Why Portugal’s Golden Visa Program Is Worth Considering

Portugal’s Golden Visa program is an appealing opportunity for foreign investors, including South Africans, to obtain residency in the European country by investing in its economy. This program offers a range of benefits like visa-free travel within much of Europe, a path to Portuguese citizenship, and the opportunity to enjoy Portugal’s high quality of life. For South Africans looking to expand their global opportunities and secure a foothold in Europe, this investment program could be a way to accomplish those goals. If you’re interested in Portugal’s Golden Visa, you can learn everything you need to know with an online search.

Portugal Golden Visa: A Brief Overview

Introduced in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program is designed to attract foreign investment and boost the country’s economy. It grants residency permits to non-European Union citizens who make a qualifying investment in Portugal.


Investments include purchasing real estate, investing in a business, or contributing to a venture capital fund. After five years of holding the Golden Visa, investors can apply for permanent residency or even Portuguese citizenship, provided they meet certain criteria.1

Investment Options

To qualify for Portugal’s Golden Visa program, applicants must make an investment that meets the following requirements:

  • Real estate: Purchase a property worth at least €500,000 or a property older than 30 years with a value of at least €350,000.
  • Capital transfer: Transfer at least €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank account or approved investment fund.
  • Job creation: Create at least ten new jobs in Portugal.
  • Venture capital fund: Invest at least €500,000 in a qualifying Portuguese venture capital fund.
  • Research activities: Invest at least €500,000 in research conducted by a recognized Portuguese research institution.
  • Cultural activities: Donate at least €250,000 in Portuguese arts, culture, or heritage projects.2

Why Portugal’s Golden Visa Is Worth Considering

The Portugal Golden Visa program is especially appealing to South Africans for several reasons. Firstly, it provides an opportunity to diversify investments and hedge against political or economic instability.

Secondly, it offers a gateway to Europe’s business market and high standard of living. Finally, the tax benefits and potential for European citizenship make the Golden Visa an attractive investment for long-term financial planning and asset protection.3

Visa-Free Travel in the Schengen Area

An attractive benefit of Portugal’s Golden Visa program is the ability to travel visa-free within the Schengen Area. This includes 26 European countries, allowing Golden Visa holders to explore and conduct business across Europe with ease. Additionally, the Golden Visa allows holders to live, work, and study in Portugal without the need for an additional visa.

Path to Portuguese Citizenship

After five years of holding the Golden Visa, investors can apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship. This provides access to the rights and benefits of European Union citizenship, such as the freedom to live and work anywhere within the EU. To qualify for citizenship, investors must meet certain criteria, including demonstrating ties to Portugal.

High Quality of Life

Portugal is known for its excellent quality of life with a pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a low cost of living compared to other European countries. The country also boasts a high standard of healthcare and education, making it an attractive destination for families. By investing in the Golden Visa program, South Africans can secure their future and enjoy the benefits of living in this beautiful and welcoming country.

Tax Benefits

The Portugal Golden Visa program also offers tax benefits to investors. For example, the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime provides favorable tax rates on certain types of income, such as foreign-sourced pension income and certain types of investment income. This can be particularly attractive for South Africans looking to optimize their tax planning and safeguard their assets.4

Application Process and Requirements

The application process for Portugal’s Golden Visa program is relatively straightforward, though it can be time-consuming. Applicants must submit the necessary documents, including proof of investment among other documents. An immigration lawyer or consultant can help guide applicants through the process and ensure all requirements are met.

Applicants must also meet the minimum stay requirements in Portugal, which are relatively low. During the first year, the investor must spend at least seven days in the country and 14 days in each subsequent two-year period. This allows investors to maintain their primary residence outside of Portugal while still benefiting from the Golden Visa program.5

Final Thoughts

Portugal’s Golden Visa program offers South Africans a unique opportunity to invest in the European country, gain residency, and access a range of benefits. These advantages include visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, a path to Portuguese citizenship, and attractive tax benefits.

The program has the potential to open doors to global opportunities and a foothold in Europe. By carefully considering the advantages and potential investment options, South Africans can make an informed decision about whether Portugal’s Golden Visa program is the right choice for them and their families.