Gaining Entry to an EU Passport – Portugal Golden Visa


We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard of the Portugal Golden Visa (GV) – it’s the most popular residency-by-investment scheme in the world giving access to an EU passport. Here, the team from Property Smith tells us more about it.

The Portugal Golden Visa Programme

Since 2012, more than 10,000 investors and a further 17,000 qualifying family members of international investors have obtained residency through the GV programme. Almost €7 billion has been raised over the last 10 years.

A Portuguese passport and property isn’t necessarily about moving to Portugal; however, it is one of the few remaining ways to gain access to an EU passport for non-EU nationals and your children, without physically moving here.

Portugal - for article on Golden Visa residency by investment scheme giving access to an EU passport

As a reminder, Portugal’s GV Program provides you with a permit, and the right (not obligation) to live in Portugal for five years. After this time, you become eligible to apply for an EU passport and you get Portuguese citizenship; with that, you get the freedom to live, work and travel within the EU’s 26 Schengen countries.

This in turn gives you access to:

  • the best schools and universities in Europe (often for free);
  • healthcare in all 26 Schengen countries (also usually for free!);
  • visa-free travel to 185 countries including the US, Canada and Japan; and.
  • right of unlimited stay, travel and work in the following countries:

What are the 26 Schengen countries?

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

In most circumstances, that same EU citizenship can be obtained for your children and parents, and be passed on to future generations of your family

The benefits in more detail

Visa-free travel

No need to apply for a visa or be restricted to 90 days in 180 when visiting any of the 26 Schengen countries. You can travel freely, cross borders and remain there indefinitely.


No need to obtain an employee-subsidised work visa. Don’t forget, employers prefer applicants without those complicated and sometimes costly visas, especially if they are internationally aware and freely mobile. Study You, your children and generations after will have access to some of the best schools in the world and, in most circumstances, for free or with heavily subsidised tuition fees. EU member countries offer university places to EU citizens as a priority and usually at lower cost.


With rising healthcare costs globally, having access to free or very low cost healthcare has never been more important. Moreover, member states of the EU have a reciprocal agreement meaning you receive the same care and attention in any of the 26 countries.

Visa by investment into an EU country is an investment into you and your family’s future. It’s an insurance policy against economic and political risk and, arguably, at least as important as saving money for school fees or for your pension.

How to get a Golden Visa and an EU passport

At the end of 2021, certain areas and property types were removed from the eligible list. However, commercial properties in all prime locations still qualify, and the minimums for investment can be as low as €280,000.

As a company, we focus on the best locations in Portugal’s prime investment growth areas, such as the Algarve, Porto and Lisbon. Typically, these are touristic properties such as serviced apartments and villas, and, as we’re based in Portugal, we conduct due diligence on the ground (not from a distance). We look for:

#1 Track record of developer

#2 Clear route to exit

#3 Attractive income

#4 Capital appreciation

Find out more at

This article first appeared in the Winter 2022/23 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.


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