Portugal Immigration


Portugal has implemented a residence permit program that allows foreign citizens to obtain a temporary residence permit and freely circulate within the Schengen Area, through certain eligible investments (e.g. real estate and capital investments among others). Investors are required to a minimum period of 14 days stay per each 2 years, for a minimum period of 5 years. Family regrouping is also available under the Portuguese program.

On February 16th, 2023 the Portuguese government proposed the closure of the Portugal Golden Visa Programme as a measure aimed at addressing the housing problem in the country. The proposal is now under consultation and will change once the law is approved by Parliament to pass the legislation, validated by the President of the Republic, and published. Until then, the current law for the Visa still stands and the new law will not apply retroactively to current applications and renewals. The program will effectively change once the law is approved by Parliament.

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Portuguese Residency By Investment

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This article has been written by Vy Nguyen, Paralegal & Investment Visa Specialist Practice Team at Davies & Associates.


Italy Reopens to Travel – Options for Immigration

The End of the Golden Visa?

It’s yet to be officially approved, but Portugal is about to end its golden visa scheme for foreign investors. This program has been very successful and has attracted many investors from around the world. The scheme, aimed at non-EU nationals ready to invest in Portugal, has attracted 6.8 billion euros since its launch in 2012, with investor choosing real estate investments on the Atlantic coast. Successful applicants were given residency rights and a path to the European citizenship.

The reasons why the Portuguese government might shut down the Portuguese Golden Visa program is mainly related to the country’s house-affordability issue. In fact, the Golden Visa program has led to an increase in property prices, making it difficult for local residents to afford a place where to live. Undoubtedly, shutting down the program would help bring prices back down to a more reasonable level.

However, on a more general picture, despite the fact that the European Commission is trying to limit access to these migration programs, these are in huge demands. A valid and open alternative to the Portuguese program is represented by Italy. The Italian Elective Residence Visa allows non-EU citizens to live in Italy potentially indefinitely, without making any sort of investments. All they need in order to apply for this visa is to prove they have sufficient financial resources – a passive income – to support themselves without working. Passive income usually comes from real estate investments, brokerage accounts, pensions, annuities. Following five years of physical presence in Italy, applicants are eligible for a European permanent residency and, after ten years, EU citizenship. This Italian program targets retirees and high net worth individuals.

Italy is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, culture, food, lifestyle, design, and stunning cities like Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice. Overall, if you meet the eligibility criteria and are looking for a way to experience Italy’s culture, the Italian Elective Residence Visa could be a fantastic option for you.

Davies & Associates works with Italian licensed attorneys (the main office is located in Florence) and has Italian desks in the U.S., India, and Vietnam.

For more information please see the information on our website:


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Apply for Portugals Golden Visa

7 Reasons you should apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa

Portugal offers a Golden Visa (residency through investment) program and recently dropped the amount of time you need to hold residency before applying for citizenship from six years to five.

  1. Property is an acceptable form of investment for the Golden Visa program

The minimum investment requirement in a Portuguese property depends upon where the property is located and how old it is. This ranges from €280,000 for a property over thirty years old in a low-density area up to €500,000 for a property newer than 30 years and not located in a low-density area.

For the full list of investment amounts for property, please click here.

2. Lots of different types of investment are eligible for Portugal’s Golden Visa Program

In addition to property, applicants for Portuguese Residency by Investment can include capital transfers into Portugal of at least €1 million; starting a business and creating ten jobs; acquiring a Portuguese business for €350,000; or making a donation of at least €250,000. The investment amounts can vary based upon different incentive structures and we advise you to speak with our attorneys to discuss the various options. For example, if you open a business in a low-density area then you are only required to create eight jobs.

3. There are low physical presence requirements rates Portuguese residents through the Golden Visa

Portugal requires a short stay of 14 days every two years to maintain residency. Given its beautiful beaches, dynamic cities, and stunning countryside, this requirement is not especially burdensome. If you require a lower physical presence requirement, you should investigate that Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program, which does not require you to ever visit the island even once you hold citizenship.

4. Preferable tax rates for Portugal Golden Visa Holders

Unless you spend more than half the year in Portugal you will not be liable for normal Portuguese taxes after obtaining the Golden Visa. Since you only need to be physically present for a fortnight every two years, you can easily stay below this taxation threshold. That said, if you do wish to move your primary tax residency to Portugal, the country offers tax benefits and income tax exemptions for non-habitual residents.

5. You can include your family in the Portugal Golden Visa Program  

The primary applicant for Portugal’s Golden Visa can also include a spouse, children under  18, unmarried children under 26 still in education, and parents over the age of 65. These family members do not require their own separate application.

6. Portugal has a strong passport

If you hold residency for five years, then you become eligible for a Portuguese passport. It is one of the strongest in the world with visa-free access to over 135 countries. Portuguese citizens can travel unencumbered in the Schengen travel zone and are eligible for a visa waiver to the United States. Portugal surprisingly does not hold an E-2 Treaty with the United States and while there are absolutely no guarantees we think that it may be one of the next countries to sign one. An E-2Treaty Investor Visa can move to the US for the purposes of investing in and running a business.

7. Access to the entire European Union

Portugal has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1986. The EU guarantees four fundamental freedoms across all 27 members: goods, people, services and capital. This means that once you hold Portuguese citizenship (after holding residency for at least five years) you can live and work in any other EU member state. So if you ultimately wish to live in Berlin, Paris, Dublin or Stockholm, Portgual could be the gatway to achieving that aim

More about Portugal’s Golden Visa Residency-by-Investment Program

Portugal has operated its Golden Visa Residency-by-Investment Program for almost ten years. Thousands of people have successfully obtained residency and subsequently citizenship in that time. Donation starts at €250,000 and investment from €280,000. For more information please click here.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.