Portugal's Golden Visa program was introduced by the Portuguese government in 2012 and has since generated over €4billion of investment in real estate. The goal was to encourage investment from non-European nationals to move, live and work in the country by way of a Golden Visa, thereby boosting the economy. One of the key draws of this program is of course a, relatively, simple way to gain free movement throughout Europe. This has proven to be hugely popular with the top 5 countries investing being; China, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa & Russia.
The premise of the Golden Visa in Portugal is fairly simple. In exchange for a sizeable investment you and your family will be eligible for permanent residency in Portugal and, after five years, have the option to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
The key benefits of the Golden Visa program are listed below:
Any non-EU/EFTA nationals can apply for the Golden Visa program (investors from the UK or any other EU/EEA country do not need a Golden Visa, but must instead register their stay and apply for residency) or the Portuguese investor visa. The qualification process is fairly straight forward and as long as the applicant can invest in any of the following, whether as an individual or business entity set up in an EU member state they can apply for the Golden Visa;
The program is essentially a fast track to Portuguese residency, which allows of course full and simplified movement throughout Europe.
Following the successful application the applicant with be issued with a temporary residence permit for 12 months, renewable for 2-year intervals. After the 5th year, the holder can apply for permanent residency in Portugal, after 6 years Portuguese citizenship can be applied for.
The process for the Golden Visa application is fairly straight forward, at least by Portugal's standards. One must complete a pre-registration online with the Portuguese Immigration Servcies (SEF), the website can be found HERE.
Of course, many clients will choose to have their duly appointed lawyer carry out this process for them, in which case you will need to sign a Power of Attorney (also needed in most cases for the purchase of your property in Portugal) which must, in turn, be presented to SEF.
If you prefer to do things in person, you can also submit your Golden Visa application directly to SEF. All you need to do for this, is to find the nearest branch of SEF and call to schedule an appointment. (We have branchs in Faro, Portimao, Albufeira & Tavira)
Of course, the most important thing you need is to find the property here that you want to buy! Assuming we've found that for you and you're ready to move on with the application you'll need to present, either to your lawyer or directly to SEF, all the following documentation;
These are the basic documents required for the application. In addition to these, you will need to show the means to which you will be able to support yourself or your business, for the upcoming five years.
Typically these would be;
When renewing your Portuguese Golden Visa you will have to submit further evidence of your ability and commitment to fulfil the terms of the Visa application. i.e. ongoing employment opportunities, viable level of funds etc..
The time frame for the issuing of Portugal's Golden Visa is typically a few months from submission.
The Portuguese government has set the following fees for the application, submission and subsequent renewals for their Portuguese Golden Visa;
If you're using a legal representative for the application process then you would expect additional costs on top of this for preparing and submitting the initial application and renewals. Expect around €5,000 for the initial application and around €1,000 - €2,000 for the renewal, depending on the applicant.