Portugal offers two golden visa routes, which can be most affordable package for investors, if they know where to invest. Quite often many get confused with the two options. The most important difference between the two routes is Cultural route is ‘donation’ non-refundable investment, whereas Artistic production is a ‘refundable’ investment that can also produce returns. The Portuguese government requires a minimum 200,000 euros (20% discount from 250,000) for both cultural and artistic routes, to be eligible under ARI golden visa conditions. It is the only route where reduced investment possible in low density regions.  Previous real estate route was eligible for discount, but since Oct 7, 2023, the property route has been terminated for golden visas. Note that Artistic production may be interesting for GV investors, since invested capital a recoverable investment.

Legal Background

Article 3. of Foreigners Law (Law No. 23/2007, of July 4th) permits that carry out tasks in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage to receive a residence permit for Investment activity (ARI).

The Order No. 2360/2017, of March 20, approves the regulation regarding the issuance of the declaration attesting the effective transfer of capital for the purposes of residence permit for investment in the cultural sector, and establishes the rules applicable to the issuance of that declaration.

1.Cultural Heritage

This route is involves non-refundable, donation to cultural heritage projects in Portugal. For example to Museum, archeology, monuments, refurbishment of national heritage sites and monuments. The minimum investment required is €250,000 euro (in major cities) and €200,000 (in low density regions NUTS III).  The investment is reduced 20% in Low density regions, eligible for Golden Visa. The GEPAC (Gabinete de Estratégia, Planeamento e Avaliação Culturais) is the competent authority to provide certificate for this kind of investment in cultural sector. and the government will file GV application with the immigration authority on your behalf by a legal representative.

2.Artistic Production

Foreigners can make an investment in artistic projects in Portugal. For example, art, music, dance, paintings, cinema, theatre, film production. Under this route, minimum €250,000 euro required (refundable investment) or €200,000 in Low density regions. (reduced 20%) are eligible for Golden visa. The Direção Geral das Artes (DGArtes) is an organization of the Ministry of Culture of Portugal is responsible for approving investment applications for artistic projects. Filing the application for Golden visa must be done by legal representative.

Here is a quick comparison of both cultural and artistic production routes:

Golden VisaCultural HeritageArtistic Production
InvestmentNon-refundable (Donation)Refundable (Investment)
Low density Areas (Nuts III)200,000200,000
Term5 years5 years
Ministry Approvalyesyes
Application SubmissionGovernmentLegal representative
Minimum Stay7 days per year7 days per year
CitizenshipAfter 5 yearsAfter 5 years

The residence permit is granted for two years and subsequent renewed permits will be issued for three years provided the investor visits Portugal for seven days annually.

Processing Times

The Processing time for this type of golden visas can take unto six monthly normally. With more applications pending under real estate, one can expect time frame of one year.

Both investment routes, it is possible to pursue activities of artistic output, and restoring or maintenance of the national cultural heritage through the following organisations in Portugal.

  • local and central authorities,
  •  public institutions,
  • public corporate sector,
  • public foundations,
  • private foundations of public interest,
  • networked local authorities,
  • local corporate sector organizations,
  • local associations and
  • public cultural associations

Please contact us for more information.