Golden Visa FAQ Portugal
The Golden Visa
The Golden Visa Program launched by the Portuguese Authorities in October 2012 is a fast track for foreign investors from non-EU countries to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal ("Golden Visa").
Under the Golden Visa program, non-EU citizens simply need to carry out one of the investments set out in the law to qualify to obtain a residency permit in Portugal. This residency permit will allow the investor to enter and/or live in Portugal and to travel freely within the vast majority of European countries (Schengen space).
Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa is a very straightforward and flexible programme, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.
The Golden Visa Program will provide investors with the following advantages:
- No need to obtain a visa to enter Portugal
- No need to obtain a visa to travel in Europe (Schengen area)
- Living and working in Portugal, even with residency in a different country
- Extremely low minimum stay periods
- Permanent Residency after 5 years
- Citizenship after 6 years
- Residency extended to family members
The requirements to obtain the Golden Visa are:
- Acquisition of property in the amount of or greater than 500.000 €
- Transfer of funds above 1.000.000 € or more
- Creation of at least 30 jobs in Portugal
It should be noted that only investments effectively made after 8th October 2012 are eligible for the Golden Visa programme.
The simplicity of the Golden Visa Program implies an extremely reduced amount of requirements being asked from the investor. The Golden Visa Programme sets out that the investor must comply with general requirements applicable to all types of qualifying investments and also with the specific requirements of each type of qualifying investment.
In general, all investors have to comply with the following requirements:
- Keep the investment for a minimum period of 5 years
- Funds for investment should come from abroad
- Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa
- Absence of references in the Portuguese Immigration and the Schengen services
- Absence of conviction of relevant crime
- Minimum stay in Portugal: 7 (seven) days during the first year and 14 (fourteen) days during each subsequent period of two years
Each type of investment has specific characteristics, as follows:
- Minimum investment of 500.000 €
- Purchase of one or multiple properties
- Possibility of co-ownership
- All property types qualify
- Freedom to use, rent or lease
Transfer of Funds
- Minimum investment of 1 million euros
- Purchase of one or multiple properties
- Total freedom to invest the funds
- Funds transferred from abroad to a bank in Portugal
- Possibility of using the funds to invest in shares of companies
- Creation of a minimum of 30 jobs
- No limitation on areas/activities
- No minimum investment value
- Compliance with Social Security obligations
- Possibility of grants/incentives/benefits
Once issued, the Golden Visa will be valid for an initial period of 1 (one) year and then will be renewed for subsequent periods of 2 years.
- Online at: SEF
- At the Portuguese Diplomatic or Consular Posts.
- At Regional Directorate and Regional Delegation of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) in Portugal.
The Golden Visa involves payment of the following fees (payable directly to the Services of Foreigners and Borders ("SEF")):
- Analysis fare of the visa application process for Investors cost: 514,80 €
- Analysis fare for each member of the family independently the degree of relationship: 80,20 €
- Tax card issuance visa for all members included the investor, price per person: 5.147,80 €
- Tax of renovation for all members, cost per person: 80,20 €
- Tax of renovation card, value for each member: 2.573,80 €
Yes. Under the Golden Visa Programme, the investor's family members may also apply and obtain a resident permit from Portugal by applying for "family reunion". The Golden visa will be extended to family members, namely children, spouse and dependent family members.
The family members will also be eligible for Permanent Residency after 5 years Portuguese Citizenship after 6 years.
Under Portuguese Law any person that has held a valid Portuguese temporary residency title (e.g. the Golden Visa) for a period of at least 5 years, he will be entitled to obtain Permanent Residency in Portugal.
The investor and family members will have to meet the following criteria in order to be able to apply for Permanent Residency in Portugal:
- Absence of conviction of relevant crime during the last 5 (five years)
- Proof of income / financial independence
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal
- Basic knowledge of Portuguese
The Portuguese legislation also sets out that any person who has been validly resident in Portugal for at least 6 (years (either under a temporary or permanent residency title), is eligible for obtaining Portuguese Citizenship.
In order to be able to obtain Portuguese Citizenship, the investor and family members will also have to comply with the following requirements:
- Absence of conviction of any relevant crime
- Be at least 18 years old (or at least 16 but married or legally responsible)
- Pass a simple Portuguese language test, which will serve to show sufficient knowledge of the language
. Passport or another valid travelling document;
. Proof of legal entry and permanence in national territory;
. Proof of health insurance;
. Signed application enabling consultation of the Portuguese Criminal Record by SEF;
. Criminal Record Certificate from the relevant authority of the applicant’s home country or from any other country where he / she resided for over a year;
. As means of evidence of compliance with tax obligations, the applicant shall deliver a declaration proving the absence of debts issued by the Inland Revenue and Customs Authority and by the Social Security.
Any document that is not in the Portuguese or English languages needs to be translated to Portuguese. The translation needs to be certified.
Document issued by foreign authorities need to be legalized before being submitted in Portugal. This legalization means obtaining the Appostille of the Hague Convention (when applicable) or legalization by the Portuguese Consular services.
A fiscal number is an identification number before the Portuguese Tax Authorities also known as the tax number). This number is required to carry out the investments.
16 - How long will the application take to be processed and does the investor have to pick up the Golden Visa in person?
Once the application is submitted at the Services of Foreigners and Borders (SEF), it will take around 1-2 weeks for the application to be processed (please note that this is just an estimate based on our recent experience).
Once the application is processed, the Services of Foreigners and Borders (SEF) will contact the investor or the investor's legal representatives in Portugal and set up an appointment with the investor (and family members) to collect signature and fingerprints.
It should be noted that in some cases, it is possible for the investor to go to the immigration services to leave the fingerprints and signature shortly before the investment and/or submission of the required documents.
The investor (or any family member) will only be refused the Golden Visa (or its renewal) if:
- He/she has not complied with the minimum periods of stay in Portugal
- He/she has not maintained the investment for the minimum period of 5 (years)
- He/she has been convicted of a crime punishable with a prison sentence of more than one year
- The investor is in a period where he/she has been banned entry into Portuguese territory following a removal measure of the country
- On the grounds of public health (this may only be based on diseases that have been defined by the World Health Organization or other infectious or parasitic contagious diseases which are the object of protection measures in Portuguese territory)
- A Golden Visa may be refused on the grounds of public order, public security or public health
18 - What happens to the investment after 5 years – can the investor sell the property / transfer the money to another country?
Yes, the investor only needs to hold the investment during the Golden Visa's validity period – 5 years
Yes, but without proof that the investment has been kept, the investor will not be able to renew the Golden Visa Permit.
No. The investor does not need to occupy the property and it can be rented out to obtain income.
There are three taxes in Portugal related to property:
Payable with the property's acquisition:
- "IMT" or Property Transfer Tax, which is the tax on transfer of ownership of property
- Stamp Duty
Payable on an annual basis:
- "IMI" or Council Tax, which is the annual municipal property tax; it is levied between 0.3% and 0.5% on the property's tax value
No. If the holder of the golden visa does not stay in Portugal form more than 183 consecutive days, he/she will not be required to pay taxes for income generated outside of Portugal.
Rental income and income arising from capital (e.g. interest, dividends, etc) will be taxed at a rate of 28%.
You can obtain more information by checking the SEF website. You can also consult their Golden Visa flyers: EN, PT, ZH, ES
Do you have any additional questions? If so, please Contact Us and we will be happy to provide you with additional information.