Established in 2012, this program was a strategic response to Portugal's economic challenges during the global financial crisis. It aimed to boost foreign investment, stimulate the real estate market, and create employment opportunities, all while welcoming individuals from around the world to experience the country's rich culture, history, and lifestyle.

The Birth of the Golden Visa Program:

The Golden Visa program was born during a period of economic uncertainty when Portugal sought innovative ways to reinvigorate its economy. Its launch marked Portugal's commitment to fostering international investment and creating a favourable environment for foreign individuals and their families to establish residency.

The program originally offered several investment options, with one of the most prominent being real estate investment. Foreign investors could acquire Portuguese residency by purchasing properties with a minimum value, bringing much-needed capital into the housing sector. This real estate-driven approach led to significant interest and participation from investors worldwide.

Evolution of the Golden Visa Program:

Over the years, the Golden Visa program evolved to accommodate changing economic conditions and priorities. While the real estate investment option remained popular, concerns over potential real estate bubbles and the need to diversify investment led to a re-evaluation of the program's structure.

The recent approval of the "More Housing" bill represents the latest transformation of the Golden Visa program. It signals a shift away from real estate-centric investments toward options that promote job creation, research, cultural support, and capital investment. These changes align with Portugal's broader economic objectives and its desire to attract investors who can contribute to the country's development in diverse ways.

Update: Portugal's Golden Visa Program - The "More Housing" Bill Approved

As of the latest update, Portugal's Golden Visa program is on the verge of significant changes, with the "More Housing" bill receiving approval from both the Parliament and the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. This development marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of the program, and it's essential to understand how these changes will impact foreign investors seeking Portuguese residency.

Key Changes for the Golden Visa in the "More Housing" Bill:

1. Termination of Real Estate Investment Option: Perhaps the most significant change is the discontinuation of the real estate investment pathway, which previously allowed investors to acquire residency by investing a minimum of €280,000 in Portuguese real estate. This option will no longer be available.

2. Renewal of Authorizations: While new real estate investments won't be possible under the revamped program, investors who have already obtained authorizations will still be eligible to renew their permits. This offers continuity for existing Golden Visa participants.

New Investment Pathways:

Under the updated Golden Visa program, foreign investors can secure Portuguese residency through the following investment pathways:

1. Creation of Ten or More Jobs: Investors can create at least ten job positions in Portugal to qualify for the Golden Visa.

2. Capital Transfer for Research: A capital transfer of €500,000 or more can be applied to research activities conducted by public or private scientific institutions.

3. Investment in Cultural Heritage: Investors can transfer €250,000 or more for investment or support in artistic production, recovery, or maintenance of national cultural heritage. This investment can be made through various entities, including direct administration services, public institutes, and public foundations.

4. Capital Investment in Funds: A capital transfer of €500,000 or more is intended for the acquisition of shares in collective investment organisms, complying with specific types of funds governed by Portuguese law.

5. Incorporation of Commercial Company: Investors can transfer capital equal to or greater than €500,000 for the incorporation of a commercial company with a registered office in Portugal, combined with the creation of five permanent jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of an existing Portuguese company.

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Client;

Immediate Implications:

With these changes, the Golden Visa program is shifting its focus away from real estate investment and towards job creation, research, cultural support, and capital investment. While the termination of real estate investment options may disappoint some investors, the program remains attractive for those willing to explore alternative pathways to Portuguese residency.


Portugal's Golden Visa program has entered a new era with the approval of the "More Housing" bill. Foreign investors seeking the Portuguese Golden Visa should carefully consider the updated investment options and seek professional guidance to navigate these changes effectively. The program's continued popularity seems to be swaying toward investment in Golden Visa eligible funds.

If you are wanting direct access to an eligible Golden Visa fund, please contact Jessica Coetzee at

Disclaimer: This article provides an overview of the approved "More Housing" bill and its impact on Portugal's Golden Visa program. Readers are encouraged to verify the latest regulations and consult with legal experts before making investment decisions.

Alex Ohnona - Founding Partner of Vida Capital