The Golden Visa

The Golden Visa in Portugal, officially called “ARI” (“Autorização de Residência para Atividade de Investimento”), is Europe’s most successful residency-by-investment program.


Under this program, a person not from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, can make a qualifying investment in Portugal and be granted a Portuguese residence permit for themselves and immediate family members.


First created in 2012 to attract foreign investment to the country it has, up to the end of 2019, brought €4.95 billion in direct investment into Portugal. Since the introduction of the program, more than 7,700 investors have benefited from the program along with more than 13,000 family members.


The main benefits of the Golden Visa program:

  • Permanent free entry and movement throughout the Europe (Schengen Area)
  • After five years, application for permanent Portuguese citizenship is possible
  • Immediate family can also qualify for the same benefits
  • To fulfill the requirement, a person only needs to spend seven days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent years in Portugal (consecutively or non-consecutively)
  • Unlike many other Golden Visa programs ,the program is not blacklisted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Option to become a NHR resident of Portugal and pay little or no tax for 10 years
  • Choice of a range of relatively affordable investment options
  • Security of a second residence in a safe and stable country


There are various investment options for a Golden Visa in Portugal :

  • Capital Transfer of a minimum of €1 million to Portugal
  • Creation of 10 new full-time jobs within a Portuguese business (Reduced to eight positions if in a low-density area)
  • Property investment of at least €500,000. (Reduced to €400,000 if it located in a low-density area)
  • Real Estate rehabilitation with an investment value of €350,000 or higher (reduced to €280,000 if located in a low-density area) in properties that are over 30 years old or are located in designated areas of urban rehabilitation
  • Investment into the conservation of national heritage, arts and culture of at least €250,000
  • Investment in research conducted by accredited institutions that are part of the national scientific and technological system of at least €350,000
  • Investment into an existing Portugal registered business of at least €350,000 to either incorporate or increase the share capital AND create at least 5 full-time permanent jobs for a minimum period of three years
  • A €350,000 minimum investment made to a private equity fund.


2020 UPDATE: The Portuguese government has recently voted on changes to Golden Visa investment options. These changes will come into effect in the second half of 2020. One of the major changes stipulates that real estate in the centre of Lisbon and Porto will no longer be eligible for Golden Visa investments.


For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can also help in arranging contact with an accountant or legal advisor fluent in your own language.

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