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Life after Golden Visa - your options

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

One of the questions I am asked most often is “What are my options after I complete 5 years of the Portugal Golden Visa?”. In this post I will shed some light on the rights and obligations after you have received your Portugal Golden Visa.


(For tax implications of Portugal Golden Visa or Residency options, please refer to my blog post here)



Upon Receipt of Golden Visa (Years 1 to 5)

The “Golden Visa” is a Temporary Resident Permit that allows the holder to:


1. Live, work, study in Portugal as a full-time resident

2. Travel visa-free to any Schengen country for up to 90 days in any 180-day period (only visit, you cannot work or study in any other country with this visa)

3. Enjoy the benefits of the Portuguese Healthcare & Education system –

a. Free healthcare for those under 18 and over 65 years of age

b. Partly free/subsidized for others, medication administered at hospitals is free

c. Free tuition in Portuguese public schools, selective benefits in other institutions

4. Minimum stay in Portugal is only 14 days every 2 years. If you choose NOT to live In Portugal, you need to only ensure you are there at least for this minimum period.


The Golden Visa has a validity of 2 years (as per current practice) and must be renewed every 2 years. Therefore, after the first issue, there must be at least 2 renewals – end of 2nd year and end of 4th year – for the continuous 5-year validity of the residence.



After 5 years of valid Temporary Residence (Golden Visa)

After completing 5 years of the Golden Visa residency, you have 3 options:


1. Apply for Portuguese Citizenship

You are eligible to apply for Portuguese Citizenship, for which you need to pass a Portuguese Language Test (Level A2 or more). You will also need to prove that you have accommodation in Portugal (owned or rented) and a steady income. The process can take 12-24 months.


As a Portuguese Citizen:

a. You can live, work, study anywhere in the European Union (not limited to Portugal)

b. There is no minimum stay requirement in Portugal

c. No need to own a property or hold an eligible investment (you can dispose of your Golden Visa investment)

d. You are entitled to all the health & social security benefits of a Portuguese citizen


Do bear in mind that India does not allow Dual Citizenship as of now, so Indian citizens will automatically lose their India citizenship upon acquiring Portuguese Citizenship.


2. Apply for Permanent Residency

You may choose to apply for a PR, for which also you must pass a Portuguese Language Test (Level A2 or more). You will need to prove that you have accommodation in Portugal (owned or rented) and a steady income. The process can take 12-24 months.


As a Permanent Resident:

a. You can live, work and study in Portugal as a full-time resident

b. Travel visa-free to any Schengen country for up to 90 days in any 180-day period (only visit, you cannot work or study in any other country with this visa)

c. No need to own a property or hold an eligible investment (you can dispose of your Golden Visa investment

d. You are entitled to all the health & social security benefits of a Portuguese citizen

e. While there is no “minimum stay” requirement as such, the rules are:

i. The holder of a permanent Residence Permit who intends to be absent from Portugal, for a period exceeding twenty four consecutive months or, in a timeframe of three years, be absent thirty non-sequential months, has a duty to inform SEF before leaving national territory

ii. The holder of any other Long Term Residence Title, may not be absent from European Union territory for a period equal to or exceeding 12 consecutive months, or from national territory for a period equal to or exceeding six consecutive years, failing which the loss of such title may ensue.


The PR must be renewed every five years. You, of course, continue to hold your Indian (or any other) nationality.


3. Renew your Golden Visa

After 5 consecutive years of holding the Golden Visa, you also have the option of simply renewing it for another 2 years, as before (i.e. at the end of the 6th year before expiry), provided the Golden Visa programme is still in force. You will continue to enjoy the same benefits of the Golden Visa as before (including the reduced minimum stay).


However, you must continue to maintain your Golden Visa investment as before (although you may replace the investment, disposing of the older investment only AFTER the new investment is made). You must also satisfy all the other requirements such as clear criminal record, minimum stay, fees and biometrics.



Finally, you have the prerogative of withdrawing from the Golden Visa at any time – simply dispose of your investment, or do not renew the card upon expiry of its two-year validity.


The Portugal Golden Visa programme is not only flexible with a very low minimum stay, it also provides a clear path to Permanent Residency or Citizenship, making it among the most popular Residency By Investment programmes in the EU.


Disclaimer: The above information is provided on a best-effort basis. Please do check the rules in force and consult a legal professional in Portugal before making any decision.



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