cascais-best-cities-portugalSince 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, providing the opportunity of obtaining European 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 Portugal’s Golden Visa program if you are applying from Canada.

Read this guide to learn about:

  • The key benefits of the Golden Visa for Canadian citizens
  • The Portuguese Golden Visa requirements and eligibility criteria
  • An overview of the application process
  • The benefits of living in Portugal and more

IMPORTANT UPDATE: PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA 2023

The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation, which took effect in October 2023, eliminated the purchase of real estate and real-estate-related funds as qualifying investment options for the program. 

However, several attractive investment routes still maintain their eligibility for the program. To learn more, please refer to our comprehensive guide: Portugal Golden Visa

For more information, including continuous updates on this visa category, please refer to our articles: Portugal Golden Visa Ending: Everything We Know So Far and Golden Visa Changes.

Portugal Golden Visa for Canadians: An Overview

About the Portuguese Golden Visa program

The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment program introduced by the Portuguese government in 2012 to attract foreign investment and boost the Portuguese economy.

Since the creation of the program, over 20,000 Golden Visas have been granted to families from across the world, and over €4 billion in funds have been raised.

Also called the Residence Permit Program, the Portuguese Golden Visa allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit in Portugal by making a significant investment in the country.

And while real estate acquisition and certain types of capital transfers no longer qualify for the Golden Visa Portugal, there are other routes available. These include investing in artistic production, company set-ups, and investment funds.

The Golden Visa Investment Program allows qualifying investors and their family members to live, work, and study in Portugal.

Why is the demand for the Portugal Golden Visa by Canadians so high?

family reunification visa portugalSeveral factors contribute to the high demand for Portugal’s Golden Visa program among Canadians.

One of the primary attractions of the Portugal Golden Visa program is that it offers a pathway for foreign nationals to establish residency in a European Union country. Portugal is a member of the EU, and obtaining Portuguese residency through this program allows individuals and their families to live, work, and enjoy visa free access to the 27 countries in the Schengen Area.

In addition, Portugal is known for its high quality of life, pleasant climate, beautiful landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. Many Canadians are attracted to the idea of living in a country with a relaxed lifestyle and a lower cost of living compared to some Canadian cities.

Portugal’s high quality of life is fueled by political stability and safety. The country has maintained a stable democratic government for decades, fostering an environment of trust and predictability for residents and investors alike. Its commitment to safety is reflected in low crime rates, a well-functioning healthcare system, and a generally peaceful society.

This combination of political stability and safety creates an attractive backdrop for individuals and families seeking a secure and peaceful living environment.

Read: Living in Portugal as an Expat: Pros and Cons

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.

You can 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 who are financially dependent on you.

Visa-free travel within the Schengen Area

A Portugal Golden Visa holder can freely enter and move within the Schengen Area’s 27 countries without needing an additional visa.

If you are living in Portugal, visa-free travel in the Schengen Zone will allow you to explore Europe and its vibrant mix of cultures easily. Portugal has very good connections and affordable flights, so you can enjoy many weekend European city breaks for a quick getaway.

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 Golden Visa 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.

Low physical presence requirement

The Golden Visa program typically has a low minimum stay requirement in Portugal (14 days every two years), making it accessible to investors who do not want to live in the country full-time.

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 percent lower than in Ottawa, not including rent. If you take rent into the equation, rental prices are 21 percent lower in Lisbon, and groceries are 46 percent lower. So, spend less on living, and consider an affordable yet high quality of life in Portugal.

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 is 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.

Attractive tax benefits

Golden Visa holders who live in Portugal can apply for the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime. When becoming a non-habitual resident, they’ll pay little to no tax for ten years. To learn more about Portugal’s NHR tax incentives, make sure to read A Guide to the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Program In Portugal.

Important Note: The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime is no longer available for new applicants in 2024. However, the NHR will be replaced by a new tax regime. Read more here: Is The Portugal NHR Program Ending?

Take a look at our Portugal Golden Visa Guide by local experts

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Golden Visa Requirements for Canadians

Golden Visa eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa program, the main applicant must:

  • Be either non-EU, non-Swiss, or non-EEA nationals
  • Be able to prove the source of their investment funds (there’s a minimum investment amount of €250,000)
  • Have a criminal record proving the absence of conviction in a crime punishable in Portugal for one year or more
  • Spend a minimum of 14 days in Portugal for each two-year period (this is called the stay requirement). Note that while there are no strict stay requirements, you must maintain your investments in Portugal and meet the program’s renewal criteria to keep your residency status valid.

Portugal Golden Visa program: Investment options

To get a Portuguese residence permit, the required investment must first be made before the application can be filed.

Here are the Golden Visa investment options in brief:

  • Investment fund subscription: Make a contribution to a qualified investment fund (such as private equity funds and venture capital funds) worth at least €500,000 
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000 (Read more: Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa)
  • Scientific research: Science or technology research contribution of at least €500,000 in research carried out by public or private scientific research institutions
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs for Portuguese citizens during the required period
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a commercial company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (5 of them permanent)
  • Real estate investment: Acquire a real estate property worth more than €500,000 in Portugal (THIS GOLDEN VISA ROUTE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE).
  • Real estate purchase: Buy real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing for a total value equal to or above €350,000 (THIS GOLDEN VISA ROUTE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE).
  • Capital transfer: Make a capital transfer of a value equal to or above €1.5 million (THIS GOLDEN VISA ROUTE IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE)

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.

Portugal Golden Visa 2024: What to expect?

While real estate investments and the capital transfer route no longer qualify for the program, the Portugal Golden Visa 2024 is poised to shift its focus towards investment funds, with a diverse array of sectors offering distinct investment mandates. This change is likely to open up new opportunities for investors seeking a more varied portfolio within the program. Furthermore, 2024 is expected to create fresh pathways within the cultural and arts category, providing applicants with alternative routes to obtain the highly sought-after residency permit.

How to Get the Golden Visa as a Canadian

Golden Visa documents

Here’s a list of the Golden Visa Portugal required documents:

  • Portuguese 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 private health insurance in Portugal (only required if the investor resides in Portugal)
  • A certified copy of the clear criminal record or a police clearance letter from your country of origin
  • A completed form authorizing AIMA 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 before your online application.
  • A receipt showing that you already paid the application processing fee
  • Proof of your relationship with any accompanying family members (such as birth certificates for children and a marriage certificate for a spouse)

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.

Golden Visa application process

Golden Visa applicants must follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Gathering the necessary documents
  2. Decide on which investment you will move forward with
  3. Acquiring a Portugal tax identification number (NIF)
  4. Opening a Portuguese bank account and transferring funds to it. To help you with this process, here’s a guide on how to open a bank account in Portugal.
  5. Completing your fund investment
  6. With your qualifying investment made and your paperwork ready, you will submit your pre-application online.
  7. After analyzing your pre-application, AIMA (formerly SEF, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service) will provide you with a set of available dates for the biometrics appointment.
  8. After your biometrics, it takes around six months for your investment visa to be approved.

You’ll then be granted a temporary residency permit, also known as the Golden Visa permit, which is valid for a period of two years. This Portuguese residence permit must be renewed every two years. At the end of the fifth year, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship.

Portugal Golden Visa Timeline

Year 0

The visa application and supporting documents are submitted online to AIMA. Once they approve your application, you then need to attend an interview in person. As the main applicant, you and your dependents can book AIMA appointments simultaneously. You’ll then need to wait until your residence permit is issued. Once granted, the initial permit is valid for two years.

Year 2

After the two years are up, the residence permit must be renewed. The second permit is valid for two more years.

Year 4

The residence permit will be up for renewal at the end of year four. It can be renewed for another two years.

Year 5

You can apply for Portuguese citizenship or Portuguese permanent residence at the end of year five provided you meet the requirements. If you gain Portuguese citizenship, you will be issued a Portuguese passport.

Year 0

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Golden Visa issued, now valid for 2 years

Year 2

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Portuguese residency permit needs to be renewed. Valid for 2 years.

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.

Fees for the Golden Visa Process

The investment is the primary cost of the Golden Visa. Apart from that, there’s also the application and permit issuance processing fees, which are €773.74 and €7,730.10, respectively.

Application

Permit Issuance

Per Renewal *Expect to renew twice in a five-year period

Total Over 5 Years

Single Applicant

€773.74

€7,730.10

€3,865.79

€16,235.42

Couple

€1,547.48

€15,460.20

€7,731.58

€32,470.84

Family of Four

€3,094.96

€30,920.40

€15,463.16

€64,941.68

Obtaining Portuguese Citizenship through the Golden Visa

portugal-citizenshipYou might be wondering: “Is it possible for Canadians to get Portuguese citizenship under the Portugal Golden Visa?” The answer is yes, the Portugal Golden Visa provides Canadian citizens the chance to make a Portuguese citizenship application.

Canadians interested in the Portugal Golden Visa don’t have to relinquish their Canadian citizenship since both countries allow dual citizenship. Under this program, you can obtain Portuguese citizenship after five years of holding a Portugal Golden Visa. Initially, the program grants you a temporary residency permit, valid for two years

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 test (level A2) in order to become a Portuguese citizen.

Best Cities in Portugal for Canadians

Portugal has a variety of beautiful cities and regions that can appeal to Canadians, depending on individual preferences and priorities. Here are some of the best cities in Portugal that are popular among Canadian expats:

Lisbon

alcantara lisbon opportunitiesThe Portuguese capital city, Lisbon, is known for its vibrant culture, historic architecture, and stunning views of the Tagus River. It offers a mix of traditional and modern living, with a wide range of dining options, cultural attractions, and a mild Mediterranean climate. The neighborhoods of Chiado, Baixa, and Bairro Alto are popular among expats.

Renowned for its culinary scene, Lisbon boasts an array of dining options, from traditional Portuguese taverns serving mouthwatering seafood dishes to trendy cafes and Michelin-starred restaurants. The city’s thriving arts and music scene, along with its numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, provide ample opportunities for cultural exploration and entertainment.

Lisbon’s mild Mediterranean climate, with its warm summers and mild winters, makes it a great place to live year-round. Whether strolling along the waterfront promenade, exploring historic landmarks like the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, or simply soaking in the panoramic views from one of the city’s many miradouros (viewpoints), Lisbon is filled with beauty and charm.

Porto

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Property in Porto PortugalLocated in the north of Portugal, Porto is known for its rich history, port wine cellars, and picturesque riverfront. The city offers a more relaxed pace of life compared to Lisbon. The city’s culinary scene is another highlight, with an abundance of traditional eateries serving up delicious Portuguese fare alongside international cuisine. From cozy taverns in the historic Ribeira district to upscale restaurants in Foz do Douro, residents can indulge in a diverse array of dining experiences.

The Ribeira district, with its colorful buildings and cobblestone streets lining the Douro River, exudes a charming old-world ambiance and is a popular choice among expats seeking a historic yet vibrant neighborhood to settle in. Similarly, Foz do Douro, located where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean, offers a more upscale and residential atmosphere, with elegant waterfront properties and picturesque coastal views, making it an attractive option for those desiring a tranquil seaside lifestyle.

Cascais

cascais-best-cities-portugalCascais, a charming coastal town situated just a short distance from Lisbon, has long been a preferred choice among expatriates seeking a picturesque seaside retreat. Renowned for its pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, and laid-back atmosphere, Cascais offers residents a serene and idyllic lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the primary draws of Cascais is its stunning coastline, adorned with golden sands and crystal-clear waters, providing ample opportunities for relaxation and recreation. Whether soaking up the sun on the beach, partaking in water sports, or simply enjoying leisurely strolls along the waterfront promenade, residents of Cascais can embrace a truly coastal way of life.

As well as its natural beauty, Cascais boasts excellent golfing facilities, with several championship courses nestled amidst lush green landscapes, catering to golf enthusiasts of all skill levels. This, coupled with the town’s mild climate and year-round sunshine, makes it an ideal destination for those passionate about the sport.

Cascais strikes a perfect balance between proximity to the bustling capital of Lisbon and the tranquility of a coastal haven. While residents can easily access the vibrant cultural scene, dining options, and amenities of Lisbon, they can also retreat to the peaceful ambiance of Cascais, where charming cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, and picturesque marinas await.

Algarve

Algarve-remote-working-pngThe Algarve, situated in the sunny southern region of Portugal, is renowned for its breathtaking coastline, world-class golf resorts, and abundant sunshine, making it an  enticing haven for retirees and expatriates seeking a relaxed and temperate lifestyle.

One of the most compelling features of the Algarve is its stunning beaches, characterized by golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic cliffs, offering residents the perfect backdrop for leisurely seaside days and memorable sunsets. Whether it’s swimming, surfing, or simply unwinding on the shore, the Algarve’s coastline provides endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Algarve also has numerous golf resorts and courses, attracting enthusiasts from around the globe with its impeccably manicured fairways and scenic views. Golfing communities in cities like Faro, Lagos, and Albufeira offer residents the chance to enjoy the sport year-round amidst the region’s picturesque landscapes.

Beyond its recreational offerings, the Algarve’s warm climate and laid-back atmosphere make it a highly desirable destination for those seeking a slower pace of life. Whether exploring historic towns, indulging in fresh seafood cuisine, or simply soaking in the Mediterranean ambiance, residents of the Algarve can embrace a lifestyle that prioritizes relaxation and enjoyment.

Cities like Faro, with its charming old town and bustling marina, Lagos, with its vibrant cultural scene and stunning coastline, and Albufeira, renowned for its lively nightlife and beautiful beaches, offer expatriates a diverse array of living options, each with its own unique charm and amenities.

Coimbra

Property in CoimbraCoimbra, a city steeped in history and renowned for being home to one of Portugal’s oldest universities, offers residents a vibrant and intellectually stimulating environment. With its rich cultural heritage and lively student population, Coimbra exudes a unique charm that appeals to both academics and those seeking a dynamic urban lifestyle.

At the heart of Coimbra’s appeal is its prestigious university, which has shaped the city’s identity for centuries and continues to foster a culture of learning and innovation. The presence of students from diverse backgrounds infuses the city with energy and creativity, creating a lively atmosphere that permeates its streets, cafes, and cultural venues.

Despite its deep-rooted history, Coimbra embraces modernity, offering residents a mix of historic landmarks and contemporary amenities. From quaint medieval alleys to bustling shopping districts and vibrant nightlife, the city seamlessly blends the old with the new, providing a rich tapestry of experiences for its inhabitants.

Coimbra’s central location within Portugal also makes it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding region, with easy access to picturesque countryside, charming villages, and cultural attractions. Whether it’s attending cultural events, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply soaking in the city’s ambiance, residents of Coimbra can enjoy a high quality of life enriched by its intellectual, cultural, and natural offerings.

Braga

Visit-BragaBraga, nestled in the northern region of Portugal, is revered for its rich religious heritage and captivating historic architecture, making it an alluring choice for those seeking a tranquil and culturally rich place to reside. Embraced by rolling hills and lush green landscapes, Braga offers residents a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life, where time seems to slow down, allowing for a more meaningful connection with the community and surroundings.

At the heart of Braga’s allure is its profound religious significance, evidenced by its numerous churches, cathedrals, and religious festivals that reflect centuries of spiritual devotion. This spiritual ambiance lends a sense of tranquility to the city, fostering a strong sense of community among its residents who come together to celebrate their shared heritage and traditions.

Braga’s historic architecture, from its Roman ruins to its ornate Baroque churches, serves as a testament to its storied past, offering residents a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural tapestry. Strolling through its charming streets, adorned with quaint squares and picturesque gardens, residents can immerse themselves in the city’s timeless beauty and ambiance.

Despite its deep-rooted history, Braga embraces a slower pace of life, allowing residents to savor each moment and cultivate meaningful connections with neighbors and fellow community members. Whether it’s gathering at local cafes, attending cultural events, or simply enjoying the natural surroundings, residents of Braga can relish in a quality of life characterized by a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Ultimately, the best city in Portugal for Canadians, or any expat, depends on their personal preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. To help you decide where to live, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the Best Portuguese Cities for Expats.

Securing Your Golden Visa: How We Can Help

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.

Additional Resources

The following articles may help you on your Golden Visa journey:

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 Canadian 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 time is usually at least 18 months for approval and issuance of your residence card. Once your Golden Visa is issued, your residence card is valid for two 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, Canada allows dual citizenship. This means you don’t have to give up your Canadian citizenship to become a Portuguese citizen. But please note that you will only be eligible for Portuguese citizenship after five years if you get a Portugal Golden Visa. It starts with a temporary residency permit for two years, which can be renewed for more than three years. Additionally, you must visit Portugal for 14 days every two years to keep your temporary residence permit. After five years, you can apply to become a Portuguese citizen providing you have passed a basic Portuguese language exam.

Who can apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal?

To apply for the Portugal Golden Visa you must be over 18 years of age and a non-EU/EEA citizen. You also have to make a qualifying investment in Portugal using funds from abroad. After getting the visa, you must hold the investment for a minimum of 5 years after the issue of a residence permit in order to apply for Portuguese citizenship.

How long can a Canadian stay in Portugal?

Canadian citizens can stay in Portugal for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without needing a visa for tourism or business purposes. For longer stays or other purposes like work or study, Canadians may need to apply for the appropriate visa or permit before traveling to Portugal.

Can a Canadian move to Portugal?

Yes, Canadians can move to Portugal through schemes such as the Golden Visa Program, which offers a pathway to residency and eventual citizenship by making qualifying investments in the country.

What legal support do Canadians need to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa?

While Canadians don’t necessarily need legal representation to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa, it’s strongly advised. An immigration lawyer or immigraton law firm with expertise in Portuguese immigration law can ensure your investment meets program requirements, navigate complex legalities in the application process, and increase your chance of a successful application.

What are the tax implications for Canadians with a Portugal Golden Visa?

Canadians with a Portugal Golden Visa may face tax implications depending on their residency status. As the NHR program is no longer available for most new applicants, taxation applies to worldwide income if you become a Portuguese tax resident (spending more than 183 days a year in Portugal).

Portugal’s tax system can still be attractive, with potentially lower rates than Canada. However, consulting a tax professional familiar with Canada-Portugal tax treaties is crucial to understand the specific tax implications for your situation, such as whether you would have to pay taxes on your Canadian pension and any capital gains tax obligations you might have.

Are there any specific requirements for Canadian investors in the Portuguese Golden Visa program?

There are no special requirements for Canadian investors in the Portuguese Golden Visa program compared to other non-EU/EEA/Swiss applicants. However, Canadians should be aware of the general program requirements, which include:

  • Minimum investment: Meeting a minimum investment threshold, currently set at €250,000.
  • Clean criminal record: Providing a background check and a clean criminal record.
  • Proof of funds: Demonstrating you have sufficient funds to complete the investment.
  • Residency requirement: Maintaining residency in Portugal by spending at least 14 days every two years in the country.

Can a Canadian citizen get permanent residence in Portugal through the Golden Visa program?

Yes, Canadian citizens can obtain Portuguese permanent residence through the Golden Visa investment immigration program, but it’s an indirect path.

  • The Golden Visa itself grants a temporary residence permit.
  • After five years of holding the permit, meeting specific requirements, and spending a minimum amount of time in Portugal each year, Canadians can apply to convert their temporary permit to a permanent resident permit.

These requirement include:

  • Maintaining your investment in Portugal for the five-year period
  • Complying with the minimum stay requirements (an average of seven days per year.
  • Having no criminal record

It’s worth consulting immigration professionals for specific requirements and guidance on the application process for permanent residence.

Can a Canadian national apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa with a real estate investment?

No, it’s no longer possible for anyone to qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa program and gain legal residency in the country via a real estate investment. The Portuguese government discontinued the real estate and capital transfer options in October 2023.

Since real estate investments were eliminated from the program, the most popular way to apply for Portugal’s Golden Visa has been by subscribing to a qualifying investment fund (such as a venture capital fund or a private equity fund).

One of the key advantages of this pathway is that each qualifying fund is managed by a fund manager, meaning investors can take a hands-off approach and the possibility of a good return on investment.

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