Since the Portugal Golden Visa was introduced in 2012, the program has moved from strength to strength. The purpose of the Golden Visa scheme is to encourage international investors to place their money in Portugal, in exchange for residency in the country, with the potential to gain citizenship through naturalization after five years. Many nationalities have benefitted from the program, including Chinese, Russians, and Americans. The Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians is also a top choice, if you are seeking a warm climate, affordable cost of living, and a central location, where you can easily travel across the whole of Europe, and even further afield. In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you will need to know about the Golden Visa program if you are applying from Canada.
Is it possible for Canadians to get Portuguese citizenship under the Portugal Golden Visa?
Yes, the Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians is possible and, as both countries allow dual citizenship, you won’t have to give up your Canadian citizenship to become a Portuguese citizen. First, you will be able to have a temporary residence, that is valid for two years. To keep your status you will need to visit Portugal for a total of 14 days over the two-year period. Following this, you can renew your temporary residence permit for five years, whereby you can then apply for permanent residency.
After five years, along with securing permanent residency, you can also apply for Portuguese citizenship. Note that you will also be required to take a Portuguese language A2 examination in order to get citizenship.
Portugal Golden Visa Program
The Portuguese Golden Visa program is a residency-by-investment program that is open to any non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens. To apply, you will need to be over the age of 18 and will have to show proof of a clean criminal record to be eligible, plus have a valid passport or ID.
You will need to make a qualifying investment in Portugal. If you are looking into the Golden Visa for Canadians you will find that there are several different investment options open to you, from a real estate investment, a capital transfer, or placing your money into investment funds.
Portugal Golden Visa Program: Investment options
To get a Portuguese residence permit, then investment must first be made before the application can be filed. Here are the Golden Visa investment options in brief:
- Residential Real Estate aquisition: A residential real estate investment in designated interior areas of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
- Commercial Real Estate aquisition: A commercial real estate investment anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
- Buy Real Estate on Madeira or Azores: Buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.
- Fund Subscription: Make a contribution to a qualifying investment fund worth at least €500,000
- Capital Transfer: Make a capital transfer of at least €1.5 million.
- Scientific Research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000
- Job Creation: Company incorporation and creation of ten jobs amounting to a minimum value of €500,000
- Donation: Support the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000.
One important thing to note is that residential real estate must be located in an interior area of Portugal. This change to the Golden Visa Portugal came into force on 1 January 2022, ruling out Lisbon, Porto, and much of the Algarve as prospective eligible areas for the Golden Visa. However, there are many gorgeous parts of Portugal that remain eligible, many of which have high investment potential, such as Aljezur in the south of the country and the Douro Valley in the north, What’s more, if the property is situated in a “low-density” area as well, then a 20% discount will apply. A property can be both interior and low density, or interior and high density (as is the case with the autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores – another fantastic location for eligible properties).
If you are looking to invest in a commercial property, you’ll be happy to know that there are no location requirements.
Note also that there will be an extra Portugal Golden Visa cost. The Portuguese Golden Visa cost will be greater when including lawyer fees, additional family members, processing fees, etc. Also, it is probably better to open a Portuguese bank account to avoid transaction fees.
Why consider the Portugal Golden Visa program?
There are several benefits regarding the Golden Visa for Canadians, including:
- Access to the 27 countries in the EU
- Visa free access to 172 countries
- Many different Golden Visa investment options, minimum investment of 250K
- Qualify for an European Union (EU) passport in five years, provided you fulfill all the requirements
- A good investment in a buoyant market can reap real returns on your money
- A short stay requirement
- The option to become a non-habitual resident in Portugal and benefit from the advantageous tax scheme for ten year
The Benefits of a Golden Visa in Portugal for Canadian Citizens
We have already touched upon some of the benefits of the Golden Visa in Portugal. In this part of our Golden Visa for Canadians article, we’ll delve into a little more detail on some of the key reasons why foreign investors are choosing this ever-popular residency-by-investment scheme.
Include your family members
The Golden Visa application can be extended to include other members of your family. This can include your spouse and children under the age of 18. Financially dependent children under the age of 18 or full time students over the age of 18 can also be included in the application
You can extend your Portugal Golden Visa application to include your family members. This includes your spouse, and children under the age of 18, and can also cover children above the age of 18 who are full-time students and that are financially dependent on you.
Live, work, and study in Portugal freely
With a Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians, you will be able to live, work, and study in the country, along with family members. With excellent schooling opportunities, your children will benefit from the education system, from primary through to higher education, whether you opt for a public school, private school, or international school.
EU citizenship after five years
Yes, one of the key reasons why the Golden Visa is so popular is that you can apply for citizenship after five years, as long as you have held your investment for the duration of this time. Armed with a Portuguese passport, the world is at your fingertips, and you’ll be able to live, work, and study in any European Union (EU) country if you obtain EU citizenship.
Spend less on living
The cost of living in Portugal is much cheaper than in Canada. According to data from Numbeo, last updated in August 2022, if you compare Lisbon with Ottawa, then consumer prices in Lisbon are about 36% lower than in Ottawa, not including rent. If you take rent into the equation, rental prices are 21% lower in Lisbon, and groceries are 46% lower. So, spend less on living, and consider an affordable, yet high quality of life in Portugal.
Easily travel within Europe
If you are living in Portugal, you’ll be able to easily discover Europe and its vibrant mix of cultures. Portugal has very good connections and affordable flights, so you can enjoy many weekend European city breaks for a quick getaway.
Improve your quality of life
Global Citizen Solutions recently launched its pioneering Global Passport Index. One of the indices to measure a passport’s rank was the Quality of Life Index. You can see that the Portuguese passport clocks in at number 12.
Yes, the country has a very relaxed vibe, an affordable cost of living, excellent healthcare, and welcoming people. There is also a high level of personal freedoms, a delicious Mediterranean cuisine to enjoy, stunning landscapes and pristine beaches, and a climate that is the envy of Europe.
The abundance of international schools
If you are considering moving to Portugal with your family and have children of school age, you will find that there are many international schools in the country. Golden Visa holders can benefit from the education system in Portugal, which is very good, from the primary level all the way through to university further education.
Global Citizen Solutions: Who we are and how we can help you
Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique residency and citizenship by investment consultancy, focused on finding the perfect investment, citizenship, or residency program for individuals across the world. We work solely on behalf of our clients throughout the process for an easy and hassle-free journey to your desired route.
The Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians is an excellent option to secure EU residency. Get in touch today to see how we can understand your objectives and help you move towards becoming a global citizen.
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If you are a national of Australia or New Zealand, you can see our specific guides on the Golden Visa in the following articles.
And, if you are looking to move to Portugal, but do not want to make a significant investment through the Golden Visa, then the Portugal D7 Visa is likely the best option for you. Note that if Canadians travel to Portugal, they can stay 90 days (within a 180-day period) without a visa.
Frequently asked questions about the Golden Visa for Canadians:
What are Portugal Golden Visa Requirements for Canada?
The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment program that is open to any non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens. To apply, you will need to be over the age of 18 and will have to show proof of a clean criminal record to be eligible. You will need to make a qualifying investment in Portugal.
What are the benefits of Portugal residence for Canadian citizens?
The Golden Visa program offers many benefits for Candian citizens, including access to the 27 countries in the EU, visa-free travel to 172 countries, and a short stay requirement. You can also apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years, provided you fulfill all the criteria.
How long does it take to get a Portugal Golden Visa for Canadian citizens?
The Golden Visa program processing times usually takes between 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.
Can I live in Portugal with a Canadian passport?
Living in Portugal as a Canadian, if you want to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, then you will need a residency permit. You can consider applying for a D7 Visa for Portugal from Canada if you do not want to make a significant investment in the country as part of the Golden Visa program.
Does Canada allow dual citizenship with Portugal?
Yes, you will not have to sacrifice your Canadian passport if you choose to gain Portuguese nationality.