Your Guide: Portugal Golden Visa Investment Fund
At Get Golden Visa, we worked with tens of families from all around the world, interested in obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa through the Portuguese investment fund.
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Portugal is a charming destination with a mild climate, rich cuisine, and hospitable people. With its Golden Visa program, it also became a gateway to Europe for 12,497 families from all around the world – as of 2024.
Although most of these families chose to invest in Portuguese real estate to obtain their residence permits, another investment method is gaining more and more popularity recently: Portugal Golden Visa Investment Funds.
In late 2023, the Portuguese Government amended the Portugal Golden Visa program to only be eligible for Private Equity and Venture Capital funds in Portugal that have no direct or indirect real estate involvement.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Portugal Golden Visa program’s €500,000 investment route in venture capital Portugal funds.
What You Will Find in This Article
- Overview of the Portugal Golden Visa Program
- What Is Portugal Golden Visa Investment Fund?
- Who Can Invest in Golden Visa Portugal Investment Fund?
- Advantages of Portuguese Golden Visa Investment Fund
- Disadvantages of Portugal Golden Visa Fund
- Portugal Investment Fund Golden Visa: Fees
- The Exit
- Golden Visa Investment Fund Portugal: Documents and Requirements
- Conclusion: Is the Portugal Golden Visa Investment Fund Option Right for You?
Overview of the Portugal Golden Visa Program
A Golden Visa is a residency visa issued in exchange for a qualifying investment made in Portugal. The applicant needs to be a non-EU-EEA or Swiss citizen with a clean criminal record.
For a list of the qualifying investments, benefits, or requirements, you can visit our page on the Portugal Golden Visa.
The Portuguese government initiated the program in October 2012. As of 2023, the program helped attract more than €7.2 billion of foreign direct investment into the country.
What Is Portugal Golden Visa Investment Fund?
The investment fund route for the Portugal Golden Visa was introduced through an amendment in Portuguese Law no. 102/2017, of August 28th, 2017. The corresponding part of the law reads:
“Capital transfer of the amount of €350,000* or higher, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital Portugal fund of funds dedicated to the capitalization of companies, capital injected under the Portuguese legislation, whose maturity, at the moment of the investment, is, at least, of five years and, at least, 60% of the investments are realized in commercial companies with head office in the national territory(1)”.
*Note that the amount was raised to €500,000 on January 1st, 2022.
Who Can Invest in Golden Visa Portugal Investment Fund?
In order to apply to the Portugal Golden Visa program through the investment fund Portugal, you primarily need to qualify for a Golden Visa. The first criteria are:
- Being a non-EU-EEA citizen and a non-Swiss citizen,
- Having a clean criminal record,
Depending on the Portugal investment funds and the fund management company, the investment funds may bring additional requirements to the applicants. These typically include the investor to:
- Be a savvy investor, meaning the investor needs to have experience with some kind of financial instrument such as company stock, government bond, company bond, fund, etc.
- Provide proof of sufficient funds
- Provide the source of funds
Americans: Can a US Citizen Invest in Portuguese Investment Funds?
Yes, a US citizen can invest in an investment fund in order to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal.
However, the IRS requires foreign financial institutions and certain non-financial foreign entities to report on the foreign assets held by their U.S. account holders. This means any bank, fund, and fund manager in Portugal, who has an American client or investor, is required to abide by heavy compliance implemented by the U.S. government.
This leads some banks and Portugal investment funds to shy away from working with investors, who are US citizens. Regardless, there are banks and Portugal funds, that accept Americans.
Feel free to contact us to learn more about these funds and for the Portugal Golden Visa investment fund list.
Advantages of Portuguese Golden Visa Investment Fund
The investment fund Portugal route of the Portuguese Golden Visa program has certain advantages that other investment routes lack. Below, you may find a comprehensive table of these benefits;
|Benefits of Getting a Portugal Golden Visa Through Investing in an Investment Fund
|Compared to other investment routes for the Portuguese Golden Visa program, such as the capital transfer (€1.5 million) the investment fund option requires a lower investment amount of €500,000.
|Low Fees and Taxes
|Investing in investment funds does not lead to hefty fees, and taxes like the real estate acquisition does. Acquiring a property in Portugal comes with an IMI transfer tax (avg 6%), stamp duty (0.8%), and annual municipal taxes (between 0.3-0.5% annually); an investment in a fund has none of these taxes.
|A registered Portugal fund is regulated by (1) the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM), (2) the Bank of Portugal, and (3) the external Fund Management company. Additionally, (4) the Portuguese Tax Authorities also audit the fund. Such high levels of regulation ensure that the fund complies with the Portuguese legislation, tax laws, and the proposed investment plan approved by the Portugal investor fund.
|Depending on the tax structure of the fund and the investor, an investment in a fund may yield significant tax efficiencies. Certain cases allow for exemption of withholding tax on the income generated by the fund, particularly if the investors are not tax residents in Portugal. Conversely, all real estate rental income is subject to a fixed 28% taxation in Portugal.
|The Portuguese legislation governs the funds to obtain a certain level of diversification. There are quotas as to what percentage a particular asset or investment in the fund may constitute of the total fund portfolio. This allows for diversification of investments within the fund, and an alleviation of risk for the participating investors.
|Depending on the focus of the fund, the annual yields and the eventual capital appreciation may be significantly higher than other investment options related to the Golden Visa program.
|Unlike being a real estate landlord, owning a participation unit in an investment fund is a hassle-free investment. The burden of management is delegated to the fund managers. This exact point may also be a turn-off to the control-loving investor types. So, we included it in the next section on Disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Portugal Golden Visa Fund
Every rose has its thorn. Portuguese Golden Visa investment fund also comes with its own downsides, which you can find listed below;
|Downsides of Getting a Portugal Golden Visa Through Investing in an Investment Fund
|Lack of Control
|Unlike a real estate property or a capital held within a bank, the investment fund requires the investor to trust his or her funds with an external fund manager, who will oversee the investment decisions and steer the strategy. Such a lack of control may not be suitable for some investors.
|Most funds contractually ensure the participants that the fund will not be dissolved before a minimum number of years. This is to make sure that the participant can achieve the point where he or she is able to apply for permanent residency or citizenship in Portugal. However, there are three underlying issues. In most cases, the resale of the participation unit is very difficult before the fund dissolves. Funds typically have extension periods, which can only be triggered by the fund management, with the participant having no say in these extensions. If the ultimate objective of the fund is to sell the portfolio at a target appreciation, there is no guarantee of what stage the corresponding market will be when the fund decides to sell the portfolio.
|Sharing the Earnings
|Both the potential yield and the ultimate capital appreciation are shared with the fund managers. The management fee and the performance fee vary between funds.
|Participating in an investment fund requires the participant to share a number of documents and critical information with the fund managers. These include the proof of income and the source of income. Such Know-Your-Client (KYC) burden does not exist in real estate acquisitions.
We’ve also prepared the below chart to show you a comparison of Portuguese investment funds to other investment options.
As of 2023
|Portuguese Golden Visa Funds
|Real Estate Investment*
|Real Estate (Urban Rehabilitation)*
|Set up a Company and Create 10 Job Positions
|Invest in Portuguese Research & Development
|Donate to Portuguese Cultural Heritage
*No longer applicable investment methods as of late 2023.
Portugal Golden Visa: Fees and Costs
|Real Estate Property*
|IMI Transfer Tax
|35% of the profit**
(approximate without Exit Fees, Management Fee, or Legal Fee taken into account)
* As of late 2023, the Portuguese Government passed the “Mais Habitaçao” legislation that no longer allows investors to invest in real estate, real estate related funds, or capital transfer in order to apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal.
** Varies on the fund, it is typical for the performance fee to be between 20%-50% above a hurdle on the profit.
*** Varies on the fund, it is typical for the annual management fee to be between 1%-2% of the invested amount.
**** Legal fees vary widely between law firms, the number of family members, and other variables; it would not greatly differ between different investment routes.
The government fees for the Portugal Golden Visa are not portrayed in the above table. You may find a detailed list of the application fees here.
As stated in the above advantages of Portugal Golden Visa investment fund and disadvantages of Portugal Golden Visa fund list, the exit of an investment fund is an issue worth delving deeper into.
Minimum Lock-up Period
Most Golden Visa qualifying investment funds will contractually make sure that they do not dissolve within a minimum of six years. This practically ensures you that your investment will be valid for the necessary time period to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
This is a collaborative approach, and it is something to look for in the investment fund for the Golden Visa path. Though, it does not end there. It is also important to assess and question the following aspects.
Resale or Transfer of Participation Units
Most Portuguese investment funds allow for the participation units to be transferred or sold between participants. However, it is typically difficult to find a demand for a participation unit in a fund, which is timed particularly for Golden Visa timelines, unless it is at the very formation of the fund.
This makes these fund investments rather illiquid until the fund manager dissolves the fund. Some funds get around this issue by offering a buy-back of their participation units at a certain discount.
It is common for funds to have a particular exit target in terms of timing.
Many of Portugal Golden Visa investment fund sets it at six, eight, or ten years.
Having said that, the majority of the funds have optional extension periods, which may be triggered at the maturity mark. The optionality is decided by the fund managers, not the investors. This means that you may be locked in further than the time required to apply for citizenship in Portugal. It is best to check with the fund.
The ultimate objective of most Portuguese Golden Visa funds is to exit the portfolio by selling it at a profit eventually. Most fund managers are highly incentivized with a performance fee based on a percentage of the appreciation in value. This is a good thing as it means their incentive is aligned with that of the investors.
However, mind you, they are splitting your profit, but not your potential loss. So, the downside risk is all on you.
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- Learn how to assess the risk and return profile of a fund
- Get to know which aspects to consider when choosing funds
- Receive tips on fund investment strategies
- Communicate your questions and concerns
Once you book your request, our team will contact you to set up a day and a time.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Golden Visa Investment Fund Portugal
What is the difference between Venture Capital in Portugal and Portugal Private Equity?
The fundamental distinction is that, whereas private equity fund is based on solid businesses, venture capital fund is typically invested in startups.
What is Golden Visa Portugal investment fund?
Golden Visa investment fund Portugal is an investment method that allows investors to invest in Portugal to qualify for Portugal Golden Visa. If you make an investment of €500,000 into the funds, you can qualify for Portugal Golden Visa.
Can I make an investment in different Portuguese investment funds?
Yes, you can do diversification with Golden Visa Portugal investment fund and invest in different funds.
What is the minimum amount I can invest in Golden visa investment fund Portugal?
The minimum investment amount is €500,000 as of January 1st, 2022.
Do all funds in the ‘Fundo do Capital do Risco’ category qualify for a Golden Visa?
No. In late 2023, the Portuguese Government passed legislation called “Mais Habitaçao”, which states that any direct or indirect real estate investment of a fund will disqualify it for a Golden Visa application.