Ask A Question  | Learn more about Portugal

Is Portuguese citizenship possible after holding a Golden Visa for a few years?

I recently read a top Portuguese official saying Portuguese citizenship is not an intended outcome for participants of the country’s Golden Visa program. However, I am interested in gaining EU citizenship, likely through Portugal. Is this still a viable option for me, given the current conditions? What would help my chances of getting citizenship in Portugal after buying property there and receiving a Golden Visa?

  • Caiado Guerreiro
    May 28, 2019

    The Portuguese law of citizenship allows the application to the Portuguese nationality after the applicant holds a legal resident permit for five years, regardless the type of residence. This means that the holder of a Golden Visa can indeed, after five years, apply for Portuguese citizenship. In fact, the official site of the immigration office (SEF) confirms this possibility clearly. stating that: "The rules governing the granting of residence permit for investment (ARI / Golden Visa), in force from Oct. 8, 2012, enable third-country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit to conduct business activities with visa waiver to enter national territory. The beneficiaries of ARI / Golden Visa are entitled to: (...) applying for Portuguese citizenship, by naturalization, provided all other requirements set out by the Nationality Act are fulfilled."

  • Abreu Advogados
    April 23, 2019

    According to the law now in force, an applicant who holds a legal Portuguese resident permit for at least five years can apply for Portuguese citizenship. A Golden Visa is a legal resident permit and therefore, if the law is not amended, it is possible to apply for Portuguese citizenship after holding a Golden Visa for five years.

  • NEXT/Gali Macedo & Associados
    April 23, 2019

    By investing, for example, in a property for the minimum amount of 500,000 euros, one is eligible for the Golden Visa program. There are, however, other investment options. Either way, once you invest and apply for temporary residency, you must maintain this investment for the period of five years, complying with the temporary requirements and renewals. After one year of temporary residency, you must renew, and during that year you must have stayed seven days in Portuguese territory. After the first renewal, the temporary residency is valid for two years in which you must spend 14 days in Portuguese territory. And finally, you must renew your temporary residency after two years and spend another 14 days in Portuguese national territory. After five years, as a holder of temporary residence, you can apply for either permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship. To obtain Portuguese citizenship, apart from the requirement referred to above, you must have a basic knowledge of the Portuguese language and be able to show that you have a connection with Portugal. You show this by, for example, proving that you own a property in Portugal and proving that you visit the country regularly. You can also show it by donating to a Portuguese charity or enrolling as a member of a Portuguese football club.

  • Cidadão Legal
    April 29, 2019

    In answer to your question, yes, this is a viable option. This criterion is objective. Therefore, when acquiring property worth 500,000 euros or more, you will be able to apply for the Golden Visa and, after five years, you can apply for Portuguese naturalization. The estimate for the resident permit is three to six months after the application.

  • Ei Imigrante
    April 20, 2019

    Yes, it is possible to request Portuguese citizenship after holding the Golden Visa for five consecutive years. This is clear in the applicable law. Unless the current law has changed, once you have a Golden Visa, it needs to be renewed after one year, than after two year,s and finally after another two years (1+2+2). This is when the five-year requirement for citizenship will be fulfilled.

  • Ei Imigrante
    April 20, 2019

    Unfortunately, politicians say a lot of different things and bring uncertainty into a matter that brings big investments in Portugal. But you can rest assured, Portuguese citizenship applications are possible for Golden Visa applicants. The two main conditions need to be met: one to five years of a continuous Golden Visa residency permit (for that, you will need to maintain the investment made in Portugal); pass a Portuguese test and reaching the A2 Level on said test. Unless the law changes in the meantime, all the applications submitted under the present law will be eligible for Portuguese nationality, without a doubt.