Portugal Golden Visa for UK Citizens (Beat Brexit & Get Your EU Rights Back)

Before Brexit, every British citizen had the right to live, work, study and retire freely across the European Union.

But at the end of 2020, those rights came to an end.

In 2023, British citizens who wish to live in Portugal now need to apply for a visa.

Fortunately, Portugal is still one of Europe’s easiest destinations for non-EU nationals to get residency.

The Portugal Golden Visa for UK citizens allows Brits to access Portugal as much or as little as they want, while adding up the years to become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Can the Portugal Golden Visa Lead to EU Citizenship?

Yes it can. In fact, the Portugal Golden Visa for UK citizens is one of the most convenient and flexible ways to get EU citizenship after Brexit. 

The first step is to obtain the Golden Visa itself. You’ll then need to maintain your residency status for five years. 

After five years (counted from the date stamped on your residency permit), you’ll be eligible to submit your application for Portuguese citizenship. 

To be accepted, you’ll need to pass a Portuguese language test at A2 level, prove that you have a clean criminal record and have paid all your taxes in Portugal (if you’re a tax resident).

Once your application for citizenship is accepted, you’ll have the right to get a Portuguese passport and rejoin the EU.

You’ll get all your EU rights back once that happens. 

How Does Brexit Affect UK Citizens in Europe?

Brexit has had many negative effects on the UK, in particular the loss of freedom of movement.

The right to free movement of persons is one of the cornerstones of EU citizenship. It was enshrined in the EU’s constitution in 1992 with the Treaty of Maastricht.

Thanks to freedom of movement, any EU national can move freely to another EU member state and live there for as long as they want, work in any job, study, access healthcare and other benefits – just as if they were a citizen of that country. 

There’s no need to apply for any visa; EU nationals have the right to take up residency in any other member state.

But Brexit has taken all of that away. UK citizens have become second-class citizens in Europe. 

Now, if UK citizens wish to stay in the EU for more than 90 days in 180, they must apply for a residency visa.

This process typically involves proving sufficient income, having proof of health insurance, having a rental contract or property deed in place, and many other hoops to jump through. 

What’s more, immigration authorities can choose whether to accept or decline the visa application.

UK citizens no longer have the rights to take up residency in Europe whenever they want.

Portugal Golden Visa for UK Citizens Post-Brexit 

Before Brexit, UK citizens weren’t eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa, as they were still considered members of the EU. The program isn’t open to EU citizens.

But now that the UK has officially left the EU, the Portugal Golden Visa program (as well as other Golden Visa programs across Europe), are fully available to UK citizens.

Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa for UK Citizens

The devastating Brexit vote sent shockwaves through a large section of the UK population.

According to BBC News, Google searches for “how to get an Irish passport” skyrocketed on the day of the vote. 

Unfortunately, not everyone in the UK has an Irish relative.

Those without such privileges were forced to look further afield to maintain their rights in Europe. 

Now Brexit has finally happened. UK citizens face long queues at European airports, restrictions on the number of days they can stay in EU countries as tourists, and arduous bureaucratic processes to obtain residency. 

But good news – if you’re a Brit reading this article, getting the Portugal Golden Visa is a great first step towards putting this disaster right.

Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa for UK citizens include the following:

  • A Portugal residency permit, which enables you to travel freely throughout the EU (although you can only stay up to 90 days in every 180 in countries other than Portugal).
  • Rights to residency in Portugal, even without living there. In fact, the Portugal Golden Visa program offers some of the lowest minimum physical stay requirements in the EU, just seven days per year in-country. You can keep your old life in the UK, while stacking up the years to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
  • Get EU rights for your family. As a Golden Visa holder, your immediate family members can gain residency in Portugal alongside you. That puts them on the same five-year track to eligibility for citizenship. If you have young children, getting Portuguese citizenship for them opens up future opportunities across the whole EU.
  • Healthy returns on investment. Depending on which Golden Visa option you choose, there’s the potential for making significant returns on your investment. The Portugal Golden Visa investment funds route is an increasingly popular option for this.
  • Safety and peace. Portugal is one of the world’s safest countries, according to the Global Peace Index 2022.
  • Affordable healthcare. Portugal has a state health care system similar in quality to the NHS. If you want to go private, Portugal has some of the EU’s most affordable private health insurance policies.
  • Favourable tax policies. Portugal has the NHR tax scheme, which allows UK citizens living in Portugal with the Golden Visa to access preferential tax treatment on their foreign income, including pensions, dividends, and rental income. The Portugal Golden Visa for UK citizens allows you full access to the NHR benefits – if you choose to live in Portugal. Note, the NHR may change or be removed entirely in 2024, after a recent government announcement.
  • Better weather. If you choose to live in southern locations such as the Algarve or Madeira, you’ll have sunshine and warm temperatures for most of the year round. More northern destinations such as Porto have similar weather to the UK. So if you’re tired of snow in April and rainy British summers, moving to Portugal with a Golden Visa could be a great life decision

Portugal Golden Visa For UK Citizens: Program Overview

The main requirement for UK citizens to get the Portugal Golden Visa is to make a significant investment in Portugal.

You also need to be a non-EU/EEA citizen, with a clean criminal record and at least 18 years old. 

There are now five different investment routes to choose from. Property investment is no longer allowed under the Golden Visa program.

The best two routes now are investment funds, or investing in film production as part of the arts and heritage route.

Golden Visa RouteMinimum investment
Investment funds €500,000
Creating 10 jobs No minimum
Arts and heritage €250,000
Scientific research activities€500,000
Incorporating a company and creating 5 jobs €500,000


Can UK citizens buy land in Portugal?

Yes, there are no restrictions on foreigners of any nationality buying land or property in Portugal. Despite Brexit, it’s just as easy as before to buy land or property in Portugal.

How long does it take to get the Portugal Golden Visa?

The current Portugal Golden Visa timeline is 6 to 8 months from when you submit the application. You must have your investment already in place before you can apply.

Can I apply for residency in Portugal after Brexit?

Yes. Portugal offers a number of ways to obtain residency. The easiest and most flexible is the Portugal Golden Visa, which requires you to make an investment in the country. The D7 passive income visa is another way to apply for residency in Portugal. To be eligible, you need to prove a source of regular passive or remote work income.

How much does the Portugal Golden Visa cost?

Apart from the investment itself, the Portugal Golden Visa has a government application fee of €5,147.80 ($5,648.60), per applicant.

Before You Go…

The Portugal Golden Visa for UK citizens is the ultimate pathway to regaining your EU rights.

Regaining freedom of movement opens up massive opportunities across Europe – for both you and your family.

Many of you will have already benefited from those rights in the past, so you’ll know exactly how valuable they are.

What’s more, Portugal has one of Europe’s fastest timelines to citizenship, and the Golden Visa offers maximum flexibility and potential for strong returns along the way.

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