Golden Visa Program
The Golden Visa Program is the first choice for foreign investors to be granted a residence permit through five-year investment activity in the portuguese territory.
Temporary residence permit holders will have the right to reside in Portugal and travel visa-free within the 26 member-state countries of the Schengen area. The main investor and co-dependents will gain the right to work in Portugal, free education and a protected healthcare system.
The minimum required stay in the country, for only seven days per year, makes the Golden Visa program one of the fastest growing investment for immigration programs, currently in Europe.
FREE ACCESS TO PORTUGUESE HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION
NO LANGUAGE OR ACADEMIC CREDENCIALS REQUIRED
FAST AND SIMPLE PROCESS
TRAVEL FREELY WITHIN THE SCHENGEN AREA
NO TAX CHARGED ON WORLDWIDE INCOME, ACCORDING TO PORTUGAL’S TAX LAW
PORTUGUESE CITIZENSHIP AND EU BENEFITS
RIGH TO LIVE, DO BUSINESS OR STUDY IN PORTUGAL, OR OTHER EU MEMBER COUNTRIES, AFTER THE CITIZENSHIP
TO BE OVER 18 YEARS OLD
MIN. 7-DAY STAYS
NO MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE
The Golden Visa Process in Portugal
GOLDEN VISA IN NUMBERS
IN OCTOBER 2023
RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR MAIN INVESTORS
RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS
REAL ESTATE PROPERTY PURCHASING
BILLION EURO INVESTMENT IN REAL ESTATE
The residence permit, as well as the citizenship, acquired by the main investor will be extended to direct family members such as: spouse, dependent children and parents.
Your children will have the right to study free until they complete 18 years of age. Portugal's english fluency in it's population is higher than countries like France, Italy or Spain. You will also have acess to Portugal's free healthcare, ranked 12th in the world.
The Portuguese Golden Visa allows you to travel freely to countries like France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and many more. Through the Golden Visa Program, the main investor and family members, will be able to obtain a European Passport.
As a Portuguese citizen, you are authorized to have a residency in Portugal, do business in any part of the country and also be integrated in one of the various EU universities.
With Portuguese Citizenship, you and your family will have the opportunity to live in Portugal and benefit from the country's excellent healthcare and education system, while enjoying the security of one of the safest countries in Europe (according to the Global Peace Index 2021). Portuguese citizens are entitled to visa-free travel to more than 183 countries besides EU and Schengen country members.
The Permanent Residency allows you to live in Portugal and travel freely within the EU country-members. The Golden Visa card holder may request the Permanent Residency after having the Temporary Residency, meaning the Golden Visa card for at least five years.
The Golden Visa is a temporary residence permit, which the law calls “residence permit for investment” – pursuant to article 90-A of Law No. 23/2007, of 4 July.
The rules governing the granting of Residence Permit for Investment (ARI/Golden Visa), in force from 8 October 2012, enable third country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit to conduct business activities with visa waiver to enter national territory.
All third country citizens who conduct an investment activity, as an individual businessperson or through a company set up in Portugal or in another EU Member State and who, in addition, are stably settled in Portugal, provided these citizens fulfil the quantitative requirements and the time requirements set out by the relevant legislation, may apply for a Residence Permit for Investment.
Portuguese, EU and EEE nationals are not eligible for the ARI/Golden Visa scheme.
The beneficiaries of ARI / Golden Visa are entitled to:
- Residence visa waiver for entering Portugal;
- Living and working in Portugal;
- Visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area;
- Family reunification;
- Applying for permanent residence (pursuant to the Aliens Act – Act number 23/2007 of 4 July with the current wording);
- Applying for Portuguese citizenship, by naturalization, provided all other requirements set out by the Nationality Act are fulfilled (Act number 37/81 of 3 October, as amended);
- Access to the Non-Habitual Residency Program: Golden Visa holders in Portugal can register as fiscal residents for tax purposes. The program offers tax-free incentives on certain categories for up to ten years related to your global income such as royalties, occupational pensions, real estate income, and dividends.
The holder of a residence permit for investment can work in Portugal without restrictions. Furthermore, since the investor can add his/her spouse and other dependent family members when applying for the residence permit, the investor and his/her spouse can work and pursue professional activities in Portugal.
Yes, it is possible to include family members on the Golden Visa application through the mechanism of Family Reunification.
In the Golden Visa application, the request for family reunification can be made simultaneously with the main application from the investor and will then be dependent on the approval of the latter.
According to Law No. 23/2007, of 4 July, family members are considered:
- The spouse;
- Underage or incapable children under guardianship of the couple or of one spouse;
- Minors adopted by an unmarried applicant, by a married applicant or by the spouse, following decision taken by the relevant authority of the Country of origin, provided that legal framework incorporates the same rights and duties of natural affiliation and provided that decision is acknowledged by Portugal;
- Adult children (over 18 years old), dependent of the couple or one of the spouses, who are unmarried and attending a teaching institution, independent of the country in which it is located;
- Parents of the applicant or the respective spouse provided that, if they are below 65 years old, they are dependent on either of them, meaning that they are supported financially by the Investor;
- Underage siblings under custody of the applicant or the respective spouse, following decision by a relevant authority in the country of origin, as long as that decision is acknowledged by Portugal.
Yes, couples who are together by civil partnership/domestic partnership (in Portuguese União de Facto) are entitled to the Golden Visa the same way a married couple is.
The only difference is that it is necessary to prove that the union has started at least 2 years prior to the date of the application.
Yes, adult children need to remain single and full-time students on each renewal application and not only in the initial submission of the application.
The investment can be made as an individual or through a private limited company, in which the sole shareholder of the company is the main investor, according to the article 65-A of the Regulatory Decree n. 84/2007, of November 5th.
Although the government does not allow using cryptocurrency to directly pay fees, taxes, and the costs related to the Golden Visa application, it would be possible for the investor to use cryptocurrency as the source of funds to make the investment.
Defined as a crypto-friendly country, Portugal offers a banking system that accepts cash-outs from cryptocurrencies and issues the Golden Visa declaration to the investors (Declaration from your bank in Portugal confirming the transfer of funds – a required document for your application).
Cryptocurrency and Taxes
Unlike the USA, which treats cryptocurrency as property, taxing it similarly to stocks or real estate, Portugal still treats cryptocurrencies as a way of payment. Winnings resulting from withdrawals and crypto-to-crypto transactions are not taxed.
The earnings on the sale of cryptocurrency are not taxable under the current Portuguese tax system unless by the regularity of the transactions it constitutes a professional or business activity of the taxpayer.
The investment should be maintained for the initial five-year period, in compliance with the provision of paragraph 15 of article 65.º-D of the Regulatory Decree n. 84/2007, of November 5th, which regulates Law n. 23/2007, of July 4th.
After obtaining the citizenship or permanent residency, the investor may then choose to liquidate the investment.
After the investment has been made and the investor has obtained all the necessary documents for his/her Golden Visa process and the documents for the family members, it is possible to submit the applications for the granting of a residence permit for investment.
First Step: Submission of Golden Visa application:
The Golden Visa application is only possible through the ARI Portal and it´s not possible to deliver the application and documents in person.
Second Step: SEF Pre-approval:
After the submission of the application, SEF will analyze the documents submitted and will send a notification with its acceptance.
Third Step: Biometrics Appointment:
With the acceptance of the application, we move on to the biometric scheduling stage.
Regarding the booking of biometrics, in December of 2021 SEF has changed its policy and now it is SEF that notifies the applicant when he/she can schedule the appointments for him/her and for the family members. Notifications are sent chronologically, considering the date of submission of the application.
Fourth Step: GOLDEN VISA Card Approval:
After the collection of the biometrics, SEF will analyze the documents that will be presented on the day the appointment. After the analysis of the process, SEF will send a notification with the approval of the Golden Visa card.
For the Golden Visa application, all civil documents must be duly legalized. If the documents are issued by a country member of the Hague Convention of 1961, the documents should be apostilled (by means of the apposition of the Hague apostille).
On the other hand, if the documents are issued by a country not member of the Hague Convention of 1961, they should be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the issuing country and subsequently legalized by the competent Portuguese Embassy or Consulate.
Currently, the application analysis fee is €539.66, and this amount is payable after the online submission.
The issuance of the Golden Visa card fee is €5.391,56 (for concession) and €2.696,29 (for renewal), and this amount is payable after the notification sent by SEF with the approval of the Golden Visa card.
The values mentioned are subject to annual revision, and the ones mentioned are in force since 03-05-2022.
The time of stay in Portugal before the residence title is granted does not count for the time requirement of the five years of legal residence in Portugal.
The period of five years of legal residence in Portugal only starts to count from the date of issue of the first residence card.
For the renewal of the residence permit, its holder is required to:
- Have fulfilled their tax and social security obligations;
- Has not been convicted in penalty or penalties that, isolated or cumulatively, exceed one year of imprisonment;
- Have fulfilled the minimum periods of stay of, at least, for 7 days (if the residency card is valid for one year) or 14 days (if your residency card is valid for 2 years).
- Prove the maintenance of the investment initially made in national territory.
At the end of the five-year period of residence permit in Portugal, the investor can choose between the following options:
- Continue his/her temporary residence process in Portugal:
- Apply for permanent residence in Portugal;
- Apply for the Portuguese citizenship.
Yes, the Golden Visa card holder may request the Permanent Residency after having the Temporary Residency (meaning, the Golden Visa card) for at least five years.
Yes, for instance it is necessary to prove basic knowledge of the Portuguese language. For that, the applicant may need to pass a level A2 Portuguese language test.
Regarding obtaining Portuguese citizenship, according to article 6, number 1 of the Nationality Law, Portuguese nationality can be granted to foreigners who fulfill the following requirements:
- To be of legal age;
- Have legally resided in Portuguese territory for at least five years;
- Have sufficient knowledge of Portuguese (level A2);
- Have not been convicted of a sentence of imprisonment of three years or more for a crime punishable under Portuguese law;
- Do not constitute a danger or threat to national security or defense by their involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism, under the terms of the respective law.
The Portuguese citizenship has some advantages when comparing to the permanent residency, such as:
- No minimum stay requirement to maintain the Citizenship;
- Portuguese citizens are entitled to visa-free travel to more than 183 countries besides EU and Schengen country members.
In February 2021 a Decree-Law that revived the Golden Visa program was published, determining the change of the regime with effects from the beginning of the year 2022.
The change of the Law affected the real estate investment on residential property that is now only possible in real estate located in Azores, Madeira, and inland territories of Portugal, taking out Lisbon, Porto and Algarve of the list of possibilities.
This territorial limitation does not apply however to investment in commercial real estate, which has led to an increase in demand for properties intended for commercial purposes.
Besides any change of the Law having to go through multiple steps, from proposal, voting, publication and a time between publication and entry into force, there is a general principle of non-retroactivity of the law, meaning that it only applies for the future.
In practical terms, any future change of the law does not affect Golden Visa applications already submitted or even the possibility of renewal of residence permits granted under a previous regime.