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Citizenship by Investment: Portugal’s Golden Visa Program

By July 13, 2020October 12th, 2023FinGlobal

Citizenship by Investment: Portugal’s Golden Visa Program

July 13, 2020


Portugal’s Golden Visa program is a lucrative residency-by-investment solution that grants EU residency rights in return for investing in the Portuguese property market with an end view to securing Portuguese citizenship for you and your dependents. That’s right. By investing in Portugal, and meeting all the other Golden Visa immigration requirements, you can essentially buy a second passport and not just any passport – an EU passport that comes with many, many perks. Here’s how it’s done.


What is Portugal’s Golden Visa Program?

Portugal’s Golden Visa immigration program is aimed at non-EU individuals to stimulate property investment in exchange for offering a fast-track route to obtaining residency permit in Portugal, in addition to a number of other almost-unbelievable benefits. 


Does the Golden Visa program deliver on its promises of Portuguese citizenship?

Yes, the Golden Visa program does ultimately lead to Portuguese citizenship. Since the inception of the Golden Visa program eight years ago, more than 7 700 investors have been awarded Portuguese golden visas which means more than €4.7 billion has come from foreign investment into the Portuguese economy.


How to apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa program

Let’s take a look at what South Africans need to know about qualifying for and applying for Portugal’s Golden Visa program.


Portuguese citizenship by investment visa requirements

Any non-EU/EFTA national is eligible to  apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal. This means that it is an attractive route for South Africans looking to immigrate to Portugal.


What does it cost to invest in Portugal for citizenship?

In order to utilise the Golden Visa route to immigrate from South Africa to Portugal, you will have to make at least one of the investments below, either in your capacity as an individual or by means of a business incorporated in Portugal or another EU member state. To qualify for citizenship further down the line, you will need to maintain this investment for a minimum of five years.

These are your options to claim Portuguese residency by investment:

  • Make a capital transfer of at least €1 million into Portugal
  • Create at least 10 job positions in Portugal and  fill them with locals 
  • Buy property in Portugal to the value of at least €500,000
  • Purchase property in Portuguese urban regeneration areas that are at least 30 years old and spend at least €350,000
  • Invest a minimum of €350,000 in scientific research in Portugal
  • Invest a minimum of €250,000 or more in Portuguese arts, culture, and heritage
  • Invest a minimum of €500,000 in SMEs in Portugal.


What are the benefits of Portugal’s Golden Visa Program for South Africans?

  • The Golden Visa program extends to your spouse, dependent parents and children under the age of 18; or over the age of 18 provided that they are studying full-time.
  • Portugal allows for dual citizenship, and the minimum residence requirement is a mere seven days per year. After five years you can apply for Portuguese citizenship.
  • Your dependent children and dependent parents will also qualify for these benefits.
  •  You can travel visa-free to 182 countries. Because Portugal is a member of the EU you’ll get a second passport that will give you the freedom to live, work or travel anywhere within the EU.
  • You have the option to become a non-habitual resident of Portugal and pay little or no tax for 10 years. A Double Tax Agreement means that income received from countries outside of Portugal will not be taxed.
  • Your family will have access to Portuguese health care and education systems.


FinGlobal: cross-border financial specialists

If you’re looking to immigrate to Portugal using the Golden Visa program, FinGlobal is ready to help you every step of the way. We’ve been providing cross-border financial services to global South Africans since 2009, and we’ve thousands of clients to make their international money moves.


Choose a partner with the right credentials:

Whether you’re considering financial emigration from South Africa, or you’re planning on investing to benefit from Portugal’s Golden Visa program, it makes sense to choose a partner you can trust. Choosing FinGlobal means choosing a partner that is strictly regulated and completely compliant with the relevant authorities in South Africa.

  • We are a Licensed Financial Services Provider with the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
  • We are fully accredited and registered with South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
  • We are a Licensed Treasury Outsourced Company with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
  • We conduct business on a SSL Security Certified website which secures the connection and ensures your interactions with us are encrypted and confidential.

If you’d like to discuss your cross-border financial requirements further please leave us your contact details, and we’ll be in touch.






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