To appeal to new foreigner investors, the Portuguese government had launched in 2012 the Golden Visa Portugal Program. This program simplifies the granting visa process and, eventually, may lead to the obtention of a Portuguese passport.
The Golden Visa for Portuguese citizenship and passport
The Portuguese passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world. It let the holder traveling visa-free to many destinations around the world and enjoys an unlimited stay in the UE.
Foreign investors who are not citizens of UE countries are eligible for the Golden Visa in the case they are:
Investing in real estate in Portugal
Purchasing properties for at least €500,000 anywhere in Portugal gives the right to enter the Golden Visa program.
Acquiring old properties or properties located in urban regeneration areas with a value of at least €350,000 also let enter the Golden Visa program. In this case, the minimum investment is the sum of the purchase price of the property and the construction or refurbishment works cost.
The investor must purchase one or several properties to meet the minimum value, without a loan or a mortgage unless the value of the property is exceeding the minimum amount.
Any type of property qualifies for the Golden Visa program.
Transferring capital to Portugal
Investors transferring at least 1 million euros to invest in any domain in Portugal may apply for the Golden Visa program. The minimum amount of investment drops to €350,000 if the investment is financing research activities conducted by scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system. If the investment is financing artistic output or supporting the arts, reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, the minimum value of the investment drops to €250,000.
The value of the minimum amount may be reduced by 20% for investment in the sparsely populated area of Portugal.
Creating employment in Portugal
Foreigners creating, at least, 10 jobs will suit for the Golden Visa program.
The investment must stay in place for at least five years from the issue of the Golden Visa.
Regrouping Family rules
The spouse and minor children of the candidate to the Golden Visa are suitable for the regrouping family rules. It also applies to dependent relatives (younger siblings, parents, and studying adult children).
How to apply?
Candidates must fill the initial application on the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service’s (SEF) website, via your duly appointed legal representative, and with scanned copies of the requested documents. It includes Passport, proof of legal entry into Portugal, Proof of health insurance valid in Portugal, criminal record certificate from country of origin, certificate of compliance with the Portuguese tax and Social Security obligations and a receipt of payment of the initial analysis fees to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
Once all of the documents have been pre-approved by SEF, your representative will schedule an appointment, which you will need to attend to register biometric data (fingerprints, photographs, height, and signatures).
The applicant has to pay various fees to complete the visa granting process.
What are the benefits of the Golden Visa?
Holders of a Golden visa in Portugal can freely live and work in Portugal,
visa-free entry to Schengen area countries and right to travel throughout the Schengen zone. They also have access to the public Portuguese healthcare, education and judicial systems. Holding a Golden visa gives the possibility to apply in the future for permanent residence or Portuguese Passport.
The Residence Permit is issued for an initial period of 1 year and is renewable for consecutive periods of 2 years. Investors need to spend only 7 days in Portugal during the first year, and 14 days during each following two-year renewal period.
Holders of a golden visa may also request a permanent residence permit in Portugal (after 5 years), or even Portuguese citizenship (after 6 years) as long as they meet the general requirement for nationality granting, such as demonstrating basic user level knowledge of the Portuguese language.
Investors who are not interested in getting a Portuguese passport have the option to keep renewing their golden visa for periods of two years, provided that they maintain the original investment.
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