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There are dozens of residency and citizenship by investment programs and Portugal is a top choice for people seeking EU residency as it is more business-friendly than a lot of its competitors.

In 2012, Portugal launched its citizenship by investment program, but unlike most others where you can get your citizenship in a few months, Portugal’s program requires you to first acquire a residency permit known as the golden visa.

The Portugal residency by Investment program is a step to freedom for many people with poorly rated passports as Portugal’s passport is rated 6th and can get you visa-free entry or visa on arrival into 186 countries.

For some others like US citizens, the Portugal residency programs give you a chance to finally be free from bogus tax laws from the IRS and the ability to live and work in the European Union.

What is the Golden Visa?

The golden visa program is Portugal’s residency option that grants investors a residency permit and sets you on your way to a second passport.

To get the golden visa, an investor needs to invest 500,000 Euros or 350,000 Euros into a real estate program approved by the government.

This will grant you a golden visa for your family including dependent children. The visa needs to be renewed every two years and the holder is required to spend at least 7 days every year to renew the visa.

You can also get a residency permit if you’re a pensioner collecting at least $1,200 a month.

To get this type of permit, enter the country on a 120-day visa with all your documents including a police report and proof of pension. You can then apply for a 1-year residency easily. This residency can be renewed successively every two years.

After 5 years you can then apply for a permanent residency.

How to Get the Golden Visa

To get a second passport from Portugal, you need to have a clean criminal record and have no outstanding unpaid taxes in Portugal. You also need to pass a basic language test.

When this is complete you can then submit the necessary documents for processing. You then need to purchase a real estate property of at least 500,000 euros or at least 400,000 euros in a low-density area.

There’s a reduced option where you can buy a property of at least 350,000 euros in an urban rehabilitation area or 280,000 euro in a low-density urban rehabilitation area.

After the application, it will take 6 months to get naturalized in Portugal.

How to Get a Second Passport from Portugal

To get a second passport from Portugal, you need to have renewed your golden visa for 5 years, after which you can apply for a permanent residency or a second passport.

Obtaining a second passport from Portugal after the golden visa is a more straightforward process.

Portugal allows you to hold dual citizenship so you do not need to renounce your first passport. You however will need to check with your home country if holding dual citizenship is allowed.

Benefits of Having a Second Passport from Portugal

If you’re not yet sold on getting a second passport from Portugal through their residency by investment program, this will surely convince you.

Access to the EU

This is one of the biggest pulls to owning a Portuguese passport. You have access to the EU. You can live, work and study anywhere in the EU.

This is especially important for citizens of countries outside of the EU where it would have been otherwise difficult to access this region.

Tax Relief

Although Portugal cannot boast of having the best tax program it does have a more relaxed tax structure for people looking to protect their wealth.

Visa-Free Entry into 186 Countries

Portugal’s passport is the joint 6th strongest passport in the world ahead of even the US. This passport grants you visa-free access into 186 countries letting you travel freely across the world.

Quality of Life

The standard of living and quality of life obtained in Portugal is fantastic with access to basic amenities, good schools, and healthcare. Living in Portugal with the family will be a great experience.


Getting a residency in Portugal through the investment program is straightforward but unlike many other programs, to get a second passport from Portugal will take you 5 years. The opportunity a Portugal passport brings makes it worth the wait.