Unlocking Golden Visa Portugal: A Guide for South Africans

As a blog traveller who has lived in several countries across the globe, I have come to realize that one of the biggest challenges of moving abroad is obtaining the necessary visas and documentation to live and work in a foreign land. This is especially true for South Africans, who often face a myriad of visa restrictions and bureaucratic hurdles when it comes to travelling and working in other countries.

However, there is one country that offers an enticing solution to this problem – Portugal. As a South African who has lived in Portugal for several years, I can attest to the benefits and advantages of the Golden Visa program. This innovative program offers a unique path to residency and citizenship for South Africans, making it easier than ever before to live and work in Europe.

Through the Golden Visa program, South Africans can obtain residency in Portugal by making a qualifying investment, such as investing in real estate or creating a new business. This investment opens the door to a range of benefits, including access to healthcare, education, and a high standard of living. Additionally, the Golden Visa program offers a path to citizenship and the ability to travel freely throughout the European Union.

As someone who has personally gone through the process of obtaining a Golden Visa in Portugal, I can say that it is a straightforward and efficient process. The legal and financial aspects of the program can be complex, but with the right guidance and advice, it is a simple and accessible option for South Africans looking to move abroad.

In this guide, we will explore the ins and outs of the Golden Visa program, including the investment options, the application process, and the benefits and drawbacks of obtaining residency in Portugal. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor, or simply someone looking to explore new horizons, the Golden Visa program could be the perfect solution to your expat dreams. So, let’s dive in and discover everything you need to know about the Golden Visa Portugal for South Africans.

Can I live in Portugal with a South African passport?

As a South African passport holder, you might be wondering if it’s possible to live and work in Portugal. The answer is yes, but there are certain requirements you need to meet. In this guide, we’ll explore the Golden Visa Portugal program and how it can benefit South Africans seeking to move to Portugal.

What is the Golden Visa Portugal program?

The Golden Visa Portugal program is a residency by investment scheme that allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residency permit by investing in Portugal. The program was launched in 2012 and has become increasingly popular among South Africans seeking to live and work in Europe.

How does the Golden Visa Portugal program work?

To obtain a Golden Visa, South African citizens must make an investment of at least €500,000 in Portugal. The investment can be made in several ways, including:

– Real estate: Purchase a property worth at least €500,000
– Business investment: Invest at least €350,000 in a Portuguese company
– Capital transfer: Transfer at least €1 million to a Portuguese bank account
– Job creation: Create at least 10 jobs in Portugal

Once the investment is made, the applicant can apply for a residency permit, which is valid for one year. The permit can be renewed for another two years, and after five years, the applicant can apply for permanent residence or citizenship.

What are the benefits of the Golden Visa Portugal program?

Besides obtaining a residency permit in Portugal, there are several benefits to the Golden Visa Portugal program, including:

– Visa-free travel: Holders of a Portuguese residency permit can travel visa-free within the Schengen area.
– Family reunification: The applicant’s family members can also obtain residency permits.
– Tax benefits: Non-habitual residents of Portugal can benefit from a favorable tax regime.
– High-quality of life: Portugal is known for its high quality of life, excellent weather, and affordable cost of living.

Is Portugal visa free for South Africans?


If you’re a South African considering a move to Portugal, one of the first things you may be wondering is whether or not you need a visa to enter the country. In this article, we’ll explore the visa requirements for South Africans interested in moving to Portugal, as well as the popular Golden Visa program for investors.

Visa Requirements for South Africans

Unfortunately, South Africans are not visa-free when it comes to entering Portugal. As a South African citizen, you will need to apply for a visa in order to enter the country. There are several types of visas available, including short-stay visas for tourism or business purposes, as well as long-stay visas for employment or study.

Short-Stay Visas

If you’re planning a short visit to Portugal for tourism or business purposes, you’ll need to apply for a Schengen visa. This type of visa allows you to stay in Portugal and the other countries in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. The application process typically takes about 15 days, so be sure to apply well in advance of your planned trip.

Long-Stay Visas

If you’re planning to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a long-stay visa. There are several types of long-stay visas available, depending on your reason for staying in Portugal. For example, if you’re planning to work in Portugal, you’ll need to apply for a work visa. If you’re planning to study in Portugal, you’ll need to apply for a student visa.

The Golden Visa Program

If you’re interested in investing in Portugal, the Golden Visa program may be a viable option for you. This program allows non-EU citizens, including South Africans, to obtain a residency permit in Portugal in exchange for certain investments in the country.

Investment Requirements

To qualify for the Golden Visa program, you’ll need to make one of the following investments in Portugal:

  • €500,000 or more in real estate
  • €350,000 or more in real estate that’s more than 30 years old or located in an urban regeneration area
  • €350,000 or more in research and development activities
  • €250,000 or more in arts, culture, or heritage projects
  • €500,000 or more in small or medium-sized Portuguese companies

Benefits of the Golden Visa Program

Once you’ve obtained a Golden Visa, you’ll be able to:

  • Live and work in Portugal for up to five years
  • Travel freely within the Schengen Area
  • Apply for permanent residency after five years
  • Apply for Portuguese citizenship after six years

How much investment is needed for Portugal Golden Visa?

If you’re a South African looking to invest in Portugal, you might be interested in the Portugal Golden Visa program. This program offers residency to non-EU citizens who invest in the country, and it has quickly become one of the most popular residency-by-investment programs in Europe. But how much do you need to invest to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa?

Investment options

The Portugal Golden Visa program offers several different investment options, including real estate, capital transfer, and job creation. The most popular option is investing in Portuguese real estate, as it offers the most flexibility and potential return on investment.

Real estate investment

To qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa through a real estate investment, you must purchase property that is worth at least €500,000. This investment can be spread across multiple properties, as long as each property is worth at least €500,000. You’ll also need to provide proof that you’ve paid for the property in full, and that the funds came from outside of Portugal.

Capital transfer

If you don’t want to invest in real estate, you can also qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa by transferring at least €1 million into a Portuguese bank account. You can then use this money to invest in Portuguese businesses or stocks.

Job creation

Finally, you can qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa by creating at least 10 jobs in Portugal. This option is less popular than the other two, as it requires a lot more effort and investment.

Additional costs

In addition to the investment itself, there are a few additional costs to consider when applying for the Portugal Golden Visa. These include:

  • Legal fees for processing the application
  • Notary fees for signing the purchase agreement
  • Property transfer tax (6% to 8% of the property value)
  • Annual maintenance fees for the property

Final thoughts

While the investment requirements are fairly steep, the potential return on investment and the benefits of Portuguese residency make it a worthwhile option to consider. If you’re interested in learning more, it’s always a good idea to consult with a local immigration lawyer or real estate agent who can guide you through the process.

Can South Africans retire in Portugal?

With a growing number of South Africans looking for an alternative retirement destination, Portugal has become a popular choice due to its mild climate, high standard of living, and affordable cost of living. But can South Africans retire in Portugal?

The Golden Visa Program

The Golden Visa program was introduced in Portugal in 2012 to attract foreign investors and boost the economy. The program offers residency to non-EU citizens who invest a minimum of €500,000 in Portuguese real estate or create at least ten jobs in the country.

South Africans are eligible for the Golden Visa program, which allows them to live and work in Portugal, as well as travel visa-free throughout the Schengen area. This means that South Africans can retire in Portugal if they meet the requirements of the program.

Benefits of Retiring in Portugal

Retiring in Portugal offers many benefits, including:

  • Mild climate with over 300 days of sunshine per year
  • High standard of living with affordable cost of living
  • Excellent healthcare system
  • Safe and welcoming environment
  • Easy access to other European countries

Practical Tips for Retiring in Portugal

Before making the move to Portugal, there are a few practical tips to consider:

  • Learn the language: although English is widely spoken, it is important to learn some Portuguese in order to fully integrate into the local community
  • Research the different regions: Portugal has many beautiful regions, each with its own unique culture and attractions. Researching different regions will help you decide where to settle down
  • Consider healthcare options: while Portugal has an excellent healthcare system, it is important to research different healthcare options and ensure you have adequate medical coverage
  • Connect with other expats: joining expat groups and communities can help you connect with other retirees and make new friends
  • Work with a reputable real estate agent: working with a reputable real estate agent can help you find the right property and navigate the buying process

With the Golden Visa program, it is easier than ever to make the move and enjoy all that Portugal has to offer.

The suspension of Portugal’s golden visa program has come as a shock for many investors and expats who were eyeing the country as a destination for investment and relocation. While the future of the program remains uncertain, it is important to note that Portugal still remains an attractive destination for expats due to its rich culture, friendly locals and affordable lifestyle. With the right guidance and information, navigating the legal aspects of visas, citizenship programs, and golden visas can become a lot easier. As such, it is recommended that interested parties seek the services of qualified professionals before making any investment decisions. With a little bit of patience and due diligence, Portugal will continue to be a top destination for those seeking the expat life.


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