Buying property in Portugal has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe for both investment purposes and those who want to relocate permanently. For those wishing to gain citizenship in Europe, buying a property in Portugal has become somewhat of a golden ticket.
There are various programs in Europe that entitle non-EU citizens to residency and ultimately European citizenship. Most of these programs involve investment in the country whether that may be in property, enterprise, or in government bonds. In Portugal, the Golden Visa program is a residency by investment scheme in which most people choose to purchase property to fulfill the minimum investment requirements.
The program has gained immense popularity and attention partly due to the attractiveness of Portugal’s real estate market and in part because of the flexible stay requirements during the residency period. Since the program began back in 2012, more than 20,000 golden visas have been granted.
How to buy property in Portugal and get citizenship
To buy property in Portugal and gain citizenship there is more than one route to the desired outcome. Whichever route is chosen, however, there is a certain order that the steps must be carried out in, and certain protocol that must be rigidly adhered to. We would suggest using a buyer’s agent to assist you in purchasing property and getting citizenship.
- Buy property and get a D7 or D2 visa
If you are looking to buy a property in Portugal to permanently relocate and eventually get citizenship, then it’s probably best to opt for a D7 or D2 visa. With both options, after five years of residence, Portuguese citizenship can be applied for, providing that you have lived in Portugal for the majority of this time.
These types of visas must be applied for home countries at the Portuguese consulate. Buying property will give you a registered address, which is required under these visas. However, you can also rent a property and supply this address as your registered address for these visa types.
- Buy property and get a Golden Visa
If you are looking to purchase property but are not ready to commit to five years living in Portugal, then the flexibility of the Golden Visa might be the best option for you. Portuguese citizenship can be attained after five years if the investment made to qualify is still held. Do note that certain real estate investment restrictions apply. Namely from July 2021, investors will no longer be able to buy a property in populated urban centers of Portugal like Lisbon, Porto, or the coastal strip of towns in the Algarve. Instead, investors must buy property in Portugal’s ‘low-density areas’. If you’re wondering about whether your property purchase applies for the Golden Visa, it’s best to consult with a specialist first.
You don’t need to live in Portugal during the five-year period before you can apply for citizenship, you need only to spend an average of 14 days every two years in Portugal.
There are also certain steps that need to be followed to get a golden visa including transferring funds to a bank account in your name in Portugal to make the qualifying property purchase. Make sure to seek the help of trusted professionals before making any investments that you want to be counted towards a Golden Visa since this will minimize the risk of your application getting rejected.
Buy property in Portugal and get citizenship: the Portugal Golden Visa
The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a five-year residency by investment scheme for non-EU nationals. The visa allows its holder and their families to live, work, and study in Portugal and have complete freedom of movement in the Schengen zone. After a five-year period has elapsed, the opportunity to get Portuguese citizenship is open if the given investment is still held by the golden visa holder.
There are certain minimum investment requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the Golden Visa. The threshold for property starts at €280,000, and as mentioned above, certain real estate investment restrictions apply.
To get a golden visa, various investments can be made. Most people opt for real estate investment as they are comfortable with brick and mortar investments, but the option to invest in funds has become increasingly popular over the last few years.
Below is a brief summary of the different qualifying investments:
- Invest €500K+ in a property of your choosing from Portugal’s pre-approved list of cities.
- Invest €350K+ in renovations projects. The property must be at least 30 years old and undergoing renovation
- Contribute €350K in investment funds across a range of sectors—including but not limited to— technology, energy, and real estate
- Invest €280K+in renovations projects in low-density areas
Portugal Golden Visa real estate investment options
- Invest in a newly built property – €500K
Investments in new properties start from €500,000. Note that from July 2021, you can only buy property in Portugal’s ‘low-density areas’. At present, there are no limitations on the number of properties purchased, as long as the total value equals to or exceeds €500,000.
- Invest in a second-hand property – €500k
Invest in used property starting from €500,000. The respective property must have been built more than 30 years ago and is located in a low-density area. .