Portugal Citizenship by Investment

Updated on Monday 20th September 2021

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Foreign nationals can acquire Portugal citizenship by investment if they follow one of the routes of investment that allows them to gain residence. Citizenship is then obtained once they have lived in the country for the minimum amount of time, as their investment continues to remain valid and/or in their possession.
In this article, our team of Portugal immigration specialists lists the main investment options that are available to foreign nationals who can thus first obtain residency in Portugal, followed by citizenship.
Each of the situations in which a foreign national can obtain Portugal citizenship by investment is assessed individually and one needs to comply with the general and the particular conditions, according to the chosen investment form. Making the investment precedes obtaining the residence permit, and ultimately citizenship, this is why it is advisable to discuss the existing options with a team of immigration experts who can guide you according to your particular situation.

Investment routes for acquiring Portugal citizenship by investment

The residence permit for investment purposes is awarded for several types of investments, available to third-country nationals (EU/EEA nationals are not included in the Golden Visa regime). Applicants should note that they will first obtain a temporary residence permit that will allow them to engage in particular business activities. They can then apply for permanent residence and then obtain Portugal citizenship by investment, following the naturalization process.
The following types of investments, with mandatory values, are available to foreign nationals seeking residency and citizenship in Portugal:
  • Real estate purchase: third-country nationals can purchase real estate property with a value equal to or above 500,000 Euros; another option is to acquire a property in an urban regeneration area with a value of at least 350,000 Euros;
  • Capital transfer: make a capital transfer in equal to or above 1,000,000 Euros in transferable securities, bearer securities, public debt instruments from the Portuguese State and others;
  • Business: open a limited liability company in Portugal, or acquire a company in a manner in which the investment will lead to the creation of at least 10 jobs;
  • Others: make a capital transfer of at least 350,000 Euros in research or a capital transfer of at least 250,000 Euros for supporting the arts or for the reconstruction of national heritage.
Once the investment is made, the applicant will need to provide acceptable proof in order to commence the process of obtaining Portugal citizenship by investment. The documents related to the investment can include the deed real estate or pre-contract agreement, a credit institution declaration that the minimum amount was transferred, an extract from the Register of Companies (where applicable) as well as others.
We invite you to watch a short video about the general conditions that allow foreign nationals to remain in the country after having made an investment:


Conditions for acquiring citizenship by naturalization in Portugal

Once the investment has been approved, the foreign national can start the process of obtaining Portugal citizenship by investment, which will include several steps and will require the residence permit holder to comply with the naturalization process. 
Some of the main conditions when choosing to acquire citizenship in this manner are the following:
  1. Renewal: the golden visa for investment purposes is renewed after the first year;
  2. Residence: the holder of the residence permit/golden visa will continue to renew the permit, provided that the investment remains in his possession for four more years (two renewals at 2-year terms, after the first year);
  3. Citizenship application: after five years, the holder of an investment residence permit can apply for Portugal citizenship by investment;
  4. Naturalization compliance: when applying for citizenship, the individual will need to bring forward proof of his integration in the community as well as Portuguese language knowledge, among others.
Foreign investors who wish to apply for the Golden Visa should keep in mind that the Portuguese authorities plan to change part of the conditions (namely, the investment amounts) starting with 2022. In addition to this, certain high-density areas in the country will no longer be eligible for residency and citizenship by investment in real estate. You can reach out to our team of immigration experts for more information about these changes.
Applying for a residence permit for an investment activity can be a suitable option for third-country nationals who have the means to make a substantial investment in the country. Contact us for more information on how to Portugal citizenship by investment.