Our readers may notice we write about certain topics and countries often, and Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program is no exception. As one of Europe’s most prominent Residency by Investment Programs, or a “Golden Visa” as they’re commonly called, Portugal offers non-EU citizens the opportunity to acquire permanent residency through real estate purchase for a minimum of EUR 500,000 (or EUR 350,000 if conditions are met).
Portugal’s Golden Visa Program was launched by the Portuguese government in 2012, whose aims were to attract high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and their capital to the country’s economy. Through foreign investment in real estate, the Portuguese economy has continued to grow and thrive since the Golden Visa Program was first introduced.
Indeed, Portugal’s Golden Visa has garnered notoriety among European Residency by Investment schemes over the past five years. The country’s success has mainly been concentrated in the capital city of Lisbon, which has become the number one choice for foreign investors. However, the overwhelming popularity of Lisbon’s real estate market has inadvertently caused delays in processing applications for Portuguese Golden Visa residency and renewal permits—but not to worry.
With mounting processing times affecting the Lisbon area, prospective investors are turning their attention to other areas: Porto. As Portugal’s second most populous locale on the Douro River, the city of Porto offers investors the characteristic beauty of Lisbon and prime real estate opportunities at a more affordable price. In fact, Porto’s urban areas are often compared to the Lisbon’s favored Chaido district, where real estate prices have doubled, if not tripled over the last decade.
At present, real estate in Porto is about 30-40% less than in Lisbon with rates of income return on rental properties substantially higher than in the south. If these numbers seem surprising, it’s because they are considering Porto’s beach-front position on the Iberian Peninsula, modern infrastructure, and vibrant cultural history as one of the world’s oldest cities in Europe. By comparison to Lisbon’s current property market quandary, it’s no wonder that foreign investors are turning their attention north and clearly for good reason.
So why aren’t investors jumping at the chance to acquire property in Porto, as they are in Lisbon? The answer to that question is due to the city’s obsolete laws for real estate investment, particularly concerning rental property. After a legislative overhaul in 2012, Porto’s real estate markets are climbing in status with income returns on rental properties that eclipse yields found in Lisbon.
When combined with the added benefits of acquiring Portugal’s Golden Residency Permit, purchasing property in Porto is steadily becoming an irresistible prospect for foreign investors. In addition to attractive (and profitable) sea front property, obtaining residency in Portugal provides qualified investors full access to the Schengen region, as well as the ability to live, work, or study anywhere in the country. Residents of Portugal are also eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship after a period of 5 years, but only need to fulfill residency requirements of 7 days within a single year.
Over the last decade, property markets have steadily shifted from Lisbon to Porto. Paired with recent development projects that have added a number of modern restaurants and cafés to the city’s urban sprawl, foreign investors are now looking farther north of the capital for more affordable real estate options.
Are you interested in real estate investment in Portugal? Contact our office today to discuss Residency by Investment opportunities with one of Europe’s most desirable Golden Visa Programs.
For more information on Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program, please click here
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