Europe is one of the finest places to live and has several benefits. Citizenship in one of the EU countries means access to varied economic opportunities and a world-class health and education system.
Having European citizenship also makes traveling more convenient; it’s affordable, visa-free, and well-connected.
One of the best options for European citizenship is the Golden Visa program offered by a few European countries.
The Golden Visa program offered by Portugal is one of the world’s top citizenships by investment programs. The Golden Visa program gets investments from thousands of people worldwide.
The Golden Visa of Portugal is unique and attractive because of its many features discussed below.
Golden Visa Portugal
Citizenship by investment, also known as the Golden Visa, allows non-EU/EEA citizens to get residency and later citizenship in European countries.
The Portuguese Golden Visa program is the most popular one in Europe because of the diversity of investment options, affordability, and flexibility available to investors.
In addition, the golden visa investment allows your entire family (blood relatives) to benefit from the investment.
New policy for Golden Visa in 2022
In January 2022, the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) introduced changes in the Golden Visa requirements.
While the minimum investment for the golden visa for specific residency properties remains €500K, the changes have limited and specified the geographical areas where residential properties are eligible and qualified for investment.
Investors can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500K.
The changes have also increased the capital transfer amount from €1 million to €1.5 million.
Investment options for Portugal’s Golden Visa
· Residential Real Estate
An investor can acquire residency by investing a minimum of €500,000 in residential real estate properties in designated interior areas of Portugal.
Another option is an investment of €350,000 in a rehabilitation project.
· Commercial Real Estate
A minimum of €500,000 investment in commercial real estate property anywhere in the county. Or a €350,000 investment if it is a rehabilitation project.
Other options for acquiring Golden Visa in Portugal
1. Capital transfer worth €1.5 million.
2. The creation of at least ten job positions
3. Contribution of €500,000 to scientific or technology research.
4. Company incorporation and creating ten jobs amount to a minimum value of €500,000.
5. Donation of €250,000 to support the reconstruction of national heritage in Portugal.
Why choose Portugal for Golden Visa Investment?
In addition to the diversity of options that Portugal provides its investors, it is one of the finest European countries.
If the investor decides not to live, they also have that option. An investor in Golden Visa must stay in Portugal for only seven days a year.
For anyone investing in Golden Visa Program, Portugal doesn’t bring any tax responsibility unless they decide to stay more than 183 days in the country. After 183 days, the person becomes a tax resident in the country.
Portugal has a favorable tax regime for foreigners interested in relocating to Portugal and wanting to become tax residents.
The non-habitual residency (NHR) offers certain tax exemptions in the income tax for the first 10 years. However, the rules slightly changed in 2020 regarding tax breaks on the pension incomes of foreign prisoners.
You can work, study, and live in Portugal through the Golden Visa Program. If you decide to live in Portugal full-time through Golden Visa, you will have access to all the public facilities, including health and education.
This visa also allows you to apply for any jobs or start your own business in the country. One of the reasons the Golden Visa program attracts foreigners is the policy regarding family reunification.
The family Golden Visa applicant can extend their visa to other family members. The application process for the principal applicant and dependents is processed simultaneously.
Eligibility for Golden Visa Portugal
· Anyone with non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationality can apply for the program.
· The main applicant must be 18 years old and above and hold a clean criminal record from their home country and Portugal.
· The investment should be transferred from outside Portugal.
The applicant should have a minimum investment in any Golden Visa Investment options mentioned above. The Golden Visa can be extended to the following family members of the applicant.
· Children under the age of 18.
· Dependent children under the age of 26 if they are not married and are full-time enrolled students.
· Parents above the age of 65.
Benefits of investing in Golden Visa of Portugal
1. Freedom of mobility.
2. Options of investing in multiple properties.
3. No legal obligations of residing in the purchased property.
4. Affordable and numerous investment options.
5. One investment to facilitate all family and coming generations.
6. Eligibility for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency in just five years of the investment.
7. A chance to live in a country with the best weather and affordable living.
8. The Portuguese passport is the fifth strongest passport in the world.
If you want to apply for the Golden Visa program and live in the world’s best continent, then connect with our experts today!
However, this small country situated on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is becoming the most visited country in Europe. It is a tourist attraction for an infinite number of reasons.
Talk about beaches, traditional cuisine, soccer, lively people, idyllic climate, affordable travel costs, and exceptional landscape it’s not only becoming a tourist spot. Rather a lot of people are thinking to move and settle into Portugal permanently.
From the landscapes you saw to the sights you view, the food you ate, to the waves you rode, Portugal is one of the finest places in Europe to both visit and settle in.
Let’s have a look at a variety of other reasons for Portugal becoming extraordinarily popular from an underrated country in the European belt.
From the rocky and towery mountains in the north to the spectacular beaches in the south, Portugal is enriched with the places that usually don’t turn up on the maps but are there as a hidden secret for all the tourists to have a visit and explore the delightful beauty of nature.
Old fashioned charm with contemporary sophistication, Portugal is both classic and distinctly modern. It’s a paradox that attracts visitors from all across the globe.
The country’s iconic cities are where modern life buzzes with the ancient landscapes referring to the past. Like in the city of Porto, which you can admire in the picture.
From amazing scenes from the top of the mountains to the largest underwater world, Portugal is unique in every sense.
Portugal has a variety to offer to its visitors, from the oldest bookstore in the world to Europe’s largest bridge.
From hidden cities’ secrets to the shores of the noisy water striking the surface will leave you in awe.
One of the major reason people choose Portugal over any other European country is its uniform weather throughout the year. Especially on the Algarve coast, southern Portugal.
Most of the EU countries experience extreme hot to extreme cold conditions. While on the other hand, cool sea breezes in summers and pleasant comparatively warm wet winters make Portugal a desirable place for all the expats and tourists to visit and settle in Portugal.
One of the prominent factors of Portugal’s popularity is its simple and delicious cuisines.
Be it seafood, meat, or vegetables, the food is relatively simply cooked following the basic ingredients rather than complicated sauces used in its neighboring countries like France, Italy, or Spain.
Moreover, Portugal is highly affordable when it comes to food.
One unique feature of Portuguese cuisines is a seasoned food. They cook what is in according to the season.
One of the specialties of Portuguese food is potatoes cooked in a variety of ways. Pastéis de Nata is the signature Portuguese dessert, an egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.
Other famous Portugal cuisines include Bifana, Bacalhau, Squid, and Sardines.
As for drinks, Portugal is known to be one of the world’s biggest consumers of wine per capita.
Portugal’s most famous export is wine which is known to be the national drink also.
Moreover, the world’s oldest wine-producing region and a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Douro Valley is another popular feature for Portugal.
One of the reasons for Portugal’s popularity is its native Portuguese language which is known to be the official language of nine other countries.
Having 220 million native speakers of this language, it’s the sixth most spoken as a first language.
It’s a curious fact about Portugal, which attracts many Brazilian expats to the Old Continent.
Every time we think about Portugal, the very first thing that comes to mind is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Football might be the popular sport played in Portugal but Cristiano Ronaldo has become a brand associated with football representing Portugal all across the globe.
Even interested in soccer or not the whole world recognizes him.
Apart from him, Portugal is known to produce great players of all times on the Soccer field. Eusébio, Luis Figo, Paulo Sousa, and Paulo Future are some of the greatest names in the history of Portugal soccer.
Standard of living
With such a growing and confident economy, Portugal is known to be the hub for all the business tycoons and investors from all across the globe.
Innovations, talented people, leading companies are building it a new country and a startup hub in the whole of Europe.
The combination of good infrastructure and a high-quality economy with massive technology as compared to other parts of Europe makes Portugal quite attractive for starting a business and investing here.
The strong capability of exports, well-educated workforce, and low-cost base is an eye-opener for all the business starters to invest in Portugal.
Cost of living
Living in Portugal is highly affordable as compared to other parts of Europe.
From food to the residence, fueling to healthcare, Portugal offers you the cheapest rates comparatively.
Moreover, Airfares are relatively low and stopovers are free for domestic as well as international flights.
Fado is known to be the soul of Portuguese music.
This specific genre was recognized and originated in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and is often played in Pubs, cafes, or restaurants, and other public areas presenting a soothing effect to the environment.
The Fado music contains the message of hope and the new beginning after going through the tough phase of life.
To wrap up, Portugal was nowhere in the past decades. But this small country with a low population was highly underrated.
In the recent past, it evolved as an ideal business hub for investors from all across the globe. The Portuguese economy is shifting to be confident and ever-growing.
Besides, Portugal is highly popular for its high quality of life and affordable access to almost every facility and even luxuries.
Nonetheless, the spectacular and mesmerizing landscapes and beauty add a lot to increasing the popularity of Portugal.
2022 is a perfect time to consider a move to Portugal from India.
And why not, because Portugal is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most popular relocation destinations.
This small Atlantic country has so much to offer, from scenic destinations like the Algarve, Silver Coast and Madeira, to generous tax breaks for remote workers and online business owners. Not only that, but the cost of living in Portugal is one of Western Europe’s lowest.
For those who move to Portugal from India for the long-term, there’s the option to apply for Portuguese citizenship after just five years – one of the fastest timelines in the European Union.
Having Portuguese Citizenship can bring you some awesome benefits, including more freedom of travel, better scope for tax planning, increased quality of life, and access to a safe haven.
Armed with an EU passport, you’ll benefit from freedom of movement across the entire Eurozone. That includes not just freedom of travel, but the full rights to live, work, study and retire across all countries in the EU.
As you can see, living in Portugal as an Indian is a great idea.
Without any further ado, let’s dive in and look at 11 reasons to move to Portugal from India in 2022.
11 Reasons to Move to Portugal from USA in 2022
1. Political stability
2. Affordable state healthcare
3. Safer food
4. Easy residency visa pathways
5. Generous tax breaks
6. Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free
7. Five years to full EU citizenship
8. Access the entire Schengen zone
9. Diverse choice of destinations
10. Tolerant and progressive
1. Political stability
Are you fed up with constant conflicts in India ? Both religious and political ?
If you move to Portugal from India, you can leave all of those stresses behind.
In fact, Portugal ranks sixth among the safest countries in the world, according to the 2022 Global Peace Index.
Portuguese politics isn’t perfect. But as a foreigner in Portugal, you won’t have to deal with constant anxiety about the country’s political direction.
What’s more, Portugal is politically stable and lacks the toxic religious battles.
And if you’ve had enough, then a move to Portugal from India will make for a refreshing change of pace.
2. Affordable state healthcare
Europe has long been known for its state healthcare, and Portugal’s no exception.
When you move to Portugal from India and become a resident, you’ll be eligible to access good quality healthcare anywhere in the country – free or low cost (depending on the treatment).
All you need to do is get an SNS number to join the Portuguese healthcare system.
If you still prefer to go private (to get faster treatment), then health insurance in Portugal is very affordable.
Also, health issues don’t get as politicized as they do in India.
Thanks to EU regulations, Portugal has significantly stricter sanitary and animal welfare standards than in India.
For example,chemical washes such as chlorine, growth hormones in animal feed, genetically modified foods that aren’t labeled and pesticides are banned in the EU. That means no chlorinated chicken or high fructose corn syrup.
In some regions, such as Madeira, locally grown produce (such as bananas and avocados) is plentiful and low-cost. Produce that doesn’t grow in Portugal is often brought in from nearby Spain, reducing environmental costs in terms of transportation.
4. Easy residency visa pathways
For those who want to stay in Portugal for the long term, the two best options are the D7 visa or the Golden Visa. Let’s take a quick look at what each one involves.
The D7 Passive Income Visa
The first is the D7 visa, a popular choice for those retiring in Portugal. It’s often known as the ‘passive income’ or ‘retiree’ visa. But in fact, this flexible immigration pathway goes beyond just passive income or pensions.
The D7 is also a great fit for remote workers and online business owners. Portugal allows those working remotely with an overseas employer to be eligible for D7, as well as online business owners who draw their income in dividends.
The most important factor in getting the D7 is showing proof of income. Depending on the embassy, you’ll also be asked to show proof of having enough savings in the bank to support yourself and any dependents for a period of one year.
Income levels are based on the equivalent of the Portuguese minimum wage, which at €705 per month is one of the lowest in the EU.
The Portuguese government wants to know that D7 applicants can support themselves in Portugal without needing to ask for state funds. If you can do that, and don’t have a criminal record, then the D7 visa is easy to get.
The initial D7 residency is valid for two years. After that, you’ll need to renew your status again for a further three years, which means showing evidence of sufficient income and savings.
Once you hit the five-year residency mark, you’ll become eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
It’s important to note that getting residency with the D7 visa means that Portugal should be your main home.
You’ll need to become a Portugal tax resident and declare your worldwide income to Portugal every year, although you won’t necessarily have to pay tax on it.
We’ll take a closer look at the tax implications in the next section, after looking at two other important Portugal residency visas.
The Portugal Golden Visa
The second immigration pathway is via Portugal’s residency by investment program, known as the Portugal Golden Visa.
This gives you residency for five years, which will take you all the way to becoming eligible for permanent residency or citizenship.
In return, the government of Portugal wants you to make a significant investment in the country.
Real estate is the most common route, but you can also go for Portugal Golden Visa investment funds.
Funds are becoming an increasingly popular way to get the Golden Visa, due to faster processing time and better overall tax efficiency when compared to real estate.
Portuguese Golden Visa funds are closely regulated by the government and they are subject to frequent audits. Funds mostly invest in variety of real estate renovation projects, along with Portuguese start-ups and later-stage tech companies.
There are also opportunities for you to get the Golden Visa through investment in Portuguese scientific research, art and heritage projects, or simply deposit €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank. However, these routes are less commonly used.
Portugal has one of Western Europe’s lowest costs of living. Hence, Golden Visa real estate investment thresholds can be quite affordable.
They range from €280,000 for rehabilitation projects in low density areas of the country to €500,000 for any sort of real estate in eligible areas of the country.
Please note – Lisbon, Porto, and some of the Algarve region are no longer eligible for Golden Visa investment in 2022.
Perhaps you want to move to Portugal from India with the Golden Visa, but can’t manage it until later this year or beyond.
In that case, the Golden Visa investment funds route is one of the quickest ways to secure a foothold in Portugal – and start your timeline to citizenship – without having to relocate.
But if real estate investment is the route for you, then you might want to consider getting the Golden Visa in Madeira as an interesting alternative to Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.
The Portugal HQA Visa
Another investment-based route to residency is the Portugal HQA Visa (‘Highly Qualified Activity’).
This program was introduced in 2019 and is designed for entrepreneurial investors who wish to undertake a research project in Portugal.
The HQA visa program combines two key components:
Setting up a business in Portugal
Making an investment in high-value research and development activities at one of Portugal’s universities.
The HQA visa offers a number of key benefits over the Golden Visa:
Faster processing timeline. Applications are normally approved in around 30 days. This means you’ll get your residence permit in hand faster and start the clock ticking to citizenship more quickly.
Lower overall cost. The HQA visa requires an investment of just €175,000. That’s significantly cheaper than the lowest threshold for the Golden Visa.
No-risk refund policy. If your HQA Visa application fails, your entire investment will be refunded in full. That means there’s no risk whatsoever!
Build a flourishing start-up and establish an EU business presence. Depending on the success of your business idea, you could generate intellectual property which could be patented and become a valuable asset. Your business could make great returns for you in the future.
Let’s now look at what’s on offer in terms of tax benefits when moving to Portugal.
Portugal isn’t a tax haven or even a low tax country. It uses a progressive income tax scheme with a top threshold of 48%.
But one of the main attractions for foreigners who move to Portugal from USA is the non habitual residency (NHR) tax scheme. This name is misleading, because it’s full-time tax residents of Portugal who typically use the NHR scheme.
So, what exactly is Portugal’s NHR scheme and what does it offer?
The NHR grants preferential tax treatment for a period of 10 years to individuals (foreigners or citizens) who haven’t been taxed as a Portuguese tax residents during the preceding five years.
You can apply for NHR status from the moment you register as a tax resident of Portugal.
Benefits include tax exemptions from non-Portuguese sourced income in most categories, including foreign dividends, salary, real estate income and capital gains on property.
NHR status also gives you a flat rate of 20% tax on most Portuguese-sourced income, if it comes from one of the eligible professions.
NHR is extremely beneficial for those moving to Portugal from USA with EU citizenship as their end goal.
The NHR timeline extends far beyond the citizenship timeline, allowing you to work towards Portuguese citizenship while still benefiting from preferential tax treatment.
6. Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free
Another big benefit of moving to Portugal is Portugal’s tax treatment of income from cryptocurrency investments.
At present (although this is set to change eventually), Portugal doesn’t tax gains on cryptocurrency.
This applies to investments only. Day-trading would likely be classified as work and taxed accordingly.
If you’ve made large gains on crypto in the last few years and are thinking of cashing out, a moving to Portugal from India to become a tax resident could be an interesting solution for you.
7. Five years to full EU citizenship
Here at My Global Citizenship, our number one goal is helping people to get second passports and residency permits. We’re firm believers in the many benefits of having a Global citizenship, which go beyond those of mere permanent residency.
So how does Portugal measure up when it comes to getting citizenship? The answer: extremely well.
In fact, Portugal has one of the fastest citizenship by naturalization pathways in the whole EU.
Five years is as quick as you’re going to get without having family ties to an EU country.
What’s more, Portugal allows dual citizenship, so you can opt for another country too. Language skills are a requirement for citizenship, but Portugal’s required level is one of the lowest in the EU.
A massive benefit of having a Portuguese passport is full freedom of movement across the EU countries, with the right to live freely, travel, access study at EU-level tuition rates, and retire anywhere you want in Europe.
Fancy spending your golden years in Greece or Italy instead of Portugal? That’s easy to do as an EU citizen.
What’s more, if you get into trouble while traveling abroad, as a Portuguese you’d be entitled to consular assistance from the embassy of any EU country (if Portugal isn’t represented).
But when exactly are those five years counted from? Well, the clock starts when you receive your residency permit.
That’s why it makes sense to get to that point as quickly as possible, avoiding any unnecessary hold-ups or complications.
8. Access the entire Schengen zone
Remember that 90 days in 180 limit on travel across Europe?
Well, as a resident of Portugal, you’ll be able to reset it by going back to Portugal (instead of leaving the Schengen area altogether).
But once you’re a Portuguese citizen, the limit gets removed completely. You can travel across Europe for as many days as you like.
You can also move freely to any other EU country if you decide that Portugal is no longer the right fit.
9. Diverse choice of destinations
Portugal has some stunning places to live in. Whether you’re a fan of year-round sunshine, or prefer a cooler climate, Portugal has it all.
Madeira is a great place to opt out of winter permanently with the fabulous Madeira beaches, while Porto offers a similar climate to San Francisco.
The Algarve region is loaded with golden sand beaches and boasts a lively international community, while cosmopolitan Lisbon has everything that a world capital should offer.
Central Portugal has countless historical towns, such as the old university city of Coimbra, and affordable real estate investments that still have plenty of mileage for the Golden Visa in 2022 and beyond.
10. Tolerant and progressive
Despite its conservative Catholic heritage and recent dictatorship, Portugal has evolved into a progressive and accepting country.
If an LGBTQ foreigner, you’re highly unlikely to experience any form of homophobic violence. People are more likely to just accept you with a relaxed indifference – considering that it’s none of their business anyway.
That’s a good recipe for a peaceful life.
Are you considering leaving India for a new life in Europe?
Portugal’s high quality of life, low cost of living, affordable healthcare, excellent weather and high levels of safety all combine to make it a compelling destination for Indians looking for a better lifestyle.
Will 2022 be the year you finally make the move to Portugal?
Portugal is among the top ten countries in the world that attracts the most millionaires.
This year, around 88,000 millionaires are expected to move to a new country, with Portugal expected to receive 1,300 new millionaires, putting the country in sixth position in the countries that attract the most millionaires.
The ranking is led by the United Arab Emirates, with 4,000 millionaires expected to arrive there by the end of 2022, according to the “Henley Global Citizens Report”, carried out by Henley & Partners.
“The forecast for 2022 reflects an extremely volatile environment around the world. By the end of the year, 88,000 millionaires are expected to have moved to new countries, 22,000 fewer than in 2019, when 110,000 moved.”
The United Arab Emirates — which has become an interesting hotspot among wealthier investors — ranks first on the podium when it comes to millionaire arrivals. The expected arrival of 4,000 millionaires this year represents a 208% boom compared to the flow recorded in 2019 (1,300).
“This influx of millionaires is due, in part, to the country’s adaptable and responsive immigration policies, especially designed to attract private wealth and international talent,” explains the London-based consultant.
The podium is completed with Australia and Singapore, with an expected gain of 3,500 and 2,800 millionaires, respectively, then Israel (2,500), Switzerland (2,200), United States of America (1,500), Portugal (1,300), Greece (1,200), Canada (1,000) and New Zealand (800).
“The richest individuals are extremely mobile, and their movements can provide an early warning signal for future trends in countries. Countries that attract wealthy individuals and families tend to be robust, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates and attractive business opportunities,” explains Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.
Despite not appearing in the top ten of the list, Henley & Partners also points out that a large number of millionaires are also expected to move to Malta, Mauritius and Monaco.
Recently, news have been making rounds about the Golden Visa programs getting cancelled and EU countries stopping their Immigration by Investment programs. While this is true for Latvia, it is false for Portugal and other countries like Greece.
The only suspension in the Portugal Golden Visa is in regards the ability to apply to the program by purchasing residential property located in urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. Also most investment options have become more expensive.
Portugal Golden Visa new rules don’t affect other investment options. You can still apply for a Golden Visa via all other investment routes such as the Portugal investment fund for example.
The Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022 regard real estate and capital transfer investment options. Since January 2022, applicants are be blocked from buying residential property in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve as well as in coastal areas like Setubal and the Silver Coast. Capital transfer amount requirement have increased from €1 million to €1,5 million. Requirements for Investment Fund, investment in Research and investment into an existing Portugal-registered business have increased from €350,000 to €500,000.
Investors aren’t able to invest in residential property in popular urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
Applicants can only buy residential real estate in designated interior areas of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
Investors can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a commercial rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
Investors can buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.
Capital transfers changes
Capital transfer amount requirement has increased from €1 million to €1,5 million.
Investment Fund minimum subscription requirement has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Investment in scientific research has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Investment into an existing Portugal-registered business has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Arts donation of €250,000 stays the same.
It’s important to note the difference between interior areas and low-density areas. Check out the map below explaining the differences.
What Should Investors Expect From Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2022
While stakeholders have vocalized opposition against the changes, they’re not necessarily seen as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Rather, the Portugal Golden Visa changes are designed to drive investment in Portugal’s interior areas, relieving pressure from metropolitan locations and encouraging foreign investment into other areas of the country.
Since 1 January 2022, investors can no longer buy residential properties in popular urban areas of the country like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as in coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
Some experts predict that alternative investment routes to Portuguese residency will become more popular, namely the investment fund option.
What Has Not Changed?
The following Golden Visa investment options have not changed:
To kickstart a company in Portugal and employ at least ten new local employees
€250,000 contribution in arts
In a nutshell, if you submitted your golden visa application in late 2021, you would have been grandfathered into the current legislation. This includes future renewals of your status.
Property sector to be affected by Portugal Golden Visa new rules
There was hope that the Portugal Golden Visa suspended changes would not go ahead as professionals from the property sector have expressed concerns that the changes could harm the property market. However, the Golden Visa new rules are going to help boost low-density areas and balance out the property market.
Fantastic Portugal Golden Visa low-density areas with high growth potential such as the Douro Valley, Aljezur, and Peneda Gerês provide excellent property locations for investors and their families. For only €280K, individuals can invest in low-density areas renovation projects and become eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa Program.
Will the Portugal Golden Visa changes impact existing investment in Porto and Lisbon?
If you are in the process of purchasing a property in a thriving urban area you will not be impacted by the Portugal Golden Visa updates. However, if you are interested in purchasing a property in Lisbon, Porto, or parts of the Algarve, you can only only buy commercial property, not residential.
Other Golden Visa investment routes will not be impacted by the visa updates and remain available. If you are not particularly interested in investing in real estate, the Portugal investment fund golden visa is a very attractive investment route. For a minimum investment of €500,000, you can become a Portuguese resident with the fund investment Portugal.
Portugal digitalizes Golden Visa applications
All documents are to be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number. The change will help reduce bureaucracy and create a faster application process.
Portugal Golden Visa timeline graph
Portugal Golden Visa brief history
Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residency by investment schemes in Europe. The scheme allows investors and their families to obtain residency permits in exchange for a qualifying investment. Since its launch, the Portugal Golden Visa has been a true success with 9,389 investors and 16050 family members benefiting from the program.
Portugal Golden Visa statistics show that as of 2018, Portugal is positioned 3rd in the world in terms of top residency-by-investment programs — second only to Spain and Quebec. The reasons for the program’s success are multiple. Portugal ranks first as the best country in Europe for expats due to its great quality of life, excellent weather, and freedom.
In addition, the program offers several attractive investment routes suiting various investment goals — such as purchasing real estate, investing in venture capital, research, or an existing business.
As professionals dedicated to assisting you in acquiring the Portugal Golden Visa, My Global Citizenship will continue to closely monitor Portugal Golden Visa changes as they unfold and keep you updated on the matter.
In the meantime, you can always stay updated about Portugal’s immigration latest updates by visiting the Portugal Immigration Agency’s website (SEF).
With a 100% success rate when it comes to Golden Visa applications, we can ensure that you find the right investment for your requirements. Contact us today.
Today we look at some of the frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa. Before you begin do not forget to register for our upcoming webinar; Portugal Golden Visa – A definite way towards EU citizenship. Register
Which Golden Visa program is the best? Comparison: Portugal vs Spain vs Greece
It depends on the criteria of the investor and there are many variables that go into answering that question. Nevertheless, for those interested in obtaining European citizenship, Portugal Golden Visa stands out in comparison to Spanish and Greek Golden Visas.
It is a residence by investment program offered by the Portuguese government to non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens, willing to make a qualifying investment in Portugal. It is an investment immigration program bringing funds from foreign investors into the Portuguese economy.
What are the advantages of the Golden Visa?
The advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa include visa-free travel across the Schengen states, the right to live and work in Portugal, the ability to include each qualifying family member within the residence program, and the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship once you held your Golden Visa for at least five years.
Which requirements do investors have to comply with?
The main applicant has to be a non-EU, non-EEA, and a non-Swiss citizen of 18 years or older, and make a qualifying investment within Portugal.
What are the specific requirements for each type of qualifying investment?
Real Estate acquisitions: Buying any real estate in Portugal worth at least €500,000 or buying real estate in an urban rehabilitation project worth at least €350,000. Both amounts drop 20 percent further, as long as the investment is in a low-density population area in the country.
Transfer of funds: €1.5 million transfer of capital to a Portuguese bank account or €500,000 subscription in one of the qualifying Portuguese venture capital funds.
Job creation: Creation of at least 10 jobs in Portugal.
Financial contribution: €250,000 contribution to cultural heritage or €500,000 contribution to research carried out by public or private scientific research institutions.
Who in my family benefits from my Golden Visa?
The main applicant’s spouse, minor children, dependent children, and dependent parents also obtain the Golden Visa through family reunification.
How much does the process of obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa cost?
The cost of the Golden Visa depends on the investment route that is chosen. On top of the deployed amount, there are acquisition costs, legal costs, and Golden Visa fees paid to the Portuguese government.
How long is the wait/processing time for the Golden Visa in Portugal?
The wait time for the Golden Visa application changes constantly and it highly depends on which SEF (Immigration and Borders) office you applied to. Typically SEF offices in major cities like Lisbon have a high wait time, whereas those in rural areas are less. Currently, from the moment you make your investment, it takes approximately six to eight months to receive your Golden Visa residence card.
Should all supporting documents be translated to Portuguese?
Most of the supporting documents to Portugal Golden Visa need to be translated into Portuguese or English.
Can you make the investment through a limited company?
The Golden Visa investment needs to be performed by the main applicant as an individual. The only exception is if the main applicant establishes a company and invests at least €1.5 million as capital into the company. Then the limited company may make investments on behalf of the investor with that capital.
Can I take a mortgage to make my investment?
Portugal requires the minimum investment amount to be brought into the country by the main applicant. That amount cannot be borrowed from a bank in Portugal. It can be taken as a loan from a non-Portuguese bank, outside of Portugal. However, if the investment exceeds the required investment amount, anything above the required amount can technically be borrowed from a Portuguese bank. Learn more about foreigners getting a mortgage in Portugal.
Can I do the Portugal Golden Visa process on my own?
You may. However, you’ll be making a significant investment in order to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa. So, it’s highly recommended that you use a professional advisor and a legal representative in pursuing the program.
Do I need to get a lawyer for the Golden Visa application?
You’re not required to get a lawyer to apply for the Golden Visa, however, it’s highly advisable that you have a local Portuguese lawyer in assisting you with your application process.
What are the Portugal Golden Visa Tax considerations? Do I have to pay taxes in Portugal?
Having a Golden Visa in Portugal doesn’t automatically make you a tax resident in Portugal. Unless you become a tax resident in Portugal, you don’t need to pay any taxes on your non-Portuguese income. Your income within Portugal, however, needs to be declared in Portugal and you need to pay taxes on that income. Thanks to Double Taxation Treaties, you won’t be taxed multiple times on the same income.
What taxes apply to income generated in Portugal?
Your real estate rental income in Portugal is taxed at a flat rate of 28 percent in Portugal. Real estate investments that are not rented out or generating income do not lead to any income tax.
Does the investor have to pay taxes in Portugal on his/her worldwide income?
No. If the investor doesn’t spend 183 days or more in Portugal within a year, the investor is not a domicile. In that case, the investor doesn’t pay taxes in Portugal on the worldwide income, apart from that in Portugal.
Is the cost of living in Portugal low or high?
Portugal has a low cost of living compared to the rest of Europe.
Do I have to register and pay Social Security contributions in Portugal?
No, you’re not required to register or pay Social Security contributions in Portugal. However, you do need to get private health insurance to cover your healthcare costs in Portugal.
How is the Education System in Portugal?
Portugal has a high standard of public and private schools.
What is a fiscal number?
A fiscal number in Portugal is called a NIF. You’ll need a NIF in order to perform any official transaction in Portugal. This includes opening a Portuguese bank account, purchasing real estate, etc.
What are the taxes and costs for property acquisition and ownership?
There are certain taxes and costs associated with buying a property in Portugal. These include IMT (ranges between five percent to seven percent depending on the type and price) and stamp duty (0.8 percent). Costs include notary fees, which would be around €1,000, and legal fees, which depend on the law firm. If you are part of the residency permit by investment scheme, there are also Golden Visa fees to be paid to the government.
Do I need to reside in Portugal or can I live in other countries?
Portugal doesn’t require you to live in the country full time if you have a Golden Visa. You merely need to stay in Portugal for at least seven days per year. Besides that, you may live in your country of origin or any other place you wish to live in.
Can I use cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa?
We are proud to accept all our fees in Bitcoin. However, the Portuguese government does not accept the Portugal Golden Visa investment to be made in any other currency than Euros.
Should I avoid certain firms offering Golden Visa services?
Absolutely. Just as in any business, there are many inexperienced individuals and firms claiming to provide services within the RCBI field as well. Make sure that you go on to vet the firm that will advise you in such a significant commitment.
How do I find good real estate investment opportunities in Portugal?
If you want to find good opportunities for real estate investments in Portugal, you can start by working with an experienced chartered real estate investment professional. You can provide them with your criteria and ask them to come up with a shortlist of regions, cities, neighborhoods, and then particular properties for you, in order. The real estate market in Portugal proved to be a robust one, exhibiting great promise for the future.
What’s the best way to get a Portugal Golden Visa?
The best way is the way that fits your specific criteria. In other words, it completely depends on the investor and the investor’s needs. So far, the overwhelming majority of Portugal Golden Visa investors have opted to move ahead with a real estate acquisition.
What are the investment options for a Golden Visa in Portugal?
The Golden Visa endowment routes include real estate acquisition, transfer of capital, creation of 10 jobs, and financial support in national activities in Portugal.
Which investment funds are available for a Golden Visa?
There are a number of different venture capital funds with different investment strategies and features available in the market, which qualify their subscribers to apply to the Golden Visa in Portugal. For a comprehensive list of funds and their details, feel free to get in touch with us.
How long does it take before I can apply for Portuguese citizenship and passport?
You are eligible to apply for citizenship in Portugal at the end of your fifth year as a Golden Visa holder. Once you are naturalized as a citizen, you can then obtain your passport right away.
How can I get Portuguese citizenship by investment?
You can invest in a qualifying investment to obtain your temporary Portuguese residency permit through Portugal’s Golden Visa. Once you have your Golden Visa, provided that you maintain your investment for a minimum of five years, you have the right to apply for naturalization in Portugal.
Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?
Yes, Portugal allows for dual citizenship.
Does Golden Visa in Portugal lead to citizenship?
Yes, the Golden Visa Portugal leads to citizenship, indirectly. Once a five-year period lapses with the Golden Visa, you can then become eligible for citizenship.
How much does Portuguese citizenship cost?
Assuming that you will apply for citizenship through the Golden Visa Portugal, it depends on which qualifying investment you choose to move ahead with.
Do I need a language test for Golden Visa program Portugal?
No, you do not need to pass a language test in order to qualify for the Golden Visa. You only have to pass a Portuguese test if you decide to become a permanent resident or citizen in Portugal after five (5) years of holding a Golden Visa.
What does “basic knowledge” of Portuguese mean?
In order to prove your basic knowledge of the Portuguese language, you will have to be able to write, read, and speak in Portuguese at a preliminary level. This includes a thorough understanding of common phrases and vocabulary.
Is level A2 the only accepted exam?
Yes, the A2 level Portuguese language test is the only accepted exam in order to satisfy the citizenship requirement in Portugal.
Where can you learn Portuguese and prepare for the test?
There are many resources online that you can prepare for the Portuguese test. Depending on where you are, the Portugal and Brazil embassies also typically have offline courses available. In order to learn more about the resources, feel free to contact us.
When must the test be taken?
The Portuguese test should only be taken if and once you decide to apply for PR or citizenship in Portugal. However, you are free to take the test at any time you wish throughout your golden residence status.
Do I have to learn Portuguese before getting my citizenship?
Yes, you should learn Portuguese, enough to pass an A2-level language exam. That corresponds to a basic knowledge of the language.
Can same-sex couples also apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal?
Yes, Portugal allows Golden Visa applicants to include their same-sex partners within the program through family reunification.
Is Portugal LGBT-friendly?
Yes, Portugal is among the most LGBT-friendly countries in Europe. There is supportive legislation and a high level of societal acceptance for the community.
How long is the Golden Visa valid for?
Your first Golden Visa card is valid for a two-year period; you should satisfy the stay requirement of 14 days in two years. You may then renew your Golden Visa residence card and the next cards will each be valid for three years at a time. Within those three years, you should spend at least twenty-one days in Portugal. As long as you maintain your investment, you may renew your Golden Visa card as many times as you wish.
What countries are included in the Schengen Area?
The 26 Schengen countries include 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.
What happens to the investment after five years? Can it be sold, transferred, etc.?
At that point, you have three options as a Golden Visa holder: (1) to continue with the Golden Visa for Portugal, (2) to become a permanent resident, (3) to become a Portuguese citizen. If you choose to become a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, you can then sell or liquidate your investment as you wish. You only need to hold on to it if you decide to continue with the Golden Visa temporary residence program instead.
Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he/she no longer needs the Golden Visa?
Does the investor need to live in/use the property he/she is purchasing, or can it be rented out?
The investor is not required to live in or use the real estate. It can be rented out or used as the investor wishes.
How long does it take to get a PR in Portugal?
Five years after you start your Golden Visa scheme, you’re eligible to get permanent residency in Portugal.
To Learn more about the Portugal Golden visa and start your application, Get in touch with My Global Citizenship.
Portugal’s Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residence by investment programs in Europe and in the world. The program started in October 2012 and since then more than 10,000 applicants have received their Golden Visas.
What makes Portugal Golden Visa so sought after?
In a nutshell:
It provides a range of relatively affordable investment options for you to choose from in obtaining your residence permit.
You are only required to spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal per year.
It gives you visa-free access to the Schengen states.
You can become a Portuguese citizen within five to six years.
Portugal is a safe, secure, affordable country with a high quality of life, solid infrastructure, superb climate, and good health and education systems.
The Portugal Golden Visa program, also known as the residence permit for investment activity (ARI), is a residency by investment scheme designed for non-EU citizens.
Portugal launched the program in October 2012. The main objective was to attract international capital into the country, as it was much in need after the 2008 economic crisis. The program proved to be a great success, raising over €6 billion since then.
Portugal offers a dreamy landscape, a wide coastline, a climate full of sunshine, hospitable people, and delicious cuisine. Better yet, it provides this high quality of life at a very affordable cost of living. These features make Portugal a very attractive destination for international investors to invest in and obtain the right to live, work, and study in the country.
Furthermore, the Portugal Golden Visa program provides the opportunity to become a permanent resident or a citizen in Portugal in only five years.
Benefits: What Are the Benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa?
You can qualify for residency by investing €280,000 which is one of the lowest investment thresholds in Europe.
You don’t have to move to Portugal to keep your residence permit. Staying in the country for seven days on average per year will suffice.
You can be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship in five years. This is one of the quickest in Europe.
Once you become a Portuguese citizen, you get visa-free access to 188 countries.
Travel and Visa-Free Countries
The Golden Visa permit registers you in the Schengen Area central system. So, you can freely travel within Europe without an additional visa.
At the end of five years, if you decide to get Portuguese citizenship, you can get a Portuguese passport. The Portuguese passport allows you to travel to 188 countries without the need for a visa.
Living, Working, and Studying
The Portuguese Golden Visa allows you to live, work, and study in Portugal.
If you decide to live in Portugal full-time with this permit, then you will be required to have medical insurance. You will, however, have full access to all public services including healthcare and education.
State schools follow the Portuguese curriculum, though there are numerous private British and American international schools.
The work permit allows you to work anywhere, as well as start and run your own business in Portugal.
As the main applicant, you may extend the Golden Visa to your family members. The application process is simultaneous for the main applicant and the dependents
Following members of the family are eligible to apply along with the main applicant:
Children under the age of 18,
Dependent children under the age of 26, provided that they are full-time students and not married,
Parents of the main applicant, if over the age of 65 years old.
Citizenship and Passport
You may apply for citizenship after five years of holding a Golden Visa in Portugal.
In order to qualify for citizenship, you must have:
No outstanding tax payments in Portugal,
Clean criminal records from Portugal and from your home country,
Entered and passed a basic language test in Portuguese.
The Golden Visa program will not bring any tax responsibility to you unless you spend more than 183 days of the year in Portugal. In case you do, then you become a tax resident in Portugal.
Portugal has a favorable tax regime for foreigners who consider relocating to Portugal and becoming tax residents. Through the non-habitual residency (NHR) program, the country offers certain exemptions from income tax for the first 10 years of residence. The program slightly changed in 2020, exempting foreign pensioners from getting tax breaks on their pension income.
As a Golden Visa applicant, you have the right to live and work in Portugal, but there is no requirement to do so. The country offers a favorable tax regime if you decide to relocate to Portugal. With your Golden Visa, you can enjoy free travel within the European Schengen visa zone. After holding a Golden Visa for five years, you can apply for citizenship or permanent residency in Portugal, leading to a passport. The Portuguese passport allows you to live, work, study anywhere within the European Union.
Eligibility: Who Is Eligible for a Golden Visa in Portugal?
Any non-EU/EEA/Swiss national can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa.
You’re required to be at least 18 years old and hold a clean criminal record from your home country, as well as from Portugal. The funds for the investment should arrive from outside of Portugal.
Golden Visa Minimum Investment
In order to qualify for the program, a qualifying investment has to be made. Investment categories include real estate, venture capital fund, transfer of capital, company formation, and donation. Later on in this guide, you can find a list of qualifying investments.
Under family reunification, you may extend the Golden Visa to the rest of the family members. A comprehensive list of eligible dependents is listed in the previous section.
Portugal Golden Visa Investment Options: What Types of Investments Qualify for the Golden Visa
Portugal Golden Visa program offers different investment options.
Real Estate Acquisition
Real Estate Acquisition
Acquire real estate worth more than €500,000 in Portugal,
→If in a low-density area in Portugal, the minimum amount drops 20 percent to €400,000
Acquire real estate that is older than 30 years old, in an urban rehabilitation area, and renovate it for a minimum of €350,000 in Portugal.
→If in a low-density area in Portugal, the minimum amount drops 20 percent to €280,000
The real estate acquisition does not need to pertain to one property necessarily. As long as the minimum amount is met in total, the transaction may include the purchase of multiple properties.
Conversely, if multiple applicants are purchasing one property of a larger purchase amount, they may also combine their investments. This means that if two siblings purchase real estate worth €1 million, they may each apply for the Portugal Golden Visa, as they each spend €500,000 in total.
*Note that residential properties in Lisbon, Porto, and coastal towns of the mainland don’t qualify investors for a Portuguese Golden Visa. However, you can choose a commercial property in these locations and still qualify.
Capital transfer of a minimum of €1,5 million to Portugal.
A minimum of €500,000 subscription in a qualifying Portuguese fund.
Creation of a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business that is owned by yourself as the main applicant.
→Create a minimum of eight new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business formed in a low-density area in Portugal, owned by the main applicant.
Invest a minimum of €500,000 in an existing Portuguese business, where the incorporated business must create a minimum of five new full-time jobs for at least three years.
Invest a minimum of €250,000 in preserving national heritage in Portugal.
Invest a minimum of €500,000 in a research and development activity in Portugal.
Are Loans Allowed for the Golden Visa Investment in Portugal?
A common question is if you can use a loan or a mortgage in making your Golden Visa investment in Portugal. Portugal expects you to bring in the minimum required amount from outside of Portugal into the country. So the minimum amount cannot be taken out as a loan from a Portuguese financial institution.
However, you can take the amount as a loan from a non-Portuguese financial institution and then bring it into Portugal. Additionally, if your investment exceeds the minimum amount, there is nothing stopping you from taking a loan for the exceeding amount from a Portuguese bank.Requirements: What Are The Golden Visa Portugal Requirements?
Minimum Residence Requirement
Portugal Golden Visa program has a low stay requirement. Portugal requires the Golden Visa residents to spend a minimum of seven days annually on average in the country.
Important Note: As of April 2020, the initial residence permits became valid for two years (used to be one year) and the subsequent permits became valid for three years each. This was due to a legislative change in the Portuguese immigration law. In case the change is permanent, it is expected that the initial card that is valid for two years will require the cardholder to spend at least fourteen days within that two-year period physically in Portugal. Then the renewal cards will be valid for three years each and the applicants will need to spend at least twenty-one days physically in Portugal within the three-year periods.
Make and Maintain a Qualified Investment for Five Years
You’re required to present supporting evidence that you have individually made the investment of the minimum amount required. As the main applicant, you must maintain the investment as long as you and your dependents hold the Golden Visa residency status.
If and once you become a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, the investment no longer needs to be maintained. You can then liquidate whichever investment you made.
You need to provide the following documents in order to apply for the Golden Visa;
1) Copy of a passport or other government-issued travel document,
2) Proof of evidence of the qualifying investment made by the main applicant individually:
→ If real estate; a deed or promissory sale agreement with proof of deposit payment,
→ If investment fund; proof of fund subscription from the fund management.
3) Declaration from Portuguese financial institution confirming the transfer of funds,
4) Proof of healthcare coverage:
→ If in Portugal, from the National Health System in Portugal,
→ If outside of Portugal, from an internationally covered insurance company.
5) Criminal record of the current country of residence,
→ Must be issued within three (3) months of the form submission.
6) A completed form authorizing SEF to access criminal records in Portugal,
7) A sworn declaration on compliance with the minimum investment requirements for the necessary time period of five years,
8) Documents outlining good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority & Social Security system,
→ Must be issued within 45 days of the form submission.
9) Receipt of ARI application payment,
Unless otherwise stated, it is best to have the documentation issued within three months of your Golden Visa application submission.
All the above documents issued by a non-Portuguese entity need to be legalized. The legalization must have an apostille if the subject country is part of the Hague convention.
Any original document that is not in Portuguese needs to be translated into Portuguese and certified. The certification is typically performed by a notary.
Below is a chart of Portugal Golden Visa government application fees;
Bank Account and NIF Number
Portugal requires you, the main applicant, to make the investment from your bank account in Portugal. Accordingly, it is mandatory for you to have an account in a Portuguese bank. You must also have a NIF number, which is a tax identification number in Portugal, to open the account.
Both obtaining a NIF number and opening a bank account in Portugal are pretty straightforward. They can both be done in half a day.
Getting a NIF Number
Get a proof of address from your country of residence,
Bring a government-issued identification and your proof of address to a Finanças office in Portugal,
Get your NIF number on the spot within an hour.
You can also provide your lawyer with a power of attorney and they can complete this step without you even being present in Portugal.
Opening a Portuguese Bank Account
Unlike many countries in the world, Portuguese banks make it quite easy to open a bank account for non-residents and foreigners. The banking and maintenance fees are also quite low compared to the rest of Europe. Just follow the below steps:
What you will need:
Passport or government-issued travel document,
Portuguese phone number,
Proof of address from your country of residence,
Proof of income/payslip,
What you will do:
Go to the bank branch and open your account.
Simple as that. Typically, each law firm has one or more banks and branches they work closely with. It is best to get their advice in order to keep things moving quickly.
How To Get a Golden Visa in Portugal: Application Process
The Golden Visa application in Portugal is quite straightforward. Below is a detailed list of steps to take toward a successful application process.
Step One: Decide on Your Investment Type
First things first. You need to analyze the list of available investment types and decide on which investment you will move forward with. Tip: More than 90 percent of all Portugal Golden Visa applicants have chosen to move ahead with a real estate investment. Nevertheless, the fund option also started gaining traction in recent years.
Step Two: Gather All Necessary Documents
You need to gather all necessary documents for yourself, the main applicant, as well as all those for your dependents if you have any. This step may get a bit tiring, especially with all the translations, notarizing, apostilles, and certifications. However, a professional advisor will help alleviate the boredom.
Step Three: Get a NIF and Open a Bank Account
As mentioned above in the article, getting a NIF and opening a bank account in Portugal can practically both be done within a day. This is a task that you can delegate to your lawyers to complete without your presence in the country.
Step Four: Finalize the Investment
Now that you chose which investment type to go with, it’s time to pay up and lock in your investment in Portugal.
Step Five: Submit Pre-Application
With your qualifying investment made and your paperwork ready, you will submit your pre-application online to SEF. In most cases, your law firm will do this on your behalf and notify you if there is anything missing.
In standard times, it takes roughly two months from the time you submit your documents until your appointment date.
Step Six: Schedule and Attend Your SEF Appointment
After analyzing your per-application, SEF will provide you with a set of available dates for a biometrics appointment. On the chosen appointment date, you and your dependents need to physically show up at the corresponding SEF office in order to submit your fingerprints and make your application official.
Step Seven: Get Your Golden Visa and Renew
Bingo! You and your dependents receive your Golden Visa residence cards. Your law firm or your professional advisor will collect the cards and send them your way. Each card is valid for two years and at the end of the validity period, you will renew your Golden Visa card to receive a new one.
In standard times, it takes roughly four months from your biometrics appointment until you receive your cards.
Step Eight: Become a Portuguese Citizen
After you renew your initial Golden Visa card twice and complete a total of five years, you are eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship in Portugal. The citizenship application typically takes anywhere from six months up to a year. Once you receive your permanent residence or citizenship, you will no longer need to maintain your investment in Portugal.
Timeline: What Is the Timeline for the Golden Visa Process?
The initial application and the supporting documents are submitted online to Serviço de Fronteiras e Estrangeiros (SEF). SEF is the official immigration and border services office in Portugal. Once they approve your application, you then need to appear for an interview in person.
There are numerous SEF offices across Portugal, and you may apply for any of them, regardless of where you made your investment. That way, you can avoid districts with long waitlists such as the SEF office in Lisbon. It can take up to six months for SEF to approve and provide a biometrics appointment date, as long as it is not one of the high-demand locations.
As the main applicant, you and all your dependents can book the SEF appointment simultaneously. After the in-person interview, you will receive your Golden Visa cards. It typically takes around four months to receive these residence permit cards.
Your residence clock starts ticking on the day your Golden Visa card is issued.
Year One and Two
Your initial Golden Visa residence card will be valid for two (2) years. In these two years, you must spend a total of fourteen (14) days in Portugal.
At the end of this period, you need to renew your residence permit. So, between 30-90 days prior to the expiration date of your card, you need to repeat the above SEF appointment to renew your cards. For the renewal, you need to re-submit the up-to-date documentation (ie. criminal records), biometrics, and necessary application processing fee.
Year Three, Four, and Five
Your renewed Golden Visa residence permit will be valid for three (3) years. Within those three years, you must spend at least twenty-one (21) days in Portugal.
At the end of the fifth year, you have three options:
Apply for Permanent Residence in Portugal
Apply for Citizenship in Portugal
Continue with the Golden Visa temporary residence program
If you decide to become a permanent resident or a citizen in Portugal, you no longer need to maintain the Golden Visa investment you made in the country.
The above application, stay, and renewal requirements always apply to all Golden Visa cardholders, including the main applicants and the dependents.
Fees and Costs: What Are the Government Fees and Legal Costs Related to Golden Visa?
In addition to the minimum investment you make and the necessary fees related to the transaction of the investment property, you will be faced with legal fees and government application fees. Below, you may find a detailed list of all the associated costs.
The legal fees depend on the law firm you choose to work with.
The Portugal Golden Visa investment is quite a sizable one, so it is best if you assign an experienced law firm to take care of your due diligence, as well as the application and renewal process. The legal fees can add up to a significant amount, but it is best not to take chances by going with a newbie in the field.
The fees can land somewhere between €10,000 all the way up to €30,000 for a family of four, taking into account the complete five-year span. The good thing is, you will not have to pay this upfront, but in installments depending on the completed tasks within the five years.
We would be happy to guide you to a number of different experienced law firms in the field of Portuguese Golden Visa.
Costs Related to Investment
Depending on your preferred type of investment, the associated costs differ. Below, you can find a table that covers the costs associated with the most popular investment types; real estate acquisition, fund investment, and transfer of capital:
* Varies on the fund, it is typical for the performance fee to be between 20 percent-50 percent above a hurdle on the profit
** Varies on the fund, it is typical for the annual management fee to be between one percent-two percent of the invested amount
*** Legal fees vary widely between law firms, the number of dependents, and other variables; it would not greatly differ between different investment routes
Taxes: What Are the Portuguese Golden Visa Tax Implications?
Tax residency and legal residency are different concepts. Becoming a Golden Visa holder in Portugal does not necessarily turn you into a Portuguese tax resident.
Even as only a legal resident, however, you will pay taxes related to your investment in Portugal, as long as the investment generates an income.
If you decide to become a tax resident in Portugal, you will need to spend more than 183 days out of a fiscal year in Portugal. Becoming a tax resident in Portugal has some appealing advantages, thanks to the Non Habitual Resident (NHR) tax program.
Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Tax Program
Through the non-habitual resident tax regime, Portugal attracts professionals and investors of high cultural and economic value to the country. The program grants significant tax savings to foreigners of qualifying professions, planning to move their tax residence to Portugal.
The scheme started in 2009 and now holds over 10,000 applicants. In 2020, the program went through a few changes, mainly preventing foreign pensioners from tax breaks on their pension income.
Real Estate Tax Implications
Buying a property in Portugal comes with a number of acquisition costs that we laid out earlier in the guide.
Real estate acquisition taxes are significant, however, the costs do not stop there. There are also annual local taxes and rental income taxes, in case you rent your property out.
Annual Local Taxes
Imposto Municipal Sobre Imoveis (IMI) is the annual tax rate that needs to be paid by property owners in Portugal. The IMI tax rate ranges from 0.3 percent to 0.8 percent depending on the type, age, and location of the real estate.
Property Rental Taxes
Regardless of your residency, the income from Portuguese property rental is always taxable in Portugal. The net rental income faces a flax tax rate of 28 percent.
Maintenance, repair costs and IMI may be deducted from this tax amount.
The rental income taxes may differ if you decide to rent out your property on a short-term basis to tourists.
If you decide to sell your property at a profit someday, capital gains tax applies for property purchased after 1988.
Statistics on Portugal Golden Visa
Below you may find the overall statistics regarding the Portugal Golden Visa program between October 8th, 2012, and February 28th, 2022.
The total number of main applicants reached 10,442 with 17,426 dependents accompanying them. These applications directed over €6 billion of global funds into Portugal.
Out of all the applications, the investment types were:
Real Estate Acquisition: 9,729 residence permits
→Real Estate at a minimum value of €500,000: 8,667 residence permits
→Real Estate urban rehabilitation at €350,000: 1,131 residence permits
Capital Transfer: 693 residence permits
→Capital Transfer in a Portuguese Bank: 510 residence permits
→Investment Fund: 198 residence permits
→ Capital Transfer + Creation of Jobs: 6 residence permits
→Donation to cultural heritage in Portugal: 3 residence permit
Creation of Ten Full Time Jobs: 20 applications
2022 Portugal Golden Visa Changes
The Portuguese Parliament passed a budget proposal in February 2020, which seeks to change the Portuguese Golden Visa program. The objective of the parliament is to promote investment in low-density areas, urban renovation, job creation, and cultural heritage.
IMPORTANT February 12, 2021 Update: In February 2021, the official changes and their timeline were announced by the Portuguese Government.
Check out our article on the Portugal Golden Visa Changes in 2022.
What Are the Changes?: Portugal Golden Visa New Rules
The approved changes refer to two different aspects:
The required investment amounts in the various Portugal Golden Visa investment types to be raised
Investment Fund option increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Capital Transfer option increased from €1 million to €1,5 million
Other options went through a change,too
The real estate investment route locations to only cover property investments made in low-density areas within Portugal
This means that buying residential real estate in Lisbon or Porto will no longer qualify for the Golden Visa program
The properties have to be located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira or in the interior territories
Lisbon and Porto have been the most popular real estate acquisition destinations among the Golden Visa applicants in Portugal. However, the proposed changes only allow the real estate purchases in municipalities of the interior or the autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira to qualify for the program. So, this is quite a major proposal.
When Were the Changes Be Implemented?
The Portugal Golden Visa changes came into effect on January 1, 2022.
Objectives Behind the Proposal
The Portuguese Parliament chose to propose changes on possibly the most popular residence by investment program in Europe. There are a number of reasons for this proposal.
To protect the locals in large cities from having to move out of the cities due to the rising prices,
To stimulate investment in the interior parts of Portugal,
To alleviate the pressure of the European Commission on the Portugal residence by investment program.
The most popular form of investment for the Portugal Golden Visa is the real estate acquisition option. The Golden Visa real estate investors have chosen Lisbon and Porto as investment destinations, with a landslide.
This potential change prevents applicants from buying residential real estate in major cities like Lisbon and Porto. Nevertheless, there are still attractive destinations among the interior municipalities of Portugal such as part of the Algarve region in the south or areas like Braga and Guimaraes in the north.
Investment options that are not related to real estate such as transfer of capital or creation of a company will continue to be available to prospective Golden Visa applicants.
My Global Citizenship is a bespoke investment advisory firm in Ahmedabad, India. We help people get an additional residency and citizenship by making a qualifying investment through property acquisition, fund subscription, or other investment vehicles.
With our team of partner specialists in Lisbon and Porto, we offer our clients a tailor-made and transparent journey in their quest for Portugal Golden Visa through real estate acquisition and investment funds.
Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.
So you are thinking of applying for the Portugal Golden Visa but then, you do not know the probability of it being granted or you are looking to invest in a second Citizenship but knowing how uncertain immigration can be, you are just not sure which program to put your faith in. We tell you Portugal ! Why ? Well its a beautiful and welcoming city but most importantly they got numbers and an uncomplicated immigration system on their side. Even though they get a lesser amount of applicants, they definitely make sure this few get their money’s worth with no disappointments. Today we share with you some stats and the reassurance that you are just one step away of being granted this Visa alongside an amazing investment, Contacting My Global Citizenship.
The latest stats available are for January 2022. Even with the pandemic still on the roll, Investors are definitely not stopping with making use of this opportunity to live the European life in the beautiful Country of Portugal. I mean why wait for the pandemic to be over when you can do it right now before this amazing opportunity disappears ?. This just goes to show that the Portugal Golden visa is a must have amongst the high, wealthy and mighty.
94 main applicants were granted the Golden Visa status by SEF with 105 family members accompanying the main applicants as dependents.
In terms of nationalities, the breakdown for the month of January was:
17 United States Citizens
If there is one thing we know about the Chinese, they never miss a good investment opportunity and if they are putting their money in something, it is definitely worth it. They are your sign to get a Portugal Golden Visa today. Even the United States citizens are team Portugal on this.
In terms of investment type, the breakdown for the month of January was:
75 applicants purchased real estate, 35 for €500,000+ properties and 40 for €350,000 renovated properties.
19 applicants pursued capital transfer, 14 for Portuguese investment funds, 4 for capital transfer and 1 for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage.
Portugal is a top second citizenship country due to how straight forward their Bureaucracy, requirements and terms are. You can never go wrong with trusting the Portugal government and their citizens to ensure a stress free transition to your new life. Contact My Global Citizenship today to get started.
The Immigration by Investment programs are offered by My Global Citizenship™. The above timeline is an estimate provided for information purpose only based on experiences with past clients. Processing time and costs will vary depending on a number of factors. My Global Citizenship™ is not responsible for any changes to the estimations above; we can provide specific time and cost estimates on an individual basis.
Please talk to our Consultants for the most up-to-date information.
Fees charged by My Global Citizenship™ is excluding the government and legal entity fees. For residency and citizenship separate fees have to be paid to government at each stage. These fees depend on the number of applicants and the complexity of the process.
For Advisory fees charged by My Global Citizenship™ and exact quote based on your family combination, please contact us.
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