Portugal Golden Visa

Portugal golden visa program - Apply for Portugal residency by investment


 What is Portugal’s residency by investing program?

Anchoring foreign investments in European countries, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is a prime path to residency for non-EU citizens. Launched in 2012, the initiative underscores Portugal’s cultural heritage and economic vibrancy by endorsing real estate investments and capital transfer as forms of investment. With over 10,000 visas issued, it’s a golden ticket to permanent residency and a Portuguese citizenship journey.

 Why Portugal residency might work for you?

Considering why Portugal’s residency may be fitting for you? This investment types enriched program is lauded for its flexibility and array of options, including real estate investments, capital transfer, and fund investments, all pivotal for qualifying. It’s a match for those seeking a blend of life and work within the EU, with its approval opening doors to exceptional healthcare and education systems. This could be a transformative period leading to Portuguese citizenship and broadened horizons for you and your family.

  • Portugal offers excellent connectivity to Europe and the United StatesYou can potentially qualify for a ten-year tax exemption on all “non tax haven” income
  • You can obtain Portugal citizenship (and by extension, EU citizenship) after six years
  • Portugal’s passport is a US Visa Waiver passport
 Interested in a Portugal golden visa? JH Marlin can help you!

Main Advantages for Portugal Residency Visa Program


Business Advantages

Family Advantages


Requirements for a Portugal Golden Visa Application 

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old
  • Applicant must have a clean criminal record from home country and from Portugal
  • Applicant must have medical insurance valid in Portugal
  • Applicant must have funds for the investment (from outside of Portugal)
  • Applicant must commit to maintaining the investment for at least another five years

The different routes to Portugal Residency Visa

Portugal offers several investment options to achieve their Golden Visa Program. These include:

 Residency through Real Estate Acquisition

  • Most popular option
  • Minimum real estate purchase (residential or commercial property) of €500,000However, if purchased in a low-density area, the minimum investment is €400,000
  • Minimum real estate investment of €350,000, either for refurbishment in a residential property older than 30 years, or in a Portuguese urban regeneration area.However, if purchased in a low-density area, the minimum investment is €280,000
  • Note that starting in 2022, purchasing real estate in Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Setubal or popular coastal areas, will not qualify for a residency permit, as Portugal is attempting to increase investments to previously neglected low-density areas.

Fund Subscription

  • A minimum of €500,000 subscription in a qualifying Portuguese fund.

Capital Transfer

  • Capital transfer of a minimum of €1.5 million into a bank or other approved investment in Portugal


  • Creation of at least 10 new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business owned by the main applicantIf business is formed in a low-density area, only 8 new jobs are required
  • Minimum investment of €500,000 in an existing and registered business in Portugal. The business must create a minimum of five new full-time jobs for at least three years. 


  • Invest a minimum of €250,000 in preserving national heritage in Portugal, or in supporting artistic productionMinimum investment of €200,000 in a low population density area
  • Invest a minimum of €500,000 in a research and development activity in public or private entities in Portugal that are part of the national scientific and technological systemMinimum investment of €400,000 in a low population density area

What is the procedure to Obtain the Portugal Golden Visa?

One can expect that the application process for residency in Portugal to include the following:

  1. Clients contact JH Marlin
  2. Initial due diligence checks are performed to determine eligibility
  3. Client agreement is signed, and retainer is paid
  4. Applicants choose the qualifying investment option best suited to them
  5. A comprehensive list of documents will be provided. Files are prepared and required documents are collected
  6. Applicants open a bank account and get a NIF
  7. Qualifying investment is finalized by applicant
  8. Pre-application and corresponding documents submitted to the SEF
  9. After about two months, SEF provides appointment for biometrics
  10. After about four months, residency cards are issued (valid for two years before renewal)
  11. After five years, applicant is eligible to apply for citizenship in Portugal

 All the investments have to be made through the Portuguese bank account, so the first thing to do is create the tax number and open a bank account (which can be done remotely).

 Tax number creation and bank account opening

To prepare the Power of Attorney and open the bank account remotely you will need to provide:

  • A quality copy of Passport picture and signature page
  • A proof of address (utility bill, electricity, water, phone, bank statement)
  • A proof of profession (employer declaration, self-employment certificate, etc.) – issued less than three months
  • Three last salary receipts (with professional position/category)
  • Annual income statement (if applicable)
  • Bank statements of all accounts
  • Ownership of Real Estate worldwide (if applicable)
  • Foreign tax number or equivalent (ID number from residence country) 
  • Email and phone number mobile (for the bank to contact directly)

Once the bank account is opened and you have decided which investment route you will chose, you will have to transfer the funds, for the investment, to the Portuguese bank account.

The investment option can be chosen in Portugal or abroad remotely. If you choose to do it remotely, you only need to come to Portugal for the biometrics at SEF and deliver the originals of the documents submitted online.

Documents Required for Portugal Golden Visa Application

  • Certified copy of valid passport
  • Two passport-sized pictures
  • Proof of qualifying investment (ie. deed, proof of deposit)
  • Declaration from Portuguese bank confirming transfer of funds
  • Proof of health insurance from internationally covered insurance company
  • Proof of no criminal record: criminal record certificate from country of residence (under three months from submission)
  • Authorization form for SEF to access criminal records in Portugal
  • Sworn declaration to comply with minimum investment requirements for at least five years
  • Documents attesting to compliance with Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority & Social Security system (under 45 days from submission)
  • Receipt of residency application payment

Note: A detailed list of document requirements and sample documents will be provided once you become

 Apply for Portugal Residency by Investment with an Expert Lawyer


Frequently Asked Questions

The residency visa extends to immediate family, enabling reunification for your spouse, minor children, and dependent relatives.

Expenses include the investment outlay, service charges for legal assistance, and government application fees.

Residency card issuance can span six to eight months, starting from the initial application to approval.

Handling the process solo is plausible, but securing the service of experienced immigration lawyers is advisable.

Having a residence visa in Portugal doesn’t automatically make you a tax resident of Portugal. If the investor does not spend 183 days or more in Portugal within a year, the investor is not a tax resident.

Your income within Portugal, must be declared in Portugal and you will be taxed on it. Due to possible Double Taxation Treaties, you will not be taxed multiple times on the same income.

Portugal’s residency requirements are minimal, allowing for global mobility. Should you seek citizenship, a more substantial presence in Portugal is needed to fulfill the residency criterion.

Portuguese residency evolves into citizenship eligibility after a legally resident period, paving the way to apply for a Portuguese passport.

Portugal embraces multiple nationalities, permitting dual citizenship for residents.

Language proficiency isn’t required initially, but for permanent residency or citizenship, language skills are evaluated.

The first residence card is valid for a two-year period, in which you should satisfy 14 days of physical requirement. Following this, you can renew your visa residence card which will each be valid for three years at a time. Within each of these three-year periods, you must spend at least twenty-one days in Portugal. Renewals are unlimited, as long as your investment is maintained. *minimum physical presence requirements may vary

Schengen area countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

At the end of five years as a legal resident, you have three options as a Golden Visa holder: to continue with temporary residency, to become a permanent resident, or to become a Portuguese citizen. If you choose to become a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, you can then sell or liquidate your investment. However if you continue with the temporary residency by investment program, you must keep your investment.

Investors have flexibility with their real estate investments; there is no requirement to live in them. Properties can be utilized as rental opportunities, contributing to Portugal’s vibrant property market.

 Ongoing Maintenance:

 Here are some other important aspects to note:

  • With the Residence Card, you have a five-year window leading to permanent residency and eligibility for citizenship, contingent on fulfilling residence conditions. 
  • EU travel freedom comes with Portuguese residency, yet a diligent record of travel is advised for tax purposes.
  • Non-habitual resident status introduces favorable tax conditions, reducing liability on foreign income for a decade. It requires careful planning, especially for income that isn’t exempt in Portugal.