Golden Visa Portugal: Invest for Residency

5 mins read

Out of all investment programs around the world, the Golden Visa Portugal scheme is one of the most popular. Launched in 2012, thousands of non-EU nationalities around the world have used it to gain visas and residency rights for themselves and their family.

Stats released in 2018 shows the program’s soaring popularity, and this fame looks set to continue. For that year, 1260 foreigners looking for permanent residence applied to the program, and since its launch, it has generated 4.2 billion euros.

Foreign nationals must spend seven days a year in the country making this an attractive option for those still living elsewhere. Other criteria are a clean criminal record, able to speak the language and registering with local tax authorities. Overall, with a 90-day timeframe for approval and just 60 days for renewal, the appeal to obtain a permanent resident card is undeniable.

However, there is more. Portugal is part of the Schengen zone so holders can travel throughout 26 countries, and should they go onto to apply for citizenship, they gain full EU rights to live, and work anywhere within that zone.

About the Golden Visa Portugal Scheme

Although other options exist, the most popular choice to gain a residence card is to purchase a home, which accounts for 92% of applications. Like many other countries around the globe, Portugal suffered during the 2008 crisis, and house values plunged to an all-time low.

Although the market has rebounded, prices are still 15% lower than their peak value. Combine this with expert long term growth predictions for ideal capital appreciation and if desired, a buy-to-let income. To manage the influx of buyers, there are two foreign investment levels for permanent resident status.

Golden visa Portugal

The first category 65A-C requires 500,000 euros and the foreign national can choose from off-plan, new-build or resale properties anywhere.However, category 65 A-D, introduced in 2015, only requires 350,000 euros providing you buy a house over 30 years old, or in a designated rehabilitation area. If the house needs extensive renovation, you must adhere to the strict laws governing this but can include those costs in the overall amount.

This solution benefits everyone because local communities’ benefit and preserve their cultural heritage through old architecture styles, while investors gain a residency visa.

Permanent Living: Golden Egg of Portugal

Sitting on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal’s ideal weather all year round combines with sandy beaches, a delicious national cuisine, and a unique culture to become a popular tourist and expat destination. Let’s not forget world-class golf courses, but aside from that, there is plenty to see and do. While tourism happens countrywide, Lisbon is the king of foreign house sales, and a great place to become a lawful permanent resident.


The upmarket Avenida da Liberdade district is where everyone wants to live. Often compared to Paris’s Champs Elysees, designer shops, roadside cafes and a modern atmosphere sit among 19th-century art nouveau buildings. Meanwhile, creative vibes and inspirations entice artisans live in Santos. As an old district, owners enjoy a certain sense of nostalgia but when combined with today’s trendy influences, is an ideal place to live permanently.

Commerce, historic culture and fashion make Chiado, but it is a book worm corner with many publishing houses. The diversity of new architecture combined with designer boutiques, art galleries and book shops makes residents feel right at home. Comparta and its beautiful beaches often rank as one of Portugal’s most beautiful places. Combined with the nearby nature reserve, the slow-paced lifestyle makes an ideal alternative to busy city centres.

As a top trendy, touristic district, Baixa is the commercial industry’s beating heart. Naturally, wherever there is tourism, souvenir shops, and copious amounts of restaurants bring life to another level.Upmarket Belem, a popular city break destination, has plenty to see and do including museums, historic architecture, monuments and the famous Estuary gardens and boat tours. Sitting just 5 kilometres from Baixa, many a foreigner adores the area.


Daily obligations go out of the window in Alfama, that offers the artisan district, and authentic vibes as seen in narrow-cobbled streets and cute, white houses. While permanently residing in buzzing Bairro Alto is all about warm summer evenings, live entertainment, copious amounts of restaurants, and just having a good time. The central Largo do Carmo area is an attractive square boasting of baroque architecture and historical monuments.

Golden Visa Application

Regardless of your nationality, you can apply for a residence permit card, either as an individual or company. As well as spending a short-stay of at least seven days a year in the country; you need to keep your investment for five years, to be eligible to apply for it. Submit the application form online alongside supporting documents like a fiscal number and local bank account, and upon approval, attend an interview. Most applicants use lawyers to handle the whole process because they submit your family members’ applications.

To remain permanently, apply for renewal after year one, and the authorities will update their records like checking your criminal history. In year 2, the card becomes valid for two years, and this routine continues until year 5 when you can apply for long-stay permanent residency, then citizenship.

Using Lawyers for the Process

We suggest hiring a lawyer for the process to become a permanent resident. While it would be cheaper to do it yourself, handing it over to the experts is advisable. Not only to make sure everything is in order but to prevent delays, should your application not be enough.

When buying real estate, you need a Portuguese bank account. Opening one is simple, with a NIF number. When using a lawyer, they can apply for one. You will also need a tax number and foreign documents need to be translated and notarized.

Family Members Included

  • Children under 18
  • Single and full-time students under 26 who are dependent
  • Your spouse
  • Dependent siblings under 18
  • Dependent parents over 55 or otherwise age 66

Investment Summary and Benefits

  • Travel in the Schengen area (26 countries)
  • Live in Portugal and obtain a work permit
  • Potential for citizenship
  • Access education facilities and health-insurance
  • Potential for European-Union citizenship
  • Includes spouses and each family-member (children and parents)
  • Only requires seven days annual stay
  • Cheaper than other citizenship programs

Application Process to Obtain Residency Permit

  • Decide where to reside permanently
  • Hire a lawyer, gain NIF number and open a bank account
  • Transfer money to the bank account and buy property
  • Translate and notarize all submitting documents including your passport
  • File the application and pay fees
  • Attend the interview
  • Upon approval, pay additional fees
  • Receive permanent residence permit
  • Renew after year 1 and 3
  • Apply for citizenship in year 5

Further Information: To invest in Golden Visa Portugal and speak to a local sales representative, on how to live there permanently, call us, or use the contact enquiry form to send a message. Also see apartments and villas for sale here. Each listing includes photos, area information and description. To find out more about any listing, use the enquiry form to receive details via email.

About Us: Operating since 2003, we have helped thousands of people buy their dream home abroad, and have been featured in many international publications including the Daily Mail, CNBC, Country life, Express, Financial Times and New York Times. Learn more about us or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with investing overseas.

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.