PortugalGOLDEN VISA PROGRAM
- MINIMUM INVESTMENT
- TIME TO CITIZENSHIP
- TIME TO RESIDENCY
EXACT TIMEFRAMES MAY VARY
- MINIMUM RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT
REAL ESTATE OPTIONS
- The purchase of a real estate property of a minimum value of € 500,000
- At least € 350,000 of total investment amount for the purchase of property that is older than 30 years old, with the obligation to renovate
- Establishment of an enterprise that creates at least 10 employment positions
- Grants of € 250,000 to institutions related to natural cultural heritage or artistic institutions
- R&D investment of at least € 350,000
- Capital transfer of at least € 1,000,000
- Capital transfer of at least €350,000 for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds
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GOLDEN VISA STATISTICS
8 October 2012 – 30 November 2019
- TOTAL INVESTMENT
- TOTAL NUMBER OF FAMILIES
- Investment by real estate acquisition
- Investment by capital transfer
- Investment by creating at least 10 employment
STEPS & TIMELINE
Portugal Golden Visa Process through Real Estate Acquisition
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VISA FREE COUNTRIES FOR PORTUGALPortuguese citizens get visa-free access to 164 countries.
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# 3 CITY in 163 countries
Global Peace Index 2017
57.69 / 100
Cost of Living Index 2018
297.1 billion USD
92,090 sq. km
Portugal Golden Visa - FAQ
How to Get a Visa for Portugal as an Investor?
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.
Can a Golden Visa Lead You to a Nationality in Portugal?
Yes. At the end of the fifth year of residence in Portugal, the applicant may apply for permanent residency followed by citizenship. In 2018, Portuguese government changed the Portuguese Nationality Law and reduced the required period of residency to 5 years from 6 years.
How to Invest and Become a Resident of Portugal?
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.?
How to Get Citizenship in Portugal?
Portugal does not grant citizenship directly in return of investment. Rather, the country grants residency to its applicants; and after 5 years of conformity to the requirements of the program, residents may become Portuguese citizens.
How to Obtain Residence Status in Portugal?
Any non-EU/EEA nationals who are older than 18 years old can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa provided that they make a substantial investment into the country. The country requires the investment to be maintained for five years. The most popular option is to invest in real estate. Minimum investment requirement of Portugal Golden Visa is €350,000. However, this option can be used only in urban renewal projects that promise no return at least in short term. The option that allows investors to choose the place and qualities of their home requires at least €500,000 of investment.
What is SEF of Portugal?
Portugal’s SEF stands for Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras meaning Foreigners and Borders Service. SEF takes care of the activities made through Portugal’s Golden Visa. It holds and shares the numbers and statistics about the performance of the program and also information about the expat community of the country.
What is the Official Website of Portugal Immigration?
The official website of Portugal immigration is “https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/” which includes all the necessary information about the topic.
hat is the 350k Golden Visa Investment Option?
The investors may choose to invest in Portugal property that is in need of rehabilitation and restoration. In this case, minimum requirement decreases to €350,000 from €500,000. The property either has to be built more than 30 years ago or has to be located in a designated area of urban rehabilitation. If the property is in a “low density area”, minimum requirement gets reduced to €280,000.
How easy is it to Get a Residence Permit in Portugal?
The Portugal Golden Visa Program enables non-EU/EEA citizens to obtain residence permit for a 5-investment in Portugal. Portugal Golden Visa has issued more than 6500 permits so far. Any non-EU/EEA nationals who are older than 18 years old can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa provided that they make a substantial investment into the country. The country requires the investment to be maintained for five years.
What are the Benefits of Buying Property in Portugal through Residency by Investment?
Portugal’s economy can be defined as reliable and stable. Therefore, Portugal’s real estate market has never gone through huge fluctuations. In 2013 and 2014, real estate market hit its lowest point and then the stabilisation began causing price rises. According to the quarterly RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey, low quantity of properties coming onto the market underpins prices. In 2017 they projected that house prices will increase by 5% (on average) per annum. Increasing demand and mortgage availability also contribute to that end. Therefore, apart from the benefits of being a Portuguese resident, Portuguese real estate also yields financial advantages.
How long does it take to a Portugal Passport through Investments?
Portugal Golden Visa grants its holder permanent residency in the country. In 5 years, it is necessitated that the visa should be renewed 2 times after it has been granted. After 5 years the applicant can apply for permanent residency followed by citizenship.
What are the Ways to get a Portugal Visa with Real Estate Purchase?
The real estate investment methods the applicants may follow are listed below: Real Estate The investors may choose to invest in Portuguese property of at least €500,000. They may choose to invest as an individual or as a joint legal entity. If the property is in a “low density area”, minimum requirement gets reduced to €400,000. Real Estate and Rehabilitation The investors may choose to invest in Portugal property that is in need of rehabilitation and restoration. In this case, minimum requirement decreases to €350,000. The property either has to be built more than 30 years ago or has to be located in a designated area of urban rehabilitation. If the property is in a “low density area”, minimum requirement gets reduced to €280,000.
What is the Minimum Investment Required for Citizenship in Portugal?
Different options of investment for Portugal Golden Visa have different minimum investment requirements. The lowest one is embedded in the “Cultural Contribution” option. In this option, the investors can invest at least €250,000 in the artistic production or the recovery or maintenance of the national cultural heritage that is conducted by accredited institutions. If the contribution is made in a “low density area”, the minimum requirement decreases to €200,000.
How Easy Is It to Get a Residence Permit in Portugal?
Getting a residence permit in Portugal is fairly easy. Once the applicant invests the required amount, they only have to reside in the country for 7 days minimum per year. In 3-6 months after the initial investment, successful applicants get their residence permits.
How Long It Takes to a Portugal Passport through Investment
Portugal Golden Visa Program requires a substantial investment in exchange for residence permit. After the investment has been made, successful applicants obtain the residence permit. Provided that the permit holders continue following the rules, after 5 years of residence, they can apply for naturalization.
Can you Finance Real Estate Purchase in Portugal for Golden Visa Program?
Portugal Golden Visa has several different property investment options: First option investors may benefit from is the original clause of Portugal Golden Visa program. The minimum investment requirement for this option is €500,000. However, Portuguese government recently added two other options of real estate investment. Now, investors might choose to buy Portugal property in need of renovation as cheap as €350,000. They might further reduce their costs and choose the option where they can invest €280,000 in low density areas. The applicants may choose one of the options which suits their interests best and apply for Portugal Golden Visa.
Does Portugal Allow Dual Citizenship?
Yes, Portugal is one of the countries which allow dual citizenship.
To Which Countries Portugal Golden Visa Grants Entrance?
Portuguese Golden Visa definitely has some travel advantages. An average European Union passport provides its holder with visa-free travel to at least 150 countries around the world. Portugal being one of the European Union countries certainly has its perks in terms of visa-free travel. Portugal residents can travel freely to all the EU countries and the Schengen Area, 164 countries in total.
Portugal Golden Visa Program offers a permanent residence permit in Europe. The applicant may choose to invest in a number of different investment methods. These include;
- Acquire a real estate property in Portugal with a minimum value of €500.000
- Acquire a real estate property older than 30 years in Portugal and renovating the property, where the minimum value of the purchased property is €350.000
- Acquire a property located in the rural areas in Portugal, where the minimum investment amount is reduced 20% to €400.000 and €280.000 respectively for the above two options.
- Capital transfer of €1.000.000
- Own a company that creates a minimum of 10 jobs for Portuguese citizens
- Invest €500.000 in a Portuguese investment funds or venture capital
- Invest €350.000 in a Portuguese risk fund
- invest a minimum of €250,000 in the arts or in the reconstruction or refurbishment of national heritage projects
Portugal has a unique value proposition in Europe when it comes to real estate investment. Investors can make a profitable investment and live in a developed European country whilst getting a residence in Portugal. According to many known global indexes, Portuguese Golden Visa is one of the best programs in the market. Portugal attracts many investors with its favorable living conditions and friendly attitude towards foreigners. Hence, the rising global demand for the Portuguese real estate market.
The first batch of Golden Visa applicants already became Portuguese citizens, eliminating all doubt on the naturalization process.
More details can be found on this comprehensive guide to the Portugal golden visa program.
The most preferred investment types are real estate and fund investments.
What are the benefits and advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa Program?
The Portugal investor visa allows applicants to include their family members in the program. Family reunification covers the main applicant's spouse and children under the age of 18, provided that they are dependant on the main applicant. The program requires each applicant to spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal on average for each year.
Portugal Golden Visa holders can benefit from the privilege of traveling within the European Union Schengen countries. Portugal's education system and healthcare system are developed and abide by high standards. The Portuguese residence permit holders may access these public services such as the National Health Service of Portugal. Additionally, applicants earn the right to have social security and trade union protection.
The Golden Visa program offers an easy way to become a European citizen. Applicants who maintain their permanent residence permit for five years may apply for Portugal citizenship. The program came into effect in 2012 and the first Golden Visa applicants already became Portuguese citizens. Once applicants obtain European citizenship, they can live, work, and travel anywhere in the European Union. They can enjoy the freedom of movement with a Portuguese passport.
The country also has a favorable tax regime for investors. The double taxation treaties with numerous countries state that if the income is received from outside of Portugal, the individuals are exempt from tax burdens in Portugal. However, applicants may also choose to become a tax resident in Portugal. The non-habitual tax regime in Portugal offers the chance to significantly reduce the income tax.
Who is Eligible to the Portugal Golden Visa?
The applicant needs to be a non-EU/EEA national and older than 18 years in order to apply to the program. The applicant should have a clean criminal record. The main applicant should pursue one of the qualified investment methods under his or her name.
How to Apply for Portugal Golden Visa?
The investor may make their pre-register online on Portuguese Immigration and Border Service’s (SEF) website. If the applicant chooses to work with a duly appointed legal representative, the representative is required to provide a power of attorney approved by the applicant. The third option is to apply to the program in person at the Regional Directorate.
The investors need to specify their investment criteria and shortlist the possible options. It is recommended that investors visit the country and see the property themselves. Then the reservation fee is transferred and the reservation agreement is signed.
The applicant needs to get a non-resident tax number (NIF) and open a Portuguese bank account in order to carry out the investment. NIF number is a tax identification number and is issued by the Portuguese Tax Authority. All the financial actions are carried out with the NIF number. The legal process can be assigned to a power of attorney. The real estate property is purchased after the promissory sale agreement is completed and public deed is executed. The applicant needs to gather all the required documents necessary for the Golden Visa application.
Which Document are Required for Portugal Golden Visa?
- Full passport copy
- Flight tickets to and from Portugal
- Certified copy of criminal record
- Proof of health insurance
- Receipt of Portugal Golden Visa fees
All required documents need to be translated into Portuguese. The SEF office then provides the applicant with an appointment in order to collect the biometric data. The processing time of the application may vary. At the end of the application, residence cards are delivered to the investor.
Application fee: €520.40
Initial issue fee: €5,202.60
Visa renewal fee: € 2,601.30
After all of the required documents are gathered and fees are paid, SEF examines the application. The applicants are required to pass a personal interview. After few months, SEF issues residence permit and the applicants receive their residence cards.
Renewal of Visas
Portugal Golden Visa holders must renew their residence permit at the end of the first, third and fifth years. At the end of each period, the biometrics data and criminal records should be resubmitted and a renewal fee has to be paid. You can read our article on further details on the Portugal Golden Visa Program in 2020.
At the end of the first year, the applicants have to submit necessary Golden Visa renewal documents. Biometric data and criminal records have to be updated and submitted to relevant authorities. Consequently, the residence permit is renewed for another two years.
Applicants are required to fulfill the residence requirement of 14 days within the two year period. At the end of the two years, the same renewal procedure is followed and the residence permit is extended for yet another two year period.
At the end of the fifth year, applicants have the right to;
- renew Golden Visa residence permit for two year periods at a time,
- apply for a permanent residence permit,
- apply for citizenship.
Taxation in Portugal
As a Golden Visa holder, you do not necessarily become a full taxpayer in Portugal. Residency and tax residency are two different concepts. However, that does not mean that the Golden Visa holder is exempt of all taxes in Portugal.
You will have to pay any necessary taxes on your investment in Portugal. Assuming your investment is a residential real estate, you need to pay property taxes as long as you own the property.
Becoming a full tax resident on the other hand, can be achieved by spending a minimum of 183 days in Portugal in a year. The non-habitual resident (NHR) program has advantages for the Portuguese tax residents. It may be worth it to look into the NHR tax scheme and to see if it works out for you or not.
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).
Is It Possible to Obtain Portuguese Citizenship Without Residing In Portugal?
Portugal Golden Visa offers residence permits 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 years. 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 eligible 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.
Learn more about Portuguese Citizenship by Investment.
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 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.
The process of getting Portugal Golden Visa usually takes around 3 to 6 months.
What Are The Requirements for the 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 above in the first section.
The investors of Portugal Golden Visa are mainly from China, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, and Russia. There is also a rising demand by Hong Kong investors in the Golden Visa in Portugal. Since the program came into effect in 2012, many investments have been made in Portugal, and it seems that the investments will continue in the upcoming periods. Although the program offers many investment options, real estate is the most preferred type of investment. The ongoing positive developments in the Portuguese real estate market can be explained through the success of the Golden Visa program. Portugal may also consider diversifying investment options in the future. Having a Portuguese residence permit also opens the doors to Europe. Thus, investors will gain almost all of the prestige and convenience that EU citizens have. The right to visa-free travel in the Schengen region is one of the most attractive features of investors. In addition, real estate investment is regarded as the most reliable investment option among many investors. Investors can also apply for a Golden Visa by renovating buildings in Portugal that are older than 30 years.If the investors meet the conditions, they can become Portuguese citizens. Investors who are Portuguese citizens become citizens of a Mediterranean country that is a member of the European Union. Portugal is a developed country with a warm climate. Lisbon is a very popular city, home to many technology companies. Portugal attracts tourists from many countries of the world in summer and the country has beautiful beaches. You can apply for a Golden Visa to experience the privileges of living in Portugal.
As of February 2020, the Portuguese Parliament enabled the Government to introduce changes in the scope of investment types to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme. The intention is to favour the promotion of investment in low density areas, urban renovation, cultural heritage, and job creation. Although there is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of the specific 2020 changes and the time frame they will be implemented in, the Golden Visa rules as we know them may be subject to change. It is yet to be seen when and how these changes will come in effect in light of the turbulent times caused by the Corona Virus COVID-19.
Benefits of Portugal Golden Visa Program
Portugal Golden Visa Program is already a much-decorated one constantly progressing since its inception on October 8th, 2012. The report of The Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2017-2018, for the third consecutive time, ranked Portugal Golden Visa Program as the best residence by investment program around the world. About half of the European countries introduced different forms of residence or citizenship by investment schemes. Each program has different characteristics, requirements, perks, and disadvantages. However, one of the most consistently praised programs around the world is the Portugal Golden Visa Program. As a European Union country that is also a member of the Schengen Area, Portugal’s residency or citizenship statuses provide countless benefits for their holders. With its very high standard of living, Portugal is one of the most attractive options for high net worth investors around the globe. Not only in terms of business interest but also in terms of the advantages of daily life and sociality, Portugal is quite popular among people who seek a second residence or citizenship, because the Iberian country offers quality healthcare, job opportunities, education, and infrastructure. Portugal has a great climate, amazing natural beauties, economic stability, and a very safe environment. When all these things are combined, for people who are interested in making substantial investments in a country in exchange for residency or citizenship status, Portugal seems irresistible.
Portugal Passport is Top Tier Passport
To start with, Portugal passport is quite invaluable. It is a Tier A passport which means that it is top quality. It is true that the Portugal Golden Visa Program does not grant citizenship right away. Still, once the applicants successfully complete their application process and obtain their residence permit, they start on a path to citizenship which takes 5 years. Compared to other European countries, this time period is among the shortest ones.
Visa-Free Travel Advantages
One of the initial and immediate advantages provided by Portugal residency is the right to travel without needing a visa to, currently, 186 countries around the world. In terms of visa-free travel advantages, Portugal’s passport is among the top ten strongest passports in the world. As mentioned, Golden Visa holders can take advantage of this. Being a citizen is not mandatory to use the visa-free travel perks of Portugal passport. In contrast with other Schengen area countries, Portugal offers an entirely visa-free travel right to investors. Most other Schengen area countries provide the investors with only partial advantages and references which make the process of obtaining a visa easier, while Portugal eliminates this process wholly.
Right to Live, Work, and Study in the EU/EEA Countries
Portugal Golden Visa allows its holders to live in Portugal and reside in the country until they are available to apply for naturalization. Apart from these, it also grants the right to study in the country. The minimum residence requirement of Portugal is also not that high. It is enough to spend seven days in the country in each year of residence. After 5 years of successful residency, it is possible to apply for naturalization. However, most importantly, since Portugal is a European Union member country, the right to live, work, and study is applicable to any EU country.
Real Estate Market of Portugal
The most popular investment option of Portugal Golden Visa Program is the real estate one. There are many reasons for this. For instance, Portugal has a very stable economy and a very reliable real estate market. Investors who choose to take advantage of it usually enjoy highly profitable returns. Also, Portugal’s real estate market is better reserved than most other European countries’ property markets. It means that Portugal still has fairly cheap and profitable options around.