Golden Visa Portugal 2020 – The Ultimate Guide by Experts

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is one of the most popular residency-by-investment programs in the world. Since its inception in 2012, thousands of families have successfully relocated to Portugal  the darling heart of Southwestern Europe and have started new lives.

Why exactly is the Portugal Golden Visa so in-demand? And why are non-EU citizens applying in the hundreds?

In this Golden Visa Portugal 2020 Ultimate Guide, you’ll learn more about:

…and so much more!

What is the Golden Visa Portugal?

The Portugal Golden Visa Program, also known as the Residence Permit Program is a five-year residency-by-investment scheme for non-EU nationals.

From its mesmerizing Atlantic coastline and luscious landscapes to its year-round sunshine, Portugal’s charm is irresistible. Portugal’s Golden Visa grants qualifying investors and their family members the right to live, work and study in Portugal and permits free movement in Europe’s Schengen Area. 

Opportunities to become a permanent resident or citizen is possible, provided that the qualifying investment is kept for at least five years.

IMPORTANT: Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2020

From an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to the Portuguese government’s proposed changes to the Portugal Golden Visa starting from 2021, it’s important to stay informed.

Currently,  changes to the Golden Visa Portugal have been suspended. 

The changes are not a priority at the moment,” a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allegedly told the media outlet Dinheiro Vivo.

The changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa program would have rolled out next year, limiting real estate investments to inland municipalities only, as well as the independent regions of the Azores and Madeira.

While the Portugal Golden Visa Program application used to be processed in-person, the government is finding new innovative ways to streamline the application process. And amidst COVID-19, the move to digitalize the Golden Visa application has been welcomed. All documents are now to be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number [NIF].

Benefits of Portugal Golden Visa

The benefits of a Portugal Golden Visa are one of the main reasons why foreign investors are so vested in applying and seeking residency.

Some top benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa include:

Access to 26 nations in the EU & visa-free travel to 183 nations Access to 26 nations in the EU & visa-free travel to 183 nations
Affordable investment options starting from 280K Affordable investment options starting from 280K
5-years until you qualify for a European passport 5-years until you qualify for a European passport
A sound investment in a buoyant market that can lead to real returns A sound investment in a buoyant market that can lead to real returns
Option to become a non-habitual resident and pay little to no tax for 10 years Option to become a non-habitual resident and pay little to no tax for 10 years
Short stay requirement Short stay requirement

Portugal Golden Visa family benefits

A winning benefit of the Portugal Golden Visa is that your dependent family can be included in the application. Meaning, your family can also enjoy the same freedom of opportunities and a second residence in a safe and stable country!

The following family members can be included in the Golden Visa Portugal application:

  • Spouse or legal partner
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Dependent children under 26 as long as they are single and enrolled as full-time students
  • Parents of either spouse if over 66 years old (or 55 and dependent)
  • Siblings under the age of 18 years from either spouse or partner if legally responsible

How to get the Golden Visa in Portugal?

To get the Golden Visa in Portugal, you must make a qualifying investment ― usually in real estate or funds  ―and hold the respective investment for five years. To submit your application, it is advised to consult with a Portugal Golden Visa lawyer or Portugal Golden Visa consultant to see what documentation you need on top of your investment.

Golden visa requirements for Portugal

To qualify for the program, you must fulfill the following Golden Visa requirements for Portugal:

  • Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA.
  • Minimum investment of €250,000. Range of investment routes to pick.
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal for the first year, then no less than 14 days each subsequent two-year period (this is called the stay requirement)

Your Portugal Golden Visa consultants

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship-by-investment solutions for international families. 

With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we help clients from around the world acquire Portugal Golden Visas or homes while diversifying their portfolio with robust investments.

Speak to one of our Portugal Golden Visa Consultants so we can understand your objectives and help you move forward. 

Portugal Golden Visa processing time

The Portugal Golden Visa processing time is relatively quick and straightforward.

YEAR 0
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GOLDEN VISA ISSUED, NOW VALID FOR 2 YEARS

YEAR 1
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YEAR 2
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RESIDENCY PERMIT NEEDS TO BE RENEWED. VALID FOR 2 YEARS

YEAR 3
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YEAR 4
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RESIDENCY PERMIT NEEDS TO BE RENEWED. VALID FOR 2 YEARS

YEAR 5
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BOTH PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP MAY BE REQUESTED OTHERWISE GV WILL NEED TO BE RENEWED IN YEAR 6

Step-by-step guide for the Golden Visa application

While the Golden Visa Portugal application is relatively straightforward, there are quite a few steps to take toward a successful application. 

1

Onboarding

2

Bank account & NIF

3

Make the investment

4

Biometrics visit

5

Golden Visa inssuance

1 – Onboarding : Once you decide on your investment, you must collect the paperwork for yourself and any dependents you’ll be including in the application. We can ensure the correct paperwork is in order, and we’ll submit it for review.

2 – Bank account & NIF: In order to obtain the tax identification number (NIF) in Portugal, we will appoint a fiscal representative for you. After obtaining your NIF, we can help you open a bank account in Portugal. This can be done by us remotely.

3 – Make the investment: We can begin securing your investment, and will guide you through the necessary paperwork required to ensure a successful investment.

4 – Biometrics visit: From the time you book your interview, it takes around 2 months until you can attend a biometrics collection session in person.

5 – Golden Visa inssuance: After your biometrics, it takes around 4 months for your Golden Visa to be approved. Pay the government permit issue fee. We’ll then collect the residence cards on your behalf and send them to you.

Portugal Golden Visa investment options

Portugal’s stable and dynamic economy and exciting startup scene make it an ideal destination for businesses looking to set up EU operations. Portugal’s prime real estate market has also prompted an influx of property investors to purchase property for sale in Portugal. 

To get the Portugal Golden Visa, an investment must be made before the application can be filed.

Portugal Golden Visa investment options include:

  • Capital Transfer of at least €1 million
  • Generate 10 new jobs for a Portuguese business or single-member company (reduced to 8 positions if in low-density area)
  • Portugal Golden Visa real estate investment of €500K in Real Estate- (Reduced to €400K if located in a low-density area)
  • Portugal Golden Visa €350K real estate investment in rehabilitation project (reduced to €280K if located in a low-density area)
  • €250K investment into preserving national heritage
  • Investment of at least €350K in research
  • €350K investment in an existing Portuguese business. Must incorporate or increase the share capital and create at least 5 full-time permanent jobs for at least 3 years
  • Investment into private equity funds- A Golden Visa fund investment of €350K minimum can be made to a private equity fund.

 

Portugal Golden Visa real estate option

The Portugal Golden Visa real estate option is perhaps the most popular way to get residency in Portugal. This is because Portugal is seen as a prime destination among property investors, with a flourishing real estate market, high rental yields, and booming tourism industry. 

Many expats buy properties in Portugal for tourism purposes, or to serve as a second home or a retirement destination. You can invest in newly-built properties in thriving Lisbon or Porto starting from €500k, or invest in used property for the Portugal Golden Visa starting from €400K.

The most economical investment route for the Portugal Golden Visa scheme is to make a €280K investment in the rehabilitation of real estate in low-density areas. The Portugal Golden Visa property for sale must at least be more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation.

 

Portugal investment fund Golden Visa

Investing in private equity funds or Portugal Golden Visa venture capital funds is a good option for acquiring residency in Portugal. The funds are managed by accredited fund managers who are accredited by Portugal’s regulatory body, the CMVM. Your dedicated fund manager ensures that the Portugal Golden Visa fund investments are appropriately managed in start-ups or medium-sized projects with optimal growth potential. 

For the Portugal Golden Visa qualified investment fund, you can choose from sectors like energy, industry, technology, and real estate.

Chat to one of our Portugal Golden Visa consultants

Lifestyle choices vary, which is why we take the time to learn about your individual situation and requirements. We can simplify access to property investments, provide local insights, help with legal assistance, tax planning, and more—all while ensuring efficient, personalized, and confidential service.

Portugal Golden Visa tax benefits

Portugal’s Golden Visa income tax benefits are a big draw for foreign investors looking to get the most out of their financial contribution. 

Golden Visa Portugal holders don’t need to pay extra taxes on income produced outside of Portugal.

There’s also an option to register as a fiscal resident for tax purposes in Portugal. This is a fantastic option as it’ll allow you to then directly benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax (NHR) Regime. NHR is a generous tax program with numerous benefits pertaining to your global income. It offers tax-free incentives on certain categories for a period of up to ten years.

Types of income that may qualify under the NHR program include:

  • Dividends
  • Real estate income
  • Capital gains from the disposal of real estate
  • Occupational pensions
  • Royalties
  • Business and self-employment profits derived from eligible occupations (but be mindful of relevant double taxation agreements)

Additionally, any Portuguese-sourced income would be taxed at a flat rate of 20% during the first ten years and there is also the ability to pass on your wealth to a spouse or dependent without incurring inheritance or gift taxes.

Find out more in our complete guide to Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident Tax Regime and the Portugal Golden Visa tax benefits.

 

Can the Golden Visa Portugal get me citizenship?

The Golden Visa Portugal can absolutely get you citizenship. You must hold your investment for at least five years before you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency and a Portuguese passport. With citizenship under your belt, you can enjoy the right to live, work, and study anywhere in the EU and travel visa-free to over 182 destinations. 

Golden Visa Portugal documents required

* Important information about your documentation**

The following Golden Visa Portugal documents required can change at the discretion of the Portuguese government. Also, the documents must be submitted by Golden Visa applicants both for the initial application and for each renewal.

Golden Visa Portugal documents required list:

  • Portugal Golden Visa application form
  • Copy of a valid passport and travel documents
  • Deed or contract of the purchased property or signed promissory contract with proof of the deposit payment
  • Declaration from your bank in Portugal confirming the transfer of funds
  • Proof of Health Insurance in Portugal
  • Certified copy of the criminal certificate or a Police clearance letter from your country of origin
  • A completed form authorizing SEF to get an extract of your Portuguese criminal records
  • Declaration from you confirming compliance with the investment requirements
  • Documents showing a good standing with the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority and Social Security system. These can be issued 45 days prior to your online application
  • A receipt showing that you already paid the application processing fee
  • Note that the certificates of criminal records or police clearance letters must have been issued no more than 90 days before submitting your application. For all other certificates, it is 180 days.

Legalizing Portugal Golden Visa documents

Portugal Golden Visa documents and the Portugal Golden Visa application form must be legalized and translated into Portuguese by a certified translator.

Documents can be legalized either by the Portuguese Consulate or by the Apostille of The Hague Convention.

Translating Portugal Golden Visa documents

Original documents must be accompanied by a certified translation in Portuguese, which may be done in one of three ways:

  1. By a translator who is accredited by the Portuguese Consulate
  2. By anyone, if the translation is certified by a Portuguese lawyer
  3. By the issuing country’s Consulate in Portugal

Getting a Portuguese NIF and opening a Portuguese bank account for the Portugal Golden Visa

These are relatively straightforward processes in Portugal and can both be done remotely.

The NIF is your tax identification number, distributed by the Portuguese fiscal authorities (Finanças) used for tax purposes that are needed to carry out various transactions including opening a Portuguese bank account and buying property. 

To open a Portuguese bank account, Global Citizen Solution can introduce you to a competent English speaking banker in Portugal that can open a bank account even before you come to Portugal. 

Portugal Golden Visa language test

While you don’t need a Portugal Golden Visa language test, if you want to get Portuguese citizenship after your five-year investment is up, then you must take the Portuguese language test for citizenship.  The test, called The CIPLE Portuguese proficiency test, checks to see if you have a basic understanding of the Portuguese language. 

Portugal golden visa cost

The Portugal Golden Visa cost is as follows:

Initial Application Fees

  • GOLDEN VISA APPLICATION LEGAL FEES: For a single applicant. Dependants younger than 18 years-old can be included free of charge = €6,000.
  • ADDITIONAL GOLDEN VISA LEGAL FEES: For dependants 18 years-old and older. Children are free of charge = €500.

Renewal Legal Fees

  • GOLDEN VISA RENEWAL LEGAL FEES: For a single applicant = €1,000.
  • ADDITIONAL FEES: For dependants 18 years-old and older. Children are free of charge = €500.

Note: Depending on the type of investment you wish to make additional fees may apply.

Disclaimer: Fees can change, depending on the Portuguese government.

Can I pay for the Portugal Golden Visa with cryptocurrency?

Global Citizen Solutions is a crypto-friendly company. We now accept cryptocurrency as payment for our services through the portal Coingate. While we do not have a point of sale directly set up on our website, payment with crypto including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple can be arranged by contacting our staff.

Global Citizen Solutions has already helped many crypto investors in acquiring their Golden Visa in Portugal and other citizenship by investment programs. We are happy to assist you every step of the way.

 

Portugal vs Spain golden visa: which is better?

With golden beaches, enticing foods, and excellent weather, both Spain and Portugal offer safe and stable lifestyles in the heart of Europe and straightforward ways to obtain temporary residence permits. However, key differences between the two programs exist and it’s important to know what these differences are.

The main benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa program in comparison to the Spanish one is that investments can be made for a lower amount, starting from €280K. Investors for the Portugal Golden Visa can also obtain a European passport in just five years, whereas investors for the Spanish Golden Visa must wait ten years.

Check out our Portugal vs Spain Golden Visa comparison guide below for more information. 

 

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Frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa Program

What is golden visa portugal?

The Golden Visa Portugal is a program that awards investors with residence permits in Portugal, provided that a qualifying investment is made in the country.

How much do I need to invest for the Golden Visa Portugal investment fund?

To invest for the Golden Visa Portugal investment fund, you must contribute at least €350K.

What is the Portugal Golden Visa renewal process like?

The Portugal Golden Visa renewal process is relatively straightforward. With your Portugal Golden Visa, you must renew your permit in year one and year three as well as spend a few days in Portugal each year. In year one, you must spend at least seven days in Portugal and in years two through to five, you must spend at least 14 days in Portugal (whether or not they’re consecutive during each two-year period).

Do dependents qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa?

Yes, Portugal Golden Visa dependents are also eligible to be part of your Golden Visa application, for a fee.

Spain vs Portugal Golden Visa: what is better?

Spain vs Portugal Golden Visa, what’s better depends on what you’re looking for and how fast you’re looking to get citizenship. For the Portugal Golden Visa, investments start from €280K, whereas for the Spain Golden Visa, investments start from €500K. After five years with the Portugal Golden Visa, you can get permanent residency and citizenship, but for the Spain Golden Visa, you must wait 5 years for PR and ten years for citizenship.

Cyprus vs Portugal golden visa: what is better?

Cyprus vs Portugal golden visa, what’s better depends on what you’re after. For Cyprus, you can get a passport in a year, provided that you make a qualifying investment worth €2.0 million in real estate first, plus a donation of €75,000 to the Governments Research and Development fund and €75,000  to the Land Development Organisation. The Portugal Golden Visa investment threshold starts from €280K, but the timeline to citizenship takes five years at least.

What are the Golden Visa Portugal benefits?

There are many Golden Visa Portugal benefits. You have permanent free entry and movement throughout the Schengen Area (26 European countries) After five years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. Your dependent children and dependent parents also qualify for the same benefits as you.

What are the Golden Visa Portugal tax benefits?

There are many Golden Visa Portugal tax benefits. These include investors only getting taxed on their worldwide income if they reside in Portugal for more than 183 days in any given year. Portugal also offers the NHR scheme, an attractive tax program providing tax-free incentives for up to ten years, depending on your income bracket.

What’s the Portugal golden visa business investment option?

The Portugal Golden Visa business investment option offers investors the opportunity to generate ten jobs for a Portuguese business or single-member company. This can be reduced to 8 positions if in a low-density area.

What are the Portugal golden visa healthcare benefits?

There are many Portugal Golden Visa healthcare benefits. If you are a holder of the Golden Visa in Portugal and are residing in the country, where you spend more than 183 days every year in the country, you are covered by Portugal’s healthcare system, with amazing discount rates. If you aren’t living in Portugal, you need private health insurance in Portugal to cover you.

What’s the best Portugal Golden Visa investment option?

If you ask the experts, we can say without a doubt that the best Portugal Golden Visa investment option is Portugal Golden Visa real estate investment. Over 92% applicants seek this investment route. The minimum investment is €500,000, which must be made on any type of property or in any number of properties and anywhere in the Portuguese territory.

Do I need to do the Portugal Golden Visa language test?

Portuguese Golden Visa applicants do not have to take the Portugal Golden Visa language test in order to obtain a residency permit, although they must complete the test in order to gain citizenship. The test can be adapted for those under the age of 10 and those with learning difficulties.

What’s the Portugal golden visa minimum investment?

The Portugal Golden Visaminimum investment is €250,000 and you can choose from a range of investment routes.

Can I take out a Portugal Golden Visa mortgage?

Yes you can take a Portugal Golden Visa mortgage to pay for your property, as long as the minimum investment threshold is met. This is the most common way to finance the purchase of a property in Portugal. Both residents and non-residents can apply for a mortgage from Portuguese banks, provided that the bank’s requirements are met. Read more about the Portugal Golden Visa mortgage requirements here.

Are there any Portugal golden visa new rules I should be aware of?

Portugal Golden Visa new rules, which were due to come into effect in 2021, have been postponed. The Portugal Golden Visa update would have seen changes where you can buy property in Portugal, providing limitations on location.

How to get the Portugal golden visa permanent residence?

To get the Portugal Golden Visa permanent residence, you must make and maintain your qualifying investment for a minimum of five years. You must also spend a minimum of seven days in Portugal for the first year, then no less than 14 days each subsequent two-year period (this is called the stay requirement). To get the Portugal Golden Visa permanent residence card, you must also have a clean criminal record.

Can I get Golden Visa Portugal citizenship?

Yes you can get Golden Visa Portugal citizenship after five years of holding your Golden Visa investment.

What’s the Portugal Golden Visa processing time?

The Portugal Golden Visa processing times usually takes anywhere from three to six months for approval and issuance of your residence card. Once your Golden Visa is issued, your residence card is valid for 2 years.

What are the Portugal golden visa requirements?

The Portugal Golden Visa requirements are straightforward. You must have a clean criminal background, make the qualifying investment and hold it for five years, as well as fulfill the stay requirement.

What is the Golden Visa Portugal sef agency?

The Golden Visa Portugal sef agency is ​The Immigration and Borders Service, the main body responsible for issuing Golden Visa Portugal rules and regulations.

Is the Golden Visa Portugal 2020 suspended because of covid-19?

No the Golden Visa Portugal 2020 is not suspended because of covid-19. In fact, it’s business as usual, with a surge in applicants applying for the Portugal Golden Visa scheme. In May 2020 alone, Portugal Golden Visa applications grew to epic proportions.

Should I consult a Portugal Golden Visa lawyer for the application?

While you can do the Portugal Golden Visa application yourself, we recommend you consider a Portugal Golden Visa lawyer because they know the rules and regulations inside out, and can support you from beginning to end in your Golden Visa application.

What are the Portugal Golden visa fees?

The Portugal Golden Visa fees start from €6K for legal costs, plus more for application processing and meeting the investment threshold. Expect to spend anywhere between €260K onwards (investment included, depending on investment route).