How Portugal’s Golden Visa Attracts Top Talent and Boosts Business Growth

a visa officer shaking hands with an applicant

In the new world of travel and remote work, talented professionals are looking at living and working in new places. For example, Lonely Planet recently ranked Portugal as the top destination for remote workers. The report highlighted the country’s robust infrastructure, welcoming community, excellent quality of life and favorable climate.

The Portugal Golden Visa Program, launched in 2012, has become a pivotal tool for opening the country to remote workers. It underwent a major overhaul in 2023, which has further enhanced its appeal and effectiveness.

In this blog post, we will explore Portugal’s Golden Visa, examining its benefits and looking at how to navigate the program.

Understanding the Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa Program, officially known as the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program, is a five-year residence-by-investment scheme. It provides non-EU nationals with the right to live, work and study in Portugal.

One of the key attractions of this program is its relatively low physical presence requirement—only an average of seven days per year in Portugal. This makes it highly attractive to busy international professionals and investors.

Why Portugal?

International companies and investors are drawn to Portugal for a variety of reasons:

  • The legal framework calls for non-discrimination in foreign investment opportunities. This enables international companies in Portugal to more easily participate in economic sectors open to private enterprise.
  • The country scores high marks in key business areas such as cross-border trade and enforcing contracts, according to data from the World Bank. Portugal also enforces strong protection for trademarks and intellectual property (IP). 
  • Portugal continues to rise in the ranks for innovation according to the EU Innovation Scoreboard. This assessment looks at venture capital expenditures, resource productivity, business collaboration and product development.

Benefits of the Golden Visa program

  • Visa-Free Travel: The Golden Visa allows for visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, providing seamless mobility across Europe for business and leisure.
  • Citizenship Eligibility: After five years of legal residency, Golden Visa holders can apply for Portuguese citizenship while retaining other citizenship.
  • Quality of Life: Portugal offers an excellent quality of life with its rich culture, mild climate, high level of security, and exceptional healthcare and education systems.
  • Educational Opportunities: Access to high-quality international and Portuguese schools and universities is a significant draw for families considering relocation.
  • Residency Through Investment: Residency can be obtained with one of the lowest thresholds in Europe.
  • Minimal Commitment: The residence permit can be maintained by staying in Portugal for an average of just seven days per year.
  • Fast Track to Citizenship: Eligibility for Portuguese citizenship can be achieved after five years, one of the fastest routes in Europe.
  • Global Access: Portuguese citizens enjoy visa-free access to 191 countries.

Investment requirements of the Golden Visa

Applicants can qualify for the Golden Visa by choosing from investment options, which include:

  • Capital Transfer: A minimum of €500,000 in various investments can qualify an applicant. This includes research activities, cultural heritage projects and venture capital funds.
  • Business and Job Creation: An applicant can qualify by establishing a business that creates a minimum of ten new jobs. Alternatively, they can invest €500,000 in a Portuguese company. The stipulation is that the activity must maintain or create at least five permanent jobs for three years.

These options provide flexibility for investors, enabling them to align their investments with their personal and professional goals.

The role of expert, localized support

The application process for the Golden Visa involves several steps, including the qualifying investment, providing biometric data and submitting documentation. The first permit is typically issued for two years, with subsequent renewals required.

Navigating the complexities of the Golden Visa program can be daunting. Throughout this process, businesses can benefit greatly from partnering with experts who have a deep understanding of Portuguese immigration laws and the Golden Visa requirements.

Expert assistance is crucial for ensuring compliance with local regulations and maximizing the benefits of the program. Specialists in global employment and talent management can provide invaluable support, from initial application to ongoing compliance. This can help businesses and their employees make the most of the opportunities offered by the Golden Visa.

Learn more about regulations and hiring in Portugal here: Hire in Portugal | GoGlobal

Contact us to talk with a global expansion expert about how Portugal’s Golden Visa can help you achieve your business objectives.