Portugal’s golden visa, or residency by investment, is a hugely successful scheme of Portuguese (and therefore EU) residency in return for investing in property or business. Successful applicants gain the right to live and work here, free movement around Europe’s Schengen zone, and the chance to apply for citizenship after 5 years. Here’s how.
How does it work?
You gain a Portugal golden visa by making a suitable investment in the country, and following an application process. If you’re buying property, the required investment is usually €500,000 or more. The application simple but quite time consuming, as a considerable amount of documentation is required. All of the documentation must also be translated into Portuguese.
It’s possible to apply online and work through the process yourself. However, many people decide to hire an experienced lawyer to help with everything instead. Typically, lawyers charge around €5000 per applicant to assist with the entire procedure.
Once you’ve been granted a Golden Visa, you receive an initial one-year residence permit. This is followed by two more permits lasting for two years each. One condition to this is that you maintain your investment in Portugal. After this initial five years, you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
For many, one big bonus of the Portugal golden visa is that you don’t need to live full-time in the country. You only need be there for seven days in the first year and 14 in subsequent years. This potentially gives you a way to creatively structure your global tax arrangements.
Portugal golden visa: the requirements
Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme is intended for “third country” (i.e. non-EU/EEA) nationals. EU and EEA citizens are free to move to Portugal without such investment anyway.
If you plan to apply for a Golden Visa by purchasing property, you will need to choose a home valued at €500,000 or more. In certain areas earmarked for “urban regeneration,” you can buy a property over 30 years old for renovation instead. In these cases, the necessary spend it reduced to €350,000, but the Portuguese immigration authorities (SEF) must agree first.
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There are also various business-related ways to qualify for a Golden Visa. These include creating ten jobs in the local economy, moving investment funds into the country (usually €350,000 or more),or transferring capital to be used in arts and regeneration. The immigration department has the details of the options here.
How long does it take?
As with all things bureaucratic in Portugal, the time taken to complete the paperwork and process a Golden Visa can vary. However, to be on the safe side it’s best to assume that the entire process will take six to seven months. Obviously, you also have to allow time to find a suitable property.
Who is eligible for a Portuguese golden visa?
As mentioned above, the Golden Visa scheme is intended for third-party nationals. At the time of writing, it’s possible that British people could become third-party nationals after the conclusion of Brexit. This makes the Golden Visa an interesting option if that is the outcome.
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For more information about golden visas, we can recommend Portuguese legal specialists. Simply fill in our enquiry form below with your requirements, and we’ll be in touch with the details of suitable contacts.