Portugal Cultural Production Golden Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 24 October 2023

Since its beginning in 2012, the Portuguese Golden Visa attracted close to 13,000 investors, infusing €7,3 billion into the country. While real estate once dominated, accounting for 90% of all applications, this door closed in October 2023. 

However, the Cultural Production Golden Visa emerges as a compelling alternative. With just a €250,000 investment in the arts or an equivalent donation to cultural heritage, it’s an affordable route into Portuguese residency. 

Here, we’ll unravel this interesting opportunity for prospective investors.

The Cultural Golden Visa Program at a Glance

Introduced in 2015, the Cultural Production Golden Visa is a notable option for those seeking a more affordable entry into the Portugal Golden Visa program. With an investment of €250,000 – or an even more attractive €200,000 if your cultural venture is situated in a designated low-density area – this pathway is hard to overlook.

So, what’s the catch? Well, investors are required to fund an approved cultural project. Think along the lines of supporting a Portuguese feature film. Such endeavors not only bolster the nation’s cultural sector but also pave the way for residency in an esteemed EU nation renowned for its superior quality of life.

Given the closure of the real estate investment route in 2023, the Cultural Production Golden Visa is emerging as an appealing alternative. For those wishing to get a comprehensive overview, below, you may find Get Golden Visa’s detailed guidelines on the program.

Golden Visa Invesmtnet Comparison: Cultural, Artistic, and Fund Investments

Below, you can find a comparison of the three Golden Visa investment types: the artistic production investment, cultural heritage donation, and the fund investment routes.

Artistic Production InvestmentPreserving Cultural HeritageVenture Capital Fund Investment
Minimum Investment Amount€250,000 (€200,000 if in a low-density area)€250,000 (€200,000 if in a low-density area)€500,000
Investment Term5 years5 years5 years
Pre-approval Requisition (from the Government)Yes, requiredYes, requiredNo
Application to be submitted by Govertment EntityNoYesNo
Path to CitizenshipYesYesYes
Minimum Stay Requirement in Portugal14 days every two years14 days every two years14 days every two years
Family ReunificationYesYesYes
Path to CitizenshipYesYesYes

Cultural Golden Visa: Background

On 1 July 2015, Law 63/2015 came into effect, which brought changes in the regulations concerning foreign nationals in Portugal. The changes allowed for the introduction of new investment activities for eligibility in the Portuguese Golden Visa program.

These newly introduced avenues were:

  • Funding artistic productions
  • Contributing to the refurbishment and upkeep of national heritage

The minimum investment amount for these activities is set at €250,000. However, if the investment takes place in a designated low-density region, a 20% reduction is applied, bringing the sum down to €200,000.

Consequently, this €200,000 option stands out as the lowest investment amount to secure residency in Portugal under the Golden Visa program.

Why choose the Cultural Golden Visa?

Historically, the most popular investment route for obtaining a Golden Visa in Portugal has been the real estate acquisition route, cornering over 90% of applications. However, this is off the table now. 

Meanwhile, the investment fund pathway has been gaining traction since 2019. Given these shifts, the cultural production option is often sidestepped, partly because arts-focused investments aren’t always necessarily lucrative.

Yet, there are exceptions. Film production, for instance, can yield profits and fulfill the cultural Golden Visa prerequisites. Mind you, a public entity must conduct the project, which needs official approval for Golden Visa eligibility.

You might ask, why choose the cultural production Golden Visa despite the lower likelihood for returns. 

Well, it’s the most cost-effective among the available choices. Our experts can guide you towards the right institutions and streamline your paperwork. 

Additional advantages of the Cultural Production route include:

  • Pre-approval by an authoritative entity
  • Fastest Golden Visa processing at SEF
  • Accredication and recognition in the production (ie. film credit)
  • Potential for early capital return
  • Opportunity for permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship after five years
  • Eligibility to include family in your application

Note: Pre-approval pertains to projects already greenlit by a Portuguese governmental entity, not the advisory firm managing the client’s application.

Securing citizenship requires adhering to Portuguese nationality regulations, including maintaining a clean legal record and clearing a basic Portuguese language test. You need to retain your investment for five years and meet specific residency criteria in Portugal.

What are potential pitfalls?

The Cultural Production Golden Visa route isn’t as popular and as well known as its counterparts, so there are less resources and options available out there. 

Additionally, the cultural projects are not as conservative and usually not as lucrative as the real estate acquisition method.

The Cultural Golden Visa Application Process

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the cultural Golden Visa application procedure:

  1. Both an eligible entity and investor identify a project with a solid five-year long plan
  2. The project undergoes approval at GEPAC ((Bureau for Cultural Strategy, Planning and Assessment of the Ministry of Culture)
  3. Within ten workdays, the Minister of Culture reviews the project for eligibility
  4. If the green light is given, the investor completes the investment, then forwards necessary documentation to GEPAC for validation
  5. GEPAC produces a declaration, essential for the Portuguese Golden Visa application process through SEF.

Important: Pre-approval is available for certain projects. Only specific entities, such as Fundação de Serralves, Fundação Batalha de Aljubarrota, and Fundação D. Luís I that already have pre-approved projects by GEPAC.

Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and How We Can Help You

Get Golden Visa is a bespoke investment advisory firm. Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions in your quest for Portugal Golden Visa.

    So, what other pathways are available?

    The cultural production is not the only ramining investment route to get a Golden Visa in Portugal Here’s a snapshot of other investment alternatives:

    • Fund subscription: A minimum commitment of €500,000 to a qualifying Venture Capital or Private Equity fund in Portugal.
    • Scientific research: Pledge at least €500,000 towards Science or Tech research. Opt for a low-density region and benefit from a 20% markdown, at €400,000.
    • Job creation: Incorporate a company and generate ten jobs, valuing at least €500,000.
    • Artistic production: Allocate a minimum of €250,000 to support artistic endeavors.
    • National heritage: A donation of €250,000 to Portugal’s national heritage.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How can I identify qualifying artistic or cultural productions for the Golden Visa?

    Only GEPAC can validate cultural production Golden Visa applications. For clarity on eligible cultural pursuits, we advise consulting Get Golden Visa specialists to guarantee compliance with Golden Visa standards.

    Why is there a sudden spotlight on the Cultural Golden Visa in Portugal?

    The route of contribution in an artistic production and of maintenance of national cultural heritage were both lesser-known choices among investors. This may stem from the unclear nature of these pathways. 

    For eligibility under the cultural production Golden Visa, a donation of €250,000 to Portuguese arts, national heritage, or culture is necessary. Previously, there’s been limited information detailing the specifics of qualifying investments.

    However, with the elimination of the real estate investment, real estate fund investment, and capital deployment options, the artistic production and cultural heritage options gained more spotlight as the remaining alternatives.

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