What makes Portugal famous amongst foreigners? Portuguese cuisine, its beaches, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Well, that may be true, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. Portugal boasts a rich cultural heritage along with its Mediterranean climate that is further fueled by tourism, an advancing IT hub, a lucrative housing sector, and a robust exports market.
While over the years Portugal has well-established itself as the go-to holiday destination, there is much more to the profile of one of Europe’s oldest countries. With the introduction of the Portuguese Golden Visa Program, the Portuguese government enabled passage for residence through investments by non-EU citizens in the year 2012. Cut to 2020, according to the Immigration and Border Services, more than 6,500 international investors have benefitted from the program by making investments worth €4.8 billion.
The SmartMove Immigration presents to you this all-inclusive guide to answer the basic questions related to the flexible and fast track residency-through-investment scheme of Portugal.
Why Choose Portugal For Residency?
- Portugal offers you the option to invest in a range of accessible and affordable investment types such as property acquisition, fund transfer, or by the generation of minimum ten jobs in Portugal.
- You get access to nearly 25 European nations and visa-free entry into 183 other nations (Schengen area), including Portugal.
- Portugal has a buoyant market that ensures sound investments and real returns.
- You can attain a European passport post completion of 5 years of investments. Then you get access to live and work in the EU/EEA.
- The least stay requirement in Portugal for residency is relatively shorter; say only a week per year.
- The program provides the choice to extend the residency to your immediate family- partner/spouse, dependent parents and children.
- Portugal offers you affordable and outstanding quality of life, continental Europe’s best climate, and world-class education and healthcare facilities.
As several advantages are associated with the Portuguese residence through investments, the Portugal Golden Visa Residency Program is one amongst the most popular and attractive residency through investment programs in the entirety of Europe and the world.
Are You Eligible For Obtaining The Portuguese Residency?
The eligibility criteria for the Portugal Golden Visa encompass very few pointers. The following are the general requirements that an investor must comply with to obtain the Golden Visa: –
- Must be a third-country national. This implies that the program is only for non-EU citizens, i.e., everyone except the Portuguese and EU/EEA citizens.
- The investment can be made individually or via legal entities for at least 5 years.
- Must invest a minimum of €280,000 in Portugal.
- The fund trail must not trace back to Portugal, i.e., investments must be made only with foreign funds or funds extracted from abroad.
- Absence of criminal record against the investor in both- the home country and Portugal.
- Must meet the minimum physical presence criteria which are 7 and 14 days for the first year and then the subsequent two-years, respectively.
What Are The Available Investment Options?
Portugal presents low-cost options for affordable investments that most commonly begin with €350,000. The best investment options for a majority of individuals are: –
- Investments in real estate; starting from €500,000
- Private equity and venture capital funds; starting from €350,000
- Entrepreneurial option with the creation of a minimum of ten new jobs
- Investments of minimum €250,000 into preserving the Portuguese national heritage
- At least €350,000 investments in research
A couple of other investment options are available; however, the ones mentioned above are widely accepted as the best choices.
How To Apply For The Golden Visa?
The application process for the Portugal Golden Visa is a lengthy and demanding task with a surfeit of steps involved.
For the purpose of understanding, The SmartMove Immigration has simplified the process into five brief steps.
- Onboarding Documents – Explore your investment options and once you finalize one, prepare the documents and complete the paperwork for yourself and the dependents, if any. You need to get the documents legalized and translated into Portuguese.
- Portuguese Fiscal Number (NIF) and the Bank Account – To invest, you need to file for a Portuguese tax identification number. Besides, you must have a local bank account.
- Making the Investment – Secure your investment successfully and apply for the visa. You must make the payment of the processing fee.
- Personal Visit for Biometrics – The SEF gets back with a preliminary approval and the appointment for an in-person biometrics visit. You need to bring along the original documents that were submitted while applying for the visa.
- Golden Visa Issuance – Post the biometrics process, it takes roughly 4-5 months for the approval of the Golden Visa. You can then collect your residence card. A similar process is to be followed for renewal at the end of two years.
A lot of documentation goes into the process of a successful application. Thus, it is advisable to take professional help to get the application process sorted for you and to reduce the chances of errors and re-application.
With the dynamic yet stable economy, Portugal offers ideal opportunities for businesses looking to set up operations in the EU. Besides, it provides an enticing startup market combined with the thriving real estate sector for foreign investments. Further, investments in Portugal bring along several remarkable advantages which make it more than a mere holiday destination.