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Golden Visa Portugal vs. Spain: Visa programs compared

golden visa portugal vs. spain

Table of Contents

The Golden Visa program is a successful immigration program where non-EU citizens can become residents in EU states by making significant investments. Several countries, such as Portugal and Spain, offer the Golden Visa Program. There are several aspects of the Golden Visa Portugal vs. Spain, such as differences in requirements, tax implications, and investment options. By understanding these aspects, you can choose which Golden Visa Program aligns better with your needs.

Overview of the most essential differences between Portugal Golden Visa and Spain Golden Visa

There is a significant difference in the residency requirement and citizenship eligibility between Spain vs. Portugal’s Golden Visa. In Portugal, individuals are eligible for citizenship after a minimum of five years of residency, while in Spain, the requirement is a minimum residency of ten years. However, Spain offers expedited privileges to citizens from its former colonies, allowing them to qualify for citizenship after only two years of residency.

The number of days individuals must spend in the country for the Golden Visa Programs in Spain and Portugal also differ. Portugal Golden Visa Program has a low stay requirement, as Portugal requires Golden Visa residents to spend an average of seven days annually in the country. In contrast, a Golden Visa in Tenerife or Spain doesn’t have such requirements, although visiting Spain at least once yearly is generally advisable.

Golden Visa investment options: Portugal vs. Spain

The most essential requirement of the Golden Visa Program is that you must make a significant investment in the country of choice. Let’s explore the Golden Visa Portugal vs. Spain investment options you have:

1. Real estate purchase

Portugal and Spain have closely similar investment options. Regarding buying real estate, both programs generally only require a minimum of €500,000 ($545,000) for the property. However, only Portugal requires discounted prices for those areas belonging to urban rehabilitation projects and low-density regions. Portugal has specific eligible Golden Visa properties.

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2. Business development

Both programs have investment routes aimed at boosting their economy. In Spain, the minimum investment option is €1 million ($1.09 million), and the requirements are that you must generate employment, the investment must have a positive socio-economic impact, and it must contribute to scientific or technological advancements.

In Portugal, there is a similar pathway named job creation. The investor must generate at least ten new full-time job positions in a Portuguese business owned by the primary applicant. Otherwise, the applicant must invest at least €500,000 ($545,000) in an existing Portuguese company, which must create at least five new full-time job positions for at least three years.

3. Capital transfer

According to the Golden Visa Spain requirements, investing a substantial amount in Spanish Treasury Bonds is also an option. The minimum investment requirement for this option is €1 million ($1.09 million). Alternatively, you can invest a minimum of €1 million ($1.09 million) in shares of Spanish companies or bank deposits with a financial institution in Spain.

Similarly, in Portugal, you can make a capital transfer of at least €1.5 million ($1.64 million) to a Portuguese bank account.

4. Donation

Only Portugal has donations as an investment option. You can make a minimum investment of €250,000 ($272,500) towards the preservation of national heritage in Portugal or engage in a research and development activity in Portugal by investing a minimum of €500,000 ($545,000).

5. Investment Fund

Another unique way in Portugal is the Golden Visa investment fund. With a minimum investment amount of €500,000 ($545,000), participants can invest in various sectors such as venture capital mutual funds, private equity, real estate, or other authorized industries. It is possible to allocate your investment across different sectors to diversify your portfolio.

The validity period of the Golden Visa in Spain and Portugal

In Spain, the initial visa is only valid for a year, which you can then extend for another five years. In Portugal, the first issuance of the Golden Visa card remains valid for two years, and upon the expiration of this period, you will need to renew it to obtain a new card that will be valid for three years.

Golden Visa document requirements for Spain and Portugal

The following documents are required for both Spain and Portugal:

  • Valid and active passport
  • Tax identification number
  • Bank account in the country of choice
  • Compliance with minimum investment options
  • Maintain the investment for five years
  • Clean criminal record
  • Stay requirement
  • Proof of legitimacy of funds
  • Health insurance

Residency and citizenship with the Golden Visa in Spain and Portugal

As mentioned, the residency requirement to obtain eventual citizenship differs significantly. In Portugal, individuals can become eligible for citizenship after residing there for at least five years. However, in Spain, the requirement is longer, with a residency period of ten years. An exception exists for citizens from former Spanish colonies, who can qualify for citizenship in just two years of residency.

Tax differences between Spain and Portugal

A Golden Visa does not automatically make you a Spain and Portugal tax resident. You must establish tax residency to be obligated to pay taxes on income earned outside the country. 

However, if you opt for real estate investments, there is a tax on rental income even if you are a non-resident. In Portugal, rental income from real estate is taxed at a flat rate of 28%, while in Spain, the rate is 24,75%.

Costs of the Golden Visa Portugal vs. Spain

There is a significant difference in the Spain vs. Portugal Golden Visa cost. The initial application process in Portugal typically costs approximately €5,000 ($5,450). Spain is more expensive at an average price of €8,000 ($8,720).

How to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal?

To get a Golden Visa in Portugal, applicants must obtain an NIF to make a qualifying investment in real estate, capital transfers, or business activities. The program offers various benefits, such as visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. We recommend reading our detailed guide for a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and application process. Applying for the Portugal Golden Visa can be done through the online portal.

How to obtain a Golden Visa in Spain?

It is essential to note that the requirements in Portugal are closely similar to the Golden Visa requirements in Spain. The only difference is the minimum investment options. So, if you want to obtain a Golden Visa in Tenerife, you can still refer to our guide.

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Do you want to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal? Thanks to our knowledge and experience in the local market, we can help with your Golden Visa and real estate matters, such as legal requirements, finding suitable properties, negotiating the best deals, and conducting due diligence.

With our expert team, you won’t have to navigate the complexities of the Portuguese market alone. For further information on how we can assist you, kindly drop your details below or email us at [email protected].

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I live in Spain with a Portuguese Golden Visa?

No, a Portuguese Golden Visa does not automatically grant you the right to live in Spain. Each program is specific to each Golden Visa country. You must apply for a separate residency permit in Spain. You can get a tourist visa for vacation in Spain and Portugal.

Is it easier to get citizenship in Spain or Portugal?

The ease of obtaining citizenship varies between Spain and Portugal. Portugal offers a more streamlined pathway to citizenship, whereas Spain requires a more extended period of continuous residency.

What visa do I need for Spain and Portugal?

You can get a Golden Visa in both Spain and Portugal. However, there are other options, such as a residence visa in Spain, a D7 Visa in Portugal, or a tourist visa for Spain and Portugal, depending on the purpose of your stay.  

Is Portugal Golden Visa gone?

The Portugal Golden Visa Program remains active, but there are talks about abolishing or doubling the investment amounts.

What is the difference between a Portugal D7 Visa and a Golden Visa?

The Portugal D7 Visa is a residence visa for individuals with passive or retirement income. It is not an investment-based visa like the Golden Visa. The D7 Visa is on demonstrating sufficient financial means to support oneself in Portugal, while the Golden Visa requires qualifying investments in the country.

Written by Monisa Ruth Simon

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