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Portuguese Golden Visa: What makes a successful application?

Portuguese golden visa

The Portuguese golden visa is one of Europe’s most successful residency by investment schemes.


Since 2012, the golden visa has granted residency to over 10,000 investors. If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest way to EU citizenship, the Portugal golden visa is one of the best routes available.


Before jumping in what makes a successful golden visa application, let us give you a brief introduction of the Portuguese golden visa.


The Portuguese government launched the golden visa in October 2012, with the goal of attracting inward investment to revitalize the Portuguese economy after the 2008 financial crisis.


Unlike most other European golden visa programs, and residencies in general, the Portuguese golden visa allows you a lot of freedom, as it only requires you to spend around 7 days per year in-country.

Portuguese golden visa overview:

The Portuguese golden visa has many investment routes you can choose from, including real estate, investment funds and capital transfers.


Read more about the pros and cons of the Portugal golden visa investment options here.


In 2022, Portugal’s golden visa applications are increasing among Americans and British citizens due to the growing need to escape from the housing price in the USA and the post-Brexit fallout.


Portugal is extremely attractive as a pathway to EU citizenship via a Portuguese passport.

Although the golden visa program is not an instant citizenship by investment scheme, it offers you an easy route to apply for citizenship after five years – one of the fastest pathways in the EU.


What’s more, Portugal has a winning combination of an appealing climate, low cost of living, and high quality of life – all set within a neutral, peaceful country with a stable government.


In these uncertain times, Portugal offers a safe haven for you and your family.

Benefits of the Portuguese golden visa


Let’s take a more detailed look at the benefits of Portugal’s golden visa.

Visa-free travel in Europe

Your golden visa residency permit allows you to travel freely around the Schengen area of 26 countries – without needing a Schengen visa.

Pathway to a powerful passport

As an EU citizen, you’ll have the right not only to travel freely, but also to live, work, do business, study, or retire in the 30 countries of the EU and EEA.


The Portuguese passport is one of the world’s strongest, allowing you to travel to 188 countries visa-free.

Bring your family with you

It’s possible to include your family members on your golden visa application, so they can also benefit from residency in Portugal.

Here are the details of eligible family members:


  • Children under the age of 18, or dependent children under 26 who are also unmarried and in full-time education.

  • Spouse or legal partner (must provide proof of having lived together for over two years)

  • Dependent parents, as long as they’re over 66.

Potential ROI in thriving economy

Portugal’s economy is on the upswing, which offers opportunities to generate exciting returns on your golden visa investment.


Property has long been an interesting area of investment in Portugal. You can get a discount on properties located in low-density areas such as Comporta and Évora, which are places with the potential for good capital gains combined with healthy rental income.

Affordable investment options

Portugal has a wide range of investment options, starting from €250,000 (investing in art and heritage projects), or €280,000 for investment in rehabilitation property in one of Portugal’s low-density regions.


This makes the Portuguese golden visa one of the EU’s most accessible residency by investment programs.

Access to a preferential tax regime

Portugal’s NHR tax program allows tax residents to access preferential tax treatment on foreign-sourced incomes and certain kinds of Portugal-sourced income.


Eligibility for the NHR depends on several factors, including your tax residency status, tax treaties between Portugal and the country where you draw your income, and the nature of your profession.


You can read more in our guide on How to apply for the NHR.

Portuguese golden visa

Portugal golden visa requirements

We’ve looked at the different Portuguese golden visa investment options available.


Next, let’s look at what makes foreign investors eligible for the golden visa and the list of supporting documents required.

Who is eligible for the golden visa?

These are the basic requirements to qualify:

  • Be a non-EU/EE and non-Swiss citizen

  • Make a minimum investment in Portugal of €280,000

  • Provide evidence of a clean criminal record

  • Spend at least seven days in Portugal every year for five years


Remember, Portugal has granted over 10,000 visas to foreign investors. If you provide proof of your criminal record and the documents we’re listing below, you will be successful.

Documents for the golden visa application

  • Application form
  • Receipt for payment of the application fee
  • A passport copy for each person on your application
  • Declaration from your Portuguese back confirming the transfer of funds and that they originated outside of Portugal
  • Proof of having the minimum Portuguese golden visa investment (i.e. property deed)
  • Health insurance policy covering Portugal
  • Criminal record check from your country or legal residency over one year
  • Authorization for SEF to check your Portuguese criminal record
  • Proof from Portuguese tax and customs that you have no outstanding debts
  • Your signed declaration stating that you intend to follow the investment requirements (i.e. to maintain the investment for the required period of time)

Investment costs

Different Portuguese golden visa investment routes attract different costs.


You can read more in our Portugal golden visa pricing cost.


Having a local partner will save a lot of time and money. At Golden Port Visa, we help entrepreneurs, families, investors, and freelancers to get the Portuguese golden visa. We assist from start to end. Your success is our mission.

FAQs- Portuguese golden visa

Do I need to live full-time in Portugal with a golden visa?

No. Having a Portuguese golden visa gives you the option to move to Portugal whenever you want, but it’s not necessary to live in the country full-time.

Is the Portugal golden visa citizenship by investment program?

No. The Portugal golden visa is a residency by investment program. It puts you on the pathway to citizenship, but you can’t fast-track the process by paying more.

Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?

Yes. Portugal allows dual citizenship.

As a Golden visa holder, can I work or study in Portugal?

Yes. You and your family can do both. You can also open a business in Portugal.

If I invest in real estate, do I need to live in it?

No. You can rent it out if you want.

Can I sell my investment at any time if I change my plans?

In most cases, yes, but it will interrupt your citizenship timeline.

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