This article will speak about Portugal’s Golden Visa. Is it a good scheme and what are the basic terms and conditions?
If you are interested in second residencies and passports by investment, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can help people get a golden visa from 280,000 Euros for certain types of property, and 500,000 Euros in investment funds.
Table of Contents
‘Portugal’ – Portugal (also known officially as the ‘Portuguese Republic’) is the European country which is located in southwestern Europe.
Portugal is a member of certain famous organizations such as ‘United Nations (UN)’ and ‘European Union’. It was also the founding member of ‘the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’, ‘Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’, ‘the eurozone’, etc.
‘Portugal Golden Visa’ – The ‘Portugal Golden Visa’ is the visa program created by the Portuguese government for non-resident investors.
People who are not from Portugal are able to obtain residency by making an investment in properties with a minimum of 500,000 euros or create 10 jobs for the people of Portugal.
It is considered to be one of the best visa programs available all over Europe (by some people’s opinion, even the world). It was started by the Portuguese government in the year 2012.
According to a survey, from 2012 to 2019 the money that has been obtained with the help of this visa program was estimated to be around ‘4.8 billion Euros’.
This amount was invested by approximately more than ‘20,000 people’ (about 8,000 investors and 14,000 respective family members.)
People who are much likely to be interested in making an investment in this visa program are from the countries ‘China’, ‘Brazil’, ‘South Africa’, ‘Turkey’, and ‘Russia’.
While discussing China’s role in the Portugal golden visa program applications, the scheme was stopped for investors from China from January to August due to which a considerable amount of decrease (15.7%) was observed.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Investment was increased by 42% in the same time period.
It has been estimated that the total number of applicants who have been applying for the Golden Visa program was more than 8,000 with the investment value rounding up to almost 5 billion Euros as recorded on October 31st of 2019.
In these applicants, the majority of the people were from China being more than 4,400 and more than 840 people were from Brazil.
Out of the 8,000 people who have applied for the Golden Visa program, approximately 7,600 people chose to invest in the Golden Visa program (real estate) in order to receive their Golden Visa.
Advantages of obtaining a Golden Visa:
The person who has applied and got access to the Golden Visa program might be able to enjoy a lot of benefits. They are:
- They can be able to choose from different types of investment options which can be most affordable and grant the individual both permanent residency as well as citizenship.
- The person is able to travel all over Europe’s Schengen Area with having the necessity of a visa.
- The person is able to acquire the eligibility of high-quality Portuguese citizenship once the legal time-period of residence (5 years) has been completed.
- The good quality of the education system is made available to the individual who has accessed the Portugal Golden Visa.
- The required time that has to be spent by the individual in Portugal is only 7 days each year on average, which is considered one of the best available among other visas provided by other countries.
- The person is able to acquire the world’s 4th best passport for the nomads and the global citizens, they also can live and work almost anywhere in the entire EU/EEA (Europe and European Economic Area).
- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has not blacklisted the Portugal Golden Visa program like it did for many other Golden Visa programs.
- Portugal is considered to be one of the best countries in the world which is well known for some other features like good healthcare, low crime rate, good lifestyle, exceptional climatic conditions, affordable cost of living, etc.
- The person is able to bring their family into Portugal with the help of this visa program.
Golden Visa Requirements:
‘Eligibility Criteria’ – Any person from the third world country (a person who is not from Portugal or the EU/EEA) is eligible to apply for the Golden Visa by successfully making an investment in Portugal.
The person or the legal entity making the investment is expected to meet certain requirements while applying for the Golden Visa. The individual is also required to meet with the requirements of the physical presence.
‘Requirements’ – The minimum time period for the investment should definitely be five years. The investment cannot be taken back by the individual within the 5 years time-span.
The person should at least spend seven days in Portugal every year once they have acquired the Golden Visa.
The minimum amount of time that can be spent should not be less than 14 days every 2 years. This is the best available option when compared to other countries’ visa programs.
‘Types of Investments available’ – There are some available investment options for a person when they are applying for the Golden Visa. They are:
- The person should make an investment with a capital of at least €1,000,000 in Portugal.
- The person should be able to create at least 10 jobs for the native residents of Portugal.
- The person should acquire a property of the real estate which has a value of at least €500,000. This is considered as the best type of investment option available for the investors to acquire the Golden Visa.
- The person should procure a real estate of which the construction must have been completed about at least 30 years ago or the construction must have been in a location that is considered as an urban rehabilitation area (with the ongoing rehabilitation works). In this case, there is an exception for the minimum investment amount which is reduced to €350,000.
- The person should make an investment of at least €350,000 for the ongoing scientific researches which is being carried out by either the public or private institutions of scientific research which are a part of the national scientific and technological system.
- The person should invest capital of a minimum of €250,000 as an investment or support for the artistic production or in order to recover or maintain the national cultural heritage.
- The investment amount of at least €350,000 in order to acquire units in the investment or capital funds that are targeted to contribute capital to some companies based on some specific requirements. This is also considered as one of the best investment options available to the investors to gain the Golden Visa.
- Making an investment of at least €350,000 in order to increase the share capital of some respective companies which have registered offices in Portugal along with creating at least 5 permanent jobs for the native residents of Portugal for a time period of at least 3 years.
The process involved in applying for a Portugal Golden Visa is as follows:
Nowadays, the process of applying for a Portugal Golden Visa can be done online being at home, where the person is able to send the application, scanned copies of the required documents, etc.
Once the request or the application has been approved by the ‘SEF (Serviço de Fronteiras e Estrangeiros)’, the respective person would have to appear in person for an interview that shall be conducted.
The interview was used to be conducted in the district where the investment has been made.
But this has been changed now and the person has the freedom to choose whichever district they like in order to appear for the interview.
This change was done in order to reduce the waiting time for certain popular districts such as Lisbon, Faro, etc.
Generally, the entire application process can be completed with the help of the person’s lawyer and the time taken for the approval can be as long as 6 months.
It is suggested as a good idea that people won’t consider taking things into their own hands and apply on their own while applying for a Golden Visa.
Taking the help of a lawyer or a financial advisor (like us) would make it easier for the individual to apply.
If the person is willing to bring their family members along with them, the application should be submitted along with the application of the respective individual.
The applicant’s processing fee is €532.70 and then for each family member that the person wants to bring a processing fee of €83.10 is charged.
Once the application gets approved, the person has to pay an approval fee of €5,274.40 for each number of applicants. Within 10 – 20 days the residency card with a validity of one year is obtained.
With the help of the residence card, the person is able to travel all over the Schengen countries without having the necessity of applying for any other additional visas, they are just required to carry their passports.
The Schengen area comprises of 26 European countries, which are: ‘Austria’, ‘Belgium’, ‘Czech Republic’, Denmark’, ‘Estonia’, ‘Finland’, ‘France’, ‘Germany’, ‘Greece’, ‘Hungary’, ‘Iceland’, ‘Italy’, ‘Latvia’, ‘Liechtenstein’, ‘Lithuania’, ‘Luxembourg’, ‘Malta’, ‘Netherlands’, ‘Portugal’, ‘Norway’, ‘Poland’, ‘Slovakia’, ‘Slovenia’, ‘Spain’, ‘Switzerland’, and ‘Sweden’.
While spending the time period of the first year in Portugal, the person is required to spend at least 7 days in the country of Portugal.
The person is required to renew the residence permit in order to get a new residence permit, the process for the renewal should be done almost about one month before the expiry of the present residence card.
During the process of the renewal, the person is required to take biometrics like fingerprints again and has to submit certain updated documents (such as criminal records if any) and any other documents necessary.
The person also has to pay a fee of €2,637.20 respectively for each person that is applying. In addition to that, the person is required to pay the processing fee of €532.70 and €83.10 each for the rest of the applicants.
After successfully renewing the new residence permit, the person is allowed to stay for another two years in Portugal. After getting the new residence permit, the person is required to stay for at least 14 days in Portugal for the next two years.
At the ending time of year 3, the person should apply for another renewal process which is similar to the process that they have undergone during the end of the 1st year.
After successfully completing this process, the person gets a residence permit for another two years. Now the person has to be in the country for again for at least 14 days (either consecutively or non-consecutively) for the next two years as well.
After the completion of this five years time period successfully, the person is able to apply for a permanent residency along with the citizenship of Portugal.
Although the permanent residence and citizenship can be applied, both of them cannot be applied together.
The person has to first apply for permanent residence and has to qualify for that. Later they can be able to apply for the citizenship of Portugal.
The main requirements (such as documentation) involved in the process of applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa are:
- The applicant should apply and get a Portuguese Fiscal Number (NIF – Número de Identificação Fiscal) which is considered to be a tax identification number that is issued by the Portuguese government to the people who are going to make official transactions in Portugal.
- The person should open a local bank account.
- The person should identify their investment and invest it. It is suggested as a better option if the person consults their lawyer or financial advisor before making any decisions regarding this.
- The person should collect all the necessary documents from their country (it is advised to collect and keep these documents before three months of the date of applying for the Visa).
- The required documents that have been collected should be legalized and be translated into Portuguese.
- The person should also collect the required documents in Portugal with the help of their lawyer or their financial manager.
- The person should fill all the necessary documents and submit the respective application for the Golden Visa (best if done with the help of a lawyer).
- The person should pay the processing fee as discussed earlier.
- The person should wait for the primary approval that is done by the SEF.
- Once the application is approved, they have to choose a date and time on which they would appear for the interview (in person).
- The person should carry the original certificates and documents for the interview that have been submitted along with the application.
- Once the person acquires the final approval, they are able to get a residence card/permit and should definitely renew the permit as we have discussed.
The most common documents that would be required during the process of applying for the Golden Visa are:
- The international passport of the person who is applying for the visa.
- The evidence which proves the legal presence of the person in Portugal (such as visa, entry stamps, etc.).
- Documentation that proves the health insurance which is either covered by the Portuguese public health system or any other type of private health insurance. In case of private health insurance, it should either cover for the amount of time that the individual would be spending in Portugal or a shorter timespan with automatic renewal.
- Criminal records from the respective individual’s country or any other country where the individual has spent more than a year. The criminal records should be from 3 months before the application and should be translated into Portuguese.
- Filling out a form that gives SEF the required authorization required to get the person’s Portuguese criminal records.
Go to the official SEF application registration form and fill all the necessary details required along with the required supporting documentation.
- A statement made from the applicant testifying that they would obey all the rules related to the investment (such as time period and the amount).
- Documentation proving that there is a fulfillment towards the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority as well as the Social Security System.
These documents can generally be obtained before 45 days of the date of the online application.
- A receipt of the processing fee for applying for the Golden Visa.
- Precise documentation that is related to the investments made by the respective individual.
Real Estate Investment:
One of the most famous and preferred options available to the person who is about to make an investment in Portugal is an investment made in real estate. It can be useful for the person to live there with their family as well.
Anyone irrespective of their nationality or residency is able to make an investment in real estate.
Even if a person is making an investment in the real estate of Portugal, they would have to get their Tax number.
People can be able to find some good online websites of real estate brokers (known as Agências imobiliárias) of Portugal by searching over the internet.
Some of the best online real estate brokers available are: ‘Remax’, ‘JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle)’, ‘Sotheby’s’, ‘Keller Williams’, ‘Home Lovers’, etc.
The online brokers are actually given work by the sellers to sell their properties and are paid by the property owner themselves.
The person who is willing to purchase doesn’t need to pay them anything. Some online brokers even provide rentals along with the sales if the person is willing to rent the property instead of purchasing it.
Using some online platforms (aggregator websites) such as ‘ERA’, ‘OLX’, ‘BPI Expresso’, ‘SAPO’, ‘Idealista’, ‘Imovirtual’, etc. a person is able to directly deal with the property owner regarding the details of their property.
While it comes to making a purchase, it is highly suggested to hire a real estate broker instead of choosing from the online brokers and aggregator websites, so that the broker only concentrates on the requirements of the investor instead of the incentives they get when they make a sale.
Although hiring a broker might be involved with a little price, the person is able to get a good property at a better price.
With the help of some real estate brokers such as ‘Pearls of Portugal’, who provide full service unlike some traditional real estate brokers, people might be able to get the best real estate property.
These types of brokers work on a schedule based on a fixed fee and only get paid from the buyer.
- The person should gather all the required documentation and get it translated into the Portuguese language before 3 months of applying for the Portugal Golden Visa.
- They should be very cautious and avoid some firms which might lure the investor into buying real estate at a greater value than its original price showing them as the best available options.
- Knowing well about the details related to the respective type of investment.
- Get familiar with the taxation details that are applicable in Portugal.
- Get all the required documents from Portugal (such as the NIF, Bank Account, etc.) as required.
- Know well about the investment amount and time period.
- Get all the necessary documents related to the investment (such as pay-slips, tax invoices, etc.) if the person opts to create jobs for the native residents of Portugal.
Although the process of applying for a Golden Visa in Portugal might sound very easy, it is better to take the help of a person/private lawyer or a financial manager/advisor while applying as the process can sometimes be complex and very confusing.
Though the person can be able to do it, it requires a lot of time and effort from the individual and any small mistake might waste the time as well as money (due to some type of additional charges to correct mistakes while applying).
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