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Golden Visa

Portugal is a safe, secure, affordable country with a high quality of life, solid infrastructure, superb climate, good health and education system and good access to and from the European Union (daily flights from main airports at competitive prices).

Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program has proven to be the most popular scheme in Europe with investors attracted to its flexibility and benefits. It provides a range of relatively affordable investment options for you to choose from in obtaining your permanent residency and citizenship.

An investment of €280,000 (although more commonly €350,000 or €500,000) in Real Estate will allow you a residency permit for you, family including dependent children. The golden visa can be renewed every two years providing the applicant spends two weeks in the country every two years.

Once you become a citizen, you can live and work permanently anywhere in the EU/EEA. The residence permit allows visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area and requires an average stay of just seven days a year in Portugal over the five-year period. UK citizens will also be able to apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal, enabling them to obtain residency in an EU country.

After 5 years you will have the possibility of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship and a Portuguese passport.

The Portugal Golden Visa changes are already in place, having come into force on 1 January 2022 with new rules:

  • Investors are not able to invest in residential property in popular urban areas, including Lisbon, Porto, and much of the Algarve, in addition to coastal towns such as Setúbal and the Silver Coast;
  • Investors can only purchase residential real estate in designated interior areas of Portugal worth €500,000 (or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project). If the residential property is situated in a designated “low-density” area, a 20% discount is applied;
  • Investors can buy commercial real estate anywhere in the country that is worth at least €500,000 (or €350,000 if investing in a commercial rehabilitation project). If the commercial property is situated in a designated “low-density” area, then a 20% discount will apply;
  • Investors are able to purchase residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores that is worth at least €500,000 (or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project). The entire islands of Madeira and the Azores are classified as high density, so a discount is not applicable when investing in the islands.

The Portuguese authorities have altered the real estate investment routes to account for this, in creating a classification system of what areas you can invest in Portugal. These areas are called “interior” and “low density”.

mapa portugal real estate

1 - Interior areas: are areas where you can make a residential real estate investment to be eligible for the Golden Visa. For commercial real estate, the property needs to be classified as “commercial” and individuals can invest anywhere in the country (i.e. there are no location restrictions in place).

2 - Low-density areas: : are defined as territorial units (NUTS II). These regions have a GDP per capita that is 75% or less than the national average or less than 100 inhabitants per square km. If an area is categorized as “low-density” then a 20% discount rate will apply to your investment.

Although interior areas and low-density areas share overlapping ground, it is possible for an area to be both interior and high-density. If this is the case, then you can buy residential property, but no discount will apply. A good example of this is on the autonomous islands of Madiera and the Azores.

However, Douro Valley, Setubal, Evora, and some districts in the Algarve are included in the low-density areas

Advantages Investing in Low-density areas:

  • Real estate prices significantly lower in low-density areas:
  • • Lower investment threshold with excellent rental return yields;
  • In low-density areas in Portugal, there are bigger and better properties with 2-3 units to rent;
  • Profitability is around €12.000 per year each year, which makes the case for owning several units attractive;
  • The investment amount is relatively low, so applicants have more freedom for other business opportunities and investments;
  • Away from the crowds, low-density areas have an undiscovered ambiance and allow for an excellent quality of life in tune with nature;
  • Cities in the interior of Portugal are becoming popular for students. As the young population grows in these cities, the demand for housing intensifies;
  • Promising areas to develop eco-tourism, wellness, innovation, and luxury projects;
  • The European real estate market is one of the most valued in the world, attracting many investors who envision the possibility of reselling their properties for a higher price after a few years. Low-density areas are perfect for this, as many retirees seek these regions to enjoy retirement in these intrinsically quieter places (residential property);
  • If you invest in Portugal, you are putting your money in a stable socio-economic and political country, that frequently ranks highly in quality of life ranking.