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Understanding Portugal’s Golden Visa Program Updates

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Business, International Tax and Business Entities, Spain |

Portugal’s Golden Visa program has long been recognized as a pathway to residency for investors. However, as of January 2022, the landscape has significantly evolved. Let’s break down the key elements:

Real Estate Investment

Investors were previously able to invest in Portuguese property. The minimum investment was €500,000, but in “low-density areas,” it reduced to €400,000. If the property required rehabilitation, the minimum requirement decreased further to €350,000. This option was applicable to properties over 30 years old or in designated urban rehabilitation areas. In low-density areas, it dropped to €280,000.

Residential Property Limitations

As of January 2022, residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal towns were no longer eligible. The program now focuses on residential properties in Azores, Madeira, and interior territories.

Elimination of Real Estate Option

The Portuguese government recently eliminated the real estate investment option for Golden Visa applicants. This includes both real estate investment and the transfer of €1.5 million in capital.

New Investment Options

Since the removal of real estate investments, new pathways for obtaining a Golden Visa have been introduced. These include:

  1. Job Creation: Creating at least ten jobs.
  2. Research Activities: Investing €500,000 in research activities by scientific research institutions.
  3. Cultural Heritage: Investing €250,000 in the artistic production, recovery, or maintenance of national cultural heritage.
  4. Business Investment: Setting up or entering the share capital of existing companies, alongside creating jobs and a minimum investment of €500,000.
  5. Collective Investment Structures: Investing €500,000 in collective investment structures, such as funds unrelated to real estate

Reduced Minimum Investments

Options 2 and 3 from the above list may see their minimum investment amounts reduced by 20% when investments are made in low-density areas or areas with lower GDP per capita.

Late 2023 Updates

In late 2023, the Portuguese Government further refined the Golden Visa program. Now, it’s only applicable to Private Equity and Venture Capital funds in Portugal that have no real estate involvement. A capital transfer of €500,000 or more is required for investment in these funds.

The Portugal Golden Visa program has undergone substantial changes in recent years. While the real estate investment route is no longer available, investors have new avenues to explore. Urban Thier & Federer will continue to provide expert legal guidance to those interested in the Golden Visa program. Stay tuned for more updates and insights on international investment and residency opportunities.

If you are interested in pursuing the Golden Visa in Portugal, please contact us. We can assist you in cooperation with our colleagues in Portugal.