top of page


The Portugal Golden Visa program, also known as the residence permit for investment activity (ARI), is a residency by investment scheme designed for non-EU citizens.

Image by Svetlana Gumerova

About the Portugal Golden Visa

  • Portugal introduced the program in October 2012 with the main objective of attracting international capital into the country, which was much needed after the 2008 economic crisis. The program grew to be a great success, procuring over €6 billion since then.

  • The Portugal Golden Visa program provides an opportunity to become a permanent resident or a citizen of Portugal in five years.

  • You can qualify for residency by investing as low as €280,000.

  • There is no need to move to Portugal to keep your residence permit. The minimum stay requirement in the country is an average of 7 days per year.

  • Eligibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship in five years.

  • After becoming a Portuguese citizen, you can travel visa-free to 188 countries.

Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa

  1. The Golden Visa permit registers you in the Schengen Area central system.  So, you can freely travel within Europe without an additional visa.

  2. The Portuguese Golden Visa allows you to live, work, and study in Portugal. 

  3. The Golden Visa program does not carry a tax responsibility on you unless you spend more than 183 days of the year in Portugal.  Then if you do, you become a tax resident in Portugal.

  4. As the main applicant, you may extend the Golden Visa to your family members. The application process is simultaneous for the main applicant and the dependents.                                                                                                           The following family members are eligible to apply along with you:

  • Spouse

  • Children 18 years and below

  • dependent children 26 years and below, provided that they are full-time students and unmarried

  • Parents over the age of 65 years

Eligibility and Requirements for a Golden Visa in Portugal

  • Any nationality that is a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa.

  • You must be at least 18 years old and with no criminal record from your home country and in Portugal.

  • In order to qualify for the program, a qualifying investment has to be made. Investment categories include real estate, venture capital fund, transfer of capital, company formation, and donation. The funds for the investment should come from outside of Portugal.

  • US citizens are eligible to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa. American investors and business owners may choose to expand their businesses to Portugal, taking advantage of the Golden Visa program.  With attractive tax incentives available in Portugal this is an appealing destination to relocate to.

  • Beginning January 1, 2021, UK citizens became eligible to apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa program. This provides them with the right to travel within the Schengen Area. 

Qualifying Investments for the Golden Visa

1. Invest in Real Estate Assets:

  • Real Estate Purchase worth more than €500,000 in Portugal.

  • Purchase real estate that is more than 30 years old, in an urban rehabilitation area, and renovate it for a minimum of €350,000 in Portugal.

  • Purchase in a low-density area in Portugal, the minimum amount drops 20% to €280,000.

  • Note that residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal towns of the mainland do not qualify investors for a Portuguese Golden Visa. On the other hand, you can choose a commercial property in these locations and still qualify

2. Transfer Capital of a minimum of €1.5 Million to Portugal.

3. Subscribe to a qualifying Fund with a minimum of €500,000 investment.  

4. Invest in Portuguese Companies:

  • Generate a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business that is owned by yourself as the main applicant.

  • Generate a minimum of eight new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business formed in a low-density area in Portugal, owned by the main applicant.

  • Invest a minimum of €500,000 in an existing Portuguese business, where the incorporated business must generate a minimum of five new full-time jobs for at least three years.

5. Donate:

  • Invest a minimum of €250,000 to preserve the national heritage in Portugal.

  • Invest a minimum of €500,000 for research and development activities in Portugal.

Requirements for the Golden Visa Application

1. Minimum Residency  

  • For the initial golden visa residence permit with a validity of 2 years, the minimum stay requirement will be 14 days stay within the 2 years.

  • For the subsequent golden visa residence permit with a validity of 3 years, the minimum stay requirement will be 21 days stay within the 3 years.

2. Present supporting evidence of a made and maintained qualified investment for five (5) years.  The main              applicant must maintain their investment for as long as their dependents hold a golden visa residency status.  When the main applicant becomes a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, the requirement to maintain the investment is not needed anymore.   


3. Documents to be provided:

  • Passport copy or other government-issued travel document.

  • Proof of evidence of the qualifying investment made by the main applicant individually.  I.e., for real estate, a title deed or promissory sale agreement accompanied by a proof of deposit transaction. For investment funds, a proof of fund subscription issued by the fund manager.  

  • Portuguese financial institution proof of declaration confirming the fund transfer.  

  • Health care coverage proof.  Within Portugal, you can obtain this from the National Health System.  Outside Portugal, you can obtain this from an internationally covered insurance company.  

  • Present a criminal record issued from the current country of residence.  The issue date should not be more than 3 months from the form submission. 

  • Completed form authorizing SEF to access criminal records in Portugal.  

  • Sworn declaration of compliance with the minimum investment requirements for the necessary time period of 5 years.

  • Documents showing good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority and Social Security System. 

  • ARI application payment receipt.  


***Unless otherwise implied, it is best to have the necessary documentations issued within 3 months of your golden visa application.  


4. Document Legalizations - the above mentioned documents which will be issued by a non-Portuguese entity will be required to be legalized.  The legalization must be apostilled if the subject country is part of the Hague convention.   

5. Document Translations - all or any original document which is not written in Portuguese must be translated to Portuguese and certified.  Certifications are typically done by a notary.

6. Fees Related:

  • A processing fee of €533.00 per applicant plus €83 per dependent (if any) will be due at the time of application and then at each renewal period.  

  • An initial application fee of €5,325.00 per person will be collected once at the beginning of the application.  

  • A renewal application fee of €2,663.00 per person will be collected once at each renewal period.  

  • Legal fees will differ depending on law firms and investment types.  

7. Bank Account and NIF Number:

  • Portugal requires the main applicant to transfer funds to an investment from a Portuguese bank account.  Appropriately, it is mandatory for the main applicant to have a Portuguese bank account.  The main applicant must also have an NIF number (this is a tax identification number) in Portugal to open a bank account.

  • In order to obtain an NIF number, the main applicant must bring a government-issued identification and proof of address from their country of residence to a Financas Office in Portugal.  The NIF number can be issued within an hour, at the minimum.  Alternatively, the main applicant can provide their lawyers with a Power Of Attorney letter and they can complete this step on their behalf without the need to be in Portugal.  

  • To open a bank account in Portugal, the main applicant will need to visit a bank branch with their government-issued identification, NIF number, proof of address from their country of residence, Portuguese phone number and proof of income or payslip to complete the process.  To simplify the process, the main applicant can work closely with their law firms to seek advice on how to get this done quicker.

Steps on how to get a Portugal Golden Visa 


Step 1: Decide on which investment type best suits you.

Step 2: Prepare all the required documents necessary for your application.

Step 3: Get your NIF number and open a Portuguese bank account.  

Step 4: Fund your investment.

Step 5: Pre-application submission.

Step 6: Schedule your SEF Appointment and attend in person.

Step. 7: Receive your Golden Visa residence cards, valid for 2 years, then renewable.

Step 8: Portuguese citizenship application, after 5 years of residency.  

Portugal Golden Visa Statistics (Oct. 8, 2012 - Feb. 8, 2022)

Total Investment:
€ 6,189,950,701.18

Residence Permits:

Dependent Residency Permits:

Top Investor Countries:
1. China - 5,066
2. Brazil - 1,072
3. Turkey - 485
4. South Africa - 438
5. Russia - 431


***Disclaimer Notice: The information on this page is for general informational purposes only. UPC Fund I makes no legal representation, nor investment advice or warranty, express or implied. Your use of this information is solely at your own risk. This site may contain information provided by third party content, which we do not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for. For your further information you may consult with your own legal counsel for such advice or further information needed.   

Get In Touch With Us

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page