Portugal Golden Visa Program in 2020

Portugal will continue to offer its highly advantageous Golden Visa in 2020, and foreign investors will likely keep flocking towards it. Every parameter shows that Portugal’s Golden Visa programs are still highly profitable for both the European countries and their investors from all around the world.

Portugal Golden Visa in a Glance

The Portugal Golden Visa program is quite straightforward. Any individual above the age of 18 that is not a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Swiss citizen can apply for the program. The applicant has to make a qualifying investment.

There are multiple qualifying investment methods:

– A minimum investment of 500,000 Euro in any real estate in Portugal,

– A minimum investment of 350,000 Euro in a property older than 30 years old AND renovating the property,

– A capital transfer of 1,000,000 Euro in Portugal,

– A minimum investment of 350,000 Euro in a qualifying Portuguese fund,

– Creation of 10 new full-time jobs in a Portuguese company, among other options.

You can read our definitive guide on the Golden Visa Portugal investment fund option for a better understanding.

Portugal Golden Visa 2020 Changes – Updated

As of February 2020, the Portuguese Parliament will enable the Government to introduce changes in the scope of investment types to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme.  The intention is to favour the promotion of investment in low-density areas, urban renovation, cultural heritage, and job creation.

Although there is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of the specific charges and the time frame they will be implemented in, we believe that the below information may shed light on the implications of the changes on the Golden Visa rules as we know them.

Thus, we will address a few essential points regarding this matter:

  1. What is the proposal?
  2. The actual reason behind the proposal
  3. Timeline for any potential changes
  4. Is this the end of the Portugal Golden Visa Programme?
  5. Which investment types will no longer qualify for the Golden Visa?
  6. Will this affect those who already received or applied for their Golden Visa?
  7. Will this affect the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship?

What is the proposal?

The Portuguese Government submitted a draft State Budget Law for 2020, which was discussed by the Portuguese Parliament.  During discussions, various political parties submitted proposals in order to amend the draft budget prior to its approval.  The Socialist Party has submitted proposals to make changes to the Golden Visa rules.

This draft law (Annex 1) is not finalized, and it does not introduce any actual changes to the current Golden Visa Program.  As a matter of fact, it only allows the Government to make changes to the rules, and these changes have not yet been clarified.

This means that Parliament will give the Government an authorization to legislate changes to the Golden Visa Programme.  Therefore, in case it is adopted, the final legislation will not be immediately in force.  Changes to the Golden Visa rules will only take effect after complete regulation is published.

The Actual Reason behind this Proposal

In the main cities like Lisbon and Porto, the real estate prices have been increasing, and this forces many Portuguese families to seek housing in the surrounding areas.  The Golden Visa change proposal is merely an effort, used by some political parties to try to address this current real estate market situation.

The change to the Golden Visa rules, unfortunately, does not correctly address the root of the issue at hand.

In 2018;

  • 242.091 real estate properties were sold in Portugal,
  • 1.332 Portugal Golden Visas were granted,
  • Golden Visa applicants represented 0,55%of the total Portuguese real estate market,

assuming each of these applications chose to proceed with the route of real estate investment. As fo 2020, 94% of the Portugal Golden Visa applicants used the real estate acquisition route in order to qualify for the program.

There are many other reasons behind the growth of the real estate markets in Lisbon and Porto.  Growing tourism, and thus the short-term rental market, NHR tax residency program, growing start-up scene, and lifestyle choices, are among these reasons.  The low interest rates in the financial institutions also made capital move into higher-yielding investments, such as real estate properties.  The majority of real estate investors in Lisbon and Porto are EU citizens.  Thus, real estate growth continues but not necessarily fueled by the Golden Visa programs.

List of main foreign investor nationalities in Portugal:

  • 21% French
  • 18% UK
  • 18% Brazil
  • 9% Germany
  • 7% China
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Timeline for any potential changes

The Parliament will give the Government an authorization to legislate changes to the Golden Visa regime, and therefore, if adopted, the final legislation will not be immediately in force.

In order for a legislative proposal to become a law, it needs to be:

(1) Discussed at the Parliament

(2) Voted at the Parliament

(3) Approved by the President

(4) Published into Law

Once it is published into law, all necessary regulations need to be implemented in order for the public officials to follow it and address it.

It is not possible to forecast an exact date, though the process would potentially take a couple of months in the quickest scenario. We cannot anticipate when during the year of 2020, the Government will start the legislative procedure and approve this decree-law.

Is this the end of the Portugal Golden Visa Programme?

This is not the end of the Golden Visa Programme; the potential changes will only introduce certain changes to the scope of investment routes available to attain a Portugal Golden Visa.

Which investment types will no longer qualify for the Golden Visa?

Golden Visa will no longer be available through investment in real estate property in major cities like Lisbon and Porto.  Real estate property acquisition in local interior communities and the autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira will still be a valid investment route to attain Golden Visa.

The provision does not clarify if the 350.000 Euro investment route through real estate renovation will still be available or not.  It is also unclear if investment into Portuguese funds will be affected by the changes.

It is possible that the minimum amount of investment may be increased for the remaining options.

Will this affect those who already received or applied for their Golden Visa?

This will not have a retroactive effect.  It will only be valid after the law being approved and published.

The existing holders of residence permits will be able to submit their renewal applications.

Will this affect the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship?

The potential change in the law will only have an effect on the Foreigners Act.  The Portuguese Citizenship Act, on the other hand, will stay intact; thus, all criteria to apply for the Portuguese citizenship will remain as is.

What is a Portugal residency in 2020?

Portugal is a highly developed European country with state-of-the-art medical facilities and plenty of opportunities to get some of the best education on the world. It is a part of the EU thus getting residency in Portugal means being eligible to live and work in many more countries that share the Schengen area. Moreover, Portuguese passport is one of the best in the world and if you do end up acquiring it you can travel to 164 countries without a visa. Taxation system within Portugal allows your income outside Portugal not to be taxed there as well, which is always good news for avid foreign investors.

Why will Portugal Golden Visa be a good option in 2020?

Portugal is almost completely recovered from its crisis back in 2008. This means that soon enough its ever growing real estate market will come to a halt or start growing slowly. But that time has not come yet. Portuguese real estate market is still a booming one and professionals argue that it will remain so in 2020. Buying a house in Portugal for a Portuguese residency as early on as possible in the year can yield a lot of profits to its investor even at the end of the year, after a mere 12 months. It would be wise to make use of this program while it still exists and reserve your own spot in Portugal.

What is golden visa scheme?

Golden visa schemes are programs offered by many countries around the world which offer residency in exchange for substantial investment in one or several destinations designated by the government of the particular country. If the applicants manage to submit all the required documents and qualify after an evaluation process, they and potentially their dependents are granted residence permit for a limited amount of time. Some programs, as a result of successful compliance with all the rules for a period of time, may grant the right to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

How can I get PR in Portugal?

One of the programs that offer permanent residency after a while is the Portugal Golden Visa Program. After successfully obtaining the Portuguese residence permit, the holder should renew their visa at the end of the first and the third years. After 5 years of residence, provided that all the requirements have been met by the resident, the visa holder can apply for permanent residency.

Who is eligible for a Portuguese passport?

Initially, the applicant must be over 18 years old. They must be non-EU/EEA nationals. Since the path to Golden Visa is through a residence by investment scheme, there must be an investment made in compliance with the rules and designations set by the program’s provider. The source for income, the criminal records of the applying individuals, all the financial activities must be clearly reported during the submittal of documents. After this investment is made, failing to comply with the residency requirements may result in withdrawal of the permit or the passport.

How can I get Portuguese citizenship?

Portugal Golden Visa does not grant direct citizenship. The investors must first successfully complete substantial investments in designated areas and maintain their compliance with all the rules throughout the 5 year period needed for the right to apply for naturalization. Only after 5 years of successful residency, residents can apply for Portuguese citizenship. It is best to keep in mind that the citizenship requires basic knowledge of Portuguese.

Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?

Portugal allows dual citizenship. So, residents on a path to citizenship do not have to worry about this. However, if the original country of citizenship does not allow dual citizenship, the applicant may have to resign that passport in order to be able to be granted Portuguese citizenship. It is a good idea to check this information before starting the process towards Portuguese citizenship.

Comments (46)

Hi is there a chance that the language requirement for Portugal citizenship will be lifted as I have heard from different people that it is in the process of being removed.

Hi Irtaza, the Portuguese language requirement is still a part of the citizenship process. If any official change made by the government, we would definitely include it on our website.

Hi. I am applying the golden visa. I am from Asia and have family of 4 ( I , my wife , 4 year-old and 9 year-old children). We are still living in our home country in these coming 6 years. From my understanding, i can apply for citizenship after 6 years. But my children will be still under 18 years old at that time. How can my children apply citizenship while they are under 18?

Hello Louis, your dependant children can apply to citizenship with you no matter their age.

After the successful of 5 years of stay requirement under the GV program. I would like to know what are the requirement to apply for Portuguese citizenship, except from the language test.
Is there further stay requirement or tax requirement?

Hello Angus, apart from the basic language requirement, you need to provide evidence that you have spent at least 14 days in Portugal every 2 years, provide supporting evidence regarding the tax and social security obligations, and have a clean criminal record.

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.

Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!

My wife is from Asia and I am UK citizen. Is my wife eligible to apply for golden visa? (In case uk remains in EU).

Hi Kabe, right, your wife is eligible for a Golden Visa application if she does not have the UK passport.

আমি মোঃ মিরাজুল ইসলাম বাংলাদেশি,আমি পূর্তগালে কাজ ভিসায় যেতে চাই, আপনি আমার জন্য্য কিছু করতে পারবেন,

Do you have to have the 350,000 in cash or is it possible to take a mortgage for some of it? I’ve read elsewhere that the changes could also possibly affect properties along the coast. How do they define that? I was considering property just north of the Algarve. If I couldn’t go the Golden Visa route due to not having enough in cash, is there another option to buy lower cost property and get residency?

Wendy Maria Namisnik

Hi Wendy, the requirement is to transfer the minimum investment amount (€350.000 in this case) from your bank account outside of Portugal to your bank account in Portugal. It means you cannot take a mortgage in Portugal if this is a Golden Visa oriented investment. If you’re looking for a lower cost, I can suggest you a minimum of €280.000 property acquisition in a low-density area. Please, kindly come in contact with our team for more detailed information related to a min of €280.000 property investments and the potential law change.

Hello, as the UK has now left the EU and the EEA, am I as a UK citizen now eligible for a golden visa?

Hi Paul, you’re right! UK citizens will be eligible for the Golden Visa application but only after the transition period ends at the end of 2020.

Me & my wife have a Portuguese Golden Visa already but are leaving in Dubai and we are expecting a baby to be born in Portugal- would the baby get the Portuguese citizenship

Hi Suliman, underaged children (under the age of 18) do not apply to citizenship on the basis of the Golden Visa, but on the basis of their parents’ Portuguese citizenship. You can include your baby in your application when you’re eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

I am a UK and also a NZ citizen. With a Portugal Golden Visa could I spend up to 3 months in Spain as a tourist and then spend a further 3 to 6 months of the same calendar year in Portugal as a resident?

What would the situation be as regards my longterm defacto partner?

Thank you.

Hi Michael,
I would like to kindly remind you that you are not eligible to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa right now because you are a UK citizen. When it’s possible, it allows you to travel anywhere in the Schengen area within touristic stay requirements. Also, there is no maximum stay limit in Portugal with your residency permit. Just to keep in mind, it might bring tax residency obligation if you stay over 183 days within Portugal.

Two questions;
1: I am a Dutch national living in France ( so already a member of the Schengen area) planning to buy property in Portugal. How will the new legislation affect my future (income) tax once residing in Portugal.
2. Is there a map to show which areas ( other than Lisbon and Porto) will be blocked from the golden visa program and those where this program will continue?

Hi Vic, the potential changes are related to the Portugal Golden Visa Program. The program enables non-EU/EEA country citizens to obtain a temporary residence permit in Portugal. These changes cannot affect you as you are already an EU citizen. Are you planning to move to Portugal? If so, you may apply for the Non-Habitual Residence(NHR) Program to move your tax residency in Portugal. Please, come in contact with our team through email for more details related to real estate investments and tax residency program in Portugal.

With the new Golden Visa Rules – will buying a property for more than 350K euro give a right of residency for children below 26 y.o.? What will happen with their residency after the 26th birthday (if it is got at the age under 26)? Thank you!

Dear Vitaly, I assume you are referring to the Golden Visa program in Portugal, right? If so, we do not have any definitive information as of April 2020 as to any changes that may occur in family reunification specs. As soon as there is, we will immediately inform the details through our blog and email newsletter. Please feel free to join the email newsletter below if you have not already done so.

2020 proposal changes so many things, thanks for up-to-date informations.
From what I understand, it is not possible to invest in a real estate in Lisbon by 2020, right?

Well then do you think that Portugal Golden Visa is still a good idea after the changes?

I think so. The fact that you can make a real estate investment, get residency, and then possibly EU citizenship is a value proposition that cannot be found in any other alternative program.
Even with the changes, the Portugal Golden Visa porgram is still the most attractive one in Europe.

If I were to purchase a property for 500k€ in the next 2 months in Lisbon While applying for a Golden Visa BEFORE there were any changes made , would I still qualify ? SEF & Social Security are notoriously slow.

That’s 7 months before any changes could be implemented.

Would you say this is the best time to apply especially as the Realestate market gets to be more affordable?

These would not be investment properties. Move and live in Lisbon .

Thank you

Hi Paul, the Portuguese government has not made any changes to the Golden Visa law yet. Therefore, there is even no date announced for the changes to become effective. We believe it’s safe to make an investment in Lisbon to qualify for the Golden Visa. Please, come in contact with our team for more details of possible changes in the Golden Visa law as well as real estate investments in Portugal.

Supposedly no, it is not. The purpose of proposal is to promote investment not in major cities but in surronding areas. So, Lisbon is not going to be an option. However, with the recent COVID-19 developments, this proposal may potentially not come in effect as the government planned… Let’s wait and see.

Hi, yes Its possible to get golden visa in Portugal. The apllys during 2020 Will be okay until the end of the year. After that the politicions will vote for the destiny of the program.

It’s tough to find up-to-date publications on the issue, taking into account the potential changes coming to the program in 2020. This is up-to-date and comprehensive. Thank you…

What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this
I have found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads.
I hope to contribute & help different users like its helped me.

Great job.

portugal golden visa 2020

Is 2020 the last chance to apply golden visa ?Is Portuguese Govt. goingt to end Golden Visa program?

they just planning to recover low density areas more, other than lisbon or porto

but will it get difficult to get golden visa from now on ?

Do proposed changes in the news about Portugal golden visa scheme affect existing applicants and holders ?

The prime minister said the proposed changes won’t affect existing golden visa holders

What are the risks in portugal real estate market to be aware of? What are some projections about the market? it would be awesome if someone tells if the market is still profitable or not…

Where are some good, cheap and profitable locations to buy real estate near Oporto?how can i find them

can I live and work in belgiu if I get Portugal golden visa? And do I need to come Portugal to buy property,physically?can I rent the property instead of buying it,like malta programme?thanks

The Portuguese golden visa allows you live and work in Portugal. That’s it.
you can travel within the Schengen area as tourist.

Hello, I am from India what best economic business we can start in Portugal.
What are terms of Investments.

After i get my golden visa, what kind of taxation will I face in Portugal? And after applying and gaining portuguese citizenship after 5 years, will i need to renounce my current citizenship ?I am from Kazakhstan

you dont have to pay tax for your income generated outside of portugal (as far as i know)
i dont know if kazakhstan allows dual citizenship, but portugal does. so if kazakhstan do so, you dont have to renounce your current citizenship

What is Non-Habitual Residence Tax Program ??

as an applicant you can benefit from the “non-habitual tax regime” which allows investors to benefit from significant tax reductions over a 10year period..you shouldnt have been a taxpayer in Portugal for the past 5 years

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