Portugal Golden Visa Guide: Pros & Cons in 2024 – Nomad Gate

Are you looking to become an EU or Portuguese resident (and eventually a citizen) without needing to move there full-time?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://nomadgate.com/portugal-golden-visa-guide

So, among the 10 investment options,

“Transfer capital of at least €250,000, as investment or support for artistic production, or recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage.”

is the cheapest. I think only millionaire business people can try this out.

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Yes, it’s definitely targeted at wealthy investors. Hence the Golden Visa nickname :wink:

The good news is that it’s more than doable to get another residency visa to Portugal for entrepreneurs/self-employed, pensioners (or others with fixed income), and so on. The main difference is that you will actually have to live in Portugal (which isn’t so bad), while the Golden Visa only requires you to spend 7 days in the country per year—and still qualify for PR and citizenship after 5 years.

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I think Malta’s Global Residency Program is much better.

In Malta, they give you residency for renting out an apartment.

Any non-EU national who pays €8,700 Euros per year for apartment rent will be qualified for residency in Malta.
and that’s about €730 a month. Maltese citizenship gives you the same Schengan access and other EU benefits.

b. Rented
i. a permanent property located in Malta besides from the south of Malta (see below): €9,600 per annum
ii. a permanent property located in the south of Malta (see below): €8,750 per annum
iii. Gozo: €8,750 per annum

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Malta’s program is definitely worth considering, but it does have a few drawbacks compared to the Portuguese one:

  • You actually have to live in Malta most of the year. In the Portuguese program you only need to be in the country 7 days per year.
  • In Malta you pay a minimum of €15,000 tax per year. Depending on your situation, you can avoid tax altogether in Portugal for 10 years (thanks to the NHR program).
  • And honestly, Portugal is a much nicer place to live.

But if you are someone with a reasonable income (say at least ~€100,000/year—given the Maltese minimum tax), but not yet have enough capital to afford the Portuguese program, and also don’t mind living in Malta most of the year—then yes, the Maltese program might be for you.


Very insightful article. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for for a while.

I have a question: I’ve read on quite a few websites that a parent who is over 65 years old is automatically considered a dependant under the Portuguese Golden Visa program, and residency is extended to them without having to provide documentation of no income etc. to prove dependency during the application process. Is this correct?

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@DumontdosSantos can you comment on @Shivani’s question?

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Dear Shivani, I hope you are fine.
Yes, it is correct.
The practice has been that the documents to prove economic dependency by a parent are only requested when they are under the age of 65. Usually the documentation to prove this are the IRS (showing no income), bank statements, transfers made, payment of bills for the dependent,etc.
They still will need to provide the other documents requested by law.
Kind regards,


Hello, Alexander. Thank you so much for your reply! Yes, I understand that the other documents must be provided, but just wasn’t completely sure if documentation for proving economic dependency for my 66 year old mother would have to be included in the list of documents. Thanks again for your help! :grinning:

Golden Visa is quite an interesting residency scheme. Nonetheless, there are a few other options which are way more interesting to obtain Residency in Portugal. For instance, D-2 Visa for Entrepreneurs, Startup Visa for bright minds (Since 2018), and Tech Talent Visa (Starting from January 2019) are options to consider.


Definitely, as long as you are planning on actually living in Portugal. The Golden Visa is more for those who don’t want to relocate full-time to Portugal yet, or don’t qualify for any of those visas.


Can you make some reviews on Germany?

Great article!

Is there any clarity on how much they look into dependency? For instance, if a child is say 30 years old during the third year but is still studying and is dependent on the main member, will he still be seen as a dependent child? Also, do you still need to prove dependency after the 5th year? What happens if the child is working and married by then?

Many thanks for your help!

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No, a dependant has to be 25 or less, or over a certain age if the dependant is an older parent, in which situation age is more flexible, but for sons it’s definitely 25

Hii - thank you for investing the time to write such an informative article on Portugal’s Golden Visa program. But I do have one question still - my husband and I are considering early retirement in Portugal. If we were to purchase a rehabilitation project for 350,000 euro, during the five years leading up to citizenship, would we have access to the Portuguese medical program or would we have to wait until residency is granted at 5 years? And if required to wait until 5 years, up until that time, we would be required to purchase private insurance is this correct? Thank you!

There’s no need to buy any private insurance. Access to the healthcare system is granted by residency status, not citizenship. You need a document to deliver to your local “centro de saúde” in Portugal and they’ll issue you a user card granting you full access just as anyone else in Portugal.

The way you get said document depends on your country of origin, so without knowing I can’t help more than that :wink:

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Hi Felipe1

Thank you so much for responding - we are from the US and have been told that the PT government will require us to have insurance. The most affordable policy we could find is through Cigna Worldwide at $700/mo for the two of us.

So I was wondering if by buying a qualified Golden Visa property, would we be able to use the Portuguese insurance program?

I realize now that I need to specify we are from America because most are from the EU Community and the insurance can carry over.

Thanks again for your time.


I don’t know where you got that info but the Portuguese government doesnt at all require anyone to have private health insurance.

You need a residency permit and to register in Portuguese social security. After that you take those two papers to a “centro de saúde” so that they can issue you a healthcare card. After that you have the same access to healthcare as any Portuguese person.

“Being a resident in Portugal, you are eligible for medical cards that provide free medical assistance from your doctor at your local health centre. In order to obtain the card, you are required to present your residency permit, along with your social security card to the health centre.” - Guide Healthcare in Portugal | Allianz Care

Doctor appointments at the local health Centre (centro de saúde) are free and for anything else, exams, surgery, whatever it may be, may carry a small fee of about 20 euros

To be enrolled into social security in order to be able to request the healthcare card you need to go to a “Segurança Social” (social security) office and bring with you your residency permit as well as a document verifying your retired status

The US and Portugal have a deal since 1989 where your US social security status may be matched in the Portuguese system so that you can receive extra benefits and protections. You should probably contact the US embassy and the Portuguese SEF for details on how that works - International Programs - U.S.-Portuguese Social Security Agreement


Great article. I have came across the following


How can I make sure that the offer is legit?

Thank you

I can’t vouch for the offer but Urhome is a legit real estate business

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