Residency and Citizenship
GOLDEN VISA - RESIDENCY FOR INVESTORS
- The Golden Visa Programme 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 programme, 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.
- General requirements for all investments
The simplicity of the Golden Visa Programme 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:
- Investment maintained for a minimum period of 5 years
- Funds for investment should come from abroad
- Residency application only approved after investment
- Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa
- Absence of flags in Portuguese Immigration and Schengen services
- Absence of conviction of relevant crime
- Minimum investment of € 500,000
- One or multiple properties
- All property types qualify
- Possibility of co-ownership
- Freedom to use, rent or lease
- Minimum investment of € 1 million
- Transfer of new funds to Portugal
- Funds transferred to a bank in Portugal
- Freedom to invest the funds
- Investment in company share possible
- Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs
- No minimum investment value
- No limitation on areas/activities
- Compliance with Social Security obligations
- Possibility of grants/incentives/benefits
- Advantages of Golden Visa Programme
- The Golden Visa Programme 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
- Residency extended to family members
- Extremely low minimum stay periods
- Permanent Residency after 5 years
- Citizenship after 6 years
- 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:
- Be at least 18 years old (or at least 16 but married or legally responsible)
- Absence of conviction of any relevant crime
- Pass a simple Portuguese language test, which will serve to show sufficient knowledge of the language
- The application for the Golden Visa implies that the investor will have to submit the following documentation:
- Proof of Investment
- Passport & Valid Schengen Visa
- Portuguese Fiscal number
- Criminal Record from country of residency
- Portuguese Criminal Record
- Declaration from the Tax Department proving the absence of debts to the Tax Authorities
- Declaration from Social Security proving the absence of debts to Social Security Authorities
- Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements
- Health Insurance valid in Portugal
- 2 passport-type pictures
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.
- Any investor interested in applying for a Golden Visa, can submit the application, either personally or via a legal representative appointed by him, in one of the following manners:
a) Online Registration
By registering online at the Services of Foreigners and Borders’ (“SEF”) website. After the registration is complete the investor will receive a password and will be able to access online in order to submit the necessary forms and documents.
b) In Person
In person, at the Services of Foreigners and Borders in Portugal.
- The Golden Visa involves payment of the following fees (payable directly to the Services of Foreigners and Borders (“SEF”)):
- Processing fee (application and renewal) - € 513,75 (plus € 80.04 per family member)
- Initial Golden Visa - € 5,137.50
- Initial Golden Visa for Family members - € 5,137.50
- Renewal of Golden Visa - € 2,568.75
- 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 maintained the investment for the minimum period of 5 (years)
- He/she has not complied with the minimum periods of stay in Portugal
- 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
Required Amount of Investment
- Investor can simply buy real estate valued EUR 500,000. Real estate can be used for personal or commercial purposes.
Immediate Result of the Program
- Investor and his family members can get Temporary Residence. After 5 years of Permanent Residence is available.
Dual Citizenship and Second Passport
- Citizenship is available after 6 years (5 years in temporary statues + 1 year with permanent status). Dual citizenship is recognized.
Portuguese (EU) Residency Program
- In January 2013 the government of Portugal has simplified its Golden Residency Permit Program, known as the ‘golden visa’ to make it more attractive to foreign investors.
- Capital Transfer funds can now be used to invest in all types of companies and the job creation category has been reduced from 30 to 10 jobs.
- allowed golden visas to be granted to those conducting capital transfers of at least EUR 1,000,000, creating 30 jobs or buying real estate worth at least EUR 500,000.
- Moreover, the following amendments to the scheme have been made:
- Periods of mandatory stay in Portugal for the investors have been eased and now stand at 7 days for the first year and 14 days for subsequent periods of two years.
- Possibility of co-ownership, with each co-owner making an investment of at least EUR 500,000
- Promissory Contracts of Purchase and Sale are now acceptable for the initial investor residency application, if a deposit of at least EUR 500,000 is paid. In this event, the actual purchase of the property needs to be effected until the time of the first renewal of the residency permit.
- Opportunity to finance the purchase of property over EUR 500,000.The properties acquired can be freely rented and let for commercial, agricultural and tourism purposes.
- Permanent residency is possible after 5 years.
- Citizenship of Portugal is possible after 1 year with permanent residency status.
- Cost and Process to gain citizenship:
- Portugal program does not lead to citizenship in a fast way. In order to apply for citizenship in Portugal you will need to show 6 years of legal residence + good command of the Portuguese language. Without physical residency requirement (or more precisely, with minimal 7 days requirement) you can count only on temporary residence permit and after 5 years – on permanent residency. If you are OK with these conditions you are expected to invest 500,000 EUR into property (for personal or commercial use) and spend 7 days per year in Portugal during 5 years (after 5 years you can get permanent residency with minimal physical residency requirement of 35 days only).
This is a chance to live in Portugal.
Do you want to get Permanent Residency in Portugal?
Go to www.PASSPORTS.IO
and build your bridge to Portugal
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