Updated: August 11, 2023
The Portugal Golden Visa program has attracted many foreign investors worldwide to realize their dream of Portuguese residency and citizenship through real estate investments. However, there have been some changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa real estate investment pathway after 1 January 2022. In this article, we’ll cover these changes in detail and inform you how you can still qualify for the Golden Visa program.
Important note: The Portugal Golden Visa scheme is coming to an end. If you are interested in applying, you should begin your Golden Visa application now. You can read more in our article: Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far.
Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Investment – Your Guide
The Portugal Golden Visa underwent significant changes from 1 January 2022, particularly relating to the real estate investment pathway.
In this article, we provide you with detailed information on the new rules and how you can increase your chances of getting the Portuguese Golden Visa. You will learn:
- Major changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa real estate investment pathway
- Eligible real estate investment options to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa
- Real estate investment in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve: Is it still possible?
- Goldcrest – How we can help you in your Portugal property acquisition.
If you are interested to learn more about the Portuguese Golden Visa, check out our ultimate guide on the Portugal Golden Visa program.
Major Changes to the Portugal Golden Visa
There are two main changes to the Portugal Golden Visa that Golden Visa applicants should be aware of, as provided below.
- There are location restrictions on where to invest in residential property in Portugal (note that there are no location restrictions when investing in commercial property)
- Investment amounts for cultural investments, capital transfers, and fund subscriptions increased.
In the table below, we provide you with information on the changes made by the Portuguese government to the investment amounts after 1 January 2022.
|Type of investment||Investment amount changes|
|2021 minimum amount requirement||2022 minimum amount requirement|
|Capital transfer||€1 million||€1.5 million|
|Existing registered Portugal business||€350,000||€500,000|
The changes in the investment amount is straightforward. However, you will need to get used to a few terms to understand the property acquisition areas, such as low and high-density areas and interior and non-interior areas, to know where you can invest in residential property in Portugal and still qualify for the Golden Visa program.
You can invest in residential or commercial non-residential properties in the interior areas. However, in non-interior areas, you can only invest in commercial properties, for instance, offices, hotels, etc.
Furthermore, if a property is located in a low-density area of Portugal, then a 20 percent discount will apply. Low-density areas have fewer than 100 inhabitants per km² or a GDP per capita of below 75 percent of the national average.
Eligible Real Estate Investment Options for Portugal Golden Visa
Even though the rules are changed, investing in real estate to get the Portugal Golden Visa is still possible. Below are some of the options for you to consider.
Residential real estate investment
You can invest €500,000 in residential properties in the designated interior areas. If the property is part of an urban rehabilitation project, you must pay €350,000. Further, you can get a 20 percent discount on the minimum investment threshold if the residential property you are buying is in the designated low-density area.
Commercial real estate
You can buy commercial property anywhere in Portugal for €500,000 and for €350,000 if the area is under the urban rehabilitation project. If the commercial property you buy is in the designated low-density area, a discount of 20 percent on the minimum investment threshold applies.
Both residential and commercial real estate
You can invest an amount of €500,000 in either residential or commercial properties in the Madeira Islands or the Azores to be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa. Again, the minimum amount you need to invest is €350,000 if the property comes under the rehabilitation project.
The islands are not a part of Portugal’s low-density areas. Thus, the discount does not apply here.
If you want to know the eligible areas for Portugual Golden Visa, refer to the maps below.
Real Estate Investment in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve
If you are planning to invest in residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and certain parts of the Algarve to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa, then it is not possible. Unfortunately, the majority of the areas in these regions come under the non-interior areas and, therefore, are not eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa program. Note that some locations in the western Algarve, such as Sagres, can still qualify for the residential pathway for the Golden Visa as this part of the Algarve is considered low-density.
However, you can go ahead and invest in commercial real estate in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve and qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa. Commercial properties, such as offices, hotels, or registered Airbnbs, were popular investment options even before the changes came into effect.
If you are disappointed that you cannot buy a house in happening spots and qualify for the Golden Visa simultaneously, then don’t be. Although it is no longer possible to invest in residential properties in these areas, you can still secure your dream home and be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa. There are several delightful locations that are still eligible for the scheme, such as Aljezur in the Algarve. This is a small coastal village located far away from the crowd, and yet you are just an hour’s drive from the capital city of the Algarve, Faro.
There is also Douro Valley. Thanks to eco-tourism, the real estate industry here is flourishing. Also, it is easily accessible from Porto.
GoldCrest: Who We Are, and How We Can Help You
GoldCrest is a local buyer’s agent based in Lisbon. We provide our clients with a hassle-free way of securing a property. We have a team of highly skilled experts, updated with the latest information, and a huge database that can help you with all your doubts.
Get in contact
If you are looking for clarification about the new changes and where you can invest in residential property and be eligible for the Golden Visa program, you can always contact us. We can be your guide to buying property in Portugal right from assisting you in searching for the perfect home, to property acquisition.
The real estate market in Portugal is promising and diverse, even after the new changes that came into effect on 1 January 2022. You can still make real estate investments to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa. Alongside this, there are no restrictions on geographical locations if you are planning to invest in commercial properties.
Most importantly however, there are restrictions for investing in residential properties. For instance, the residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and in much of the Algarve are not eligible for the Golden Visa. But, you can still find eligible areas that would make the perfect home, and that is close from some of the popular spots in the country. You can also get a discount on the investment if the property is located in a low-density area.
You can learn the 2022 changes to the Portugal Golden Visa in detail from our ultimate guide on Understanding the Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2022.
Here are some articles that you might be interested in:
- How to Get Portuguese Citizenship with the Golden Visa Program
- How to Get Portuguese Residency?
- Buy Property in Portugal and Get Citizenship
To begin your Golden Visa journey, you will need to get a NIF number (Portuguese tax identification number) and open a Portuguese bank account. The following articles may prove useful to you
Frequently Asked Questions about the Changed Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Requirements After 2022
What properties qualify for Portugal Golden Visa?
After the 2022 changes, you can buy residential real estate in the designated interior areas in Portugal. However, you can invest in commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal as long as you meet the investment criteria.
Can you get a Golden Visa in Portugal with a mortgage?
Yes, you can buy Golden Visa property with a mortgage. However, the minimum investment amount is not covered by the mortgage. For the investment, you will need to use your existing capital.
For example, if you wanted to buy a property in a low-density area of Portugal (minimum €500,000 deposit), then you could buy a property for €750,000 with a mortgage for €250,000.
Where can you buy real estate in Portugal Golden Visa?
Residential real estate investments can be made in the designated interior regions. The commercial real estate investment pathway is still open anywhere in Portugal for €500,000 or €350,000 if the area is under the urban rehabilitation project.
Can you get citizenship in Portugal if you buy a house?
The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency by-investment program that can make you eligible for residency in Portugal if you buy a property in the country. However, it needs to be in one of the designated interior areas with a minimum investment amount of €500,000 or €350,000 in case of the urban rehabilitation project. If, after five years of the Golden Visa process, you have held your investment and fulfil all the requirements under Portugal Nationality Law, Golden Visa holders can apply for Portuguese citizenship. You can also apply for permanent residency after five years.