golden Visa program requires a minimum stay of seven days during the initial year, followed by an additional requirement of 14 days for each subsequent two-year period.
Flexible and affordable investment options starting at €250,000.
You are entitled to bring your family members who are already in Portugal or who will be joining you in Portugal. You may request family reunification in SEF at the same time as your visa application, or after you have received your visa.
The following is the list of family members that may qualify for family reunification under the Portugal Golden Visa:
- Your spouse or partner.
- Your children under 18 years of age or incapacitated children of the couple or of one of their spouses/partners.
- Children over 18 years of age who are dependent on you or your spouse which means that they are single and studying.
- Your parents or your spouse/partner’s parents if they are dependent on you.
- You minor siblings.
After five years of legal residency, you may apply for permanent residency or to citizenship. However, in this case you’ll have to pass a Portuguese language test.
Portugal Golden Visa tax benefits
If you decide to become a Portugal tax resident you gain access to a special tax regime known as NHR (non-habitual resident).
Under this program, you are exempt from or pay very little taxes on any foreign-sources income. The benefits of non-habitual resident Portugal includes:
- Special individual tax treatment on incomes for a period of 10 years
- Differentiation between Portuguese-sourced and foreign-sourced income
- Trend for exemption on the foreign-sourced passive income
- Flat rate (20%) for high value-added activities
- Tax residency within the EU in a white-listed country
- Exemption of tax on gifts or inheritance to family members
- No wealth tax
- Free cash remittance to Portugal
Here you can find a detailed guide for the NHR Portugal Tax regime.
Why work with us for your Portugal Golden Visa Application?
We know Portugal. Due to our extensive local knowledge, we believe that concentrating our services in a single country destination is the best way to give you the most thorough and useful information.
One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your investment and Golden Visa application.
We recommend what’s best for you based on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.
Technology plays a very important role in our company. We minimize our clients’ involvement in paperwork. We are customers ourselves and we know how to serve you.
Frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa Changes
Can I still apply for the Portugal Golden Visa?
Yes, the current investment options are still available until the new law become official published.
Are SEF's pending applications still valid?
Yes, the ongoing applications in SEF will remain unaffected by the approved amendments.
What are the changes to the Portugal Golden Visa?
Investments directly or indirectly related to Real Estate and Capital Transfer are no longer available.
What are the minimum stay requirements?
The minimum stay requirement will not change and remain with an average of seven days per year.
Can I still invest in real estate acquisition?
No, it’s not possible to invest in real estate for obtaining a resident permit in Portugal.
Does the Portugal Golden Visa still lead to citizenship?
Yes, after five years, you have the option to choose between applying for permanent residency or citizenship.
Is family reunion affected by these changes?
No. Both pending and new family reunion applications will be subject to the same rules as the main applicant under the changes made to the Portugal Golden Visa program.