When it comes to golden visa programs, Portugal’s always come to the mind of investors by being known as the most flexible program. We’ll introduce you to the different Portugal Golden Visa investment options, their pros and cons to help you choose the option that works best for you.
Before investing in Portugal, you’ll need to obtain a NIF Number and open a Portuguese bank account. This is one requirement to opt for the Portugal Golden Visa program. We invite you to learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa Investment requirements here.
Once created, you need to choose an investment option. We’re going to list the options offer by the Portuguese government and then go in-depth into each one:
€500,000 investment in Real Estate (commercial properties or high-density areas)
€500,000 investment in a Fund in Portugal
€350,00 investment renovation of a property that is 30 years old, or;
€280,000 investment in the renovation of property located in a low-density area
€1.5 million capital transfer
Creation of 10 jobs in Portugal
€250,000 donation to Arts/ National Heritage/ Culture
€500,000 investment in Scientific and Technological research
Portugal Golden Visa Investment Properties: The most popular option
This investment route is what most investors choose to go through. It can be any type of property located anywhere within Portugal.
However, as of January 1st, 2022, residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and mainland coastal towns don’t qualify. If you want to go for these spots, you can invest in commercial property and be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa.
Portugal has no restrictions on foreigners acquiring properties. This option is the most attractive as you have the opportunity to invest in the growing Portuguese real estate market.
You can then choose to rent the property or live in it yourself.
Renovation of property or properties located in low-density areas
The government in Portugal offers this lower investment threshold for investors who are willing to purchase a real estate property that is at least 30 years old and renovate it.
Keep in mind though, that it’s unlikely you can find such options in city centers, especially Lisbon.
If you choose to make a real estate investment or renovate a property in a low-density area in Portugal, you get a 20% reduction on the minimum investment required.
If you want to look for a property in a low-density area by yourself this is going to give you some headaches. You need to know the area, the neighborhoods to find your ideal property – having a trusted Portuguese partner that’ll give you local insights will make the process easier and less stressful.
For more information on real estate in Portugal, we recommend you our Guide on buying a property in Portugal.
€500,000 Investment in a Fund in Portugal: High Risk, High Reward
This option gained popularity in 2019 because it has a low minimum investment price and low costs. This investment has to meet specific qualifications to be valid for the Golden Visa.
Some qualifying funds focus on real estate, while other focus on equity, companies, startups, or commodities.
Before investing in one, you should know the pros and cons of the Portugal Golden Visa investment fund:
No extra costs, unlike real estate acquisition.
Someone else manages the fund, and you won’t have to worry about your investment.
You’ll diversify your investment rather than investing in just one or two properties.
It’s hard to find and identify qualified funds, meaning your GV application might take more time than those choosing the real estate option.
It’s riskier than conventional investments like real estate.
Exiting can be difficult if you wish to get out before the fund dissolves
Someone else is in control of your investment
If you go with a Golden Visa fund, you should expect to be presented with low to medium-risk options and returns accordingly.
Capital transfer: Convenient option
This is the most straightforward route to the Portugal Golden Visa. Make a €1.5 million capital transfer, and you’re done.
This option is the most conservative since your capital will simply move from one place to another without investment risk.
Your capital would be sitting there, locked away safe and sound, but without the chance of earning returns.
If the amount drops under €1.5 million at any point, the Golden Visa status could be revoked. Once you become a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, you’re free to remove the capital from the bank.
Creation of 10 jobs in Portugal: The cheapest option
There is no minimum amount you’re required to spend on job creation. You need to found and run a company for at least five years (until you become a citizen or permanent resident) and create ten jobs within the company.
The ten positions need to be newly created and full-time.
While it can be cheap and convenient to start a company and hire an expert to run it for you, you need to have at least ten people employed in this company and pay them full-time salaries.
It might take a while for a new company to see any returns on your investments.
Donation of €250,000 to Arts/ National Heritage/ Culture
This option seems to be quite ambiguous as offered by the program. You must donate €250,000 to Portuguese Art, National heritage, or culture to qualify for this.
The upside of this route is that it’s cheap and convenient. Once you identify the institution to donate to and do the paperwork, it’s done.
The downside is that it’s a donation. You’ll be saying goodbye to your money forever, but you get a residence and eventually Portuguese citizenship.
€500,000 Investment in Scientific and Technological Research: The Ambiguous Option
A €500,000 investment in scientific or technical research is conducted by an accredited national institution. This route’s terms are so unclear that nearly no one chooses to go throught it.
The Portugal Golden Visa program is anything but lacking investment options. As a quick summary, you can go the Real Estate route if you want to live or retire in Portugal or if you’re looking for a traditional investment.
We specialize in the Portuguese residency by real estate investment. At Golden Port Visa, we’ve worked with clients from all over the world and help them find their ideal property in Portugal and get a Golden Visa.
FAQ - Portugal Golden Visa Investment Options
What is the cheapest investment option for Portugal golden visa?
Technically, it’s the option to create ten jobs. But remember the employees must be kept throughout the entire golden visa process and must be paid a full-time salaries. We recommend going with the real estate investment which gives you a return at the end of five years.
Can foreigners buy property in Portugal?
Yes! Portugal has no restrictions on foreigners buying property whether is commercial or residential in Portugal.
Is it better to invest in property in a low-density area in Portugal?
If you choose to invest in a low-density area, you get 20% off the minimum investment. This could be a smart idea if you plan to retire in Portugal or have a idyllic lifestyle in Portugal.
Does Portugal golden visa lead to citizenship?
Not directly, but yes. After five years of having the golden visa, you could apply for Portuguese citizenship if you’ve lived there for at least six years and are a tax resident here.