Portugal Citizenship By Investment Program Review

Portugal Golden Visa Residency Permit Review

Portugal is known as the home of football manager Jose Mourinho, the country that colonized and gave a language to Brazil, and for being a slightly more upmarket holiday destination than Spain. However, Passport Reviewer knows Portugal simply as an EU CBI powerhouse, and with 4,000 second passports sold, we thought we’d find out what all the fuss is about!


Portugal In A Nutshell

The Republic of Portugal is a Latin country located on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe and shares a 1,214 km border with Iberian peninsula neighbors Spain, considered to be the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. Despite being a Latin European country and a popular summer holiday destination, Portugal is bordered only by the Atlantic Ocean, and does not share the Mediterranean coastline with Latin neighbors Spain, France and Italy.

The discoveries of Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama helped shape the world we live in today. From the 1500s–1800s, Portugal was a great maritime power with a global empire that included large areas of Africa, parts of Southeast Asia, China and India, and most significantly of all, the whole of Brazil. Portuguese is the world’s sixth most spoken language (behind Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi and Arabic) and is the native tongue for more than 270 million people in the world and is the official language in such countries as Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Macau, currently the Las Vegas of China.


Portuguese Economy

Portugal has an advanced and growing economy based around agriculture, fishing, mining, plus its service and IT sectors. 5% of Portugal’s economic revenue is generated by tourism, and the country is visited by an excess of 7 million tourists each year. The main tourist areas in Portugal are by order of popularity, the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and the islands of Madeira, Azores and Alentejo. Portugal’s beaches are extremely popular, as are its abundance of top-class golf courses.

Portugal enjoys both high living standards, and a peaceful, friendly culture, which makes it especially appealing to foreign nationals seeking to relocate to a European country. The Golden Visa program has attracted large numbers of investors from China in particular, with almost 80% of the 4,000 second citizenships sold since Portugal began their Golden Visa program in 2012 being snapped up by Chinese investors.


Portugal Stats:

  • Official Languages: Portuguese
  • Capital City: Lisbon
  • Largest City: Lisbon (Pop; 550,000)
  • Surface Area: 92,212 km2
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Population: 10.3 million
  • Government: Unitary semi-presidential republic
  • Legal system: Based on Roman law
  • Currency: Euro
  • GDP per capita: $28,476
  • Climate: Portugal has a temperate maritime climate with hot summers and wet winters


Portugal Golden Visa Residency Permit

In order for a foreign, non-EU investor to be eligible for a Portuguese Golden Visa and the right to live and work in Portugal for five years, they must either invest a minimum of €500,000 total in Portuguese real estate, make a transfer of funds of at least €1 million, or create a minimum of 10 jobs with the investment.

The Golden Visa can include the applicant’s family members, namely their spouse, children under the age of 21 and dependent family members like elderly parents or those who are physically or mentally handicapped.

The Golden Visa residency permit is initially granted for a period of one year, and can subsequently be renewed every two years. After a five year period of residency in which all investments are maintained, an applicant can formally apply for permanent residency and full Portuguese citizenship and passport.


Applicant Requirements

Below are the specific requirements demanded by the Portugal Golden Visa program:

  • Property Purchase – In order to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Residence Visa Program, the applicant must make an investment purchase in Portuguese real-estate of at least €500,000 (or)
  • Fund Transfer – Transfer funds totaling at least €1 million to the Portuguese authorities (or)
  • Create 10 Jobs – Create a minimum of ten jobs for Portuguese citizens with the investment
  • Residence – The applicant must also spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal during their first year of residency, and for a minimum of fourteen days over the following two years

In addition, an applicant must supply the following information to the Portuguese authorities:

  • A completed Portuguese Citizenship by Investment Application Form
  • A valid passport to their current country
  • Proof of legal entry into Portugal
  • Documentary proof of a clean bill of health
  • A copy of the applicant’s current health insurance policy
  • An authorized document provided by the applicant’s home country attesting to a lack of a criminal record


Benefits Of The Portugal Golden Visa Residency Permit

Here are just some of the reasons why foreign investors are literally queuing up for the Portuguese Golden Visa:

  • No Tax (If an applicant does not spend more than 180 days per year in Portugal, they are not eligible to pay tax, except for a slight amount of property tax)
  • The Right To Live And Work In Portugal
  • Visa-Free Access To The Schengen Zone
  • Permanent Portuguese Residency After Five Years
  • Full Portuguese Citizenship After One Year Of Permanent Residency
  • Family Members Included


Benefits Of Portuguese Citizenship

There are clear benefits to acquiring Portuguese citizenship.

  • Passport Power – The Portuguese passport is the joint sixth most powerful in the world with visa free access to 172 countries
  • EU Membership – As a Portuguese citizen one has the right to live and work in any other European Union country with no restrictions on time and with the same rights regarding education and healthcare as citizens born to that country
  • Portuguese Prestige – As a Portuguese passport holder one is acquiring the citizenship of one of the longest established and most respected countries in European – and indeed global – history


Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal


Portugal is a beautiful country with a buoyant, growing economy and the locals are friendly and welcoming. The summers are warm without being too hot, and the beaches are beautiful and unspoiled. The Portuguese language on paper looks similar to Spanish, yet when spoken suddenly sounds like an Eastern European dialect, but don’t worry, 80% of Portuguese are bilingual, with many speaking English.

Food, drink, accommodation and even the price of property is far cheaper in Portugal than in most other Western European countries. The standards of education and healthcare – both public and private – are excellent.


There are very few negatives to living in Portugal, but some may find the pace of life a little slower than they are used to, and despite being on the Iberian peninsular, because it borders the Atlantic, winter in Portugal can be very cold.


Passport Reviewer Ranking: A

The Portuguese Golden Visa is the most popular citizenship by investment program in the EU right now, and it’s not hard to see why. For a minimum recoverable outlay of €500,000 one can receive five years of residency which will ultimately lead to full Portuguese citizenship and that all-important, game-changing EU passport. The Portuguese passport has visa-free access to 172 countries, and Portugal are a highly respected EU member state, granting Portuguese citizens the right to live and work anywhere they want within the EU, for as long as they so wish.

But why would you when you can live in a land as beautiful as Portugal, and enjoy the hospitality of the locals? And that friendliness is now official: According to an InterNations survey of 14,000 people, Portugal were voted The Friendliest Nation In Europe!