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Citizenship by Investment in Portugal

Citizenship by Investment in Portugal

For a few years now, golden visa or citizenship by investment programs started to become very appealing for entrepreneurs from all over the world. Portugal makes no exception, as in 2012 the government implemented the first citizenship by investment program which rendered very good results. In 2018 alone, Portugal attracted more than 5,000 individuals who moved to Portugal through this program.

The Portuguese citizenship by investment program offers great advantages to foreign entrepreneurs provided that they invest a specific amount of money in various assets. Below, our lawyers provide useful information on how to buy a golden visa in Portugal. We can also help with the application forms when choosing to enter the golden visa/citizenship by investment program.

Who is eligible for Portuguese citizenship by investment scheme?

Portugal is one of the European countries and EU member states to have created a golden visa program through which non-EU citizens can relocate here, so this scheme addresses wealthy individuals who can dispose of the minimum amount of money required by the Portuguese government to enroll in the program. Even if there are other options for foreign citizens who want to obtain citizenship in Portugal, the residence and citizenship by investment program is one of the safest and most attractive compared to the programs of other EU member states.

Compared to other European countries offering citizenship by investmentPortugal also has one of the cheapest golden visa schemes.

Foreign citizens from non-EU countries who want to buy a golden visa in Portugal or any other country in Europe are invited to discuss their options with our specialists who can guide them accordingly.

We can provide more information on the golden visa program in Portugal.

Conditions for entering the citizenship by investment program in Portugal in 2024

Those interested in buying a golden visa for Portugal must first know the conditions imposed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Trade and Investment Agency in the country. The following categories of investors can enroll in this program:

  1.  non-EU citizens – the program was created to attract investors from non-EU states only;
  2.  the applicant must have a clean criminal record in order to be allowed to join the program;
  3.  the entrepreneur must be a first-time applicant for a Schengen visa;
  4.  submit proof that the investment is legitimate and comes from outside the EU.

Our lawyers can advise on all the mandatory conditions imposed on foreign investors who want to buy a golden visa for Portugal in 2024. They will carefully analyze the applicant’s case and advise them on the best course of action.

There are several countries that offer golden passports in Europe.

We invite you to see our scheme on the benefits of obtaining Portuguese citizenship by investment:

Citizenship by Investment in Portugal

Investment options when buying a golden visa for Portugal

As mentioned earlier, those who want to enter Portugal through the citizenship by investment program are required to invest in specific assets. The following investment options are available for foreign entrepreneurs:

  • investments in real estate properties;
  • capital investments in various activities or projects of national interest.

The first type of investment implies buying a property worth at least 500,000 euros. Applicants can also buy older properties (at least 30 years old) or real estate which is located in areas that need regeneration – the minimum value of such properties must be 350,000 euros. Another option is to acquire a property located in a less populated area with a 20% reduction of the minimum amount of money. The value of such property can be 400,000 euros or 280,000 euros depending on the other mandatory conditions.

When it comes to capital investments, one of the following options can be chosen:

  • the applicant can invest at least 350,000 euros in research and development activities;
  • the applicant can invest at least 250,000 euros in art or reconstruction of a building of national interest;
  • the applicant must buy shares in investment funds or make venture capital investments worth at least 500,000 euros;
  • under these conditions, the applicant must create at least 10 jobs in Portugal.

Our lawyers can also advise on citizenship by investment programs in other countries like Italy, Spain, or Cyprus. These countries have similar conditions to Portugal. It is of the most sought golden visa countries in Europe.

New conditions for the citizenship by investment scheme in Portugal in 2024

In October 2023, the Citizenship by Investment Scheme underwent important changes. The changes do not apply retrospectively to applications that are already in use. However, the program no longer accepts real estate transactions or funds related to real estate as eligible investment options.

Certain Portuguese funds are still considered investments, among which:

  • €500,000 in venture capital funds that satisfy the program’s requirements;
  • the creation of 20 jobs or more;
  • a capital transfer of at least €500,000 for research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions;
  • capital contributions of at least €250,000 to support the creation of art and the preservation or restoration of the country’s cultural heritage;
  • capital transfers of minimum €500,000 for the creation of a company and the creation of 5 full-time workplaces.

Obtaining citizenship by investment by property acquisition in Portugal in 2024

The Portugal Golden Visa Scheme was amended in 2015 when Act 63/2015 and Regulatory Decree 15-A/2015 entered into force. According to them, new investment options were added to the programs and the applicants can purchase properties with a value of 500,000 euros, however, there is also an option for applicants to purchase real estate worth at least 350,000 euros. According to the new regulations, it is possible to buy more properties older than 30 years which must be located in areas designated for urban regeneration. The properties meeting one of these requirements and located in areas where the population area has a low density will trigger the reduction of the minimum amount of money to invest by 20%.

The 2024 citizenship by investment scheme in Portugal falls under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Trade and Investment Agency.

Europe is a leading center for citizenship by investment countries.

Citizenship by investment by entrepreneurship in Portugal

Investors from non-EU countries who want to run their own businesses in Portugal have the possibility of investing in companies. The requirements are almost the same as in the real estate option and imply:

  • injecting at least 350,000 euros in research and development activities;
  • injecting at least 250,000 euros in art projects or reconstruction of buildings of national heritage;
  • investing at least 500,000 euros in venture capital or shares in government-approved shares.

Our golden visa agents can offer more information on the citizenship by investment scheme in Portugal. We can also help those interested in similar programs in Cyprus, Malta, and Italy.

We can also advise on the golden visa program in Antigua and Barbuda.

Documents required for the Golden Visa Scheme in Portugal

The following documents must be prepared and submitted with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Portugal upon enrolling in the citizenship by investment program:

  • a clear criminal record;
  • proof that the funds to be invested are originated abroad and come from secure sources;
  • the passport with a valid Schengen visa;
  • proof of payment the application and processing fees.

The applicant is also required to live for 7 days in the first year after the investment was made and for 14 days for the following two years. It is important to note that the successful candidates must hold their investments for at least 3 years and the minimum stay requirements apply only for those who want to obtain residency by investment. Those who seek citizenship by investment in Portugal in 2024 must live here several days in a calendar year in order to obtain a permanent residence which leads to citizenship.

Our golden visa specialists in Portugal can offer the necessary details regarding the requirements for obtaining citizenship by investment.

We can also offer support to those who want to apply for golden passports in other parts of the world.

Most citizenship by investment countries require you to prove that the funds you invest are yours and come from legitimate sources. Additionally, you will be required to keep the investment in place for at least the bare minimum of time. Possessing a clean criminal history is another thing these countries have in common.

What are the benefits of the Portuguese golden visa program?

Foreign citizens who enter the citizenship by investment program in Portugal will have various benefits, among which one of the greatest advantages is obtaining a permanent residence in this country after 5 years. The same program can help those interested in acquiring a Portuguese passport after 6 years of investments without living in this country.

Other advantages of golden visa/citizenship by investment program in Portugal in 2024 are:

  • the possibility of traveling to other EU countries without additional visa requirements;
  • the applicant can choose to relocate to Portugal with the family;
  • the applicant can choose to live in Portugal or in their home country, however, he or she is required to come to Portugal every 2 years in order to renew the visa;
  • the applicant can also choose to live, work or study in another EU country.

You won’t be subject to taxation under the Portugal Golden Visa Program until you stay there for more than 183 days in a calendar year. If you do, you subsequently become a resident for tax purposes in Portugal. For foreigners who are thinking about moving to Portugal and becoming tax residents, Portugal has an advantageous tax system. For the first 10 years of residence, the nation provides certain income tax deductions through the non-habitual residency (NHR) scheme. In 2020, the program underwent a minor adjustment that barred foreign pensioners from receiving tax benefits on their pension income.

Those interested in applying for the golden visa program should know that Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world, after Iceland and New Zealand. In Europe, Portugal is one of the most beautiful and warm countries.

If you need details on other golden visa countries, you can rely on our specialists.

Why choose the Portuguese golden visa scheme instead of other programs?

When having to choose between citizenship by investment programs, or better said between the countries offering them, the investment options and amount of money are probably the most important aspects the applicants consider.

Portugal’s citizenship by investment program stands out among others thanks to a series of attributes, among which a recent change in the legislation which allows those who have obtained residence by investment to be eligible for citizenship after 5 years. The main requirement they need to comply with is to live for 35 days during the 5 years they benefitted from the residence by investment visa. As a matter of fact, Portugal has one of the lowest stay minimum requirements when it comes to a golden visa. It should also be noted that the golden visa through which residence by investment is obtained is considered the 5-year permanent residence requirement needed to obtain citizenship in Portugal.

If you want to relocate to Portugal and apply for a golden visa in 2024 we can help you.  If you need advice on other citizenship by investment countries, you can send us your inquiries.

If you decide to move to Portugal through the citizenship by investment program, you can rely on our local specialists for assistance in preparing the documentation to be submitted with the authorities and compiling the application file. Do not hesitate to contact us for detailed information and guidance in applying for citizenship by investment in Portugal.