Portugal Golden Visa Program erased all doubts, as the first batch of investors become Portuguese citizens. Being selected the top Golden Visa Program around the world countlessly, the first citizens of the program consolidate the success of the program.
Before the first citizens confirmed through the Portugal Golden Visa there was widespread speculation regarding the program. Investors were questioning if it is possible to become a Portuguese citizen through the Golden Visa without being a real resident. Now, the reports confirm that gaining the Portuguese passport through this citizenship by investment program is not a fairy tale.
TIME TO DISPERSE THE DOUBTS
Portugal’s Golden Visa Program always attracted suspicion since its inception, because it is a relatively young program which until very recently did not produce any citizens. This, understandably, was a source of doubt for potential investors and financial news agencies around the world. Factors like Brexit, financial uncertainties throughout Europe, and several updates in Portugal Golden Visa Program led to these doubts. Authorities of the program changed a critical rule in the path to naturalization. Earlier, residents had to receive permanent residency after 5 years of successful temporary residency, and complete 1 year with this new permanent residence permit before they could apply for citizenship. Later update terminated this 1 year period and allowed residents to apply for naturalization right after their 5-year temporary residency.
Investors who wanted to see if this process was really successful have finally started to get some answers as the first citizens start to emerge produced by the Portugal Golden Visa Program. Several applicants who successfully complied with all the requirements throughout their 5-year residency and passed a basic Portuguese language text received their Portuguese passports. These reports that prove the legitimacy of Portugal Golden Visa Program are forecasted to lift the mist of uncertainty around it. Upon this good news, it is expected that Portugal’s Golden Visa Program’s upwards performance trend will continue strongly.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP WITHOUT BEING A REAL RESIDENT?
Portugal Golden Visa offers residence permit to individuals who make a substantial amount of investment into the country. Investors usually see Golden Visa as a step to get European citizenship. Until recently, Portuguese citizenship was required for its applicants a minimum one year hold of permanent residency. Also, permanent residence permit required a 5 year of legal residency.
According to the Portugal Golden Visa program, the residents receive a temporary residence permit for one year. In the first year, the residents have to spend a minimum of seven days in the country. Then, the residence permit is renewed to be valid for two year. After the third year of residence, the residence permit is renewed for two years for the second time. At the end of the fifth year, the Golden Visa holder becomes eligibile to obtain a permanent residence. This means that an investor could only apply for citizenship 6 years after their initial acceptance to the program.
After the recent amendments, any applicant with five years of legal residency qualifies for the citizenship application. Therefore, the outcome would only be clear after five years of the program’s beginning, which was in 2013. First applicants of Golden Visa Program were qualified to apply for Portuguese citizenship in 2018. They obtained Portuguese citizenship without being a real resident in the country. It was really important to clear there is no requirement of being tax-resident (minimum 183-day stay requirement) in Portugal to qualify for citizenship. Now is the time to erase all doubt.
COMPARING THE EASE OF PROCESSING
The doubt surrounding Portugal Golden Visa Program was the result of disappointing precedent examples. The UK had a similar program with demanding requirements for naturalization. The applicant must not have been absent from the country for more than 450 days during the five years of residency. In the final year of residency, the limit is 90 days. In addition, the applicant’s continued residence does not provide eligibility to their family members. Each member of the family is expected to fulfill their own requirements.
PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA APPROVALS
PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA ADVANTAGE
Portugal Golden Visa Program grants permanent residence permits and the right to qualification for citizenship after five years of legal residence. However, the real difference is their period of physical residency which is just a minimum of 35 days in five years. Also, once the initial five years are complete, the applicants have the option to free themselves from these requirements, too.
The citizenship by investment industry has all that it hoped for now that Portugal Golden Visa Program proved itself to be what it claimed. Now that the uncertainty and the doubts are all dispersed, the applicants can be relieved and new applicants can safely take action.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA?
Portugal’s Golden Visa is offered in accordance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through AICEP (Department of Consular Affairs and the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency). The options of investment for the applicants are as they are listed below:
- Applicants may acquire property valued at €350,000 or more for properties more than 30 years old or located in urban regeneration areas designated for refurbishing
- Applicants may invest a minimum of €350,000 in research activities.
- Applicants may invest a minimum of €250,000 in the arts or in the reconstruction or refurbishment of national heritage projects.
- Applicants may invest a minimum of €500,000 for shares in investment funds or venture capital.
The process of getting Portugal Golden Visa usually takes around 3 to 6 months.