Since launching in 2012, 9,444 investors and a further 16,130 qualifying family members of international investors have obtained residency through the Portugal Golden Visa programme. This has made it one of the most popular Golden Visa programmes of its kind in Europe. So far €5.67bn has been invested into this programme and investing in Golden Visa-eligible property is the most popular way to apply for a Golden Visa.
Though 2020 was not a record-breaking year for the Golden Visa programme overall, May saw the highest ever volume of applications made in a single month and 2020 was the best year for the investment fund route on record with 48 visas granted. Indeed, only 55 visas have been granted this way since records began. It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings as UK citizens are now eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa programme and it has been confirmed that the scheme is set to change in July 2021.
There has been plenty of speculation over how the acclaimed Portuguese Golden Visa programme will change and when those changes will come into effect. It was confirmed in February that the Golden Visa programme will remain unchanged until January 2022. Whilst all the benefits will remain the same it will no longer to be possible to combine a golden Visa application with a property purchase in Porto, Lisbon and some other coastal area. The Azores, Madeira, Comporta and the interior areas will remain unaffected. The minimum fund investment will also rise from €350,000 to €500,000.
The Portuguese Golden Visa programme is the adopted name for Portugal’s largely real estate-led residency programme which grants non-EU nationals and their families the ability to travel freely to countries within the Schengen zone. After five years, it is then possible to apply for a Portuguese passport and European residency.
The Golden Visa scheme is open to anyone who is not a Portuguese, EU or EFTA citizen. The scheme is particularly popular with investors from China who account for more than 50% of visa applicants.
There are several ways to apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa, but the most popular method is through a real estate investment of €500,000 or more. 90% of Golden Visas are awarded this way.
In addition, applicants will need to maintain the investment for at least five years and stay in Portugal for seven days per year until you apply for full citizenship or residency.
In addition to your €500,000+ real estate investment, there are some are administration fees which you will need to take into consideration. The application fee during the petition phase costs €533.90 per applicant. During the granting phase, all applicants will need to pay €5,336.40 each for their initial residency permit. You can expect to renew your visa twice after your 1st and 3rd year as a resident. This renewal process costs €2,668.20 per applicant.
While obtaining a temporary residency permit is almost immediate (around 1 year), full citizenship is possible after 5 years. Additional requirements for citizenship include passing an A2 Portuguese test, having a clear criminal record, paying all relevant taxes and showing a decent connection to living in the country.
Yes. Following the UK’s departure from the EU, UK citizens can now apply for Portuguese Golden Visas for themselves and immediate family members.
Properties can be either commercial or residential. Off-plan properties are eligible for the Golden Visa scheme too.
At the moment, there are no geographical restrictions on the Golden Visa programme. However, this is set to change from 2022 and properties in coastal areas like Lisbon and Porto will no longer be eligible for Golden Visa applications.
The Golden Visa programme will be changing at the end of 2021 – not July 2021 as previously suggested. This gives clients an extra six-months which is reality is only a small buffer to a tight timeline.
This means that from January 2022, it will no longer be possible to combine a Golden Visa application with a property investment in high-density coastal areas like Lisbon and Porto. The investment levels for real estate purchases will remain the same and this change will not affect the Azores or Comporta, two of our key Portuguese resorts. In addition, the minimum amount required for fund investments will rise to €500,00 (currently €350,00)
Yes, as long as the total amount invested is €500,000 or more.
Yes, but all individuals must invest at least €500,000 each to be eligible for the visa.
You do not necessarily need to become a Portuguese tax resident if you apply for a Golden Visa. However, it might be advantageous to become a tax resident as Portugal has a lucrative Non-Habitual Residential tax scheme. Providing that certain conditions are met, the NHR scheme can significantly reduce your taxes during the first 10 years of residency.
No, you do not need to take a language test in order to become a resident. However, you will need to take a test if you decide to apply for Portuguese citizenship.
Yes, you can include certain family members on the same Golden Visa application, in fact, 15,431 Golden Visas have been granted to family members to date. Qualifying family members for a Golden Visa include:
In order to qualify for a Portugal Golden Visa, you will need to stay in Portugal for 7 days during the first year of investment and in the subsequent years, you must stay in the country for at least 14 days.
Yes, if you hold a Golden Visa you are a Portuguese Resident which means that you are free to work and live in Portugal.
You will need to pay the minimum investment amount (€500,000) in cash but it is possible to take out a mortgage on the remaining sum.
No. It is understood that the upcoming changes will only affect those who apply for a visa via real estate investment.
As soon as you have received your first residency card, you are free to travel unrestricted throughout the 26 countries which make up the Schengen area.
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