Frequently Asked Questions
The Portugal Golden Program is a five-year residence-by-investment program for non-EU nationals. The residence permit gives the right to live, work, and study in Portugal and allows free circulation in Europe’s Schengen Area. Furthermore, the program only requires an average of seven days per year stay in Portugal over this period, which can also count towards citizenship eligibility after !ve years. One of the most attractive incentives of the Golden Visa in Portugal is the possibility to apply for permanent residency after 5 years and even Portuguese citizenship after 6 years.
The cost of living in Portugal is much lower than in Spain or Northern Europe. Portugal has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and o”ers an excellent education and health system. Portugal has 3 major international airports and is easily accessible. There are more than 300 scheduled #ights per day between Portugal and the rest of the world. Portugal is a modern and cosmopolitan country with a peaceful and hospitable population.One of the most attractive incentives of the Golden Visa in Portugal is the possibility to apply for permanent residency after 5 years and even Portuguese citizenship after 6 years. You no longer need to stay in Portugal to take advantage of the business and personal bene!ts to apply for permanent residency for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years.
The Portuguese Golden Visa not only allows the Residency Permit holder to travel to and in Portugal but also to all the countries of the Schengen Area. The Residency Permit allows it`s holders to travel and do business within the Schengen Area.
As far as Golden Visa programs go, the Portuguese program is also relatively accessible. These being the best options for most people:
- Real estate investments starting at €280,000 (although more commonly €350,000 or €500,000).
- A €500,000 investment into a private equity or venture capital fund.
Yes, the program requires a minimum stay of only seven days per year, on average. Speci!cally; the !rst year minimum stay is seven days. The minimum stay during the second residency period (Years 2 and 3) is a total of 14 days (consecutive or non-sequential). The minimum stay during the third residency period (Years 4 and 5) is also a total of 14 days (consecutive or non-sequential).
No. Once citizenship is granted, there are no residency requirements.
At the same time as your own application, you may apply for the Golden Visa for the following family members:
- Spouse or legal partner
- Children under 18 years of age
- Dependent children under 26 as long as they are not married and enrolled as full-time students
- Parents of either spouse if over the age of 66 years old (or 55 and dependent)
- Siblings under the age of 18 years from either spouse or partner if legally responsible
The application takes approximately two months to process after all documentation has been filed and the required investment is made. After the investment has been executed, the application process at SEF – Immigration and Borders Service has two stages. First, an application will be submitted online containing all the documents regarding the investment as well as civil documents (e.g. Passport, Criminal record etc.)
After becoming a permanent resident you cannot be away from Portugal for more than 2 years in a row or 30 non-consecutive months within a period of 3 years.
Yes, there are no restrictions for the investors to work in Portugal.
Personal taxation for non-residents on Portuguese-sourced employment and pension income is charged at a preferential rate of 25%, although interest and rental income, dividends and capital gains are taxed at 28%. Income derived from a foreign source and relating to employment income, pension income and business and professional income can be subject to exemption. Portugal does not apply a wealth tax. There is no tax on gifts or inheritances between parents, children and grandchildren.
The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European countries that have o%cially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.
Yes. The Portuguese passport will allow you to travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.
Source: U.S. Government.
Yes, co-ownership regime.
You will acquire a share portion of 1/75 (one-seventieth-!fth) of the urban buildings of the Royal São Paulo Investment project. Therefore you will be a co-owner of the buildings among 74 other investors.
Each one of the investors on the project will purchase – title deed – a share portion of the urban buildings of the project in co-ownership regime.
After the title deed the GRP will take 6 to 9 month to be issue.
Yes. On the rental income that each investor will receive from the rental of the property to the developing company, in case of being a non-tax resident in Portugal or resident abroad, the investor will pay a 28% rate tax on the income since it is a property revenue.
Yes, you can stay in the property a maximum of 7 days a year. The stay is limited to two people.
The investor co–owner binds itself, expressly and irrevocable, to waive its pre – emptive right to purchase the share–portion of any present or future owner of the buildings, as well as its right to request, demand or force a division, sale, as well as encumber or create any obligation with respect to the buildings, or any part thereof, further binding itself not to transfer or dispose of its share – portion in the buildings to other co owners or any other third parties than the owner of the building.
The main advantages of the Golden Visa Programme are:Residence visa waiver to enter in Portugal;
- Living and working in Portugal, under the condition of staying in Portugal for a period of at least 7 days, in the !rst year, and 14 days, in the subsequent years;
- Visa exemption for travelling within the Schengen Area;
- Family reunification;
- Applying for permanent residence (pursuant to the Aliens Act – Law no. 23/2007 of 4 July with the current wording);
- Applying for Portuguese citizenship, by naturalization, (Law no. 37/81 of 3 October, with the current wording).
Who can apply to the ARI programme?
- Non – EU and non – EEE nationals are eligible for the ARI / Golden Visa scheme
- Capital transfer of € 1 million or more;
- The creation of, at least, 10 job positions;
- The purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above € 500 thousand;
The purchase of real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or locatedin urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing, for a total value equal to or above € 350 thousand;
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above € 250 thousand for an investment in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, through the local and central authorities, public institutions, public corporate sector, public foundations, private foundations of public interest, networked local authorities, local corporate sector organizations, local associations and public cultural associations, pursuing activities of artistic output, and reconstructionor maintenance of the national heritage;
- Capital transfer in the amount of € 350 thousand, or higher, for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds dedicated to the capitalisation of companies, capital injected under the Portuguese legislation, whose maturity, at the moment of the investment, is, at least, of !ve years and, at least, 60% of the investments are made in commercial companies with head o%ce in national territory;
- Capital transfer of € 350 thousand, or higher, for constitution of a commercial company with head office in the national territory, combined with the creation of !ve permanent working jobs, or for the reinforcement of the share capital of a already existing, commercial company with head office in the national territory, creating or keeping jobs, with a minimum of !ve permanent jobs, and for a minimum period of three years;
- Job creation, real estate purchase and research activities investment routes may be reduced in 20%, provided that they are made in sparsely populated areas or where the GDP per capita is below 75% of the national average: minimum € 400.000 in the purchase of real estate and minimum € 280.000 in the purchase of real estate that is at least 30 years old or located in urban regeneration area for refurbishing.
The granting of a residence permit shall entail:
- “Clean” criminal records;
- No indication in the Schengen Information System or in SEF’s Integrated Information System for non-admission purposes, under article 33 of the Portuguese Aliens Act;
Documents and general requirements to apply:Full passport copy;
- Evidence of entry and legal stay in the Portuguese Territory;
- Proof of health care system / insurance (when in Portugal for more than 7 days);
- Extract from the criminal record of the country of origin, or of the country of residence when residing there for 1 year, duly legalized by the competent Portuguese diplomatic representation or by means of Hague Apostille;
- Proof of tax identi!cation number, or equivalent, of the country of origin, residence or tax residence;
- Sworn Statement by which the Applicant declares to comply with all the minimum quantitative and time requirements (!ve years) of the investment;
- Non-debt certificates from the Portuguese Tax Authorities and Social Security;
- Documents related to the investment:
- Documents related to the investment made, depending on the type of investment chosen, (ex. when purchasing real estate, the title deed is a necessary document.)
The legal minimum period of stay begins after your Golden Visa has been approved and only after the residence card has been issued, applicants are abligated to spend 7 days in Portugal in the first year, and 14 days in the subsequent year as explained above.
Yes. However, there is the possibility of changing the investment, as long as certain requirements are fulfilled.
Yes, for the purpose of making the investment, the investor must have a tax payer number and a bank account in Portugal, which requires additional documentation, such as, proof of address and proof of professional activity.
- Online pre-registration at http://ari.sef.pt;
- After the pre-registration is accepted, the Investor must Schedule an appointment for biometric data collection at SEF;
- Appointment at SEF for biometric data collection.
- Documents issued outside of Portugal must be recognized by a Portuguese Embassy or Consulate.
- If the country of the Investor joined the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, the documents can be legalized by Apostille.
The application for Family Reuni!cation can be submitted simultaneously with the main Investor’s application, however always subject to the approval of the latter.
The family members are:
- The spouse;
- Minor unmarried or incapable children under the care of one of the spouses;
- Minor adopted children;
- The unmarried adult children attending an educational establishment, regardless of the country they are in;
- The first-degree relatives in the direct ascending line of the Investor or his or her spouse, as long as financially dependent of the parents;
- The minor siblings, provided they are under the Investors care and dependency;
- Full copy of the passport;
- Proof of legal entry in Portugal;
- Marriage Certificate issued in the prior six months to the application;
- Criminal Record issued in the three months prior to the submission of the application (from the country of origin and country of residence, if residing there for 1 year.)
- Full copy of the passport;
- Proof of legal entry in Portugal;
- Birth certificate;
- Proof that the child is still financially dependent on the parents;
- Criminal record if the child is 16 or older, issued in the three months prior to the submission of the application (from the country of origin and country of residence if residing for 1 year);
Parents of the investor:
- Full copy of the passport;
- Proof of legal entry in Portugal;
- Birth certi!cate of the investor;
- Proof of the family member’s economic dependency;
- Criminal record issued in the three months prior to the submission (from the country of origin and country of residence, if residing for 1 year).
- For the reception and analysis of the initial application or renewal of residence permit for an investment activity € 532,70;
- For the issuing of the residence permit for an investment activity € 5.324,60;
- For the renewal of the residence permit for an investment activity € 2.662,30;
- Family reuni!cation;
- Vocational guidance, professional training, further training and retraining;
- Access to public health;
- Access to law and the courts.
- Request for renewal must be submitted 30 days prior to its expiry;
- Schedule of appointment at SEF’s facilities;
- Submission of the same documents as in the first request
According to the current legal regime, di”erently from other permanent residency regimes, the holder of a permanent residence permit will not lose the authorization if he/she does not stay in Portugal for a certain period of time.
- Application delivered personally signed by the applicant;
- Passport or any other valid travel document;
- Evidence of su%cient means of subsistence;
- Evidence that the applicant has adequate accommodation;
- Permission for SEF to check Portuguese criminal record;
- Supporting evidence of ful!lled tax and social security obligations;
- The applicant must hold a temporary Residence Permit for a minimum period of !ve years (the ARI/Golden Visa);
- Document proving the applicant’s basic knowledge of the Portuguese language (A2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
- Being a EU citizen;
- Possibility of living in any of the EU countries;
- Passport with visa free access for up to 184 countries (Portugal has been ranked in the 5th position in the Henley & Partners 2019 Passport Index ranking).
The Portuguese Citizenship Act lays down the requirements to apply and obtain Portuguese Citizenship.
The Government grants Portuguese nationality, by naturalization, to foreigners who satisfy each of the following requirements:
- Be of age or emancipated under Portuguese law (18 years old or 16 years old, if married);
- Have resided lawfully in the Portuguese territory for a minimum of !ve years (under Portuguese law the ARI/Golden Visa permit is a legal temporary residence permit in Portugal);
- Have suficient knowledge of the Portuguese language;
- Have not been convicted of a crime punishable under the Portuguese law with imprisonment up to a maximum equal to three or more years;
- Not being considered a danger or a threat to national security or defence, by their involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism, pursuant to the Law in force;
- Connections to Portuguese Community.
- Formal request addressed to the Minister of Justice;
- Full copy of the birth certi!cate;
- Proof of the applicant’s suficient knowledge of the Portuguese language;
- Clean criminal record issued by the competent services of the country of origin and nationality, duly translated into Portuguese;
- Statement issued by the Immigration and Borders Once proving that the applicant has been legally residing in the Portuguese territory for at least 5 years.
- The application is presented to the Central Registry Once;
- The Central Registry Once must make a summary analysis of the application and if it is rejected, the applicant is given 20 days to reply;
- If the application is accepted, the procedure will continue and the Central Registry Once will proceed with the due diligence together with the Criminal Police and the Immigration and Border Once;
- Subsequently, the Registry Once will issue its formal opinion (parecer):
- If the opinion is positive (to grant Portuguese citizenship), the process is submitted to the Minister of Justice for final decision;
- If the position is negative (not grant Portuguese citizenship), the applicant will be given 20 days to reply. After the 20 days and the applicant’s reply, the process is submitted to the Minister of Justice for !nal decision.
- If the decision of the Minister of Justice is:
- Positive, it will be registered in the Central Registry Once;
- Negative, the applicant can appeal to National Courts.
- In the event of reasonable and founded doubts, the Public Prosecutor may object to the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship by the applicants.
- The lack of e”ective connection with the local community;
- Having been convicted (!nal decision from a Court) for committing a crime punishable by imprisonment of a maximum of three years or more, according to Portuguese law;
- The exercise of public functions without a predominantly technical character or the provision of non-compulsory military service to a foreign State;
- The existence of danger or threat to national security or defence by the applicant’s involvement in activities related to the practice of terrorism.