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Portugal Citizenship

Specifics of international private law
Citizenship Euro > Portugal Citizenship

Introduction of Portugal Golden Visa Program


Portugal is one of the most wanted destinations in the world both for tourism as well as Golden Visa Programs. Within the discussion of the state’s budget, the Portuguese Parliament has approved an authorization to amend the Golden Visa Program legislation. This amendment constitutes in fact an opportunity both for Portugal and for international investors. The Secretary of State to the Prime Minister has stated that in order not to affect any ongoing situations, these amendments could only enter into force in the beginning of 2021.

What does make Portugal unique?


Portugal is situated at the western tip of Europe. It is a country that is widely considered to be the best to live in. A friendly and tolerant society, a low crime rate, high quality of life and a vibrant economy have made it the dream destination for many foreigners. There are a variety of reasons why Portugal is the best country to live in around the world. The reason could be the rich & healthy cuisine and the deep history. Or maybe the much-cherished social cohesion that keeps the streets safe. But what else has this small country got that makes it so special? It is the safety, social cohesion and its economy. This country offers citizenship by investment which makes it unique.

The benefits of possessing a Portugal citizenship for South Africans :


  • You will be registered with the Schengen Area central system which will enable you to enter all European countries without the need for an additional visa (26 European countries) after your application has been approved by the SEF
  • The program is not blacklisted by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Many European countries have Golden Visa programs and the Portuguese government recently reinforced the program
  • After five years, you can apply for the Portuguese citizenship
  • Family reunion is possible which means that certain dependent family members can also get Portuguese residency
  • Access Portuguese healthcare and European education system if wanted
  • You will have the security of a second residence in a safe and stable country
  • Having a second passport gives you always the possibility to leave your home country
  • You do not have to actually live in Portugal to get the visa or citizenship
  • You also have the option to become a non-habitual resident of the country and pay little or no tax for 10 years

Will Portugal allow me to keep my original citizenship?
Yes, Portugal will allow you to keep my original citizenship.


Will the Portugal citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship? Will my citizenship expire?
Yes, the Portugal citizenship will automatically grant you European citizenship. It will not expire.

What are the criterias/requirements to obtain the Portugal Golden Visa?


  • Decide on your investment route
  • Start preparing and compiling your documents
  • Get a Portuguese NIF and open a Portuguese Bank Account (which can be done remotely)
  • Transfer the required investment amount to your Portuguese bank account
  • Make the investment
  • Have all documentation translated into Portuguese and legalized according to SEF’s requirements
  • File the initial application with SEF
  • You will be required to pay the Government application fee and provide a copy of all the required documentation
  • Book your interview
  • Attend a biometrics collection session
  • Wait for final approval
  • Upon approval of your Golden Visa, pay the Government permit issue fee
  • Your residence certificate will be issued and it will be valid for one year
    Renew your residence certificate at the end of year one and three
  • Become a permanent resident in year five
  • Apply for Portuguese citizenship
  • You will now receive your Portuguese passport

Investment in Real Estate

Investment in properties with more than 30 years old located in areas with less than 100 inhabitants per km2.

Portugal VS South Africa



    In South Africa, the average life expectancy is 62 years for men, 65 years for women. In Portugal, that number is 76 years for men, 83 years for women.
    In South Africa, 28.3% of adults are obese while in Portugal, that number is 20.8% of people.



    South Africa has a GDP per capita of $13,500, while Portugal has the GDP per capita is $30,400.
    In South Africa, 27.6% of adults are unemployed and in Portugal, that number is 9.7%.



    In South Africa, approximately 138.0 women per 100,000 births die in labor. In Portugal, 10.0 women do.
    In South Africa, 31.0 children die before they reach age of one. In Portugal, only 4.3 children do.



    In South Africa, 85% of the population has electricity access while in Portugal, 100% of the population do.
    In South Africa, 54.0% of the population has internet access on the other hand, Portugal about 70.4% do.



    South Africa spends 5.9% of its total GDP on education and Portugal spends 5.1% of total GDP on education.

Comparison between the Malta Golden Residency Program (MRVP) and the Portugal Golden Residency Program

 Malta Residence andVisa Program (MRVP)Portugal Golden Residency Program
ResidenceFreedom to live or work in MaltaFreedom to live or work in Portugal
Return on InvestmentBonds, PropertyProperty
Schengen AccessRight to travel within the Schengen AreaRight to travel within the Schengen Area
Investment optionsContribution + InvestmentInvestment
Contribution€30,000 + €5,000 per parents/grandparents
Government bonds€250,000
Real EstateRent at €12,000 or purchase at €320000 (min)Property Purchase at Min. €280,000
Other InvestmentsJob Creation OR Capital transfer
DependantsSpouse, Children with no age limit, parents(If financially dependent)Spouse, Children up to 24/25 years+ Parents

(if financially dependent)

Language TestNOT NeededNot Needed
Physical ResidenceNo Physical Stay Requirement7 days 1st year, 14 days remaining 2 years
Timing to finalize3-4 months5 months

Frequenbly Asked Questions

1. Does the Golden Visa Program of Portugal have an expiry date?
No, the Golden Visa Program of Portugal does not have an expiry date.


2. Am I required to live in Portugal?
No, because the only requirement is to spend an average of seven days a year in Portugal to maintain your Golden Visa status.


3. Am I required to own real estate in Portugal?
Yes, you are required to own real estate in Portugal.


4. Who is eligible to apply for Portugal Golden Visa Program?
Any non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who makes a qualifying investment in Portugal is allowed to apply for a Golden Visa and residency in Portugal.
The Portuguese Golden Visa program has proven to be one of the most popular citizenship by investment programs in Europe. Getting the Golden Visa in Portugal is easy, fast and cheaper than other EU citizenship programs.


5. Is the main applicant required to be in Portugal in order to submit the full citizenship application? In which language should documents be submitted?
The main applicant is required to be in Portugal in order to submit the full citizenship application. Yes, all documents must be legalized and translated into Portuguese according to the requirements.


6. Will I be able to travel to the United States as a Portugal passport holder?
Yes, you will be able to travel to the United States. As a Portugal passport holder gets a visa-free travel to more than 160 countries including the US. However, you wont be able to travel to US via Portugal Golcen Visa residence card.


7. Do I need to invest in a Portugal business/create employment opportunities to be eligible for the program?
There are various options to be eligible for the program-
1. Capital Transfer
2. Create 10 full-time jobs
3. Invest minimum of €500,000 in Real Estate or investment of minimum of €280,000 in properties with more than 30 years old located in areas with less than 100 inhabitants per km2.
4. Invest in Real Estate Rehabilitation
5. Investment into national heritage
6. Investment in Research
7. Investment into an existing business
8. Investment into private equity funds

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