Processing times for Portugal golden Visa

Hello everyone,

I’m interested to know how long one might expect to wait to gain portuguese citizenship after satisfying the 5 year invesmtent in real estate requirement.


It isn’t a 5 year investment period. It is a 5 year period of being a legal resident. Which means that the actual investment period will be rather longer - you need to have the investment before you apply, it takes some N amount of time from submitting your application to actually being issued a residence permit (12-24mo depending on how unlucky you are - the best anyone’s done in the last year is ~9mo and that’s involved going through contortions which are no longer possible, and some have been > 2yr - and now everything’s on hold anyway so those times are just getting longer) and you need to hold the investment through the citizenship application process as well, which in normal times was supposedly 6-9mo but now all bets are off.

So the notion of “investing for 5 years” is a fallacy at best.

Assuming of course that the citizenship laws don’t change in the next 5 years either.

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Also, processing times for citizenship keep expanding. Currently seem to be around 2 years based on experiences of some friends. Just looking at the rates at which future applications for citizenship will come in and the rate at which applications are processed, difficult to see how waiting times won’t be longer (even much longer) in 7 years (realistic 2 years for golden visa processing + 5 years as resident). All in all, the citizenship timeline is likely a decade, not 5 years, unless the Portuguese government decides to prioritise streamlining these processes.

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Let me give my opinion. The GV launched in 2012 primarily to Chinese investors who purchased real estate. Only in the last 2 years has the influx of new nationalities investing in funds become popular. This is important for two reasons. One, the surge in popularity along with COVID has strained the ability of the government to process applications in a timely manner. Its true that this was also an issue prior to 2020 but these factors have not helped. Two, with the investors buying real estate the timeline was not such an issue. Once you purchase real estate whether it takes 5 years or 7 years or 10 years, you still own the real estate and thus qualify for the GV program. The funds are creating some new issues because the typical fund lifespan is 5-7 years. This will create some new problems for investors as they reach the 7 year period and find that they are not able to apply for citizenship. No one knows how this will play out but it is possible the government could automatically qualify anyone who met the terms of 5 years of investment and residency under GV a path to citizenship even if their underlying investment ends through no fault of their own. Only time will tell.


I think it will be incumbent on these funds to extend, not the government. Which most of them are likely to be able to. It will be an issue with some funds to do another investment cycle and/or hold because of the nature of the underlying investments, but the fund can of course just sit on the money and I am sure they will be glad to keep charging the management fees. Most fund MR I have read (which is several) have the term of the fund at 10 years; indeed this was a topic in other threads about “what guarantee do I have that I will get my money back in 5 years when the MR says 10”. The hardest situation here will be Mercan - they’re written with a disincentive for Mercan to keep holding the money since they will have to pay higher “rent” as the years extend past 7. I’m not sure what will happen there.

I’m not concerned about it; my funds can easily manage to a longer timeline, it just means another investment cycle and/or holding longer. Indeed, if the investments were working ok, I had every intention of just leaving the money there. But YMMV.

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Indeed, this was a good part of why I went with the investment fund option - open ended :slight_smile:

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