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 ownership

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.

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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*
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein*
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway*
  • 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:

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.

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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.

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.

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?

2. How long is the Golden Visa valid for?

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

4. What are the costs involved?

5. What countries are included in the Schengen Area?

Family matters

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

2. Which dependants qualify for the Golden Visa?

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

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

The investment

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

2. Which requirements do investors have to comply with?

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

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

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

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

The application process and documentation

1. How long does the application process take?

2. What is a fiscal number?

Other financial information

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

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

3. What taxes apply to income generated in Portugal?

The Portuguese language test

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

2. Is level A2 the only accepted exam?

3. Where can you learn Portuguese and prepare for 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.


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Fill in your details below and one of our consultants will be in touch shortly. Please note: Be as detailed as possible when discussing your current circumstances and include details on your marital status, children, your profession, annual income and net asset value if possible.

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.

Investment migration webinar

Grenada citizenship-by-investment

14:00 - 11 March 2021

In this webinar, we'll take you through the Grenada citizenship-by-Investment programme, explain how the application process works and introduce you to one of the best investment options currently available.

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