Want to move to Portugal? Find out everything you need to know about one of the most popular options, the Golden Visa program and how to apply. Despite recent changes to the scheme, there are still many benefits and incentives for non-EU citizens who decide to apply for a Golden Visa.
Read on to get answers to questions such as how much it costs to get a golden visa in Portugal and what is needed to qualify for a golden visa.
What is the Golden Visa program?
The Portuguese Golden Visa (Visa de Investimento) is a visa program that allows non-EU citizens to apply for residence in Portugal; provided they can meet one of the requirements. There are several additional conditions under which you can apply for residence. For example, if you invest at least €1 million and buy real estate worth more than €500,000, or if you create 30 jobs over a three-year period and have run your business successfully for three years.
The Portuguese Golden Visa is one of several residence by investment programs across Europe. Although it was only launched in 2012, it quickly became popular because of its generous terms and relaxed application process.
Portugal’s golden visa scheme is an immigration program that grants residency permits to non-EU nationals who fulfil a certain criteria. The scheme offers a number of benefits, including fast-tracked visa processing and the ability to freely travel within the Schengen Area with your Portuguese visa. Once you have been issued a residency permit it is valid for two years and can be renewed after this point. Those with a golden visa are even eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship after as little as five years!
As of January 2022 there are 8 different options, to be eligible for the Golden Visa program:
- The purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500 thousand euros
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above 1.5 million euros
- The creation of, at least, 10 job positions
- Refurbishment of real estate property, built over 30 years ago, with a total value equal to or greater than 350 thousand euros
- Scientific research investment equal to or above 500 thousand euros
- Investment in to artistic production equal to or above 250 thousand euros
- Capital transfer of 500 thousand euros, or higher, for investment funds
- Capital transfer of 500 thousand euros, or higher, for commercial property
The Application Process
If you follow the necessary steps to successfully apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal, it will be a straightforward process. Check out the instructions below for more clarification:
Step One: Determine Your Type of Investment
For now, the first step is to analyse the list of available investment types and decide which you want to pursue. Tip: More than 90% of all Portugal Golden Visa applicants have chosen to move ahead with an investment in real estate. It’s important to note, however, that this trend has picked up steam in recent years.
Step Two: Collect All Necessary Documents
To start, you need to collect the documents you need: your own as well as any documents your dependents will need if they’ll be coming with you. Getting these documents together can take a lot of time, especially when you factor in the translations, notarising, and all the certifications. RHJ Law can help make this process easier for you, contact us to speak more about it.
Step Three: Get a NIF and Open a Bank Account
There are various tasks that can be done from a distance without your physical presence. The tasks include getting a NIF and opening a bank account in Portugal, which both can be done within a day. RHJ Laws’ associates can help with this step, contact us to understand more.
Step Four: Finalise your Investment
Now that you have selected the type of investment to be made, you can contribute to and lock in your investments in Portugal.
Step Five: Submit Pre-Application
With your qualifying investment set and your paperwork finalised, you’ll fill out your pre-application form to SEF. RHJ Law can assist you with this, and notify you if there are any other areas that require addressing.
Step Six: Schedule and Attend Your SEF Appointment
Your Pre-application was examined by SEF, who provided you with the option of two possible dates for your biometrics appointment. Choose your desired date and then plan to show up at the corresponding SEF office on that day, in order to make your application final.
Step Seven: Get Your Golden Visa and Renew
Bingo! Your and your dependents get Golden Visa residence cards. The cards will expire in two years. When the two-year mark arrives, you can return 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 two renewals of your initial Golden Visa card and five years total; you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship in Portugal. The citizenship application typically takes six months to a year. After you have obtained your residency or citizenship, you will no longer need to maintain your investment in Portugal.
Conclusion – Should I Invest In A Portuguese Property Through The Golden Visa Program?
The new program has made some changes; but it still provides a great opportunity for investors looking to buy property in Portugal. Whether you’re from outside of Europe or not, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider making an investment. You can only apply if you meet certain criteria; but once your application is approved and granted, you can move forward with your purchase. Best of all, foreign buyers have greater rights when purchasing real estate than Portuguese residents do. This means that you will be able to get out of your contract more easily; if something goes wrong during construction.
There are also many tax benefits for non-EU citizens who choose to invest in Portugal through a Golden Visa. For example, profits from selling property will be taxed at just 10% instead of 23%. Additionally, those who hold their residency permit for five years will be eligible for citizenship after that time period as well.
If you are unsure about anything that you have read here, please do not hesitate to contact us for more advice via our website, via our UK number, 0114 227 0070 or our Portuguese number, +351 220280143.