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Portugal Golden Visa Residence Program

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Make your life easier by applying for Portugal Golden Visa with expert support!

Portugal is one of the countries that welcomes investors by offering a residence permit and path to citizenship based on investment in the country’s development. This kind of investment residence permit is best known in Portugal as the Golden Visa program. In Portuguese, the Golden Visa is officially known as the “residence permit for investment activity”  or ARI, its acronym in Portuguese. The program enables non-EU/EEA citizens to apply for and obtain the coveted “Golden Visa” residence permit in exchange for a five-year investment in Portugal.

This option allows you to qualify for the Golden Visa by investing in appreciating assets such as real estate, venture capital funds or even your own business – without any obligation to live full time in Portugal. You only need to live in Portugal 7 days per year to keep your Golden Visa active.

Portugal golden visa

Here, we will explain the intricacies of Portugal’s Golden Visa residency-by-investment investment: key qualifications, available investment options, advantages, required documents, and finally the possibility of obtaining Portugal/EU citizenship and passport based on the Golden Visa. If you still have questions after that, please contact our team for a free consultation on golden visa programmes! We can also advise on other visa programmes such as Portugal’s D7 visa (more on that at the end of this article).

Portugal Golden Visa: Why is it the Best in Europe?

Few Golden Visa programs, or investment immigration (golden residence permit programs by investment in real estate or other assets), can boast the popularity of the Portugal Golden Visa. But why is it the best golden visa program?

Here are the main reasons:

  • Accessible investment amounts: You don’t need to be super rich to benefit. In fact, with the boom in real estate in Portugal, most people who invested five years ago greatly increased the value of their investments, so the program ended up costing them nothing. You can choose from a variety of different investment options such as real estate, financial instruments (funds), or starting a business. All of these and more can qualify you for your Golden Visa.
  • Family friendly: It’s easy to include your family members in your Golden Visa application. Children can benefit from access to schools and universities all over Europe at the same discounted rates available to all other EU residents.
  • Portugal is part of Schengen. A Golden Visa holder, as a Schengen resident, can travel completely freely within the Schengen area: no time limits, no need to apply for visas.
  • You only have to spend a minimum of 7 days per year in Portugal in order to comply with the terms of your Golden Visa. You are not tied to one place.
  • Portugal is a member of the EU and the OECD so it will not be blacklisted by those organisations. 
  • Many Golden Visa holders already received Portuguese citizenship. A Portuguese passport allows you to live and work permanently in any member country of the European Union, plus some others such as Switzerland that have agreements with the EU.

Of course, perhaps the biggest advantage of all is that Portugal is a small, neutral country, with friendly people, great weather, wonderful food and wine, and a relaxed lifestyle. In Portugal you are far away from the problems afflicting Europe’s larger countries at the moment.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program was launched in 2012 but didn’t obtain “bestseller” status until early 2015 when the Portuguese authorities lowered investment limits for foreigners applying the visa.

But no good thing lasts forever: the authorities implemented stricter visa rules in 2022. Fortunately, a Portugal Golden Visa (residence permit) has not lost any of its valuable benefits – including the ability to invest in profitable assets, reduce your tax burden through the innovative Non-Habitual-Residence HR program, and potentially acquire an EU member state’s citizenship in the future.

Portugal offers a great lifestyle alongside an attractive investment environment with a booming real estate market and the generous NHR tax incentives. The Golden Visa program is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look in more detail into how you can participate in the golden visa program.

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Requirements for obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa

The most up-to-date rules are specified in Law 56/2023 (port.: Lei n.º 56/2023), published in the Official Gazette of Portugal (port.: Diário da República n.º 194/2023) of October 6, 2023.

  • Firstly, the main investor or main applicant for a Golden visa (+ spouse and children under 26, in the case of a joint application) must have no criminal record.
  • In addition, any foreigner applying for a Portugal Golden Visa (including anyone involved in a joint application) should not be subject to any restrictions on entry into the European Union (for example, refusal to issue a visa due to the previous blacklisting by the Schengen Information System).
  • The sources of the investor’s wealth must be verified as legitimate before the bank will accept the funds for the Golden Visa investment.
  • If you have included any adult children in a family application, they must be financially dependent on the main applicant for the Golden Visa (for example, documents confirming that they study at a university are suitable).
  • Applicants for a Portugal Golden Visa must have health insurance that covers them while in Portugal.
  • After receiving a Portuguese residence permit via the Golden Visa route, the main investor and other family members must reside in Portugal for at least 7 days annually (counted as 14 days during a 2-year period)
  • The residence permit applicant must of course meet the investment criteria, evidenced by real estate purchase, job creation, fixed deposit in a local bank, etc.
  • To maintain a Portugal Golden Visa, the applicant must hold the acquired asset for a minimum of five years. Otherwise, the investor will forfeit their resident status and residence permit.

The requirements for Portugal Golden Visa applicants are by no means onerous. The program conditions are quite easy to fulfill:

8 investment options to obtain Portugal’s Golden Visa

There are eight investment routes available to applicants for Portugal Golden Visa It is possible to invest as an individual, individual entrepreneur, or sole proprietor of a limited company.

1. Capital transfer (including deposit) – from EUR 1.5 million

When applying for a Portugal Golden Visa by transferring capital that exceeds EUR 1.5 million, the applicant must prove the investment has been made. To do this, you need to provide documentation confirming an international bank transfer for one of the following investment types:

  • deposit
  • public debt investment
  • acquisition of securities in non-documentary form
  • acquisition of securities held in individual custody
  • equity investment

2. Creation of at least 10 jobs

When applying for a Portugal Golden Visa by creating 10+ jobs, the applicant must prove the fact. This limit can be reduced by 20% (8 jobs) when created jobs in sparsely populated and underdeveloped areas, more specifically those with a population density of fewer than 100 people per square kilometre or with GDP per capita less than 75% of the national average.

3. Real estate purchase – from EUR 500,000

If this option is chosen, the Golden Visa applicant should purchase a property worth over EUR 500,000. Portuguese legislation now prohibits the purchase of residential property in some major cities and coastal resort areas, including Lisbon, Porto, and most of the Algarve (see map below), for Golden Visa purposes.

The threshold is reduced by 20% (down to EUR 400,000) when investing in sparsely populated and underdeveloped areas – again defined as those with a population density of fewer than 100 people per square kilometre or with GDP per capita less than 75% of the national average.

Under the Portuguese Golden Visa real estate route, an applicant must either have made a purchase already,  or must provide a promissory note copy indicating an initial contribution to the developer exceeding the minimum threshold (depending on the acquired asset location).

The following purchase options are available if the Golden Visa applicant makes the required EUR 500,000 or EUR 400,000 investment from their own funds:

  • real estate acquisition via single or joint ownership
  • real estate acquisition through a single owner (unipessoal) limited company owned by the investor
  • real estate purchased via a mortgage, where the owner’s equity exceeds the minimum investment threshold.
  • real estate leasing for business, agriculture, or tourism purposes

4. Purchase of real estate constructed at least 30 years ago and located in an urban regeneration area – from EUR 350,000

To obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa under this option, you can buy a property worth over EUR 350,000, built and put into operation more than 30 years ago. In addition, this property should be located in the urban regeneration area and subject to renovation (in accordance with law 307/2009 of October 23, 2009, establishing the legal basis for urban renewal).

This law excludes residential investment in some major cities and coastal resort areas, including Lisbon, Porto, and most of the Algarve (see map below). The Portugal Golden Visa applicant must, unsurprisingly, prove having purchased the real estate. As in the previous option, various forms of ownership are possible.

Tip: if you just want to obtain your Golden Visa with the bare minimum investment, It is also permissible to “double dip”  on the investment reductions: you can reduce the investment amount by 20% (to EUR 280,000) when buying property in sparsely populated and underdeveloped areas (with a population density of fewer than 100 people per square kilometre or with GDP per capita less than 75% of the national average).

Finally, it’s important that the total investment amount to qualify for a Golden Visa is based on the final cost after renovation: if for example you purchase a property for EUR 200,000 and then plan to spend a further EUR 150,000 on renovation, this would count as an investment of EUR 350,000.

TYPES OF AVAILABLE REAL ESTATE WHEN APPLYING FOR A GOLDEN VISA

5. Investment in public or private research and development – from EUR 500,000

Applying for Portugal’s Golden Visa programme (residency by investment) via investment  in research and development requires the applicant to prove that such an investment has been made.

As with previous options, you can reduce the required threshold by 20% (to EUR 400,000) by investing in sparsely populated and underdeveloped areas (with a population density of fewer than 100 people per square kilometre or with GDP per capita less than 75% of the national average).

6. Contribution to artistic production, art support, or national heritage reconstruction – from EUR 250,000

The Portugal residence permit applicant choosing this investment option should demonstrate investments made through local authorities, state institutions, state-owned companies, public or private foundations, commercial companies, or socio-cultural associations.

Once again, it is possible to reduce the residence permit investment limit by 20% (to EUR 200,000) by investing in sparsely populated and underdeveloped areas.

7. Purchase of investment or venture funds shares – from EUR 500,000

This Portuguese golden visa investment option, which is gaining popularity, requires investing the required minimum amount of EUR 500,000 in investment or venture funds. These funds, in turn, have to invest at least 60% of their capital in small and medium-sized enterprises in Portugal.

For more information on the golden visa fund option and how it compares to the real estate option, check out our article here:  Legal Residence in Portugal: Investment Fund or Real Estate? 

8. Business investment – from EUR 500,000 + creation of 5 jobs

To obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa by Business Investment and Job Creation, you will need to transfer capital from abroad (at least EUR 500,000) for registering a new business or invest into the authorised capital of an existing company with a registered office in Portugal. In addition, it is mandatory to create five permanent employment positions for a minimum three-year period.

Documents required to obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa

When applying for the Portugal Golden Visa program, you will need to provide a basic package of documents, including:

  • Passport or other valid travel document.
  • Accompanying documents required for legal entry and stay in Portugal for the minimum required period to complete the administrative procedures (according to the Aliens Act).
  • Documentary evidence of proper health insurance (obtained in advance within a three-month period before applying for a Portugal investment visa). There are two options:
  • A document confirming the applicant’s insurance within the Portuguese National Health Service (SNS/Serviço Nacional de Saúde).
  • A document confirming the applicant is privately insured under an internationally recognized health insurance program for the period of stay in Portugal with automatic renewal.
  • Affidavit (statement under oath), stipulating the applicant’s readiness to meet the minimum financial requirements under the chosen investment option and retain the investment for at least 5 years after obtaining a Portugal residence permit via Golden Visa.
  • Up-to-date certificates issued by the Portuguese tax and social security authorities within the 45-day period preceding the residence permit application. These documents confirm that the Golden Visa applicant has no debts to the said authorities. An alternative is a certificate stating that the applicant does not appear in the databases of these authorities.
  • Receipt confirming the payment of processing fees for Portugal residency by investment application.
  • Police certificate from the country of origin and/or where the applicant has resided for more than one year. The document must be translated into Portuguese and issued within the 90 days before the residence permit application. In addition, it must be certified by apostille or a consular legalization procedure.

The following are the additional documents required to apply for a Portugal Golden Visa depending on the chosen investment option:

1. Capital transfer (deposit)

You will need a declaration issued by a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank of Portugal. It should certify receipt of an international bank transfer for investment purposes.

List of additional supporting documentation:

  • A certificate of a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese jurisdiction by the Central Bank of Portugal that confirms the existence of bank accounts with a balance equal to or exceeding EUR 1.5 million (or holding shares of the same value within an omnibus account).
  • When applying for your Golden Visa by purchasing Portuguese public debt (treasury bonds, savings certificates, or ordinary treasury bills), you need to provide documents confirming the sole unencumbered ownership of such instruments with a total value equal to or exceeding EUR 1.5 million. These documents are issued by the Portuguese Treasury and Debt Management Agency (Agência de Gestão de Tesouraria e Dívida Pública – IGCP, E.P.E).
  • The applicant for a Portugal residence permit by purchasing securities in non-documentary form has to prove the sole unencumbered ownership of these securities with a total value equal to or exceeding EUR 1.5 million. Such documents are issued by the relevant registrar in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 78 of the Securities Code (Código dos Valores Mobiliarios).
  • If you want to apply for a Portugal residence permit by purchasing securities held individually with a custodian (SafeKeeper), in accordance with Article 99 of the Securities Code, you need to provide documents issued by the custodian confirming that such securities represent your sole unencumbered property.
  • When purchasing securities held individually and not integrated into the central securities depository, the Portuguese Golden Visa applicant must provide documents from the securities’ issuer confirming that such securities are their sole unencumbered property.
  • In the case of purchasing securities integrated in the central securities depository, the residence permit applicant also has to provide documents from the securities’ issuer confirming that such securities are in their sole unencumbered property.
  • When making investments in the share capital acquisition not covered by the previous paragraph, it is mandatory to provide a certificate issued by the Unified State Register of Commercial Entities (Registo Comercial) within the previous 45 days confirming the share capital ownership assigned to the applicant.
  • When applying for a Portugal Golden Visa within a sole proprietorship limited liability company, you must provide a certificate issued by the Unified State Register of Commercial Entities (Registo Comercial) within the previous 45 days confirming your sole ownership.

2. Creating 10 jobs

For this option, which is one of the least popular Golden Visa routes, you need to provide a certificate from the social security authorities issued within 45 days prior to the application date. This document should confirm the 10 employees’ registration. In addition, you need to provide copies of the relevant individual employment contracts. Naturally, this route to acquisition of a Golden Visa is only for people who really want to settle and work hard in Portugal.

3. New property

  • The final real estate sale contract or a promissory note to complete a real estate transaction within the period agreed by the parties (in case of purchasing an object under construction).
  • A certificate from a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank that confirms an international bank transfer for making a purchase. An alternative is a certificate confirming that the Portugal residence permit applicant has made an initial deposit under the sale contract (over EUR 500,000).
  • A certificate from the Land Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Predial) issued within the previous 45 days, including information on registration, approvals, valid records, and confirming the applicant’s real estate ownership without any encumbrances. An alternative option is a certificate of registration containing a preliminary purchase record of the purchase that will be completed when it becomes legally possible. You can obtain this document upon making an initial deposit of over EUR 500,000.
  • Property tax passport (Caderneta Predial), if the provision of such a document is legally feasible.
  • If the investment is made through a personal limited company owned by the Portugal Golden Visa applicant, provide an extract from the Commercial Register (Registo Comercial) statement issued within the preceding 45 days.

4. Property older than 30 years

  • The final real estate sale contract.
  • A certificate from a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank of Portugal, confirming that the residence permit applicant has made an international funds transfer (to his or her own unencumbered bank account) for the real estate purchase.
  • A certificate from the Land Registry Office issued within the preceding 45 days, including information on registration, approvals, valid records, and confirming the applicant’s real estate ownership without any encumbrances.
  • Property tax passport (Caderneta Predial), if the provision of such a document is legally feasible.
  • If the investment is made through a personal limited company owned by the Portugal Golden Visa applicant, provide an extract from the Commercial Register (Registo Comercial) statement issued within the preceding 45 days.
  •  When the applicant for a residence permit purchases real estate built and put into operation more than 3 decades ago and located in the urban regeneration area, documentary evidence of the following facts may be required:
  • applying for a feasibility study of design solutions
  • obtaining results of these design feasibility studies
  • applying for the initial permits to an organization that manages the urban areas regeneration and has proper accreditation to carry out such activities
  • If you make a real estate purchase investment of less than the required minimum before signing the construction contract for the renovation, you must  deposit the difference between the sale price and the minimum required amount for the renovation in your Portuguese bank account. An unencumbered bank account in the name of the person making the investment should be used for this. The Golden Visa applicant has to provide a bank statement as documentary evidence of a sufficient bank balance.
  •  If the real estate purchase transaction is completing after signing a contract for renovation and construction works with a company duly accredited to carry out works on the urban area regeneration by the relevant executive authority (Instituto da Construção e do Imobiliário IP), the applicant has to submit such an agreement and a payment receipt. If the applicant is unable to provide the receipt due to reasons beyond their control, it is possible to use an affidavit of a deposit equal to or exceeding the contractor’s services cost to a Portuguese banking institution. For this, it is mandatory to use an unencumbered bank account in the applicant’s name.

5. Research and development support

  • A certificate from a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank of Portugal, confirming the international transfer of funds equal to or exceeding EUR 500,000 to a bank account opened by the residence permit applicant.
  • A declaration issued by a public or private research and development institution integrated into the national science and technology system that confirms the actual investment made by the Portugal Golden Visa applicant.
  •  If the applicant makes an investment using a sole proprietorship limited liability company, it is necessary to provide a certificate issued by the Unified State Register of Commercial Entities (Registo Comercial) within the previous 45 days confirming their sole company ownership.

6. Art support

  • A certificate from a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank of Portugal, confirming the international transfer of funds equal to or exceeding EUR 250,000 to a bank account opened by the residence permit applicant.
  • An official report by the Bureau for Cultural Strategy, Planning and Assessment (Gabinete de Estratégia, Planeamento e Avaliação Culturais), prepared after consultation with the experts of the competent organization from the cultural sector, that confirms the investment made by the residence permit applicant.
  • If the applicant makes an investment using a  limited company, it is necessary to provide a certificate issued by Register of Commercial Entities (Registo Comercial) within the preceding 45 days that confirms the investor’s sole ownership of the company in question.

7. Investment or venture fund shares purchase

  • A certificate from a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank of Portugal, confirming the international transfer of funds equal to or exceeding EUR 500,000 to a bank account opened by the residence permit applicant.
  • A certificate confirming that the acquired shares are in the sole unencumbered property of a foreign investor.
  • Declaration issued by the Fund Management Company, certifying the validity of the relevant company capitalization plan.
  • A Commercial Register (Registo Comercial) statement issued within the previous 45 days if the investment is made using a limited liability company owned by the applicant.

8. Starting a business and creating 5 jobs

  • A certificate from a financial institution accredited or registered in Portuguese territory by the Central Bank of Portugal, confirming the international transfer of funds equal to or exceeding EUR 500,000 to a bank account opened by the residence permit applicant.
  • Documents confirming the creation of a new company or purchase of an existing one and EUR 500,000 investment in its authorized capital.
  •  A certificate from the social security authorities, issued within the 45 days prior to the residence permit application, confirming the five employees’ registration with them. Copies of the relevant individual employment contracts are also required.
  • If the applicant makes an investment using a limited company, it is necessary to provide a certificate issued by the Register of Commercial Entities (Registo Comercial) within the preceding 45 days that confirms their sole company ownership.

The Process of Obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa in Detail

Obtaining NIF and opening a Portuguese bank account

Any applicant for a Portugal Golden Visa will first need to obtain a tax ID number (Numero de Indentificacao Fiscal; NIF) and open a bank account in Portugal. A Portuguese tax number (NIF) is mandatory to open a bank account in Portugal. A bank account, in turn, is required to confirm the funds transfer from abroad and make investments under Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Could you use a bank account in another EEA country for this purpose? In theory, yes of course, because the Europeasn Union has a single market in financial services. In practice, you would be making life difficult for yourself as you would be forced to explain and document this at every step. Trust us when we say it’s easier just to open a Portuguese account.

The process of obtaining NIF for the residence permit applicant is relatively simple and fast. However, if you are an individual without a permanent legal address in the EU/EEA, you will need a local representative to interact with the Portuguese tax authorities. This can be a lawyer, for example. Offshore Pro Group provides this service.

Our expert team is available to help readers who are serious about obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa with solutions for both matters.

Choosing a financial route and making investments

Initially, Portugal Golden Visa applicants mostly invested in real estate. But this situation has gradually changed as new financial routes appeared. For example, investments in a venture capital fund are a very popular route these days.

Another option that might attract an enterprising migrant investor is to create 10 jobs in Portugal. This route to the residence permit does not imply a fixed minimum investment amount.

A Portugal Golden Visa in culture and art projects is also a relatively affordable option from a financial point of view.

What is the best route for you to obtain your Portuguese Golden Visa? It depends of course on your personal circumstances and preferences, taking into consideration the factors we considered at the beginning of this article.

Applying for a residence permit and renewing your Portuguese Golden investment visa

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Portuguese authorities have moved the entire Golden Visa residence permit application and renewal process online. The process of reviewing an application will take about 6-12 months, possibly more. After its completion, the applicant will need to visit Portugal in order for a personal interview at the relevant department.

Initially, the interviews were held at the place of investment under the Portugal Golden Visa Program. However, now officials allow candidates to sign up for an interview in any area of their choice. This change helped shorten the waiting period and reduce queues in the most popular areas (Lisbon, Porto, and Faro).

If you wish to apply for a residence permit together with family members, you will need to submit the applications of all family members at the same time. A nominal processing fee is payable for the main applicant and family members. Once your residence permit application is approved, it is necessary to pay an approval fee for each person (EUR 5,325 at the time of writing, but this changes frequently). After 10-20 days, you will receive a resident card and a residence permit valid for a two-year period.

In the first two years, you have to spend at least 14 days in Portugal. If you fail to do so, you won’t be able to renew your Portuguese golden visa residence permit and receive a new residence permit card. The renewal application should be submitted 30-90 days before the expiration date of the current residence permit card.

In the process of renewing the residence permit, you should also be prepared to re-submit biometric data (fingerprints, etc.), provide the authorities with a new certificate of no criminal record, and pay a fee for each person in the application. 

Naturalisation: From Golden Visa to Portugal Citizenship and Passport

After the application is approved, a foreign investor will receive a Portuguese resident card. Maintaining this status requires living for a week in Portugal every year. This is a perfectly feasible condition, given the country’s attractions and relaxed lifestyle.

Once you have obtained a Portugal residence permit (EU residence status), the countdown begins for the possibility of applying for citizenship in this EU member state without additional investments.

This opportunity to apply for Portuguese naturalisation based on your Golden Visa opens after 5 years, along with the right to permanent residence. The main criteria is to renew the residence permit in time. Other Key conditions for obtaining Portuguese citizenship through naturalisation based on your Golden Visa:

  • fulfilment of the 5-year residency requirement in the host country for a week annually (35 days in total)
  • demonstration of basic Portuguese language proficiency and integration
  • no convictions for crimes that carry a prison sentence of 3 years or longer according to the Portuguese laws
Citizenship of Portugal

By obtaining Portuguese citizenship, the former Golden Visa holder will receive the rights and opportunities available to native citizens, including the following:

  • Ability to travel, live and work throughout the European Economic Area without restrictions.
  • One of the most powerful passports in the world. Portuguese passport holders can travel visa-free to the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, and most countries in Europe and South America.
  • The right to use a prestigious EU passport to interact with your bankers in different parts of the world.

Make your life easier by applying for your Portugal Golden Visa with expert support

To speed up and simplify the process of obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa, we recommend using the assistance of a professional investment immigration company, or a lawyer who is a specialist in this area.

Whilst in theory you could carry out the process yourself, in practice you will find it very hard to do. Most Portuguese government officials do not speak English, and you still need to be on the ground to jump through many of the bureaucratic hoops. Unless you have all the time in the world to spare, it definitely makes sense to hire a professional who has carried out the process many times before, is based in Portugal and speaks the language

When contacting our recommended agents for assistance, we suggest that you the Portugal Golden Visa applicant should provide the following information:

  • Photo or scan of the main investor’s passport photo page.
  • The size of the main investor’s family including ages of all family members applying for a residence permit. Photos or scans of the respective persons’ passport photo pages are also useful.
  • Information about the main investor’s marital status and property relations regime in marriage.
  • Address and contact information, including country of residence and WhatsApp number or preferred means of communication.

The step-by-step process of obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa with an agent expert support is simple, as shown below. By way of example, we chose the option of investing in the Portugal real estate market. If you choose another route, the process will of course vary slightly.

  1. Choose the best property for investment. Can be done online or in person.
  2. Sign sale-purchase documents, including a power of attorney to open a bank account, obtain a tax number and purchase real estate
  3. Open a Portuguese bank account in the name of the residence permit applicant (can be done from abroad).
  4. Visiting Portugal to submit required documents to officials and provide biometric data (fingerprints).
  5. Analysis of the application by officials.
  6. The migration authorities notify about your approval or the need to provide more detailed information for issuing a Golden Visa.
  7. Payment for the residence permit card issuance and related government fees.
  8. Issuance of a residence permit card. This can be sent to you abroad.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you would like to find out about costs, more detail on processes etc for your family’s Golden Visa application please feel free to contact the InternationalWealth team. We can schedule a Zoom call or conference call with a Portugal expert who will answer all your questions.

Finally, we remind you that if you want to apply for a Portugal residence card without investment, via the traditional, non-Golden Visa route, there is another route to consider: the D7 Portugal visa.

What are the comparative advantages of a Portuguese “Golden Visa” residence permit?

The primary benefits of a Portugal Golden Visa are as follows:
Transparency combined with privacy. Portugal’s Golden Visa is one of the most transparent investment migration programs in the world. Local authorities regularly publish statistics, covering data on the nationality of investors and the volume of capital investments. At the same time, the program for obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa remains 100% private: the authorities do not publish confidential data of Golden Visa holders.
Free movement within the Schengen area. A Portugal residence permit provides the right to visa-free travel within the Schengen area, which is a great advantage for tourism and business. Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Flexible terms for renewing your residence permit. One of the reasons why the Portugal Golden Visa is so popular is the flexibility of residency requirements. As noted above, this program requires you to spend only seven days in Portugal annually for maintaining the resident status. In other words, the country obliges to spend less than 2% of the year on its territory. Of course, most investors choose to spend much more time in the host country than required, purchasing quality and affordable real estate in Portugal for a comfortable stay and enjoying the lifestyle. However, it’s good to know you don’t have the stress of counting the days, if you have business to attend to elsewhere. Everyone can enjoy a week or two a year in Portugal.
Profitable investment options. Portugal’s Golden Visa program encourages investment in the real estate market, which offers many interesting assets and a high chance of increase in prices. However, alternative investment options are gaining more popularity due to the improvement of the economic situation in the county, the population purchasing power growth, and other factors.
Tax optimization. A Portugal residence permit allows to reduce the tax burden since the country offers attractive fiscal bonuses with the Residente Não Habitual (RNH) program. Foreign investors with a Portugal Golden Visa can also take advantage of this offer. The RNH program allows one to reduce many tax rates and receive an exemption from certain fiscal burdens for a 10-year period.
Improving the living standard for the whole family. A Portugal residence permit grants you the right to reside in one of the best countries on the planet. Portugal is a progressive country known for its high quality of life, traditionally ranking high in such ratings. Portugal Golden Visa holders get access to exceptionally high-quality infrastructure and a stable political environment. As one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal has many famous attractions of historical and cultural heritage. The country’s largest cities, Lisbon and Porto, are very popular among travellers. And the world-class beaches in the Algarve attract lovers of the good life. Not surprisingly, Portugal has a huge expat community and attracts many tourists who rent and often buy local property to apply for a residence permit.
Other important benefits. These are the right to work year-round in Portugal after obtaining a residence permit, access to the Portuguese health care and education system on preferential terms, and the right to obtain permanent residence or citizenship of an EU member state (see above).

Does a foreign investor have to pay social security fees in Portugal?

No, there is no such requirement for the residence permit applicant. But if you do not make contributions to the social security system, you will have to cover many health care costs by yourself. In such a case, we recommend to obtain private medical insurance when applying for a residence permit card.

How long does it take to get Portuguese citizenship and passport?

Due to changes in Portuguese law made in 2018, the required residency period (while maintaining a residence permit by investment) before applying for Portuguese citizenship has been reduced to five years. The applicant has to reside in the host country for a week annually to become a citizen. After receiving the certificate of naturalization, it usually takes about six working days to obtain a Portuguese passport.

Do I have to pay taxes in Portugal after obtaining a residence permit by investment?

Legal residency (residence permit or permanent residence) and tax residency are independent concepts. It is not necessary to become a Portugal tax resident and impose personal income tax obligations when obtaining a residence permit. But even without becoming a full tax resident, a Portugal Golden Visa holder will be required to pay taxes associated with their investment (for example, property tax). Also, do not forget about the Residente Não Habitual preferential taxation program, which offers the opportunity to pay a minimum personal income tax over a ten-year period.

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