The Ultimate Guide to the Portuguese Golden Visa

Sorry for confusion. To clarify, I ask this in relation to friedrichstrasse’s original comment to which you’ve responded. His commentary:

I heard the IMI would be exempted for 5 years

Is this the even possible? I haven’t heard about this before.

Thank you.
What happens if did not pass the language test.
What happens to the GV after 5 years. Can you renew .? On what conditions? Do you renew at 5000 euro per person for 1 year?


Hi, I have read the information on the SEF website, and it states quite clearly that the 3 years renewal is not applied to Golden Visa, the the renewal golden visa still stays with 02 year only. Maybe I am wrong, can you please double check and re-confirm this ?

Here is the citation from the SEF’s website:
Pursuant to article 90-A, n.º 2, of the Aliens Act, the residence permit for investment is renewed for two-year periods of time, as long as the applicant proves to maintain any of the requirements established in article 3, subparagraph d). Because this is a special legal provision, the amendment introduced to article 75 of the Aliens Act by article 183 of Act n.º 2/2020 of 31 March – State Budget to 2020 does not apply.

Here is the hyperlink:

I do hope that I am wrong this time !
Thanks in advance !

Hi @live2learn,
Unfortunately you are right.
We thought that finally SEF would take the measures to accelerate the Golden Visa Process in Portugal just like all the other residence permits, but it is not the case.
There was confusion regarding this at SEF to know if it was applicable to the Golden Visa aswell and they decided to let the law which was in force for the renewals.

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Hi. I need some advice if possible from someone well acquainted with the process of ARI in Portugal.

Essentially, my initial SEF application was submitted on 18th August according to my lawyers, and thus far no acceptance is forthcoming and I have been told that its due to delays caused by Covid-19. Is that really the case, as its been more than 50 WORKING DAYS , and I dont think it should have taken this long.

Secondly, my application was submitted on basis of a Promissory Contract for 500K EUR for property in Lisbon, and the final deed is delayed due to licensing issues as its a new building. If restriction in Lisbon and Porto becomes effective from 2021, and my final deed is not done by then, will I be effected ? I am guessing since I have already paid 500K to developer and the Bank as issued a declaration to that effect, that I’ll be safe but im still anxious.

What about after five years, is renewal for 2 years or back to 1+2+2.


First residence permit is now 2 years. Renewals are also 2 years now. 2+2+2.
One of my clients has received his first residence permit for investing in an Investment Fund with validity from 19.08.2020 to 19.08.2022. Unless SEF did a mistake, it is now 2+2+2.


Thanks for your clarification. So now it is 2 + 2 + 2. So by end of 5th year, will it be still OK for GV holders to apply for citizenship ? Or GV holders will have to wait by end of 6th year ?

Many thanks !

(newbie question) Can someone give me a rundown of the worst case scenario if you were to go the investment fund route? Are there ANY protections of your capital, or could you, in fact, invest 350k euro and walk away with citizenship but having lost your 350k?

I am by no means extremely wealthy, but to me, there’s certainly value to be had in the citizenship alone. So I’m less concerned with returns and more looking to mitigating risks while gaining citizenship for myself and my family. Anyone else in the same boat?


The prevailing understanding is that once you invest 350k EUR you qualify for the GV regardless of what type of performance the investment may return.

I believe if there are large losses in the funds, then the reputation of the fund managers and funds will be ruined to the extent the investors hold them accountable. Thus I think it is good to know names and identities of who are the decision makers for the funds, but there may or may not be any financial recourse. I don’t know about legal recovery for negligent investing or outright fraud but I imagine there would be some type of recourse at law.

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I can relate. These are small, illiquid securities in an unfamiliar market. Sure-thing, windfall gains would be neat, but given the starkly tax-disadvantaged status of these PFIC investments for an American investor, I’d just as soon have this investment comprise the low-risk, low-yield part of my overall portfolio.

I continue to daydream about the real estate option as a more tangible and secure investment, but I am turned off by a few issues:

  • GV real estate investments will be restricted to the less appealing interior from 2021 onward
  • I am not familiar with the market and don’t have access to trustworthy valuation services
  • transfer taxes and fees are discouragingly high for properties in the GV price range

On the other hand, solely-owned foreign real estate does not require PFIC reporting and does not have to be declared on FATCA and FBAR filings.

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I think most of us are in the same boat. Welcome, pull up a bench, grab an oar.

Worst case? Fund implodes and loses all your money. There’s no more protections than there are in any other investments (Think about the poor investors in Hertz who thought the car rental biz was safe.) Most protections tend to be around avoiding outright fraud - that’s the role of CMWM, the Portuguese version of the SEC.

Practical worst case? Fund investments don’t do well, and then EUR/USD moves against you too, and you lose even more money. I’ve lost 40% in supposedly safe conservative offshore investments that turned out not to be.

There are funds that claim to guarantee your return, but … TANSTAAFL.

Realistically, it’s no different than investing anywhere else. There’s lots of unknowns, lots of people making promises to sell you something, laws of averages that don’t always apply (the market always goes up - but somehow not for you), some fraud here and there but not as often as it seems, lots of good intentions that often do but sometimes don’t work out. You do your due diligence, choose best you can, and take your chances.

Read through the fund comparison discussion, I dunno how to link it, several of us have beaten our way through many of the existing funds and pulled together our views. We’ve all found our own answers, but maybe what’s there helps you.


My largest concern with the real estate option is that the real estate agents know that you need to spend 500,000 EUR on a property. So guess what… that property that was 350,000 EUR last week is now spit-shined and listed at 501,000 EUR. And what negotiating power do you have? None. (actually, 1,000 EUR but you get the point).

This issue isn’t as much as a problem if you are spending 1,500,000 EUR because the same tend to manipulate prices doesnt apply to that price range. Unfortunately, I dont have 1,5000,000 EUR to spend.

Second issue is that I dont live there and can’t live there more than 14 days a year (otherwise I would just go for the D-7 visa). I could hire someone to manage the property but is that really what I want at this stage of my life - own property 1,000 miles away with a management co I have never met in a property I have barely seen.


Does anyone know how the investment option of transferring a million Euros into Portugal works? Do you need to transfer it into a Portuguese Bank where it stays or can it go into a brokerage account?


Yes. Citizenship applications are taking around 1,5 years. So if you apply in after the 5 years of legal residence (which according to the law us possible) for citizenship, you will be at least in half of the 6th year when getting it.

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Are many people getting citizenship now. Are there any figures how many have obtained citizenship via golden visa process.

@nassarfk there are no official numbers because each process is confidential. But if you comply with all requirements of the law for the portuguese citizenship there should be no problem.

Thanks. Any idea how long it takes to get citizenship once you apply. I am hearing at least 2 years.

hi @nassarfk, around 1,5 years.

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After getting initial residence visa for 2 years, there is a 14 day stay requirement. Is this requirement for the main applicant only, or also for any children/spouse/parents who are under the applicant’s term of responsibility.