Portugal’s Golden Visa – What You Need To Know

The Golden Visa scheme was introduced in October 2012 in an attempt to boost the Portuguese economy. It allows foreign citizens to enter and reside in the beautiful country of Portugal. The scheme was a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in the country.

Since then more than 10,000 applicants have received their Golden Visas, generating over €6 billion for the government.


New Restrictions to The Scheme

In January 2022, the Portuguese government made some changes to the visa rules. After nearly 10 years of a successful programme, under political pressure, they decided to increase the minimum threshold of certain eligible investment activities and limit the areas where real estate investment can be executed.

The minimum investment amount for real estate has not changed:

  • €350,000 for a rehabilitation project
  • €500,000 for any other property

This price is reduced by 20% if the property is located in an area of low population density.

Residential property in urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve will no longer qualify although there are some exceptions. Investors can buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.

Investors can also purchase commercial real estate intended for services, commerce, tourism, aparthotels etc. These properties can be anywhere in the country and worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a commercial rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated low-density area, then a 20% discount applies.

Real estate investment funds are an alternative to the real estate sector, given that this type of investment allows foreign investors to remain eligible to obtain the Golden Visa. These funds provide a way of continuing to invest in assets located on the coastline and metropolitan areas of Portugal, without resorting to direct investment in residential assets.


Investing in Portugal

Establishing investments for foreign people moving to Portugal is where they may need expert financial and legal advice. Whether it is with financial planning and insurances or investments that are tax compliant within the Portuguese system.

The Portuguese government has explained that the changes they have recently made are necessary to evenly spread foreign investment to other parts of the country. As the government is focused on relieving pressure from metropolitan locations and encouraging foreign investment into other areas of Portugal.

The Golden Visa is still a very appealing regime and renowned as being one of the most popular in the world. It allows investors to live, work and study freely. Also, throughout the Schengen area and after five years you can apply for a Portuguese passport. For high-net-worth individuals, this is a gateway to freedom. It is not about relocating – but about creating future opportunities for family. Either for an improved quality of life, access to better education, or a safe haven from political instability.


Get in Touch

Get in touch with one of our financial advisers to discuss your unique situation and what options are available to you. Galileo Wealth has over 20 years’ experience in the financial advice industry. We have helped many expatriates live their dream retirement and we are here to help you reach yours.