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.
- What is Portugal’s golden visa?
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.