Golden Visa Portugal - Residency-by-investment

Golden Visa Portugal is a unique residency-by-investment solution that offers a pathway to Portuguese citizenship without having to physically live in the country. 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.

Through this Portuguese residency programme, you can qualify for permanent residency and apply for citizenship after five years. Portuguese citizenship gives you the right to live, work and study in the EU.
Portugal recently removed the purchase of real estate as a golden visa qualifying investment. The investment requirement for the Portugal Golden Visa is now available through a €500,000 into qualifying investment funds or private equity fund.

Benefits of investing in Portugal


Euro denominated investments returns


Pathway to citizenship


Well diversified equities and bonds options

Strong economic outlook

EU Residency

Low transaction costs

We're here to help. Let our expert advisers answer all of your questions.

Benefits of the GVP

Freedom of Movement

Residency card holders enjoy visa-free access throughout the Schengen area for leisure purposes.

Family benefits

Spouse, minor children, unmarried financially dependant adult children and parents/parents-in-law can be included on your application.

No government contribution

100% of investment funds can be invested into a qualifying investment fund.

Dual citizenship

Portugal does not impose restrictions on dual citizenship.

Golden Visa Portugal: New qualifying criteria (2023 update)

There are three routes to qualify for in the Golden Residence Permit Programme as of 19 July 2023.

Please note: none of the current investment categories can be used directly, or indirectly, for real estate investment.

  1. €500,000 unit/share investment

    Capital transfer of a minimum €500,000, intended to the acquisition of units/shares of non-real estate collective investment funds, which are incorporated under Portuguese law, whose maturity, at the time of the investment, is at least five years and at least 60% of the value of the investments is made in commercial companies based in the national territory.

  2. €500,000 donation to research

    Capital transfer of a minimum of €500,000 applied in research activities (non-refundable donation/contribution to a public or private institution of scientific research, integrated in the national scientific and technological system).

  3. €250,000 donation to arts and culture

    Capital transfer of a minimum of €250,000 applied in investment or support to artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage (non-refundable donation/contribution to a project which is presented and approved by both GEPAC and the Ministry of Culture).

How present must you be in Portugal?

The residency requirements are not onerous. You're only require to spend an average of seven days a year in 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.

Many of our clients have had success with online courses that have helped them and their families prepare for the test. It is possible to sit the test in South Africa, Portugal and many other global locations.


Real estate investment in Portugal

Portugal offers a wealth of culture and scenery with a stunning year-round climate. It's an attractive place to live and work, with an open-door policy for internationals seeking a European base with great airlift, restaurants, rich culture and a mild climate within a cosmopolitan coastline, where English is widely spoken.

While we may attribute the early market recovery to fiscal and visa incentives, the real estate markets in Portugal have matured entirely independent of any incentives and offer investors an excellent opportunity to own a piece of this dynamic European country and all its lifestyle and cultural benefits.



Lisbon has become a hub for the tech savvy and invites high skilled individuals to enjoy the lifestyle, whilst remaining very much in an “Alpha city”. Lisbon is well regarded for Its finance, commerce, arts, entertainment and tourism, not to mention the large expat communities and a multicultural offering.

The Algarve

The Algarve has quickly become home to many internationals with its beautiful European climate and stunning coastline. The Algarve is home to one of the most sought after resorts in Europe, called Quinta de Lago, which has long been a hotspot for the extremely wealthy to invest in real estate. The Algarve has expanded toward the east and west as it grows in popularity and is becoming even more of a tourist hotspot, offering both investors and home owners an opportunity to own real estate in this safe haven. With a coastline rich in natural beauty, health and fitness pursuits are plentiful and the relaxed lifestyle is excellent for those looking to find their perfect solo or family retreat.

Long-term factors to consider

  • High demand is expected to result in continuous price increases for both residential property and rental pricing, especially in urban areas where demand outweighs supply.
  • Efficient systems in place for property management, stabilising asset maintenance post investment.
  • English widely spoken, for eaes of ongoing asset management
  • Multinational country with a strong cultural backing
  • Lisbon named an "alpha city", attracting nomad workers
  • Euro-based asset value
  • World-class infrastructure, a highly qualified young workforce and a safe environment
All considered, it's easy to see why Portugal is a chosen favourite for real estate investment.

Since the Golden Visa programme's inception, we've helped over over half of all the South Africans who've been through the programme.

We have a dedicated team on the ground in Portugal who work closely with our select network of local partners who are specialists within their field. We are up to date with the current trends and dynamics within Portugal and are able to offer clients solid advice in terms of investments, processes as well as manage our clients investment expectations.

Sable International can assist with everything from opening your bank accounts, to tax advice and clearance, forex, fiscal applications, investment selection and management, residency applications and renewals and even your eventual application for Portuguese citizenship.

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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; loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of changing government legislation; and/or changing rules around immigration and nationality. Obtaining residency and citizenship is at the sole discretion of the government in question and cannot be guaranteed by Sable International.