close menu

Golden Visa Portugal

Golden Visa Portugal is a unique residency-by-investment solution. By making an investment in Portugal, you can obtain EU residency rights. This can lead to Portuguese citizenship for you and your dependents.

Why choose the Portugal Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa not only allows the holder to live and work in Portugal, but also affords you the right to visa-free travel throughout the European Schengen Area. This has been especially attractive to executives wishing to work within the European Union (EU).

Through this Portuguese residency programme, you can qualify for permanent residence after five years. Portuguese citizenship (an EU passport) gives you the right to live and work in the EU, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

This solution has proven very popular with clients who are looking to achieve:


Dual residency (or nationality)
for you and your family


Visa-free travel in Europe
(27 countries of mainland Europe)


Overseas property


A foreign currency asset
that earns rental income

We are the Golden Visa market leaders

Our dedicated consultants will help you choose the route to residency which is most suitable for you. The steps can be complex, but we have key partnerships with legal advisors and consultants in Portugal across all critical areas. We can ease the path for your application, ensuring you obtain residency with as little hassle as possible.

Our service includes everything from opening your bank accounts, to tax advice, fiscal applications, property selection and management, as well as residency applications and renewals to your application for Portuguese citizenship.

Gain Portuguese residency for you and your family

We have been at the forefront of implementing Portugal's new government legislation, designed to encourage foreign investment in the country since 2012.

Excellent investment opportunities along with EU residency

Since October 2012, the Golden Residence Permit Programme has fast-tracked and facilitated Portugal's investment and residency application process. Supported by our Portuguese partners, we have removed the complexity and stress from EU citizenship applications, guiding you from beginning to end.

The end result is a sound property investment and the right for you and your immediate family to hold residency rights in a stunning European country, eventually leading to Portuguese citizenship.

Portuguese citizenship offers the benefits of EU nationality and allows visa-free travel throughout Europe, Ireland and the UK. Our full service is unique in its scope, providing comfort and peace of mind for those wanting to achieve these three key objectives:

  • European residency and citizenship
  • Overseas property ownership
  • Foreign currency income

The Portugal Golden Visa functions similarly to a Schengen Visa.

It enables visa-free travel throughout the countries of the Schengen Area:

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland (not a European Union Member State)

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein (not a European Union Member State)

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Norway (not a European Union Member State)

  • Poland

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland (not a European Union member state)

Golden Visa Portugal: Qualifying criteria

There are four routes to qualify for the Golden Residence Permit Programme. Our experts can help pick the right one for you depending on your unique circumstances.

The four routes to Golden Visa residency are:

1. €1 million capital investment

This can be in the form of:

  • An investment of €1 million (minimum)

  • A fund deposit into a Portuguese bank account

  • The purchase of Portuguese stocks/bonds

  • A company investment

2. Create 10 jobs

The following guidelines apply:

  • You need to employ a minimum of 10 workers at minimum wage

  • All employees need to pay social security

There is no minimum investment requirement for this option.

3. Property purchase of €500,000

This is definitely the most popular option with investors. It is a fantastic way to combine your investment goals with your residency goals.


  • The property must have a minimum value of €500,000

  • Multiple properties can be purchased

  • All property can be rented out

4. Property investment of €350,000


  • Multiple properties can be purchased

  • Property must be located in an urban regeneration area

Golden Visa Portugal: Visitation and residency requirements

To receive your Golden Visa, you need to hold your investment alongside your visa for a full five-year period. You’ll have to spend time in Portugal over the course of your visa; but with Portugal being what it is, this won’t seem like much of a chore at all.

How present must you be in Portugal?

The residency requirements are not onerous and most participants in the programme spend more than enough time in their new home to satisfy the residency requirements.

Here are the number of days you must spend in Portugal in order to ensure your visa remains valid:

  • Year one: seven days
  • Year two to three: 14 days
  • Year four to five: 14 days

Other requirements, In addition to the investment requirement, you need to meet the following three basic conditions in order to receive your visa:

  1. Your investment funds should come from abroad
  2. You should have no previous criminal convictions to your name
  3. As a resident holder, you are required to spend a minimum of 35 days in Portugal over this five-year period

Golden Visa Portugal: Portuguese language test for permanent residency and citizenship

A key aspect of applying for Portuguese permanent residency and citizenship is proving your knowledge of the language. This is done by taking a level A2 exam (also called CIPLE), which will test your understanding of the language and your ability to communicate in Portuguese.

The exam can be written at any point after you’ve successfully obtained a Golden Visa. Since this aspect of the application process involves quite a bit of preparation, we advise that you start learning the language soon after obtaining your Golden Visa.

There are several testing centres or online courses that can help you prepare for the test. It’s important to ensure that the course you take or language application you download is in local Portuguese and not a Brazilian dialect.

Golden Visa statistics

Every year more and more people are taking advantage of the Portuguese government’s residency-by-investment programme.

Since its inception in October 2012, the Golden Residence Permit Programme (GRPP), also known as the Golden Visa programme, has been a great success. Billions of Euros have been brought into the local Portuguese economy by non-EU investors who have secured EU residency in return for their investments and in a few years the first participants in this programme will become eligible for full EU citizenship.

Golden Visa

How much has been invested?

Over €2 billion has been invested into the Portuguese economy. The great thing for Portugal, and the investors, is that this is not so-called “hot money”; investments are mostly in long-term assets like residential property. In fact, over 90% of participants in the Golden Visa programme have chosen to buy property in Portugal. This is mostly as a result of the fantastic financial opportunities this avenue of the GRPP affords investors.

Who is investing?

Investors come from all walks of life from all over the world, but the top five countries are China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Lebanon. Participants are clearly keen on ensuring they secure EU residency, which will allow them, and their families, to travel and work visa-free throughout the EU.

It’s a family affair

Over 5,000 family members have been given visas as part of the Golden Visa programme. This proves that if you’re thinking about immigrating with your family, the GRPP remains arguably the best option for you and your loved ones.

Even if your family is living elsewhere (and are not yet citizens of an EU nation), they can join you on your Golden Visa and, subject to meeting several criteria, will be eligible to apply for Portuguese and EU citizenship and a Portuguese passport.

Disclaimer: Please do not act in reliance on information published or advised without consulting a suitably qualified independent legal or other professional advisor of your own choosing. Sable International will not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of their use or reliance on any of the advice provided by any one or all of the professional advisors identified by Sable International. Sable International will not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of the Portuguese Government changing the legislation and or rules around immigration and nationality. Obtaining Portuguese residency and citizenship is at the sole discretion of the Portuguese Government. Sable International will not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of the Portuguese Government not granting an applicant residency or citizenship.

Frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa

In the years we’ve been helping citizens from around the world take part in the Golden Residence Permit Programme, we’ve gained a lot of experience. Below are the answers to some of the most common questions we get asked by prospective clients who are keen to know, in detail, what the Golden Visa is all about.

Golden Visa basics

1. What is the Golden Visa?

The Golden Residence Permit Programme (Autorização de Residência para Atividade de Investimento), launched by Portuguese authorities in October 2012, is a fast-track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residence permit in Portugal (otherwise known as a Golden Visa).

Under the Golden Residence Permit Programme, non-EU citizens must carry out one of the investments set out in the law to qualify for a residency permit in Portugal. This permit allows the investor to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of European countries (Schengen Area).

Aimed at attracting foreign investment in Portugal, the Golden Visa is a straightforward, flexible programme with transparent legal requirements. By reducing the country's minimum stay requirements, the Portuguese government has made the Golden Visa one of the most attractive residency programmes in the world.

2. How long is the Golden Visa valid for?

Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of one year and can be renewed for subsequent periods of two years.

3. What are the main advantages of the Golden Visa?

  • It removes the need for a visa to enter Portugal or travel through Europe (Schengen Area)
  • You can live and work in Portugal, even with residency in a different country
  • Portuguese residency can extend to dependant family members
  • It has extremely low minimum stay periods
  • You can attain permanent residency after five years
  • It is possible to attain EU citizenship after six years if all requirements have been met

4. What are the costs involved?

The Golden Visa has the following fees, payable directly to the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF):

  1. Processing fee (application and renewal): €527,60 investor (plus €82.30 per department)
  2. Initial Golden Visa: €5,274.40
  3. Initial Golden Visa for family members: €5,274.40+
  4. Renewal of Golden Visa: €2,637.20

5. What countries are included in the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. As long as you have a resident permit for Portugal, you are entitled to enter and travel freely through all countries in the Schengen area.

The Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Family matters

1. Can the Golden Visa be extended to family members?

Yes. Under the Golden Residence Permit Programme, the investor's family members can obtain a Portuguese resident permit by applying for a “family reunion”. The Golden Visa can then be extended to dependant family members (children, spouse and dependant family members).

Like the primary investor, these family members may then be eligible for permanent residency after five years and Portuguese citizenship after six years.

2. Which dependants qualify for the Golden Visa?

The following dependants may apply for the Golden Visa at the same time as the investor:

  1. Your spouse (same-sex spouses are recognised)
  2. Minor children(Children under the age of 18 years.)
  3. Adult dependant children (this includes full-time university students)
  4. Parents (over 66) who are dependant on the main applicant
  5. Minor siblings under the main applicant or spouse custody


3. How does the investor and his/her family obtain permanent residency after five years?

Permanent residency may be granted to those who have successfully renewed their residence permit for a full five-year period. Adult dependants will need to be free of any convictions and show basic knowledge of the Portuguese language.

  • Proof of income/financial independence
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal
  • Basic knowledge of the Portuguese language
  • Have no relevant criminal convictions during the last five years

4. How can the investor and his/her family obtain Portuguese citizenship?

Portuguese legislation stipulates that any person who has been resident in Portugal for at least five years (either under a temporary or permanent residency title) is eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. In order to gain citizenship.

The investor and their family members need to meet the following requirements:

  1. They must have no relevant criminal convictions
  2. Pass a simple Portuguese language test

The investment

1. What types of investments are permitted under the Golden Visa rules?

The following investments qualify for the Golden Residence Permit Programme:

  1. Acquire property valued at €500,000 or more
  2. Transfer of funds above €1 million
  3. Creation of at least 10 jobs in Portugal
  4. Purchase property of €350,000 in an urban regeneration area
  5. Invest at least €350,000 in a private equity fund

Note: Only investments effectively made after 8 October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Residence Permit Programme.

2. Which requirements do investors have to comply with?

In general, all investors have to meet the following requirements:

  1. Keep the investment for a minimum of five years
  2. Make sure the funds for investment come from abroad
  3. Enter Portugal using a valid Schengen Visa
  4. No breach of immigration control in the Portugal and Schengen Area
  5. Absence of conviction of relevant crimes
  6. Minimum stay in Portugal: Seven days during the first year and 14 days during each subsequent year, for a period of two years

Note: Only investments effectively made after 8 October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Residence Permit Programme.

3. What are the specific requirements for each type of qualifying investment?

Each type of investment has specific characteristics; these are:

  1. Property acquisitions
    • Minimum investment of €500,000 or €350,000 for urban regeneration properties
    • Purchase one or multiple properties
    • All property types qualify
    • Possibility of co-ownership
    • Freedom to use, rent or lease
  2. Transfer of funds
    • Minimum investment of €1 million
    • Funds transferred from abroad to a bank in Portugal
    • Total freedom to invest the funds
    • Possibility of using the funds to invest in shares of companies
  3. Job creation
    • Create a minimum of 10 jobs
    • No minimum investment value
    • No limitation on areas/activities
    • Compliance with Social Security obligations
    • Possibility of grants/incentives/benefits

4. What happens to the investment after five years? Can it be sold, transferred etc.?

Yes, as the investor, you only need to hold the investment during the Golden Visa’s validity period of five years. After this, the investor can sell the property, transfer the money to another country or close the job positions. We recommend that you keep the investment until citizenship is granted.

5. Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he/she no longer needs the Golden

Yes, however, without proof that the investment has been kept, the investor will not be able to renew the Golden Visa.

6. Does the investor need to live in/use the property he/she is purchasing, or can it be rented out?

No, the investor does not need to occupy the property; it can be rented out to obtain income.

The application process and documentation

1. How long does the application process take?

Once the application is submitted at SEF, it can take up to a year for the application to be processed (please note that this is just an estimate based on our recent experience).

Note: In some cases, the investor will be able to go straight to the immigration services to submit their biometrics required for the application, shortly before the investment and/or submission of the required documents.

We strongly recommend obtaining legal advice from an experienced law firm before taking any of the steps in the Golden Residence Permit Programme, especially those that require you to make an investment or submit applications or documents.

Are there any grounds for refusing the Golden Visa or its renewal?

The investor (or any family member) will only be refused the Golden Visa (or its renewal) if:

  • He/she has not maintained the investment for the minimum period of five years
  • He/she has not complied with the minimum periods of stay in Portugal
  • He/she has been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than one year
  • The investor is in a period where he/she has been banned entry into Portuguese territory following a removal measure of the country
  • On the grounds of public health (this may only be based on diseases that have been defined by the World Health Organisation or other infectious or parasitic contagious diseases which are the object of protection measures in Portuguese territory)

Please note: A Golden Visa may be refused on the grounds of public order, public security or public health.

2. What is a fiscal number?

A fiscal number is an identification number for the Portuguese Tax Authority (also known as the tax number). This number is required to carry out the investments.

Other financial information

1. What are the taxes and costs for property acquisitions and ownership?

There are three taxes in Portugal related to property:

  1. Taxes payable upon the property’s acquisition:
    • IMT or Property Transfer Tax, which is the tax on transfer of ownership of property
    • Stamp duty

    Please note: The exact amount of taxes to be paid varies according to the actual value of the acquisition.

  2. Taxes payable on an annual basis:
    • IMI or Council Tax, which is the annual municipal property tax, is levied between 0.3% and 0.5% on the property’s tax value.

2. Does the investor have to pay taxes in Portugal on his/her worldwide income?

No, If the holder of the Golden Visa does not stay in Portugal for more than 183 consecutive days, he/she will not be required to pay taxes for income generated outside of Portugal.

3. What taxes apply to income generated in Portugal?

Rental income and income arising from capital (e.g. interest, dividends etc.) will be taxed at a rate of 28%.

The Portuguese language test

1. What does “basic knowledge” of Portuguese mean?

You’ll need to be able to read, write and speak adequately in Portuguese. This includes having a good understanding of Portuguese phrases and frequently used vocabulary.

2. Is level A2 the only accepted exam?

Yes. This exam is recognised by Portuguese legislation as the minimum level for acquiring Portuguese permanent residency or citizenship. You must pass the test before you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

3. Where can you learn Portuguese and prepare for the test?

You can choose to enrol in an online course or at a centre that offers A1 and A2 courses. When making use of supplementary methods of learning, you must make sure that it’s in local Portuguese and not a Brazilian dialect.

We advise that you start learning Portuguese soon after you receive your Golden Visa. This will give you enough time to get comfortable with the language and build your confidence before taking the test.

4. When must the test be taken?

The test can be taken at any point after acquiring your Golden Visa. It takes place twice a year at accredited centres worldwide.

Pre-qualification questionnaire

Please fill in your details below and one of our consultants
will contact you to begin the pre-qualification process.

Marital status*

Are you self-employed:*

Do you have any previous criminal convictions*

Do you have access to additional funds from family members*

Get expert insights and important updates

GDPR regulations give you more rights about personal information and hold those that breach them to account, so we're all for it.

If at any point you would like to opt out of receiving communication from us, you can do so using the unsubscribe option. We promise to honour your request.

South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


25 Richefond Circle
Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8844

United Kingdom


One Croydon
12-16 Addiscombe Road
Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.