Golden Visa in Portugal

The Portugal Golden Visa program, commonly known as the residence permit for investment activity (ARI), is a non-EU citizen residency by investment initiative.

The program began in October 2012 in Portugal. The major goal was to lure international finance into the country, which was desperately needed following the 2008 financial crisis. The scheme was a huge success, bringing in €5,5 billion in just over eight years.

Portugal has a lovely landscape, a long coastline, a warm climate, kind people, and delectable cuisine. Even better, it offers this high standard of living with a very low cost of living. These characteristics make Portugal a particularly appealing destination for international investors looking to invest and get the right to live, work, and study in the country.

In addition, the Portugal Golden Visa program allows you to become a permanent resident or citizen of Portugal in just five years.

With investors attracted to its flexibility and rewards, the Portugal Golden Visa program has proven to be the most popular plan in Europe. The Portuguese government has extensively marketed the investor visa program since its inception in 2012. 

A family with dependent children can obtain a residency visa in Portugal by investing €500,000 (or €350,000 for a reduced alternative) in real estate. The golden visa can be renewed every two years as long as the applicant stays in the country for two weeks every two years.

Investment in Real Estate

The credit crisis hit the housing market in Portugal, as it did many other southern European nations, and prices were still 20 percent to 30 percent below their 2007 peak in 2015. However, prices have been steadily growing since then, especially in Lisbon, thanks to the golden visa scheme, and investors have enjoyed significant gains in recent years. Investors purchasing real estate in Portugal for the purpose of obtaining a Golden Visa today have high chances of making a profit in the coming years. There are substantial contrasts between conventional vacation homes on the coast of Portugal, city properties in central Lisbon, and rehabilitation projects qualifying for the reduced laws (€280,000 and €350,000 categories), therefore serious buyers should seek advice. Please inquire here. Investors may want to learn more about the Portugal golden visa program or review our application process description.

Documents Required When Applying for a Golden Visa in Portugal

In order to apply for a Golden Visa, you must submit the following documents:

  • A copy of a passport or other travel document issued by the government,
  • Proof of the main applicant’s individual qualifying investment:
  • If you’re buying real estate, you’ll need a deed or a promissory sale agreement, as well as proof of deposit payment.
  • If you’re investing in a fund, you’ll need proof of fund subscription from the fund’s management.
  • A statement from a Portuguese financial institution confirming the funds transfer,
  • Proof of medical insurance:
  • If you’re in Portugal, you can get help through the Portuguese National Health System.
  • If you live outside of Portugal, get insurance from a firm that is internationally recognized.
  • The present nation of residence’s criminal record,
  • The certificate must be issued within three (3) months after the submission of the form.
  • A signed form granting SEF access to criminal records in Portugal.
  • The certificate must be issued within three (3) months after the submission of the form.
  • A sworn declaration that the minimum investment requirements have been met for the five-year period required,
  • Documents demonstrating good status with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority, as well as the Portuguese Social Security System
  • Must be issued within 45 days of receiving the form.
  • Payment of the ARI application fee is received.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the documentation should be issued within three months after the submission of your Golden Visa application.


All of the above documents must be legalized if they were issued by a non-Portuguese agency. If the subject country is a signatory to the Hague Convention, the legalization must include an apostille.


Any non-Portuguese original document must be translated into Portuguese and validated. A notary is usually the one who performs the certification.

The first application and supporting documentation are sent to the Serviço de Fronteiras e Estrangeiros over the internet (SEF). SEF is Portugal’s national immigration and border services agency. After they’ve approved your application, you’ll have to go in for a face-to-face interview.

SEF offices can be found all around Portugal, and you can apply for one of them regardless of where you made your investment. You’ll be able to avoid areas with long lines, such as the SEF office in Lisbon. As long as it is not one of the high-demand locations, it can take up to six months for SEF to authorize and offer a biometrics appointment date.

With all your dependents can book the SEF appointment at the same time if you are the main applicant. You will receive your Golden Visa cards after the in-person interview. The time it takes to get these residence permit cards is usually around four months.

The day your Golden Visa card is issued, your residency clock starts ticking.