Portugal Golden Visa

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portuguese Golden Visa is one of the most popular immigrant investor programs among EU countries. The Portugal Golden Visa program was launched by the Portuguese government in 2012 to provide a five-year residency for non-EU citizens. The residence permit gives the investors and their families (including the applicant’s spouse, children and parents) the right to live, work and study in Portugal, and to apply for permanent residency and citizenship in Portugal after five years. After acquiring the Portuguese citizenship, they can live, study and work freely in 27 EU countries. A good choice for those who have no intention of moving overseas but wish to obtain an EU passport for their children, or send their children to study in EU countries in the future, and finally attend an EU university under local resident status.

 

Since Portugal government also allows dual citizenship, it will be a feasible option for the applicants and their families to move to Ireland with the Portugal passport, and to study and live in Ireland freely. After being an Irish citizen and obtaining the Irish passport, they can move to the United Kingdom and enjoy the benefits of residing freely in Portugal, the European Union, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Visa advantages

  1. Only need to stay in Portugal for 7 days per year in average
  2. One immigration application for three generations to move to Portugal (including applicant’s spouse, parents and children)
  3. Free travel to 26 Schengen member states in Europe under the Golden Visa
  4. Visa free for more than 187 countries worldwide after obtaining Portugal citizenship
  5. Freely live, study and work in 27 EU countries after obtaining Portugal citizenship
  6. Low Investment amount starting from EUR 280,000
  7. Diversified investment options
  8. No proof is required for source of funds, due diligence, medical examination or language

Basic requirements

Age requirements

  • The main applicant is over 18 years old

Family requirements

  • Spouse
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Children of 18-25 years old, being unmarried and full-time students
  • Retired and financially dependent parents (65 or above do not require proof)

Financial requirements

  • Ability to invest in designated investment projects
  • No proof of source of funds and due diligence are required

Character requirements

  • Not been convicted of a criminal offence in any country
  • Able to provide proof of no criminal record

 

Portugal Golden Visa Investment

There are more than 9,600 main applicants with more than 16,000 family members applying between 2012 and 2021.

  • Over 90% of the applications chose the Property investment route, of those, around 90% chose the EUR 500K option, while 10% chose the EUR 350K option.
  • The second popular option is the capital transfer option, with 488 applications, and then investment fund options with 73 applications.
  • At last, there are 17 applications for the creation of job positions, and 5 for capital injection to companies.

Investment Options:

  • Starting from EUR 500,000
  • Starting from EUR 400,000 (low density areas)
  • After 1 January 2022, Lisbon, Porto and most of the coastal area will no longer qualify for residential real estate projects and only investment in commercial real estate projects are allowed
  • Renovation of a 30-year-old property project, including the value of the property and the cost of the renovation
  • Starting from EUR 350,000
  • Starting from EUR280,000 (low density areas)
  • After 1 January 2022, Lisbon, Porto and most of the coastal area will no longer qualify for residential real estate projects and only investment in commercial real estate projects are allowed

 

*The most popular investment route for the Portuguese Golden Visa is real estate investment, and most applicants have chosen to invest in residential projects in Lisbon or the northern coastal area by way of residential property purchase in the past few years. Until the beginning of 2022, the Portuguese Immigration Authority has amended the relevant immigration legislation that Lisbon, Porto and most of the coastal areas will no longer accept residential properties investment. Applicant can only to invest residential property in low-density area at inland Portugal. Therefore, many applicants now consider to invest in the renovated commercial properties in Lisbon and Porto, and obtain a rental income by renting it out to local tenants through local property management company.

  • Starting from EUR 500,000
  • Invest in Portugal private equity funds or venture capital funds
  • Capital transfer in Portugal local bank: EUR 1.5 million
  • Invest in scientific and technological research: EUR 500,000
  • Creation of 10 jobs in Portugal
  • Invest EUR 500,000 in Portugal company and create 5 jobs
  • Donation: EUR 250,000

Golden Visa Renewal/ Permanent residency/ Citizenship Requirements

Golden Visa Renewal Requirements

  • Stay Requirements: 7 days per year or 14 days every two years
  • Maintain the investment of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program
  • No criminal record in Portugal and from your home country or any country of residence
  • There are no unpaid taxes in Portugal

 

Permanent residency requirements

  • Holder of a temporary residence permit for at least 5 years
  • No criminal record in Portugal and from your home country or any country of residence
  • Passed the A2 Level Portuguese Language Test (CAPLE) or complete a recognized Portuguese language course at Level A2 or higher, for more information on language requirements, you can refer to the SEF website (https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/solicitar/residir/art80/).
  • It takes about 3-6 months to complete the application.

 

Residency requirements for citizens

  • Holder of a temporary residence permit for at least 5 years
  • Passed the A2 Level Portuguese Language Test (CAPLE) or complete a recognized Portuguese language course at Level A2 or higher, for more information on language requirements, you can refer to the SEF website (https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/solicitar/residir/art80/).
  • No involvement in terrorist activities in Portugal and from your home country or any country of residence.
  • Portugal allows dual citizenship, but you need to consider whether your country of origin allows dual citizenship.
  • It takes up to 2 years to complete the application.

Application documents

Application documents

  • Identification documents
  • Valid passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of no criminal record
  • Application form
  • Proof of assets
  • Proof of investment in the investment projects

Documents must be apostilled and notarized. All documents in non-Portuguese need to be translated by a Portugal lawyer or certified interpreter recognized by the Portuguese Consulate.

Comparison with the Irish Citizenship by Investment Program

 Portugal Golden VisaIreland IIP
Investment Funds

Invest one of the following:

  1. Real Estate:  EUR 280k – 500k
  2. Fund: EUR 500k
  3. Others:
  • Capital transfer in Portugal local bank: EUR 1.5 million
  • Invest in scientific and technological research: EUR 500k
  • Creation of 10 jobs in Portugal
  • Invest EUR500k in Portugal company and create 5 jobs
  • Donation: EUR 250k
One of the following:
1) Enterprise Investment: €1,000,000
2) Investment Fund: €1,000,000
3) REIT: €2,000,000
4) Endowment: €400,000
Investment PeriodHold the investment minimum of 5 years, and hold until obtained permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal3-5 years
PR Residency Requirement5 years – 7 days per year or 14 days every two years in Portugal1 day per year in Ireland
Citizenship residency Requirement5 years – 7 days per year or 14 days every two years in PortugalLive in Ireland legally for 5 years out of the last 9 years before application and no absence for the last 12 months before application.
Language Requirements (when applying PR/Citizenship)Passed the A2 Portuguese Language Test (CAPLE) or complete a recognized Portugal language course at A2 level or higherNO

Visa application process

It usually takes 9-12 months from preparation of application to visa approval, depending on whether there are any problems on the related application documents.

1

Provide free telephone consultation to assess the applicant’s background and answer relevant questions

2

Schedule a face-to-face consultation to discuss the applicant’s situation, eligibility and timeline

3

Sign the Independent Consultant Agreement

4

Decide on investment options

5

We prepare the application documents and investment (takes about 4 months)

6

Arrange an appointment to obtain a certificate of no criminal record

7

After the completion of the investment, the we will process and submit the Golden Visa application to the The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF (English: Foreigners and Borders Service)

8

After 3-4 months submitting the application, SEF will notify all applicants to travel to Portugal for biometric certification

9

The processing time of the SEF is generally 4 to 6 months

10

The approval letter is issued, and the Portuguese lawyer collects the 2-year period Golden Visa on behalf of the applicant

11

Apply every 2 years to extend Golden Visa status for 2 years

12

Passed the A2 level exam and apply for Portuguese permanent residence or citizenship

Frequently Asked Questions

The Golden Visa involves the following SEF fees and third party fees:-

 

Items

Description

SEF*Fee

Visa application fee

Initial: EUR533 / Applicant

Extension: EUR533 / Applicant

SEF*Fee

Golden Visa fees

Initial: EUR5,325 / Applicant

Extension: EUR2,663 / Applicant

Third Party Lawyer Fees

Processing investment and visa applications

Depend on different law firms’ quotation

Third Party Professional and Documentation Fees

Documents apostilled, notarized and translation

Depend on the number of documents

Portugal Tax Accountant Fee

Tax representative

EUR600 – 1,000 / year

*SEF =The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras

(English: Foreigners and Borders Service)

The government department that processes the relevant applications for the Portuguese Golden Visa

Items Description
Investment Fund For investment projects Depends on investment choice EUR 280k – EUR 500k
Taxes and fees for real estate investment Stamp Duty: 0.8% of the property value (one-off) Transaction Tax: 6.5-7.5% of property value (one-off) Property Notary Registration Fee: EUR 1,500 (one-off) Property Tax: 0.3 – 0.8% of property value (per annum) Depends on property value
Fee for fund investment Subscription fee: 0 – 5% (one-off) Fund management fee: 0 – 3% (per annum) Depends on different fund houses

You must pass the Portuguese A2 exam before you apply Portugal Permanent residency/ Citizenship. The A2 level is the ability to communicate in the simple, basic and predictable situations in daily life, such as in workplace and in school.

 

The Portugal language test (CAPLE) consists of three parts: writing, listening and speaking.

There are many institutions teaching Portuguese in Hong Kong (such as HKU Space, etc.), and applicants can also apply the online course.

 

CAPLE has 3 examination periods each year, which are May, July and November. Applicants can take the examination at 3 officially recognized institutions in Macau, including:

  1. Instituto Português do Oriente,IPOR,
  2. University of Macao,
  3. Macao Polytechnic University

 

The exam takes about 2 hours and is structured as follows:

 

  • Speaking (10-15 minutes – 25 % total)
  • Reading and Writing (1 hour 15 points – 45 % total)
  • Listening (30 minutes – 30 % total)

 

Exam scores range from 0-100 with passing score at 55. Once you passed the exam, you will be issued with a certificate, and the certificate is permanently valid. After completing the 5-year valid temporary residence, the applicant can be eligible to apply for permanent residence or passport.

The European Union 

The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.

The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Schengen Area

Schengen Area signifies a zone where 26 European countries, abolished their internal borders, for the free and unrestricted movement of people, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening the common judicial system and police cooperation. With a residence permit in Portugal, investors have the right to travel freely in all Schengen countries.

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 and Switzerland.

Yes. Portugal allows dual citizenship, but you need to consider whether your country of origin allows dual citizenship.

It is worth to pay attention that the official language of Portugal is Portuguese, when you are purchasing a residential or commercial property, the documents involved, including the title deed and the sale and purchase agreement, will be conducted in Portuguese. Therefore, in order to protect your personal interests, it is a very critical to appoint a trustworthy Portuguese-speaking lawyer to translate English for you to fully understand the investment terms and conditions.

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