Residence Program
A Brief Overview

Portugal is one of the 26 European member states of the Schengen Area. Traditionally its economy relied on manufacturing and cork exports, though it is now moving towards business services. The country also enjoys a robust tourism industry. Resident status allows individuals visa-free travel in Schengen Member States.


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The Residence Permit for Investment (ARI or Golden Visa) was launched in 2012 to allow non-EU nationals to obtain a residence permit through (real estate) property investment. Several options are available to applicants under the Golden Visa. Successful applicants must comply with a holding period of at least five years (during which the Golden Visa is renewable three times in a five-year period). After a sixth year, applicants may apply for citizenship. The Program requires no maximum stay, but it does require a minimum stay of seven (consecutive or non-consecutive) days during year one and 14 days each during years two to three, and three to four.


Applicants must have a clean criminal record (no conviction carrying a punishment of more than one year imprisonment) and provide proof by producing a criminal-record certificate obtained from their home country or country of residence for at least one year. Applicants and their family members must also hold private health insurance that is valid in Portugal.

Benefits of Portuguese Residence
Investment Options
  • Minimal residence requirements (35 days in five years)


  • Holding a Golden Visa will allow you to travel and circulate visa-free within the 26 countries of the Schengen Area


  • Uncomplicated application process


  • You will have a wide choice of approved investment opportunities


  • You will be reunited with your family members


  • After six years, residents may apply for Portuguese citizenship

To obtain a residence permit, applicants must choose one of the following options:


  • Transfer of capital to the value of EUR 1 million in financial assets


  • Transfer of capital to the value of EUR 350 000 as investment in public/private scientific or technological research institutions in the Portuguese national system. (In a low-density area the sum is EUR 280 000.)


  • Transfer of capital to the value of EUR 250 000 in support of the arts, national heritage projects, or pursuing artistic-output activities. (In a low-density area the sum is EUR 200 000.)


  • Transfer of capital to the value of EUR 500 000 in venture capital and shares in investment funds supporting small and medium Portuguese companies with approved capitalization plans


  • Investment in real estate to the value of at least EUR 500 000. This also applies to real estate in urban areas identified for refurbishing older than 30 years to the value of at least EUR 350 000.
The Process

The process typically takes a few months to conclude. Investment in financial assets takes the shortest time to complete, while real estate investment may take longer.


The application process comprises the following steps:

  • Collation of the required documentation
  • Submission of application to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (Servico de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras [SEF]). Legacy will advise individual applicants as to which documents will have to be translated and legalized
  • After approval, the applicant and family members will have to make an appointment with the SEF and visit Portugal in order to have their biometric measurements taken
  • Issue of residency permit and card
Investment Summary
OptionMinimum Investment
Real estate investmentEUR 500 000
Real estate investment in urban regenerationEUR 350 000
Capital transfer: FinancialEUR 1 million
Capital transfer: Scientific researchEUR 350 000
Capital transfer: Scientific research in urban regenerationEUR 280 000
Capital transfer: Arts EUR 250 000
Capital transfer: Arts in urban areas identified for refurbishing older than 30 years EUR 200 000
Capital transfer: Investment/Venture capitalEUR 500 000

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