Portugal’s Golden Visa


Initiated in 2012, the Portuguese Government’s Golden Visa scheme has reportedly seen over 5 billion euros invested into the country. With its warm climate, gorgeous beaches, fine cuisine and laid-back attitude, it remains an extremely attractive country for those looking to live, retire or invest in Portugal.

The latest figures from Portugal's Foreigners and Borders service (SEF) show that 10,442 main applicants, along with 17,426 dependent family members, have been granted golden visas in Portugal to date. In February 2022 alone, 94 applicants and 100 dependents were granted golden visa status. So far, the scheme has reportedly brought over €5 billion of investment into Portugal.

The golden visa scheme provides a residency visa for anyone purchasing property worth €500,000 or more (or €350,000 or more in the case of urban renovation properties). The rules surrounding the Golden Visa scheme changed in January 2022 where a number of geographical restrictions came into force, meaning that properties in Lisbon, Porto or mainland coastal towns will no longer qualify for the scheme. However, real estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, which has released a video covering the golden visa restrictions, reports that buyers are still able to purchase homes along the sunny Algarve coastline and be eligible for visa status, despite the new restrictions.

“The golden visa rule changes include a specific exemption for 'touristic developments,' which means that buyers who choose resort properties can still buy in Lisbon, Porto and coastal towns and qualify for the visa, just as they could previously. This is precisely what we're seeing happen – buyers are using the exemption to seek out properties that get around the geographic restriction,” reports Chris White, Chairman and Founder, Ideal Homes Portugal. “The upshot of all of this is that buyers actually still have a wide range of properties available to them if they want to qualify for the visa. The changes initially caused some consternation, but the restrictions are such that those buying property in the Algarve still have plenty of choice.”

Resort properties aside, other buyers are focusing on picking up coastal properties that qualify for the golden visa due to their more rural location. Along the Algarve, less populated areas including Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique, Vila do Bispo, and some parishes in Loulé, Silves and the municipality Tavira still qualify for golden visa-eligible property purchases.

From three-bedroom villas and smart townhouses with private pools in Carvoeiro to charming apartments in Porto de Mós, buyers looking for homes in which to enjoy the Portuguese sunshine are spoiled for choice. Not only that, but the requirements of the golden visa when it comes to spending time in Portugal means buyers don't have to commit to residing there – they simply have to spend seven or more days in Portugal during the first year of their golden visa status and 14 or more days per year thereafter. This leaves buyers with numerous options, including investing in a resort property that can then provide them with an income as well as a holiday home, or purchasing a home in a less populated area that can serve as either a holiday home, an investment property or a main residence.

Obtaining a Portuguese golden visa delivers multiple benefits. Those enrolled in the scheme can live and work in Portugal and enjoy visa-exempt travel in Portugal and across the Schengen Zone. They have the option to obtain permanent residency or citizenship and a Portuguese passport after five years, as do their dependent family members.


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