As of October 7th, 2023, the Portuguese Government has officially closed the door on Golden Visas for real estate investments. This announcement has left many potential investors wondering about their immigration prospects and the opportunities available in Portugal. While the traditional Golden Visa avenue is no longer an option for real estate, there are still viable alternatives to obtaining Golden Visas through investment. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the remaining pathways to Portuguese residency and citizenship, including Golden Visas via investment funds, D7 visas, and D2 visas, offering valuable insights into the changing landscape of Portuguese immigration.
Investment Funds: The Only Golden Visa Option Remaining
Investing in these funds has always been a choice, but the allure of property investment, being inherently more risk-averse, has overshadowed this option. The elimination of Golden Visas for real estate has prompted many to explore alternatives, leading to a surge in interest in investment funds.
However, it’s important to note that most investment funds carry significant risks due to their inherent nature. For instance, some funds invest in startups, a gamble that can result in either substantial gains or losses.
In an effort to mitigate these risks, we conducted extensive interviews with numerous investment fund managers. Through this research, we identified a particularly secure investment opportunity: a chain of private schools planning expansion in Lisbon. These schools, renowned as the most prestigious in the region, boast a stellar reputation and a track record of success spanning several years. Notably, they have consistently provided investors with substantial returns, often ahead of schedule.
For individuals who once believed their options were limited after the closure of real estate-focused Golden Visas, it’s reassuring to know that while traditional real estate avenues are no longer available, viable alternatives persist in the form of carefully selected investment funds.
D7 Visas: Embracing Passive Income
Many prospective applicants exploring Golden Visas might be unaware of the viable alternative – the D7 visa in Portugal. Unlike the hefty investments required for Golden Visas, the D7 visa demands a modest income of €765 per month from sources like rent, dividends, or pensions. For those lacking passive income, there’s the option to invest in a property with yields exceeding €765, making them eligible for the D7 visa application.
Similar to the Golden Visa, the D7 visa offers a pathway to Portuguese citizenship and a passport upon completion of the term. However, a significant contrast lies in the residency requirement. While the Golden Visa mandates only a brief stay of a week or two in the country, the D7 visa necessitates applicants to become tax residents and spend over 183 days per year in Portugal.
D2 Visas: Entrepreneurial Ventures and Investments
The D2 visa in Portugal presents a compelling opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs. Notably, it lacks a strict minimum investment requirement, although a recommended amount of €50k is suggested. To qualify, applicants must either establish their own business or invest in an existing one.
One of the major advantages of the D2 visa, akin to the Golden Visa, is its absence of mandatory stay requirements. This flexibility is further enhanced by a provision in the law
where applicants qualify for an exemption if they can prove that their absence is required due to professional or business commitments, or cultural and social engagements. Consequently, this feature makes the D2 visa especially attractive to highly skilled individuals who are unable to dedicate all their time to Portugal.
One example investment is a unique and innovative proptech company. This particular strategic move has a perk where investors don’t pay buyer’s commissions on property transactions for the investor, potentially saving up to 5% on any transaction. Depending on the price of the property being purchased the investment fees are recouped upon property purchase making this option particularly advantageous for individuals aspiring to buy property in Portugal.
In conclusion, although the traditional Golden Visa route centered around real estate investments has come to an end in Portugal, a diverse array of alternative options remains accessible for aspiring immigrants. Investment funds offer a secure path for those willing to conduct thorough due diligence, providing opportunities in established and successful ventures. The D7 visa appeals to individuals with consistent passive income, encouraging a steady financial flow into the Portuguese economy. Entrepreneurs and investors find solace in the flexibility of the D2 visa, allowing them to balance their international commitments while establishing a foothold in Portugal.
In this evolving landscape, it’s crucial for potential immigrants to explore these alternative pathways, understanding their requirements and benefits thoroughly. By embracing the changing dynamics of Portuguese immigration policies, individuals can find viable routes to residency and potentially, citizenship. The end of the Golden Visa era for real estate marks the beginning of a new chapter, where innovative approaches and diverse investment avenues redefine the immigrant experience in Portugal.
Scott Kirk is the founder of Visas.pt and many online communities such as “Moving to Portugal” and “Living in Portugal” which boast over 545,000 members and 2.4m monthly visits. You can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Whatsapp at +351 918 410 171 with any questions or comments about this article.