Portugal’s residency programme is called the Portugal Golden Visa and is targeted at non-EU nationals. Created to entice foreign investment to Portugal, the programme attracts expats from various countries around the globe, who would like to relocate to a European country. This brings with a number of perks like enjoying a high standard of living, business opportunity and movement. Indeed individuals and families from numerous countries apply regularly under this programme, for their chance to live, study and do business in Portugal and the EU.
The Portugal Golden Visa Programme employs a simple and fast process, with certificates of residency issued after some 4 months from when the application is first lodged. This speedy and easy process, coupled with important factors like a very reduced minimum stay, access to Schengen and the possibility to apply for citizenship after 6 years of residency, makes Portugal’s Golden Visa very appealing and popular.
FACT BOX: BENEFITS
- Fast 4-month track to residency
- The right to reside, study and do business in Portugal
- Permanent residency granted after 5 years of temporary residence
- Minimal stay requirement (7 days)
- Access to Schengen zone
- Favourable tax regime
- Attractive business conditions
- Right to apply for citizenship after 6 years
FACT BOX: TAXATION
- No estate duty
- No wealth, gift, retirement gratuity or inheritance tax
- No municipal tax
- No tax on capital gains
FACT BOX: ELIGIBILITY
- Be 18 years of age
- Be a third country, non-EU national
- Be of good standing
- Family eligibility
- Enter country for the first time with a Schengen Visa
- Fulfill the minimum stay requirement of 7 days (first year) and 14 days (subsequent years)
- Fulfill the monetary obligations established by the Programme
What are the benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa?
Holders of the Portugal Golden Visa are granted the right to live in Portugal, after a very fast application process. They are also given an EU residence card that allows them to travel freely across the Schengen zone. Permanent residency is gained after 5 years of temporary residence. The programme is open to family members.
New residents under this programme are only required to stay in the country for a very short period of 7 days in the first years. This requirement appeals to those who live a highly mobile lifestyle that enables them to see to their business and family needs.
After 6 years of residency, individuals and residents may apply for citizenship.
What are the costs involved under the Portugal Golden Visa?
Applicants for the Portugal Golden Visa have a number of investment choices as a means to obtain residency. These are capital transfer, property purchase or an investment that is deemed to create jobs in Portugal.
Applicants who choose property purchase as their investment of choice are required to purchase a property costing between €280,000 and €500,000. These amounts depend on the type of property to be bought and the location it is found in. The minimum investment for a new property in Portugal under this programme stands at €500,000. Purchase of property that is older than 30 years and is situated in urban regeneration areas need to have a minimum value of €350,000. Property older than 30 years in less dense areas (less than 100 inhabitants per square kilometre) must carry a minimum value of €280,000.
Applicants may also invest in projects that will create a minimum of 10 permanent jobs. This option was devised by the government with the aim of growing the job market in Portugal. The new jobs must be verified by local social security authorities for the investment initiative to be approved.
Applicants choosing capital transfers can invest €1,000,000 in a Portuguese financial institution. The investment can be effected over a period of 5 years. An alternative to this option is an investment of €500,000 in investment funds or in venture capital for SMEs. The programme obligation may also be satisfied through an investment of €350,000 in scientific research, or a €250,000 investment in culture and arts.
Eligibility for the Portugal Golden Visa
For a main applicant to be eligible under the Portugal Golden Visa, s/he must be a non-EU national of good standing and at least 18 years of age. S/he must enter Porgual for the first time with a valid Schengen Visa.
Applicants must then meet the minimum stay requirement of 7 days for the first year and 14 days in subsequent years.
Eligible family members under the programme include the spouse, dependent children, parents and siblings. Children over 18 studying at an academic institution or financially dependent may also be considered.
Steps, procedures and timeline to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa Programme
The Portugal Golden Visa Programme employs a fast-track process to residency rights for holders.
STEP 1: Submit application for Schengen Visa
The main applicant visits a Portuguese Embassy in his/her country and submits an application for a Schengen Visa.
STEP 2: Pre-register for Golden Visa
Main applicant travels to Portugal to pre-register for a Golden Visa permit.
STEP 3: Transfer investment funds and processing fees
Applicant fulfills the monetary obligations of the programme under one of the 3 investment options offered.
STEP 4: Application is processed
A four-month period kicks in during which the application is evaluated, verified and processed by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service.
STEP 5: Certificate is issued
The Portugal Golden Visa is issued.
Legal amendments in Portuguese law now enable non- EU citizens to apply for a Portuguese Residence Permit in return for transferring capital, creating jobs or acquiring real estate in Portugal. This is possible by virtue of Law 29/2012 and Order number 11820-A/2012.
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