An Overview of the Portuguese Golden Visa ✈️🇵🇹
On January 1st, 2022, new changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa program came into force. The changes include limitations on where investment properties can be located and a higher investment threshold for some investment options.
Golden Visa Portugal, how does it work? 💸🏘
Similar to the Spanish Golden Visa program, Portugal approved the Golden Visa program in 2012 to boost foreign investment. This has led to the growth of the Portuguese economy. It is currently one of the most attractive in the world despite having undergone several changes in its regulatory rules.
The program allows non-EU citizens to opt for a residence and work permit through investments. Eventually, you could access Portuguese nationality.
In short, the Portuguese Golden Visa guarantees you the following:
✅ Live, study and/or work in Portugal.
The Golden Visa will allow you to reside, work and/or study Portugal in the same conditions as EU citizens.
✅ Travel within the Schengen area.
The Portuguese Golden Visa will allow you to move around the Schengen area (27 EU countries) without a visa.
✅ Tax benefits.
By obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa you can get the non-habitual resident tax regime (RNH) in which you transfer your tax residence to Portugal. This regime has very interesting benefits.
✅ Same benefits for your family members.
The Portuguese Golden Visa not only grants privileges to the investor, but also to his family members. The program includes family reunification, which means that the spouse, minor children, children over 18 years of age who are studying, and parents who are financially dependent on the investor have the same rights.
⚠️If you do not want to live in Portugal, you are eligible for the permit as long as you stay in the country for at least 14 days during the first two years. After the second year, you must renew the permit and stay in Portugal for at least 21 days. As you do not reside in Portugal, you will not face any tax liability unless you become a tax resident. You become a tax resident in Portugal when you live more than 183 days a year.
Types of investments to obtain the Golden Visa 💸
– Real Estate investment 🏘
The most common way to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa is through investment in real estate. Currently, after the reform that came into force in January there are the following options:
Investment in urban areas
- Investment in real estate of more than €500,000.
- Acquiring a property that is more than 30 years old, in an urban rehabilitation area, and renovating it. In this case, the minimum investment amount is €350,000 in Portugal. In this case, the minimum amount of €350,000 includes the price of the property and the renovation works.
Investment in low population density areas
- In order to encourage investment in low-density areas, the minimum amount is lower than in other areas. In this case, the minimum amount to be invested amounts to €400,000.
- As in the previous case, if the property is to be reformed, the minimum amount drops by 20%, to €280,000.
You can acquire several properties at the same time provided it covers the minimum amount needed for the investment. Also, you can combine the investment with other applicants as long as each one of you cover the minimum amount.
Important notice! After the new changes in the regulation, it’s no longer possible to buy residential properties in Porto, Lisbon, or the coastal cities. From now on, you’ll only be able to acquire residential properties located in the Azores and Madeira, as well as inland areas for Golden Visa purposes. The underlying reason is that these areas are low-density regions. Investment in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal areas must be in commercial premises, for example.
– Investment fund
You can also choose to invest a minimum of €500,000 in the subscription of a Portuguese investment fund that meets the requirements. In Portugal, these are known as “fundos de capital de risco” and are investment funds that support Portuguese companies.
– Bank deposit
Another option for obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa is to make a capital transfer of a minimum of €1.5 million to a bank account in Portugal. The main applicant will have to transfer from a personal account the funds to a Portuguese bank account.
To obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa, it is possible to donate to the Portuguese government. There are two different categories of donations that can be done:
- A donation of a minimum of €250,000 to the conservation of Portuguese national heritage; or
- Minimum €500,000 for a Portuguese research and development activity.
– Employment growth
In order to promote employment growth, the Portuguese Golden Visa is available through job creation as follows:
- Create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs in a Portuguese company owned by the applicant. No minimum investment is required.
- Create a minimum of 5 full-time jobs within three years in an existing Portuguese company. A minimum investment of €500,000 must be invested in the company.
⚠️ You cannot finance the investment through a loan or mortgage from a Portuguese financial institution. However, you can borrow from a bank outside Portugal.
👉 Golden Visa Portugal: requirements.
In addition to having to make the investment, you will have to meet the following requirements:
- Be a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
- Be of legal age (18 years old)
- No criminal record
- Demonstrate sufficient financial resources of your own to reside in Portugal
- Maintain the investment for the duration of the visa.
⚠️ If you decide to live in Portugal, you will need to contract health insurance to cover during the residence period. However, you will be able to benefit from all Portuguese public services, such as healthcare and education.
🤷♂️ How to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa?
Here is a brief summary of the steps to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa.
- Decide on the type of investment. You should choose the one that suits your needs. So far, real estate investment is still the most common.
- As a second step, you will need to gather all the necessary documentation in order to prepare your application. It is important to keep in mind that this process will take some time as the documentation will also need to be translated into Portuguese or English and be duly legalized or apostilled.
- Third, you’ll need to obtain a NIF (Tax ID Number) and open a bank account in a Portuguese bank. This process can be carried out remotely by us through a Power of Attorney. This way you will avoid unnecessary travel to Portugal.
- Formalize the investment either through a deposit, bank, purchase of real estate, etc.
- Pre-Application. Once you have carried out the investment, you’ll need to submit the pre-application to the SEF. The procedure is done online. From that moment on, the resolution period is usually approximately 2 months.
- Biometric appointment with the SEF. The immigration office will summon you to physically present yourself and officialize your application, in addition to taking your fingerprints.
- Pick up your Portuguese Golden Visa. Once the immigration office confirms the approval of your Golden Visa, they will proceed to issue the cards. In general, it usually takes approximately 4 months to issue them.
Being a topic of much interest, in our next post, we will continue to make a compilation of the most frequently asked questions about the Portuguese Golden Visa. For now, we leave you some of the most asked questions!
– How long does the visa last?
Once you have obtained the Portuguese Golden Visa, you will be granted your permit for at least 2 consecutive years. After this period, you will be able to renew the visa for successive periods of 3 years.
– When can I apply for Portuguese nationality?
After residing legally in Portugal for at least 6 years (at the end of the fifth year of the Golden Visa), the investor can apply for Portuguese citizenship and potentially obtain a passport.
– How long does the procedure take?
First, you will need to determine the type of investment you are going to make. Once the investment has been made, the resolution period can take between 6 to 8 months. Please note that it depends a lot on the SEF (Immigration and Borders) office where the application has been submitted. SEF offices in larger cities have a long waiting time, while those in rural areas have a shorter waiting time.
– How much does it cost to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa?
When applying for a Portuguese Golden Visa you’ll need to pay a number of government fees. See below for a summary of the fees.
– Processing fee:
- Initiation of procedure – €550
- Renewal – €80
– Government fees:
- The initial application fee is about €5,325 per person, a one-time payment.
- The renewal application fee is €2,663 per person.
In addition, you will need to take into account lawyers’ fees as well as investment type fees (real estate purchase taxes, for example). Prices are typically starting at €3,000 euros for legal assistance. However, the help of a lawyer is essential as it will make the whole bureaucratic application process much easier.
Do you have any questions or would like a free initial call? Contact us or leave us a comment below! 👇👇