How to become Madonna’s neighbor and get Portugal’s residence

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Kristina Ruzhilo 19.11.2018

Having resort property that grows in price every year, getting EU residence and traveling without visa inside Schengen Area… Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? It is really so for over 5 thousand investors who received Portugal’s residence in exchange for purchasing real estate in the country.

In this article, you will read about Portugal’s residence cost, the real estate market situation and some celebrities that may become your neighbors. As a bonus, we provide information about the number of resident permits issued under the state program.

How to receive Portugal’s residence: program conditions

It is significantly more beneficial to obtain Portugal’s residence in the course of the ARI program rather than to follow the standard procedure. Having received resident status in exchange for an investment, the applicant is not obliged to permanently live in Portugal or pass Portuguese language exam. The investor’s close relatives can also be listed in the application for residence.

Portugal’s residence is also the first step towards getting the EU citizenship. Five years after receiving temporary residence, you can apply for permanent residence in the country. One year later you can already have citizenship. Let’s take a look at the program requirements.

There are three ways of obtaining Portugal’s residence:

  • Purchasing real estate in the amount of at least 500,000 (or €350,000 for the constructions built over 30 years ago).
  • Investing at least 1,000,000 in Portugal’s economy.
  • Creating at least 10 job positions in the country.

Investing in immovable property is the most popular variant of obtaining residence. The obligatory condition for one to maintain resident status is to keep in possession the real estate item for at least 5 years.

Investors and their family members included in the application should not be in conflict with the law and have denial of entry to the countries of the EU. It is also important to officially prove the legal origin of the investment capital. If the persons under 26 are eligible for the resident status, the applicant should prove they are financially dependent on the applicant by providing, for example, documents from the university. Another requirement for the applicant to maintain Portugal’s residence is to live at least 7 days per year in the country. The resident status is initially issued for 1 year, after which one should renew the document once in two years.

How to become Madonna's neighbor and get Portugal's residence | Migronis

Portugal’s residence is a great opportunity to become part of the European community and use the benefits offered by this status

How much does Portugal’s Golden Visa cost?

If you chose the most popular option, which is investing into real estate, the expenses will correspond at least €350,000. However, this amount applies to the constructions having cultural value and built at least 30 years ago. Experience has shown that such buildings require costly innovation in the majority of cases. That is why it is more reasonable to buy a new house or an apartment with the value starting at €500,000. It is also allowed to purchase several real estate objects with the total value of at least half a million euro.

The applicant will be required to pay additional fees – residence fee, biometrics analysis fee, tax number fee, and fees for services of a tax representative. Moreover, one should get medical insurance. Also, don’t forget about the tax on property: purchase, sale or rent.

Famous neighbors, such as Madonna, Michael Fassbender and Monica Bellucci, are waiting for you in Portugal

In 2017, Madonna purchased an 18-century mansion worth $7,000,000 in Sintra. The Moorish Revival-style residence has a rich history: at a certain point in the past, the country’s future king, Carlos I of Portugal, spent his honeymoon here. In addition, Madonna’s son joined Benfica football team youth academy and that the boy and his sisters will be attending one of the French schools in Lisbon.

Madonna isn’t the only one who bought property in Portugal. Actor Michael Fassbender has recently purchased a $2,300,000 million apartment in a modern district of Alfama, Lisbon. The facilities of the luxury duplex include a covered terrace and a swimming pool.

John Malkovich declared his love for Lisbon in 2014. He listed 7 reasons to retire in Lisbon. The actor even used to own a restaurant in the country’s capital.

Monica Bellucci and Christian Louboutin also have apartments in Lisbon, by the way, both celebrities live in the same building. Former football player Eric Cantona is another famous person who lives in Lisbon. Designer Philippe Starck bought a house in Cascais, while ex-model Ines de la Fressange made a choice in favor of Comporta. Prosperous French people get attracted not only by the country views but also by favorable tax environment, which is of particular value after François Hollande raised tax rates in France.

Patricia Barão of the JLL real estate agency says: “We know that many celebrities move to Portugal not only because of the tax privileges but also because we have good international schools and hospitals.” Rafael Ascenso from Porta da Frente agency supports this idea: “Such factors as the existence of international schools and golf courses increase the potential of Lisbon and Cascais. It is important for celebrities to live in the country where they can have a peaceful living environment.”

What kind of immovable property can one buy in Portugal to receive residence?

There is a great variety of villas, cottages and apartments offered by the country’s real estate market.

If you prefer city life, you should take a look at the apartments in Lisbon, Cascais, Coimbra and Porto. You can buy a modern 3-5-bedroom units in a condominium for a required amount. A country house with a big garden and 4-5 bedrooms, 10-15 km from the sea, will cost €500,000. If you are ready for a more significant expenditure, you should pay attention to luxury property, which is villas overlooking the sea and having a swimming pool. The cost of such items starts at €1,000,000, but this investment can become the source of reasonable income in the future.

Not only the property in the capital but also the one in the south region, Algarve, is popular among investors.

One should carefully choose the property items for purchase. Due to the high demand in Golden Visas, many sellers overcharge for housing so that the prices reached the required minimum of €500,000. Therefore, it is important to consult experienced advisers who will allow one to estimate the real value of the property.

How to become Madonna's neighbor and get Portugal's residence | Migronis

Luxury resort complexes offer reasonable property prices for investment

Current situation in the real estate market: now is the right time to invest

Portugal’s real estate market has seen the noticeable rise in the past several years. The cost of one square meter in Lisbon is, on the one hand, affordable, compared to the costs across Europe, but on the other hand, it is growing. The price per square meter has already reached €1,200. Lisbon holds the leading position in terms of the speed of immovable property price growth. In 2017, the prices increased by 6%. However, the situation also improved in other regions during the same period of time. Experts forecast a real estate boom in Portugal in 2018.

The increase in the number of house sales in 2017 corresponded 16-19% in comparison with the previous year. This tendency is greatly connected to residence by investment program and the demand among the foreign investors. Experts point out that there has been growth in the number of young European freelancers choosing Portugal for living in the past years. This also influences the situation in the rental market, especially in the modern districts of Lisbon.

Statistics on Portugal’s residence: when figures speak for themselves

The Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program popularity is proved by the statistics.


Out of this number, 5,105 Golden Visas were issued for purchasing real estate, 299 applicants preferred the option of direct investment into the economy and only 8 investors chose to create at least 10 job positions.

Nationals of which countries showed the most interest in Portugal’s residence by investment? The unquestionable leader here is China  — 3,544 citizens of this country received Portugal’s resident status. They are followed by Brazil (451 approved applications), South Africa (214), Russia (187) and Lebanon (104). In 2013, the number of applications were only 494, starting from 2014 this figure has exceeded the 1,000 mark. In 2016, the number of applications crossed the 2,000 mark.

Since inception of the program, Portugal’s state budget has been increased by more than 3,000,000,000. This makes a significant source of the country investments and the government is likely to further contribute to the program development.

How to become Madonna's neighbor and get Portugal's residence | Migronis

Portugal’s Golden Visa is a reasonable, prestigious and safe solution

Portugal’s residence is a great opportunity to settle in the developed European country and enjoy its rights along with other EU citizens. The benefits include high level of medical services, social and political security, prestigious education for children. If you are not going to permanently live in Portugal, but you are still interested in visa-free travel inside the Schengen Area, Golden Visa should be your choice.

Apart from that, purchasing real estate in Portugal can become a beneficial investment. The local real estate market is growing fast, and in a 5-year period one can get a good profit by selling the acquired property without losing one’s resident status.

Interested in more detailed information about Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program? Contact us!

  • We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
  • We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
  • We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
  • Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
  • We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
  • We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
  • We are in touch 24/7.

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