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Program overview – Portuguese Golden Visa Program was initiated in the year 2012 by the Portuguese government in a bid to attract foreign direct investment. Since its implementation program receives around 2,000 applicants each year.
Portuguese investment program is based on the commercial or residential real estate (personally or as proprietor of a single member limited company), where the qualifying investment level is 500 000 EUR.
The Program is best suited for those wishing simplify their immigration process to the minimum and start enjoying European life within short time of residency formalities. It grants temporary residence permit for the ﬁrst year with extension option afterward for every 2 years.
Requirements – The general requirements for the Golden Visa Program are fairly uncomplicated in nature. Despite the property investment requirements, candidate must be at least 18 years old. Moreover, candidates must not have any criminal records and provide with yearly private medical insurance.
Due diligent background checks are performed for each eligible adult applicant. Also, it is crucial for the eligibility criteria not to have any visa refusals to Schengen area.
The government also implements liberal stay requirements in the country. Once residency card is received residents are asked to stay in the country for only 7 days for the ﬁrst year, and 14 days in the following 2 years.
Permanent Residency, Citizenship and Passport – Prior the citizenship application, investors and their families are allowed to apply for the permanent resident status without additional requirements imposed. Such ability appears at the close of 5 year temporary residency. Accordingly, for ones willing to obtain citizenship and passport, the program entails few extra rules and regulations. To acquire Portuguese citizenship, each candidate should pass basic language test. Citizenship application possibility appears after 6 years of holding residency card.
Family – Every investor is entitled to include spouse, dependant parents over 66 years, grandparents, children under 18 years of age and adult children, only if they are unmarried and enrolled in the higher education institution as full-time students.
Living, Working, Studying and Traveling – Residency card holders, who will reside in Portugal are required to have own private medical insurance. However, Portuguese government will grant families with public services incorporating state medical care and schooling. The Public schooling follows a Portuguese curriculum, though, the number of international schools having English as its medium can also be found in abundance.
Successful candidates are entitled to equal opportunities at work and can, also, set up a business without any restrictions. Moreover, Portuguese residence card holders are entitled to travel freely to Schengen area, whereas after receiving a Portuguese citizenship free destinations expand to more than 170 countries with the inclusion of Canada and the USA.
Investment – The investment might be diversified purchasing several properties with the total value of at least 500,000 EUR. Purchased properties can either be rented for profit or even mortgaged. Moreover, some investments might be reduced to 350.000 or even 280,000 EUR with the necessity to renovate properties.
The Portuguese law states: “Acquisition of immovable assets, the construction of which has been completed, at least, 30 years ago or located in an urban regeneration area and execution of refurbishment works in the acquired immovable assets equal to or above 350,000 EUR.”
Such option requires more time than the regular investment as the applicant is obliged to have all the necessary licenses, payments, and contractors to renovate property before the application. It is a complicated process as it requires looking after the renovations while residing out of the country.
For such candidates still willing to invest into the process of renovation, there exist even more loped areas of the country. However, due to the managing complexity of renovation projects the investment level of 500 000 EUR remains as fundamental.
*Any number of properties might be combined. It can either be rented for the income or mortgaged for any investment exceeding the minimum amount
Taxes – Taxation in Portugal works under a favorable condition towards anyone willing to reside in the country. Investors are taxed on their worldwide income on the condition that residency period has extended to 183 days a year. Also, the taxes on overseas income are not applied for the first 10 years. For the income accumulated in the country and capital gains are applied with 28% of taxes with the ability to reduce it subtracted rental cost or depreciation. Annual property tax ranges between 0.3% and 0.8%.
Step 1 (3 – 5 days)
Pre-due diligence enables us to identify difficulties and to recommend timely solutions wherever possible, thus maximizing the chances of our applicants’ success. Where prospective applications are absolutely ineligible, we will, however, advise our clients accordingly to avoid unnecessary costs and efforts.
Step 1 requires:
- Passport copies (including dependents)
- Residential address
- Full information about dependents
- Origin of finances
In the case of coming across unpleasant details in the background checks that concerns us, we may propose our Enhanced Pre-Application Eligibility Assessment including our own opinion with or without consulting relevant authorities.
Step 2 (1 – 2 months)
Second step – real estate investment. Our lawyers may suggest ready-to-sell properties from our real estate list, however, visiting Portugal for reviewing properties is highly is recommended. During a short visit applicants also meet our lawyers, open bank account and provide immigration office with biometrics (it can be done before residency application so later avoid second arrival to the country). For this way of process investor must prove ownership of the real estate or deliver a copy of the promissory contract, indicating the payment of an initial deposit in value equal to or above €500,000.
It must be noted that Schengen visa to access country and visit properties will be required.
Step 3 (1 month)
The third step requires investors obtaining correct documents regarding residency application Process. Our qualified lawyers will assist during property purchase process and provide with necessary assistance torwards completion of the residency application. To facilitate those processes our lawyers require a Power of Attorney to act on behalf of investor, conduct the property checks and relevant title issues (including drawing up a Promissory Contract for Sales & Purchase), applying for Foreign Tax Number. The required documentation for the application process is as following:
- Proof of Investment (in the case of real estate this will be a copy of Promissory Contract or Public Deed)
- Up-to-date certificate issued by the Land Registry containing the Registration of the Promissory Contract
- Valid Schengen Visa
- Portuguese fiscal number/ foreigners’ Tax Number
- Signed application enabling consultation of the Portuguese Criminal Record
- Valid passport
- Original Criminal Record Certificate from the relevant authorities of the applicant’s home country or from any other country where one resided for over a year
- Declaration proving the absence of debts issued by the Inland Revenue and Customs Authority and by the Social Security Authorities
- Proof of private health insurance valid in Portugal (this can be international medical insurance, but you need to ensure you are covered for Portugal)
- 2 passport size pictures
Please note that documents issued by foreign authorities may need to be certified translated and/or legalized before being submitted to the relevant Portuguese authorities.
Step 4 (2 – 3 months)
Once all the required documents are collected, the application process can be started in one of the following ways:
- In Person – At the Regional Directorate and Regional Delegation of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) in Portugal (it is performed by our lawyer on clients behalf
- In Person – At the Portuguese Diplomatic or Consular Posts in the home country
- Online Registration and submission of the documents (it is performed by a lawyer)
Providing all the correct documents are submitted Portuguese Authorities will need 2 to 3 months to release the decision on application. Residence Permit application fee of 5 150 EUR (per applicant) is applied at this stage as well as 50% of the agent fee will be requested.
Step 5 (1 – 2 weeks)
Once the Portugal Golden Visa Application is approved our lawyers may receive residence permit cards providing that biometric data was placed in advance.Our legal representatives will collect it and send by the reputable courier service to applicant’s home address. Also it can be done in person visiting again Portugal for an appointment with the Regional Directorate and Regional Delegation of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) for the necessary biometric data collection. Portugal residency card will be valid for an initial period of 1 year.
Application processing fees are 515 EUR on the main applicant and for every family member 80 EUR respectively.
GDP per Capita
GDP World Rank
EU & Schengen
KEY PROGRAM BENEFITS
- Fast residency (4 – 6 months)
- Family members include
- Low stay requirements (only 7 days per year)
- Combination of properties
- Citizenship possibilities after 6 years
GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL
- False information provided
- Criminal record
- Potential security threat to the country
- Disrepute to the country
- Denied visa to the country