Golden Visa - The key to access to Europe

Travel freely, without a visa, to the Europe Schengen Area

The Golden Residence Permit for Investment Activity, known as Golden Visa, is a program created by the Portuguese law and allows citizens of countries outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic States to obtain a residence permit in Portugal. The citizens can benefit from free movement in the Schengen area.

The investor has to make an investment in Portugal and must keep it for 5 years (minimum), to get a residence permit.

The Golden Residence Permit is given for a period of 1 year and then renewed for two successive periods of 2 years. There are minimum periods of permanence in Portugal: 7 days during the first year and 14 days in each subsequent period of 2 years.

The Golden Residence Permit holders can also apply to the family reunification process, where they can access the Permanent Residence Permit or even the Portuguese Citizenship.

The decision to give the Golden Residence Permit must be taken within 60 days after the submission of the application by the competent authorities. The application must include evidence that a financial or real estate investment has been properly carried out.

GOLDEN VISA – The Golden Residence Permit Programme

The Golden Visa is a “residence permit” that is used for entry and residence in Portuguese territory, for investment purposes. This authorization is called Residence Permit for Investment.

The main beneficiary is the citizen that’s not from the European Union or the Schengen area.
The candidate must fulfil several requirements related to job creation, investment and/or acquisition of property. Fees or charges are applied in the applications and renewal fees, and the necessary documents must be previously prepared for verification of requirements.

Which are the benefits of “Golden Visa” for foreign investors?

Golden Visa offers many benefits. The Golden Visa is a simplified and privileged way to enter or stay in Portugal, allowing the citizen to stay and invest in this country. It also allows to create ties with Portuguese and other territories which are related through Schengen area and eventually countries that Portugal has privileged international agreements.

This is the easiest way of entry and residence in Portugal, and has particular conditions for its allocation. It is a visa that creates bonds that can allow an application for allocation of Portuguese nationality or request for a permanent authorization.

This visa allows any investor to move freely and work in Europe (Schengen) without any restrictions.

The Golden Visa allows the investor:

1)Live, work or study in Portugal – can develop their activities and have family in Portugal;
2)Move freely through the Schengen Area – develop business and contacts or simply travel around the countries;
3)Regroup family – allows that the citizen family enjoys the program and can live in Portugal;
4)Possibility to access to nationality and qualify for the Visa waiver program – legal requirements must be fulfilled;
5)Diversify investment opportunities – in Portugal and in most of European countries;
6)Facilitate travel and trade – allows seeking new markets, investments and investors, knowing how each country is attractive to private investment;
7)Benefit from the double-taxations agreements that Portugal is part – allows the benefit of multiple agreements that Portugal has with third countries, in order to avoid double-taxation of income;
8)Access to skilled labour but affordable – the cost of entrepreneurs with “work” has been declining in recent years, because the reforms that the Portuguese Government has implemented;
9)Give a European experience to children – the investor’s children can benefit from education, culture and entrepreneurial;
10)Investing in companies – allows the entrance in European market through investment in new companies or companies that already exist;
11)Acquire properties, of many types (lands, residential, commercial or vacation properties) and in various locations – with real estate crisis, this is a great opportunity to invest in properties that are in excellent places.

What is required to obtain Golden Visa?

In order to start getting Golden Visa is required that citizens make an investment in, at least, one of three conditions:

• Creation and maintenance of a certain number of jobs;
• Acquisition of properties of minimum value of half a million euros;
• Investment / capital transfer of, at least, one million euros, under certain conditions.

And the documentary requirements:

• Have a valid passport;
• Be patient of Schengen visa, if applicable, and regularized the situation with Portuguese foreign services in 90 days from the date of the first entrance in Portugal;
• Having criminal records of the country of origin or the country in which the citizen lives for more than one year;
• Have a statement to authorize the consult of Portuguese criminal record;
• Have an updated negative debt statement issued by the Tax and Customs Authority and the Social Security;
• Declare, on oath, that will fulfilled the requirements of investment activity in the country;
• Have a health insurance proof;
• Have proof of payment of the examination of the application of Golden Visa (€ 513.75).


Investing in a business can be a good option for some citizens who don’t have the capital to invest in properties. In other words, this can be an option to the citizens who can’t invest in the other requirements to obtain the Golden Residence Permit Programme.

This requirement is quite explicit: create a number of jobs (depending on the sector to invest), minimum investment value (which is a great advantage comparing to real estate investment and capital), doesn’t exist limited areas or sectors (can create more than one business, in several parts of the country and every business created can be different from each other), must comply with the obligations with regard to Social Security (to be considered a normal business without illegalities). The investor can benefit from subsidies, incentives and / or benefits, in order to develop your own business successfully.


How can be acquired properties?

• In co-ownership scheme, since each co-owner invests an amount equal to or greater than EUR 500 000, or through promissory contract of purchase and sale with signal greater than or equal to 500 thousand euros, presenting the title acquisition before the application for renewal of Golden Residence Permit Programme;
• Can be charged (eg, mortgage) from a value greater than 500 thousand euros;
• Can be rented or exploited for commercial, agricultural or tourism purposes.

What the Golden Visa applicant must provide in the option of Acquisition of Real Estate?

• Title purchasing or promise to buy property stating their declaration of an authorized exercise of its activity in domestic financial institution attesting to the effective transfer of capital for the acquisition or holding of the sign of the promise to purchase value greater than or equal to 500 thousand euros;
• Updated certificate of land registry, with the registration (in case of pre-contract).

How long can foreign investors benefit these advantages?

Initially, the permit is transferred for 5 years and may be renewed every two years. During any of these periods, should always be kept the requirements of the authorization. During the years of validity of the authorization, the citizen has minimum periods of stay in the national territory. In the future, the holder may apply for permanent residence permit or Portuguese nationality.

Who can benefit Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa benefits citizens from territories that aren’t included in European Union.