La Vida Golden Visa vs Mercan Group

Hi all,

Has anyone tried La Vida Golden Visa? We are about to sign up with them and reserve an apartment in Porto, Portugal, but it sounds like these properties are no longer eligible. I notice that Nomad only recommends Mercan, so I’m wondering if La Vida Golden Visa is legitimate.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Hi Sarah,

Please don’t assume that just the fact that I haven’t covered a specific offering or company means that it’s not legit! Especially when it comes to real estate investments there are so many different providers out there, so it wouldn’t be feasible to cover them all.

That being said, I haven’t studied La Vida Golden Visa in detail. My first impression was a bit that you’re probably not getting a good deal on the investment. As mentioned in my GV article, if your goal is to get a good deal on a real estate investment, I’d personally use a company like Pearls of Portugal who knows the local market well and can help you negotiate prices.

I might be a bit of a cynic, but I don’t think it’s likely that companies offering real estate products aimed exclusively at GV applicants are the ones with the best offers (if what you’re looking for is a solid return on investment).

So why do I mentioned Mercan in the article? Well, what you’re making with them isn’t really a real estate investment. It’s a way of buying a Golden Visa while getting a modest return on capital. You don’t have much upside, nor a lot of downside (assuming Mercan don’t go bankrupt) since contractually they will buy back your investment once you’re granted the permanent residency.

In the meantime they pay an annual 3% yield. And they will help with the entire GV process, too. So at the end of the day you’re buying a Golden Visa, not making a bet on the Portuguese real estate market (which may be close to topping out).

For the time being they are still eligible, but as mentioned I would personally only feel comfortable making a real estate investment in Porto or Lisbon at the moment in case the developer is willing to assume the risk of your application eventually being denied. Mercan does this, but they are probably not the only ones. If La Vida does, I don’t know.


This is super helpful! I appreciate your quick turnaround.

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Golden Visa? For residency in the EU for non-Eu nationals? For quality of life, Greece has Portugal beat hands down. and Im thinking the costs of Golden Visa are similiar. Potugal does have a wider selection of golf courses. If you dont need EU residency, then Turkey is an attractive option… probably the most attractive option in the Med…and you can get a residents visa there with any property purchase, with plenty to choose from in idyllic coastal locations of EUr 50, 000… I like Malta but it is a very specialist like- Malta is small (tiny) and can feel a bit cramped, not green at all, (desert), over-populated for my way of thinking especially with recent influxes in last few years… and very HOT in the summer… were talking SAHARA DESERT type hot…and cost of living comparatively EXPENSIVE. More so than Cyprus…

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We’ve been in correspondence with La Vida GV for about a year now for Portugal. We went and met with one of their partners, Spark Capital, and looked at some investment places in early November. We were hoping to pull the trigger within a year or so- obviously everything is upside down now in 2020.
They definitely are legit for as far as we got, which is only maybe to Step 2 in a 5 part process. YMMV, but I have found them quite helpful thus far.

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Hi Melanie,

Thanks so much for your input. Because of Covid, we are rethinking the GV and might go for a hotel room investment through Mercan or investment funds. This is so hard to navigate now that we are not able to travel. Did you get to the step where you have to do your biometrics in Portugal?

Thanks, again, for reaching out!


Hi Sarah!
No, didn’t get as far as the biometrics. We were starting to rethink the GV due to somewhat overpriced real estate and were thinking about the D7 visa for Portugal instead, since we have passive rental income in the US we could use. But of course, everything is on ice now that Covid is flaring at its highest yet in the US :confused:
We met with some lawyers in person while in Lisbon last fall, and I’ve had some WhatsApp calls with a few other firms since to enquire about the D7 visa prices and process. Really hoping to go that route in a year or so, once travel to the EU is possible again.

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