Portugal, the Gateway to Europe

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Portugal, the Gateway to Europe

An article by Henry Kent, an International Financial Adviser at Holborn Assets.

Portugal has emerged as one of Europe’s most appealing destinations in recent years with its Golden Visa program now been considered as the gateway to Europe, providing investors with a path to obtaining a residency permit, and eventually citizenship, in one of the world’s most popular destinations in the world.

Portugal Golden Visa Final statistics for 2022

December saw 151 main application approvals, the result of €79.16 Million of investments, making it the best month for the program since June 2020. For the year as a whole, the program recorded 1,281 approvals, the highest such number since 2018 and a 48% improvement on 2021.

With 216 approved main applicants, more than double the number from 2021, Americans became the single-largest investor group for that year.

As expected, the overwhelming majority of applicants choosing the real estate investment for reasons that I covered in my article, Golden Visa Investment Options

Below you can see the final breakdown for 2022:


Similar to Portugal’s Golden Visa program, Spain offers an investor visa program that is growing in popularity. Between January to June 2019 alone, 848 residency applications were approved, and as of 2021, 13,000 Golden Visas were approved according to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

But what is behind the program’s popularity and how does it compare to the Portugal Golden Visa?

Spain vs Portugal Golden Visa Benefits:

When it comes to the Golden Visa, Portugal and Spain both provide fantastic benefits.

  • Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area (27 EU countries).
  • The right to live, work, and study in the country
  • Family members can gain residency through the Family Reunification procedure
  • Access to international quality healthcare clinics and hospitals.

Spain vs Portugal Golden Visa Requirements:



Application Time:

The Spanish application processing time is faster than Portugal. Once the paperwork is submitted, it usually takes around 20 business days for the visa to be approved. Portugal on the other hand, processing time is comparably slower, it can take up to 18 months after the online submission.

Tax Considerations

One of the most significant advantages of the Portuguese Golden Visa is the Non-Habitual Residency Tax status, which allows individuals to benefit from tax exemptions for the first 10 years of your residency. Of course, you’ll have to be a tax resident in Portugal to qualify. Spain on the other hand, taxes those living for 183 days or less in the country a flat 24% tax rate on income earned there, like rental income. For those living over 183 days per year in Spain, you’ll pay taxes on all income earned globally.

Portugal has a number of benefits that make it a better choice for investors. Portugal has a shorter residency requirement than Spain, only needing 5 years as opposed to 10 years.

In terms of financial requirements, the Portuguese Golden Visa has a lower minimum investment, making it more accessible to a wider range of investors. The program also offers a range of investment options, including real estate, investment funds, and research and development projects, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs.

Ultimately, both the Spanish and Portuguese Golden Visas have advantages and disadvantages. For investors looking for a residency permit in Europe who want citizenship in a shorter amount of time, less restrictive financial requirements, and attractive tax advantages, the Portuguese Golden Visa might be the best choice for you.

Holborn Assets is an established firm with multiple international offices spanning the globe, we provide a professional advisory and implementation services to a select group of private clients. Our specialists work with some of the world’s most established and popular visa programs, law firms, developers, and financial institutions. This allows us to provide clients with a complete end-to-end service.

To speak with one of our consultants, follow THIS link to arrange a free consultation.


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