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List of the main differences between golden visa programs in Spain and in Portugal

Portugal and Spain offer a residency program by investment that allows you to deposit a specific amount of money in the country, and in return, you receive a residence permit. The most significant advantage of an investment program is that you become a resident in Spain or Portugal much quicker than with other visas. 

While Portugal’s golden visa program and Spain’s golden visa program are similar in principle, there are notable differences between the two, and you can apply for whichever program suits you best. 

Differences Between Portugal Golden Visa and Spain Golden Visa

There are several differences between Portugal and Spain’s Golden visa where some of the main differences include: 

Portugal Golden Visa Spain Golden Visa 
Minimum investment of €250,000Minimum investment of €500,000
Maximum investment of €1 millionMaximum investment of €2 million
Citizenship after five yearsCitizenship after ten years
Residence period is 35 days for five yearsResidence period is 183 days a year
Application fee: €5,147Application fee: €8,000

Portugal Golden Visa VS Spain Investment Options 

Spain and Portugal offer several investment options that you can choose from: 

Purchase real estate valued at at least €500,000.Buy a property with a minimum amount of €500,000.
Invest in a property that is a part of Portugal’s generation area— an amount of at least €350,000.Buy shares in a Spanish company priced at a minimum of €1,000,000.
Deposit at least €1 million in a bank in Portugal.Deposit at least €1 million in a bank in Spain.
Deposit a minimum amount of €350,000 in an investment fund in Portugal.Submit at least €2 million towards Spanish public debt.
Invest a minimum amount of €350,000 towards scientific research.
Invest a minimum amount of €250,000 in arts. 
Buy shares or invest in a Portugal company valued at least €1 million.

Portugal offers a more diverse citizenship investment program, and you can find more investment options in Portugal than Spain

Portugal Golden Visa VS Spain Requirements

For Spain’s and Portugal’s investment program, you have to meet the following qualifying criteria: 

  • You have to be over 18. 
  • You must prove that you can invest the required amount for the program. 
  • You must have enough funds to finance your stay. 
  • You do not have a criminal record. 

Portugal Golden Visa VS Spain Validity Period 

Portugal’s investment program visa is issued for a year the first time, and then you have to renew your permit every two years; eventually, five years later, you can apply for a permanent permit. 

On the other hand, Spain’s investment visa is valid for two years, after which you’re free to renew it every two years. Similar to Portugal, you can apply for a permanent residence permit five years after maintaining your temporary permit. 

Residency Requirement for Portugal Golden Visa VS Spain

Spain’s and Portugal’s investment program is a pathway to citizenship, but you must meet the residency requirements to qualify for a Spanish or Portuguese passport: 

Portugal Spain
Temporary permit: issued for a yearTemporary permit: issued for two years
Permanent permit: issued after five yearsPermanent permit: issued after five years
Citizenship: eligible to apply after five yearsCitizenship: eligible to apply after ten years
Days spent in the country: 35 days within five yearsDays spent in the country: 183 days per year within the ten years

Portugal Golden Visa Fees VS Spain Golden Visa

When you apply for an investment visa you have to pay the required application fee which is different depending on where you are applying— Portugal or Spain: 

Application fee for the main applicant: €5,147Application fee for the main applicant: €8,000
Application fee for family members: €5,147Family program fee: €10,500
Renewal fee: €2,573Renewal fee: €2,500

Please note that you are also required to pay government processing fees which can go up to €5,000 depending on the country. 

How Will a Golden Visa Benefit Me?

An investment visa in Portugal and Spain allows you to qualify for permanent residence quicker than other citizenship pathways (work or marriage). In addition to this, you can obtain EU citizenship after five years (ten in Spain), after which you will benefit from a European passport: 

  • You will have the freedom to live and work in any EU country. 
  • You will have consular protection from every EU country when travelling abroad. 
  • You will have voting rights in the EU parliament. 
  • You will have access to national health care plans. 

Things to Keep in Mind 

When you apply for an investment visa, you have to keep in mind the following aspects: 

  • Taxes. You have to keep in mind that as long as you are not a full-time resident in Spain or Portugal, i.e., you won’t spend more than 183 days in the country, you are not required to pay residency taxes. However, if you choose to buy a property, you must pay municipal taxes and property taxes. 
  • Family members. When you apply for an investment program, you can bring your family members with you. But, you must keep in mind that you have to pay additional fees for every additional applicant, and your investment may be increased. 
  • Financial means. You need to have enough money first to invest in the country and then enough money to hold and maintain your investment during the five and ten years. 
  • Dual citizenship. You can usually obtain dual citizenship via an investment program. However, you have to keep in mind that your home country must also allow dual citizenship. 
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