Should I proceed with the Portugal Golden Visa?

I’ve gone through most of your posts. Great info here.

I am at the stage of opening the bank account and investing in the funds, however after reading through these posts, I’m struggling moving forward as it looks like the wait time for biometrics appointment is up to 3 years? We have a newborn, 2 and 5 year old coming from the US, so I’m wanting clarification on the ruling that the entire waiting period counts towards 5 years? If it doesn’t count from the beginning of investment and submission then I will be wasting trips meeting the requirement of 7 days the first year etc.

I am tempted to put this on hold after reading from you all, and see what the specific ruling comes out with.

I would also assume that the backlog is from Brexit, Covid, and the removal of the real estate investment option, so I would assume that the waiting period should improve in the future.

Is anyone else considering canceling their GV, or putting it on temporary hold until seeing the waiting times improve? Have any of you put things on hold, or gone through with the GV after seeing these same issues.


How patient are you? How motivated? How tolerant of delays and frustrations and expenses and insults?

I suspect that everyone will eventually reach the finish line, assuming they keep at it, but that it won’t be an easy or timely journey.


One comment: it’s a very minority view that you would need to spend 7 days/year in PT before the issuance of your first card. The 7/14 day requirement is only relevant to card renewal - ie did you spend the relevant period in PT during the period of validity of your expiring card. It’s not part of the nationality law.

In your shoes, I would calculate your upfront costs: application fee, lawyers fees and the opportunity cost of the investment. If that total feels a reasonable entry price for this long, uncertain journey, then go for it: invest, and sit back and wait. There are more costs down the road, but you will know more by then. Assume it will be 9-10 years to passports, and factor in a non-zero probability that your route will be blocked before you get there.


Not sure if you know the rule for kids or not. Your three kids will not automatically get citizenship. For kids to get citizenship, the requirements are:

  • you (as the parents) need to get citizenship first. Then your kids will be eligible to apply.
  • your kids have been in any school in Portugal for 5 years.
  • at the moment of applying citizenship, your kids are in school in Portugal.
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If you haven’t already, check out this thread. Will you apply Portugal Golden Visa knowing what you know today?

IMO, the delay is because the GV has become a political football and no part of government wants to touch us or prioritize us. They’re very happy to take our taxes and fee, but the promises are empty. It’s a fraud. I would definitely not do it again, unless you’re very wealthy and can afford to lose everything AND have no visas to show for it.

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Political football implies we’re being actively messed with or intentionally ignored

Maybe previously, with GVers being processed much more slowly than others, but now I’m pretty confident saying we’re in with everyone else being screwed over by AIMA.

There’s just not a meaningful GV constituency almost definitionally

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D7 is still definitely treated better - I can see on Americans and Friends PT group that D7 are getting automatic renewals but GV is not.

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True, but that’s not new, as in, nobody’s f■■■ing with GV applicants specifically by making us worse off. But nobody is helping us either

It’s apathy that describes pt government (at least until now) policy toward GV investors, not political football. One is much more depressing than the other, imo


Have you seen GV holders not being able to renew automatically ? :astonished::astonished:. Now automatic renew is opened for expired cards until end of July. I do not see anyone report anything in our forum.

Yeah, see this thread:
No GV holders have managed to automatically renew in 2024 except during a short window in March which was apparently a glitch on AIMA’s part.

Only way to renew is file a lawsuit for an appointment.

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I follow that thread everyday!!!
Auto renew at the moment is for expired cards between May June July. In our forum, no one reported that their cards expired in those months.
Therefore, we cannot conclude that auto renew is not for GV. Only until at least 2 members of this forum complain something, then we can draw some conlusion.

See this post HOW-TO: GV Automatic Online Renewal Procedure (Jan 2023→) - #390 by anonymous69

And following posts - multiple people reporting that they/their lawyers are unable to renew GV online.


I don’t believe it’s this black and white, although a commonly held view. The confusion seems to stem from a law clarifying that if a child is in school in PT it automatically qualifies as their link to PT required for citizenship application. The law doesn’t say (according to lawyers I’ve discussed it with) that children MUST be in school in PT in order to demonstrate a connection.

I am in contact with a lawyer at the moment who has several applications underway for children of clients who are applying on the back of their parent having first got their citizenship through the GV. The children are not at school in PT but are demonstrating their link to PT by other means - most importantly having held the GV for 5 years in the same way as their parents. And this is why he insists that it’s important that minor children apply for the GV too.


I wouldn’t touch it. We did ours over 5 years ago and luckily things went relatively smoothly, but it’s almost impossible now. We eventually moved to PT, and I’m really kicking myself for not just going the D-7 route. We weren’t ready to move at the time, but it would have made more sense to just wait until then. I’m dreading having to go through a 4th renewal, which will probably be necessary while our citizenship applications are processed. $$$$$ and a ton of unnecessary stress.


Black or grey is part of the game. I would opt for worst case scenario as it is stated currently i.e 5 years in school is required for children.
Here is not about link to the country, it is just a piece of paper they want you to show.
However, if considering the link to the country, 5 years of school creates stronger link to the country than 5 years of GV. If kids are in school, they must have long term residency (GV or other type). Kids with GV but not staying in country for 5 years do not have any cultural interaction and connection with the country. Only link they have is the financial link via GV. However, when kids are in school for 5 years, in addition to the financial link, surely they connect and integrate portuguese culture in much deeper level.
Law might change. Who knows. But as an investor, it’s worth to include this matter into the equation.

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D7 holders have dealt with delays and uncertainty, but they don’t seem to have to sue the government to get through every stage of processing/renewals. So, I disagree—I think we are definitely getting “special” treatment and paying exorbitant fees for the privilege. It should be a scandal, if not for how thoroughly maligned and scapegoated we’ve been as a class.


If you are in a position to put your children in school for 5 years in PT, then you’re pretty unlikely to be applying for the GV (or you’d be crazy to as there are better options!!) as it implies you’d be spending sufficient time in PT to meet the residency requirements of other visa types.

I agree plan for the worst case - so to give the children of GV holders the best chance of getting citizenship, make sure to include them on the GV application so they have the link to PT through residency. Your previous post could be interpreted as suggesting one should not bother to include them on the GV visa as unless they’re in school for 5 years in PT they won’t be able to get citizenship anyway.

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I think it depends on your circumstances Brandon. The key question is: are you planning to move to Portugal within the next (say) 7 to 10 years. If you are, you should never go for GV. There are less expensive, faster and better visa types.

But if you do not plan to move and want to get an EU passport without having to spend long time in Portugal, you can afford to lock €500k for 10 years, and you can afford some €30-50k of expenses; GV is for you and is still attractive. You just need to have a cool and patient mindset. The process is extremely slow and takes much longer than the claimed 5 years, but it works eventually.

Most of the frustration you read comes from GV applicants who want to move to PT. And yes, the GV process screws people in this scenario. If this is not your case, you are safe. Even if they change the GV laws or cancel them, the constitution doesn’t allow retrospective application of changes to regulation, so you will still get your passport, after a lot of patience.

You do not need to spend any time in PT until your first residence card is issued. So delays in issuing the first card work in your advantage if you don’t plan to move!

And if your kids are part of your GV application, they will also be eligible for citizenship without schooling in PT, as long as they spend the 7 days a year / 14 days every 2 years from the time they get their first residence cards. Note that PT is a beautiful holiday destination, so your family will enjoy these visits.

There are still different interpretations for the law issued a few months ago stating that the 5 years for citizenship will count from the application date. It is not clear which date will count as application date for GV. It will certainly be earlier than the date of your first residence card. But it could be the date of the biometrics appointment or the date of initial application and fee payment. In both cases, if you are not in a harry and don’t need to move, you are fine. In fact, the earlier you apply the better. You will get the slow clock to start ticking. And you avoid the risk of further changes to the laws making GV even less attractive.


No absolutely not. Portugal GV might as well be a dead program.


I believe this is broadly true…but I would also advise the OP to scan these boards to understand the relationship between the GV process and the Naturalisation process. They are generally held to be distinct, so it’s not clear a change to Naturalisation would considered to be retrospective to a GV holder who hadn’t initiated Naturalisation at the time of the change. Just my opinion.