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2024 Portugal Golden Visa Developments: What's on the Horizon?


The Portugal Golden Visa, a significant initiative among the European Golden Visa programs, is increasingly attracting investors to residency-by-investment schemes. These schemes allow the conversion of a residency permit into citizenship after a few years of holding the residency permit. The Portugal Golden Visa program, in particular, has increased in popularity recently. In October 2023, the program underwent substantial modifications, changing its structure. What are these modifications, and how have they affected the program? In this article, we will explore these changes in great depth.

Overview of the Portugal Golden Visa

Launched in October 2012, the Portuguese Citizenship Investment Program, also known as the Portugal Golden Visa, was initiated by the Portuguese government to attract foreign investment in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Over the past decade, the program has successfully raised nearly €7.5 billion, underscoring its significant impact and success.

In October 2023, the Golden Visa Portugal Program underwent significant modifications, marking a new chapter in its evolution. These changes, which do not affect already submitted applications, primarily focus on the types of qualifying investments.

You may obtain a permit to live in Portugal by applying to this program and making the investments the Portuguese government specifies. It takes five years to become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship after you have the residency permit. The program offers significant flexibility with a minimum stay requirement of just seven days per year in Portugal.

Additionally, thanks to the Portugal Golden Visa Program, you can visit the Schengen states without a visa. Portugal is a safe, secure, and reasonably priced nation renowned for its excellent health and education systems, strong infrastructure, pleasant environment, and high standard of living.

Latest Updates on the Program

The “Mais Habitação Law,” introduced by the Portuguese government on October 6, 2023, marked a substantial change to the Golden Visa scheme. This new regulation removed the opportunity to invest in real estate or associated funds to be eligible for a Golden Visa in Portugal.

Remaining Investment Options

It is possible to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program through the following investment options:

  • Capital transfers of up to €500,000 in qualifying venture capital funds (excluding real estate investments or affiliations)
  • Creation of ten jobs or more
  • Capital transfers of up to €500,000 in research activities carried out by public or private scientific research institutions
  • Capital transfers of up to €250,000 in support of artistic production, the preservation or restoration of national cultural heritage
  • Capital transfers of up to €500,000 for forming a commercial company based in the country and creating five permanent jobs.

About the Golden Visa Application Timeline

The former immigration office SEF was handed to AIMA Portugal by the Portuguese immigration authority. Since AIMA, the new immigration office, is better suited to handle applications within the projected timeframe, the aim was to reduce the waiting period for applications. According to the recent announcement, applications for the Portugal Golden Visa are expected to be processed quickly.

Residency Requirements and Renewals

Golden Visa residence card is valid for two years, and applicants must spend a total of fourteen days in Portugal during that time. Before the initial two years expire, Golden Visa holders must renew their residency permit by submitting updated documentation.

The renewed Golden Visa residence permit will also be valid for two years. Applicants must spend at least fourteen more days in Portugal within the second two-year period. After this, the residence permit can be renewed for another two years, again requiring to spend fourteen more days in the country.

Citizenship Eligibility

With the updates to the program in 2024, the five-year period required to apply for citizenship will begin once a residence permit is obtained through the investment residency program. At the end of the fifth year, you can apply for citizenship, obtain permanent residency, or continue with the Golden Visa program without maintaining your initial investment. All Golden Visa cardholders, including dependents, must comply with these conditions.