The Golden Visa & European Citizenship in Portugal
Certain real estate investments in Portugal entitle you to a lifelong residence permit
Our legal partners can take care of the entire application process for the Golden Visa in Portugal for you and your family
Launched in 2012, the investor visa program is actively promoted internationally by the Portuguese government. An investment of €500,000 in real estate in Portugal provides a residence permit for you and your family, including dependent children.
The golden visa can be renewed every two years, provided the applicant spends two weeks in Portugal every two years.
The Golden Visa program offers investors the following benefits:
- You do not need a visa to enter Portugal
- No visa required to travel in Europe
- Living and working in Portugal, even with residency in another country
- Residence permit for family members
- Extremely low minimum residence periods in Portugal
- Low taxes
- Permanent residence after 5 years
- Possibility to apply for Portuguese nationality after 6 years
Permanent residency in Portugal and Portuguese citizenship
One of the most attractive benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa is the possibility to apply for permanent residence after 5 years and even citizenship after 6 years, without having to live in Portugal.
The applicant only needs to stay in Portugal for two weeks every two years to be able to renew the Portuguese Golden Visa. Portuguese citizenship can be granted without the applicant having lived in the country. However, one must be able to demonstrate certain ties with the country and take a basic language test.
Portuguese citizenship gives the right to live, work and study anywhere in the European Union. With the Portuguese residence permit obtained through the golden visa, one can travel throughout the European Union and the Schengen countries.
The family members of the investor can also apply for and obtain a residence permit under the Golden Visa program. Family reunification under the Golden Visa is possible for children of the investor, the spouse and dependent family members. The family members are also eligible for permanent residence after 5 years and Portuguese citizenship after 6 years.
Travel freely throughout the European Union and all Member States of the Schengen zone
The Schengen area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. With a Portuguese residence permit, you have the right to enter all countries of the Schengen area and to travel freely.
The Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia are currently candidate countries for the Schengen area.
The necessary documentation for applying for the Portuguese Golden Visa
The applicant of the Portuguese Golden Visa must be able to present the following documentation:
- Proof of investment
- Passport and valid Schengen visa
- Portuguese tax number
- Criminal record of country of origin and / or residence
- Portuguese criminal record
- Statement from the Tax Authorities showing that there are no debts to the Tax Authorities
- Social security statement showing that there are no debts to the social security authorities
- Statement from the investor confirming that the investment requirements have been met
- Health insurance valid in Portugal (if resident in Portugal)
- Receipt of payment of the initial application fee.
The investment requirements for the Portugal Golden Visa
The requirements for obtaining the Golden Visa in Portugal are also well-defined and there are several possible options. The options take into account the specific incentive your investment can bring to the country.
Buying property in Portugal
If you buy property in Portugal with a value of €500,000 or more, you are eligible for the Golden Visa. If the property you are buying is older than 30 years or is located in an urban recovery area and you have your purchase renovated, an investment of €350,000 is sufficient.
The investment takes into account the total amount invested. For example, you do not have to buy one property in Portugal worth €500,000 to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa, but you can also buy 2 apartments of €250,000 each. All types of properties are eligible.
Transfer of funds to Portugal
Another possibility to obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa is to transfer funds to Portugal. You must then transfer a minimum amount of €1,000,000 from a foreign bank to an account of a Portuguese bank that is in your name. You are completely free to choose what to do with that money and where or how to invest it. For example, you can use this money to buy shares in Portuguese companies.
Job creation in Portugal is a further option to obtain the Golden Visa in Portugal. No minimum financial investment is required for this. You must however create employment for at least ten employees registered with social security. When establishing the company or hiring staff, you are eligible for all existing tax incentives.
Property investments in Lisbon and Porto will no longer be eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa as from 2021
During the 2020 budget, the MPs of Portugal made significant changes to the Portuguese Golden Visa system. From mid-2021 onwards, property investments in Lisbon and Porto will no longer be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa. The popularity of this system has in these cities made property prices unaffordable for the local population, which in turn started to cause social problems. In addition, it is in the country's interest to stimulate investment more inland as well as the islands such as Madeira and the Azores. In the future, other regions should also be able to benefit from this successful Portuguese investment program.
So if you want to invest in Lisbon or Porto to obtain the Golden Visa of Portugal, you have to be quick. This year it is still possible, and even though the settlement due to the coronavirus crisis is expected to take effect only later on in 2021, investing in the popular major Portuguese cities or coastal areas will soon become more difficult and less attractive.
Let real estate and legal professionals advise you
If you want to invest in Portugal to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa, then it is important that you ask advice from professionals. We advise you to be accompanied by a lawyer during the application procedure. Most law firms also work with tax advisors, who ensure that you do not miss any tax benefits during your investment in Portuguese property.
Feel free to contact us or ask for our partner lawyers with experience and expertise in buying property by foreigners and obtaining the Golden Visa in Portugal.