Portugal Citizenship through Investment: Everything You Need to Know Before You Decide

Portugal Citizenship through Investment: Everything You Need to Know Before You Decide

Portugal Golden Visa Program’s inception dates back to October of 2012. It is essentially introduced by the government as a new contributor to the country wealth. In Europe, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is partially seen as the pioneer of this sort of programs. Countries with stagnant economies –especially with stagnant real estate markets- frequently resort to this option of introducing a residence or citizenship by investment program. These programs mostly, accept substantial investments in the area of property investment. However, expansive programs like Portugal Golden Visa scheme employ many options for investors around the world. For applicants seeking different methods to choose from while applying for one of these schemes, Portugal Golden Visa Program has no shortage of options. This affects the costs and returns of individuals depending on the methods they choose.

How Much Does It Cost to Invest in Portugal for Citizenship?

Money Transfer

In this method, the investor transfers at least €1 million to Portugal. They might choose to follow these different routes:

  1. A bank deposit;
  2. The purchase of a shareholding in a Portuguese company or the incorporation of a single-member private limited company having a paid-up share capital of at least €1 million, such company being free to invest wherever and in whatever it wants;
  3. The purchase of Portugal sovereign debt instruments;
  4. The purchase of Portugal traded securities.

Real Estate

The investors may choose to invest in Portuguese property of at least €500,000. They may choose to invest as an individual or as a joint legal entity. If the property is in a “low density area”, minimum requirement gets reduced to €400,000.

Real Estate and Rehabilitation

The investors may choose to invest in Portugal property that is in need of rehabilitation and restoration. In this case, minimum requirement decreases to €350,000. The property either has to be built more than 30 years ago or has to be located in a designated area of urban rehabilitation. If the property is in a “low density area”, minimum requirement gets reduced to €280,000.


The investors might prefer to create a business that creates 10 new permanent jobs. The number decreases to 8 if the business in a “low density area”.

Scientific Research

The investors may select the option to invest €350,000 in scientific research that is conducted by accredited institutions that are part of the national scientific and technological system. If the project is in a “low density area”, the amount decreases to €280,000.

Cultural Contribution

The investors can also invest at least €250,000 in the artistic production or the recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage that is conducted by accredited institutions. If the contribution is made in a “low density area”, the minimum requirement decreases to €200,000.

Portuguese Fund

The investors might choose to invest at least €500,000 in units of a Portuguese fund that invests in the share capital of small or medium sized businesses.

How long do you have to live in Portugal to become a citizen?

To be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship, one has to reside in the country for at least five years. If the application is through marriage, this period is reduced to three years.

How long does it take to obtain Portuguese citizenship through Portugal Golden Visa Program?

In 2018, Portuguese government changed the Portuguese Nationality Law and reduced the required period of residency to 5 years from 6 years. Therefore, the residents that acquired the right to reside through Portugal Golden Visa can obtain citizenship after 5 years of residence.

Which countries can I travel to with Portuguese passport?

Portuguese Golden Visa definitely has some travel advantages. An average European Union passport provides its holder with visa-free travel to at least 150 countries around the world. Portugal being one of the European Union countries certainly has its perks in terms of visa-free travel. Portugal residents can travel freely to all the EU countries and the Schengen Area.

Can I work in the UK with a Portuguese passport?

United Kingdom’s situation with the European Union is kind of blurry at the moment, but Portuguese passport allows its holder to live, work, and study in any EU country.

Can I work in Canada and the USA with a Portuguese passport?

Portuguese passport grants visa-free travel to Canada, but to be able to work, passport holders go through a different application process. Travel to USA needs a visa since Portugal citizenship does not grant that. Because these countries are not EU members, working in these countries require separate permits.

Can I travel visa-freely to the USA and Canada with a Portuguese passport?

Portuguese passport grants his holder the right to freely travel to and from Canada, but not the USA.

Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?

Portugal allows dual citizenship, but if the applicant’s home country does not allow it, the applicant may have to renounce their citizenship to their own country.

How strong is Portuguese passport?

To start with, Portugal is a European Union country, meaning that holding a Portuguese passport grants its holder the right to live, study and work in the EU. The country is ranked 18th according to the Passport Index. In terms of visa-free travel, it is one of the strongest passports in the world.

After I obtain the Portuguese citizenship, do I have to maintain the property or am I allowed to sell it and keep the citizenship?

Yes, after the Portuguese citizenship is granted, the owner is allowed to sell the property or hold it.

Can I include my children – later on?

Portugal Golden Visa allows entrance to the country without a visa. It grants the right to live and work in Portugal, and to bring the resident’s family into the country. If one person in the family holds a residence permit, Portugal’s Golden Visa program allows their family to also gain access to a permanent residence permit and Portuguese citizenship in accordance with the legal provisions. They may also enter the country without a residential visa.

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