Portugal

Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Investment | After the 2022 Changes

Updated: 11 January 2022

Portugal Golden Visa underwent some major changes on 1st January 2022. According to the new rules, the regions where you can make real estate investments to qualify for Portugal Golden Visa have changed. For some methods, the investment amounts have increased.

As the changes came into effect, many prospective real estate investors wonder if their investment could still be eligible for a Portuguese Golden Visa. It’s true that there has been confusion and panic, however, the new rules don’t lower your chances of getting a Portugal Golden Visa through a real estate acquisition. 

In this article, we’re going to give you a detailed explanation of the changes regarding the real estate and how you can still qualify for a Portugal Golden Visa.

Portugal Golden Visa Changes at a Glance

Two main changes have been introduced:

  • Change #1: Concerns the Real Estate Method:
    • Where you can buy a residential property has been limited to some locations
  • Change #2: Concerns all Other Investment Methods:
    • Investment amounts for capital transfers, cultural investments, and fund subscriptions have been raised

While the changes regarding the amounts have been clear, the restrictions on location for property acquisition might be difficult to understand. To have a better understanding, it’s important that you become familiar with the terms of low-density and high-density areas, as well as interior and non-interior regions.

The “density” defines the minimum amount you must invest in order to qualify for your Golden Visa application. If an area has fewer than 100 inhabitants per km2 or a GDP per capita of less than 75 percent of the national average, it’s named “low-density”.

In “interior areas” you’re free to make either residential or non-residential property investments. However, in “non-interior” you can only invest in non-residential properties, such as commercial properties, offices, or hotels.

Eligible Real Estate Investment Options for Portugal Golden Visa

As we’ve discussed, real estate investment is still an option for Portugal Golden Visa investors. Here are the routes you can take to qualify:

Residential Real Estate

You can choose to buy residential real estate in a designated interior area and pay €500,000. 

An investment of €350,000 is also possible if the property is a part of an urban rehabilitation project. If this residential property is in a designated “low density” area, you’re also eligible for a 20 percent drop on the minimum investment threshold. 

Commercial Real Estate

You can buy commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal as long as it is worth at least €500,000. 

An investment of €350,000 is also possible if the property is a part of an urban rehabilitation project. If this commercial property is in a designated “low density” area, you’re also eligible for a 20 percent drop on the minimum investment threshold. 

Both Commercial and Residential Real Estate

Making either commercial or residential real estate investments in Madeira Islands or the Azores will qualify you for a Portugal Golden Visa. The investment amount is €500,000

Again, if the property is a part of a rehabilitation project, the minimum investment amount drops to €350,000. 

No discount is available as these islands aren’t included in Portugal’s low-density areas.

Real Estate Investment in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve

So you want to invest in the usual suspects… Lisbon, Porto, and the majority of the Algarve region are listed as “non-interior” areas. 

This is why a residential real estate investment in these locations will not qualify you for a Portugal Golden Visa. However, you’re free to make a commercial real estate investment in these popular destinations and still get a Portugal Golden Visa. 

Note that offices, hotels, or licensed Airbnb apartments are popular commercial property categories and have been very popular among international investors, even before the changes came into the effect.

You might be thinking that buying a house in popular spots and qualifying for a Golden Visa at the same time isn’t possible. That’s not true though. Although the “most famous” places have been taken away from the equation, there are many locations where you can find your dream home. Aljezur, a mini coastal village in the Algarve, is an example. It’s an ideal place where you can be away from the crowds but you’ll be a one-hour drive away from Faro, the region’s capital.

Douro Valley, which is easily reachable from Porto, is another eligible area where you can buy a house and apply for a Golden Visa. Thanks to the growing eco-tourism, Douro Valley real estate is becoming very popular. 

Key Takeaways on Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Investment

  • You can still make a real estate investment in Portugal and get a Golden Visa
  • Although residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and popular coastal towns aren’t now eligible for Portugal Golden Visa, there are many undiscovered spots where you can find a nice house
  • Low-density or interior areas aren’t less favorable than other parts of the country as they have significant development potential
  • If you’re looking for a commercial property, there is no geographical restriction
  • If you’re looking for a residential property, It’s possible to find eligible areas that are close to Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve
  • You can get discounts if the property is in an urban rehabilitation area or it needs a renovation

Conclusion

As we’ve explained, getting a  Golden Visa in Portugal through real estate acquisition is still possible. Once you go through all areas, you’ll realize that Portugal’s real estate scene is very diverse and promising.

Contact us to speak with one of our expert team members in Portugal who can assist you with all of your queries regarding Portugal Golden Visa real estate investment.

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