The Golden Residence Permit Program has been developed by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 2012 to promote foreign investment and to provide opportunities for non EU citizens to live and travel within a secure and stable EU country.

In accordance with current legal provisions, foreign investors are invited to pursue investment activities in Portugal through transferring capital, creating jobs or acquiring real estate in return for a Five Year Residence Permit that allows its holders to work, live, study and travel visa free in Schengen countries. Additionally, and subject to simple conditions, a Portuguese citizenship and passport may be granted after 6 years of permanent residency in Portugal.


To be awarded a residence permit, a foreign investor is required to make ONE of the following investments:

  • A Property investment – A 5 year Real Estate Investment of more than EUR 500,000 in total is required
  • A Property investment – a 5 year Real Estate Investment of EUR350,000 for Urban Rehabilitation
  • A Capital investment – The transfer of funds of more than EUR 1 million (including investments in a company’s stock and shares)
  • Investment funds of a minimum of EUR500,00 for the Capitalization of SMEs 
  • Investment of a minimum EUR350,000 in Research Activities Part of The National Scientific and Technological System 
  • EUR250,000 Investment in Artistic Production or National Heritage 
  • Job creation – creation of a minimum of 10 jobs


The route to Citizenship by investment in Portugal can be a complicated and  begins with Residency by investment. An applicant obtains a Schengen Visa valid for one year under the Golden Residence Permit Program (also known as a Golden Visa) upon payment through the chosen investment option. Subject to compliance and after one year on a Schengen Visa, a Residence permit is issued and can be renewed twice and for two years each time.  After five years in total an applicant can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.  Citizenship may be sought after six years of residence in Portugal.

To qualify for Residency by Investment in Portugal an applicant is required to make any one of the following settlements. Please note that these figures may change without notice, exclude professional fees and are intended for use as guidance only.  Please contact us for an accurate quote.



  • The main applicant purchases real estate with the minimum value of EUR 500,000, pays EUR 5,000 in Government fees for the first year of the Schengen Visa; each subsequent period of renewal is subject to EUR 3,000 in Government fees
  • In addition to the main applicant’s settlements noted above, further charges apply of any dependents participating in the program
  • Two applicants on this program pay EUR 10,000 in Government fees for the first year of the Schengen Visa; each subsequent period is subject to compliance of EUR 5,000 in Government fees
  • Three applicants pay EUR 16,000 in Government fees for the first year of the Schengen Visa, each subsequent period is subject to compliance of EUR 8,000 in Government fees
  • Four applicants pay EUR 20,000 in Government fees for the first year of the Schengen Visa, each subsequent period subject to compliance pay EUR 10,000 in Government fees
  • Five applicants pay EUR 25,000 in Government fees for the first year of the Schengen Visa, each subsequent period subject to compliance pay EUR 13,000 in Government fees

The main applicant invests a minimum of EUR 1,000,000 into stock, shares and companies in Portugal and provides an evidence of this via a certificate issued by the Commercial Registry confirming the transfer of capital. Please contact us for accurate quote regarding additional settlements

An applicant is required to create ten jobs and to register employees with the department of Social Security. A certificate produced by the department of Social Security will suffice as evidence of job creation for the purposes of the Residence Permit. Please contact us for an accurate quote regarding additional settlements.

Please note that to qualify for the first renewal of the Residence Permit an applicant is required to reside in Portugal for 7 days during the first year of residency and 14 days over the two subsequent renewal periods. 


The application process for a Residence Permit is straightforward and begins with an application for a Schengen Visa by submitting evidence that the requirements or creation of jobs having been met.  An applicant is required to submit evidence to the SEF (Ministry of Internal Administration through the Immigration and Border Service). Alternatively an applicant may submit the evidence to Portuguese diplomatic or consular posts. 

The review and processing time is currently reported to be around 1-2 weeks.  Once an application is processed the applicant is contacted by the SEF and invited for Biometric data collection, i.e. signature, photo and fingerprints needed in order to issue the Residence permit. In some cases an applicant may attend Biometric data collection at Immigration Services posts before the fulfilment of investments and/or submission of the document evidence.  

 Typically the following documentation is required:

  • Evidence of settled investment
  1. Under the Real Estate Option, a Deed Certificate or promissory Contract for Purchase of a property and a statement from financial institution accredited in the national territory confirming that acquisition or first payment had been met
  2. Up to date certificate issued by Real Estate Register
  3. Under the Transfer of Capital Option a declaration from a financial institution accredited by the national territory confirming the transfer of capital into an account of which the applicant is a sole owner or confirming an investment into shares and companies
  4. Up to date certificate from a Commercial Registrar certifying and confirming that the applicant is the owner of the company’s shares
  5. Under Creation of Jobs Option, a employee's certificates issued from the Social Security Department
  • Passport & Schengen Visa
  • Criminal record verification from country of residence
  • Criminal record verification from Portugal
  • Declaration from the Tax Department proving evidence of debts to the Tax Authorities
  • Declaration from Social Security proving the absence of debts to Social Security Authorities
  • Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements
  • Medical Insurance certificate
  • Passport type photographs

Please note that Regency Elite will provide and prepare all application forms and will assist clients with the right choice of supporting evidence.  For further information on how the application process works, please contact us.


In line with Portuguese legislation any person can, subject to compliance, apply for Portuguese Citizenship if they have been either a temporary or permanent resident. Typically the Citizenship is acquired in the following situations:


  • if an applicant resided in Portugal for at least 6 years AND
  • is at least 18 years of age (or at least 16 but married or legally responsible)
  • has no criminal record
  • has a basic understanding of Portuguese language (A2 level)


  • If a child is born to non-Portuguese parents in Portugal, and its parents have resided in Portugal for 5 years, the child is eligible for Portuguese citizenship
  • If a child is born outside of Portugal, and one of the parents holds Portuguese Citizenship, the child is eligible for Portuguese citizenship


  • Those married to a Portuguese nationals for more than 3 years are eligible for a Portuguese citizenship
  • An individual in civil union, living with a Portuguese national for more than 3 years, is eligible for Portuguese citizenship.


Portugal, a country with a fascinating cultural and historical background, is conveniently positioned at the intersections of Europe, Africa and the Americas. A small country with a fair climate of 300 days of sunshine a year, cosmopolitan cities, beautiful beaches, hospitable people coupled with pro-business and pro-foreign policies makes Portugal highly desirable. Additionally, Portugal offers attractive business opportunities to foreign investors to live and work in a country with one of Europe’s lowest crime rates.

Its convenient geographical location allows for political, diplomatic and commercial affairs worldwide. As one of the earliest members of the European Union, and having been a full member state of the EU since 1986, Portugal also enjoys access to the world’s largest economic market of around 450 million consumers in all 28 EU Member states. Its membership with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (part of the Wold Bank Group) allows Portugal to work with other governments to finance projects, design policies, and deliver programs to countries facing the issue of poverty.

Portugal’s extensive development of its infrastructure and investment in communications and transport has seen it move away from its reliance on agriculture and manufacturing as its primary economic drivers. Tourism, retail trade, real estate, banking and finance now make the largest contributions to its economy.

  • Permanent Residence after 5 years
  • Citizenship for life after 6 years
  • Visa free travel in Schengen Area on Residence permit
  • Dual citizenship allowed
  • Visa free access to 172
  • Simple and straightforward programme

    For a list of Visa Free Travel for holders of a Portugal passport please scroll down:

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Facts & Figures

  • Lisbon

  • Population

    10,572,721 (2010 Estimate)

  • Euro

  • GDP

    $231.970 billion

  • Portuguese



Situated on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a European country neighbouring Spain

Age Demographics

96.3% Portuguese, 3.7%


81.0% , 14.2% no religion, small group of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baha'i, Buddhist, Jewish and Spiritist communities.

Government Type

Unitary Semi-presidential Constitutional Republic


If you have a passport from Portugal, you can visit these countries without getting a visa before your trip:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Belize
  • Bahrain*
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • El Salvador
  • Egypt**
  • Finland
  • France
  • Fiji
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Guyana
  • Guatemala
  • Hungary
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Indonesia**
  • Japan
  • Kenya***
  • Kuwait***
  • Latvia
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Lebanon
  • Malta
  • Malaysia
  • Malawi
  • Moldova
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua****
  • Poland
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Senegal
  • Slovakia
  • Serbia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Turkey ***
  • Taiwan
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia***

*visa on arrival valid for 14 days

**visa on arrival valid for 30 days

***visa on arrival valid for 3 months

Please note this information is for guidance only. To visit other countries, or to stay for longer period, you may require a visa. Please check with the embassy or consulate of the country you will be visiting.

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