Should I proceed with the Portugal Golden Visa?

Just to clarify: we don’t actually know this yet. It’s unclear whether the counting of time will help GV applicants at all and when the counting will begin. Also, the significant delays on the back-end citizenship/ permanent resident processing will likely cannibalize any perceived advantage. These policy bones get thrown as patches to avoid all-out revolt and keep the uninitiated rolling in with their investments.

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I absolutely agree. It’s entirely open to the government to change the Nationality Law at any time, as they have on numerous occasions, and there could be no argument about retrospective treatment. There’s nothing to stop any government deciding that the 5 year period is now 20 years, saying you have to pass C2 Portuguese and reintroducing “effective ties”.

Anyone embarking on the ARI has to factor in a non-zero probability that the route to citizenship is blocked before they qualify.


Agreed. If government could have blocked and put the whole country into lockdown for years, 100% they could kill off GV easily within hours without giving any compensation to investors. I never have doubt on their power. Nothing is riskfree. I only think about one thing the earlier the better. Delays seem to build up significantly. Therefore, it is worth to consider to start early if possible.

BM2024, Obviously it is a personal choice and up to you. I have done the GV process and am like many other waiting for the bio-metrics appointment, to then get my residency card. But I am patiently and happily waiting, as I have no immediate rush. Then with the new law saying this time waiting counts towards the 5 years to citizenship - even better.

For me I want eventual EU citizneship. And this will get me that. So, it’s of course up to you. But I’m very glad and excited I started this journey.


This may get you citizenship.

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I am trying to proceed with the process

We waited for a over a year to get a biometrics appointment, and now are waiting 2+ years to actually receive the card, with extra steps that are annoying (e.g., sending multiple apostile of marriage certificate as it always has to be within a year), plus the fees are nuts (> 6000 Euros per person plus payment of a lawyer to help navigate, as it is almost impossible to manage if you are not in-country). The only good news is apparently the application for citizenship can occur 5 years after application (which I interpret as 5 years after biometrics appointment). Therefore, we’ll need to wait about 3 years to apply for citizenship after receiving our cards (“golden visa”) to apply for citizenship, assuming we can achieve A2 level Portuguese skills.

marriage cert validity = 6 months

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It’s been almost one year since we invested in this scheme. There has been zero update on our application. Moreover, if we have kids in the next few years, there’s no clarity if they will benefit from the investment (this was a big motivation). The financial payout of our investment is uncertain by it’s very nature.

This is money that would’ve grown quite a bit if we had just kept it in the market. To say this whole experience has been a disappointment is an understatement. Sorry, I’m just venting but I realize now how naive I was with my expectations one year ago.


Welcome to the party. If you read this forum and still went ahead, that’s some extra pain!


I’m new member in this forum.
With my wife and 2childs we décide to start process for golden visa.
At first I wanted to find out about lawyers to advise him, serious investment funds, etc…… But Your comments scare me.
Before making the process do you think I should give up and find another more interesting program.
thank you for your honesty.

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I wouldn’t do it unless you like waiting and unknowns.


Thank your reply ? If sale one can advice new other way to obtain citizenship in europe?

If you want to move to Europe, there are many options.

To acquire citizenship without moving, not many.

If you just want it for your kids, I hear Latvia has birthright citizenship now (if your children are born there they have a right to Latvian citizenship) but I don’t know if that is confirmed.


Ok , thank your reply,
Fortunately I asked before starting the process. Otherwise, do you have any ideas about the D7 visa? Is it a good opportunity to leave in Portugal for 2 years, then return to your country of origin and then apply for Portuguese nationality after 5 years?

The facebook group “Americans and Friends PT” has much more detail on the D7 process. But probably, to get citizenship in Portugal with D7, you will need to live there 5 years + citizenship processing time (another 2-3 years).


That is correct. Mine expires in July and no way to renew it at all.


You can still buy citizenship in malta for a couple million bucks; I don’t think that program is quite dead yet. Austria will sell it for several million if they like you.

if you are willing to live there for I think three years, there might be something to be done in Germany now, I’m unsure.

Otherwise you need many years of boots-on-ground for citizenship.

I sure as hell wouldn’t mess with Portugal at this point in any form. They really need to hang the “no vacancy” sign on the front door.


I believe they changed it to “expedited naturalization” so you get citizenship after only 1 year of residence but that still requires living there and becoming tax resident, just for a relatively short time.

You should appreciate that many (most?) of the people here have been burned by the Portuguese golden visa process and are rightfully frustrated. However, our frustrations stem from being told that the visa would take 6-12 months, citizenship after 5 years, favorable taxes under NHR, etc, and instead waiting 3+ years for the visa with the NHR evaporating.

You, on the other hand, would be going into it with the wisdom of our experiences. Examine the program as it is, and dispassionately weigh it against your other options. Specifically, Portugal:

  • does not tax your worldwide net worth
  • allows dual citizenship
  • still has relatively low capital requirements
  • still has relatively low residency requirements
  • still has relatively low language requirements for citizenship

As Jeff B’s post shows, other options can have their own deal-breakers for your personal circumstances.