Golden Visa in Portugal

Golden Visa in Portugal is a governmental programme that grants investors Portugal’s citizenship for investment in different areas of the country.

 

There are seven investment options to obtain the Golden Visa in Portugal:

 

1. Buying property in Portugal in the value of €500,000 or higher.

2. Buying property in Portugal in the value of €350,000 or higher*.

*that is located in the urban rehabilitation zone and meets specific criteria.

3. Capital transfer in the value of €1 million or higher.

4. Creation of 10 new job positions.

5. Capital transfer in the value of €350,000 used for research and development.

6. Capital transfer in the value of €350,000 used for capitalisation of local companies.

7. Capital transfer in the value of €250,000 used for preservation of cultural heritage.

 

This guide covers everything that is necessary to know to apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

Specifically, the guide includes:

1. Benefits of Golden Visa in Portugal.

2. Real estate investment as the most popular route to obtain Golden Visa in Portugal.

3. Requirements, Application Process, and Documents.

4. Application Fees.

5. Property Taxes in Portugal.

6. Other investment options used to obtain Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

According to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – Foreigners and Borders Service), the most popular investment route to obtain Golden Visa in Portugal is buying property. More than 94% of investors have opted for property investment in Portugal. Since its beginning in 2012, Golden Visa in Portugal has accumulated an investment volume of over €4 billion.

 

That’s more than €3,7 billion invested in Portugal’s real estate.

 

Moreover, the requirements for the Golden Visa in Portugal are substantially simpler than in other countries offering citizenship by investment programmes.

 

For example, while other countries like UK and Cyprus demand a significant investment of over €1,000,000 euros and several months of stay, in Portugal you can receive citizenship for €500,000 and only 7 days of stay per year.

 

Additionally, Golden Visa in Portugal acts as a visa-waiver for other European countries, which reduces time spent on airports’ passport control queues.

 

Golden Visa in Portugal gained popularity mainly due to offering EU residency and, therefore, free movement through the Schengen Area and free relocation to any of EU states upon gaining citizenship by investment.  

 

Yet, one of the most attractive benefits of the Golden Visa in Portugal is that it is extendable to family members.

 

A so-called Family Reunification paragraph of Residence Permit for Investing Activity (the official name for Golden Visa in Portugal) says, that both the EU residency and EU citizenship can be extended on dependent family members.

 

The protocols of Golden Visa in Portugal specifically define “dependent family members” as:

 

  • The spouse of the applicant and minors or dependent children of the couple, or one of the members of the couple.

 

  • Adopted children, adult children that are still financially dependent on parents, financially dependent parents or parents over 65 years old, and minor siblings.

 

Golden Visa in Portugal is also available to unmarried partners, including their minors, or adopted children, as long as they are under legal custody.

 

Please note, that applying family members don’t need to invest anything to receive Golden Visa in Portugal.

Obtaining Golden Visa through Buying Real Estate in Portugal

As it was mentioned before – buying real estate is the most popular route to acquire the Golden Visa in Portugal. In fact, since 2012, 6575 out of 6962 issued Golden Visas were granted through the real estate route.

 

The reason behind property investment standing as the most popular way to obtain Golden Visa in Portugal is the profitability of the purchased real estate fuelled by the rise of tourism.

 

Plenty of properties purchased to apply for Golden Visa in Portugal also act as holiday homes that are rented out short-, medium- or long-term. 

 

The average short-term rental yield from Golden Visa property depends on the degree of investor participation in property management and is approximately 6% to 8% gross.

 

The main requirement to apply for Golden Visa in Portugal is the investment in Portugal’s property with the value that equals to or exceeds €500,000. Please consider, that there are no requirements on the number of units purchased: it is possible to invest in multiple units, as far as their total value equals to or exceeds €500,000.

 

Additionally, the investment for Golden Visa in Portugal can be made individually or jointly. For example, it is possible for two investors to purchase one or multiple units together, as far as both of them invest €500,000.

 

Please note, that there is another level of investment that allows applying for Golden Visa in Portugal through investing €350,000. Although, there are some specific conditions applied to this level of investment.

 

The key criterion for getting Golden Visa in Portugal with €350,000 is to invest in an old property, built more than 30 years ago, located in the urban rehabilitation area. It is also required to do heavy renovations works on the property. These properties can be found in some up-and-coming neighbourhoods of Lisbon. Moreover, if the value of the property is below €350,000, the costs of rehabilitation works are added to meet the requirement of Golden Visa in Portugal. This route is usually less attractive for investors and can be a bit more time-consuming.

 

After the purchase of property in Portugal and receive of Golden Residence Permit, the Golden Visa property can be used as a primary home, kept empty, or used as a holiday home and rented out short-, medium- or long-term.

 

The last options are considered to be the most popular, as it allows to improve the return on funds invested for Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

After receiving EU citizenship, or permanent EU residency, the Golden Visa property can be sold.

Apartments for Sale in Lisbon

Lisbon real estate market is abundant with many Golden Visa properties. Offering mainly apartments, the capital is at the epicentre of demand for Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

Golden Visa properties are found mostly in all central areas of Lisbon.

 

Avenida da Liberdade, Baixa-Chiado [bye-sha | she-a-doo], Principe Real and Alfama are amongst some of the most popular. Although, such neighbourhoods as Graca, Intendente, Anjos, Cais do Sodre and those in the uptown – Avenidas Novas, Amoreiras, Marquês de Pombal – are also gaining momentum as popular areas to invest for Golden Visa in Portugal.

Golden Visa Requirements

The requirements for Golden Visa in Portugal are simple, yet extensive.

 

Below is the list of all requirements for Golden Visa in Portugal:

 

1. Hold real estate investment for at least 5 years.

2. Spend a minimum of 7 days in Portugal for the first year, then no less than 14 days each subsequent

two-year period.

3. Present a valid Schengen visa upon entry to Portugal.

4. Provide a clean criminal record.

5. Source investment funds from outside of Portugal.

6. Open a Portuguese bank account and get a tax number.

 

First, the real estate investment must be held for at least 5 years, starting from the date the Golden Residence Permit was issued. Once the permit had been received, the Golden Visa in Portugal is officially valid for a one-year period.

 

Upon the expiration date, Golden Visa in Portugal must be renewed for the next two-year period. When after two years the Golden Residence Permit had expired again, Golden Visa in Portugal must be renewed one last time before the application for permanent EU residence or EU citizenship is allowed.

 

Nevertheless, it is also possible to keep renewing Golden Residence Permit as long as the holder wants.

 

So, in total, the Golden Visa in Portugal must be renewed two times.

 

The second requirement for Golden Visa in Portugal – is the stay period within the country’s territory. Officially, holders of Golden Residence Permit are obliged to stay in Portugal only for 7 days a year for the first year, then no less than 14 days each subsequent two-year period.

 

Please note, that except for the first year’s 7 days period, the rest 28 days that have to be spent within the country to obtain Golden Visa in Portugal do not have to be consecutive.

 

Third, upon entry to Portugal, the investor and applying family members must have valid EU visas. Otherwise, the investor must prove an exemption or be able to legalise his/her stay in Portugal within 90 days.

 

Fourth, when applying for Golden Visa in Portugal, the investor and her/his family members must not have any criminal records or problems with European Immigration Services.

 

Fifth, to be able to invest for Golden Visa in Portugal, the investment funds must come outside of the country.

 

Sixth, to transfer funds for Golden Visa in Portugal, it is necessary to open a Portuguese bank account and get a tax number. In case if Golden Visa investor is a non-EU resident, it is required to get a tax representative – usually an accountant assigned by the investor’s layer.

Golden Visa Application

The process of applying for the Golden Visa in Portugal is very straightforward:

 

1. Register online.

2. Visit SEF office in Lisbon to submit biometric data.

3. Wait from 6 to 8 weeks.

4. Receive your Golden Residence Permit.

 

The legal process of obtaining Golden Visa in Portugal starts with registering online.

 

The registration for the Golden Visa application is usually done by the legal representative appointed by the investor.

 

Once the registration for Golden Visa in Portugal has been made, the investor must come to Portugal and visit SEF, with the main office in Lisbon.

 

When applying for the Golden Visa in Portugal, the investor must submit biometric data – fingerprints and photograph – and also sign a written statement of his/her application. Similarly to the registration, this process can be completed individually, or with the help of legal representative specialising in Golden Visa programme.

 

The application time of the Golden Visa in Portugal and the time of issuing Golden Residence Permit are different.

 

Officially, authorities give a maximum of 90 days to approve the application for Golden Visa in Portugal. Nevertheless, if all documents had been filled our right, and the steps were followed correctly, SEF can approve the Golden Visa application in about 4 to 6 weeks.

 

The physical Golden Residence Permit card takes a further 2 weeks to issue.

 

Therefore, the complete application process for Golden Visa in Portugal takes around 1.5-2 months.

Golden Visa Documents

Below is the checklist of all the documents required for Golden Visa in Portugal:

 

1. Passport or another travel document.

2. National or international Health Insurance.

3. Criminal Record Certificate.

4. A written agreement for Criminal Record Checks in Portugal.

5. Declarations from Portuguese Tax Authority and Portuguese Social Security.

6. Affidavit.

 

The first document required for Golden Visa in Portugal is a valid Passport or another travel document.

 

Second, to apply for Golden Visa in Portugal it is necessary to present a Health Insurance issued at least 3 months before the application.

 

There are two types of Health Insurance valid for Golden Visa in Portugal. It is either a National Health Insurance – a document proving that the investor is insured locally, in Portugal; or an International Health Insurance (one from investor’s country of origin or residence), which is covering the duration of her/his stay and automatically renewable.

 

Third, application for Golden Visa in Portugal requires that investor presents authorities with clean Criminal Record. As the law states, Criminal Record Certificate has to be dully certified by a Portuguese diplomatic or consular post abroad.

 

Please note, that if before applying for Golden Visa in Portugal, an investor that has lived in another country for over one year – he/she must receive the Certificate from that country. Otherwise, the criminal record must be enquired from the country of origin.

 

Fourth, the application for Golden Visa in Portugal requires the investor to agree (in the form of the written statement) to Criminal Record Check in Portugal. That is one of the forms that is filled out upon the visit to the SEF office.

 

Fifth, there are two written declarations investor must have to receive the Golden Visa in Portugal. One from the Portuguese Tax Authority and one from Portuguese Social Security.

 

These declarations are required to apply for Golden Visa in Portugal as the investor must prove that she/he conforms with Portuguese property taxes, and does not have outstanding debt.

 

Sixth, to complete the application for Golden Visa in Portugal, the investor must sign an affidavit. That is a written declaration that the investor agrees with the financial requirement for receiving Golden Visa in Portugal (€350,000 or €500,000), and will hold the real estate investment for a minimum period of 5 years.

 

Please note, those family members who also apply for Golden Visa in Portugal, each must present the same set of documents.

Golden Visa Application Fees

Aside from the real estate investment required for Golden Visa in Portugal, there are also some application fees involved.

 

Below is the list of estimated costs related to Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

  • Initial Application Fee – €514.80
  • Initial Golden Residence Permit – €5,147.80
  • Renewal of Golden Residence Permit – €5,147.80
  • Applying for Citizenship by Investment – €600

 

Therefore, the total costs of the Golden Visa in Portugal for 5 years with the EU citizenship application equals €11,410.4 for one applicant.

 

Please consider, that application fees are different for applying family members.

 

  • Initial Golden Residence Permit for a family member – €5,227.54
  • Renewal of Golden Residence Permit for a family member – €2,653.94

 

Therefore, the total costs for the Golden Visa in Portugal for a family of two equals €19,354.88.

Property Taxes

Property Taxes are related to Golden Visa in Portugal as they become part of the process after the reception of Golden Residence Permit.

 

Either the investor sells the Golden Visa property, keeps it for personal use, or rents out, property taxes have to be considered in all three outcomes.

 

Below is the list of taxes related to Golden Visa in Portugal:

 

1. “IMI” – Immovable Property Tax that is levied on property tax value.

2. “IMT” – Property Purchase Tax that is levied on property price.

3. “AIMI” – Wealth-tax paid only in case property value exceeds €600,000.

4. Stamp Duty.

5. Capital gains tax in case if Golden Visa property is sold.

6. Tax on rental income from Golden Visa property.

 

There are two core property taxes in Portugal.

 

“IMI” – Immovable Property Tax. “IMI” is a municipality tax with different rates for each municipality. Even though rates are set by local municipalities, the general margin is set between 0,3% and 0,45% of the tax value which is lower than the purchase value of the property. “IMI” is paid once a year – on the last day of the year.

 

“IMT” – Property Purchase Tax. “IMT” is levied on the property price. “IMT” is paid once – when buying Golden Visa property.

 

Even though “IMT” rate depends on the real estate prices in Portugal, below is the table for general IMT margins for Golden Visa property.

 

“IMT” rates for the Golden Visa property that is used as a permanent home:

Value of Property                                 Marginal Rate

Up to €92,407                                     0%

€92,407 - €126,403                             2%

€126,403 - €172,348                           5%

€172,348 - €287,213                           7%

€287,213 - €574,323                           8%

€574,323 and above                            6%

“IMT” rates for the Golden Visa property that is used as a holiday home or rented out:

Value of Property                                 Marginal Rate

Up to €92,407                                     1%

 €92,407 - €126,403                            2%

€126,403 - €172,348                           5%

€172,348 - €287,213                           7%

€287,213 - €550,836                           8%

€550,836 and above                            6%

 

Please consider, that if property investment in Portugal was made with the purpose of urban rehabilitation, the investor applying for Golden Visa in Portugal might be exempt from “IMT”.

 

There is a third property tax that is, in some cases, related to Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

“AIMI” – is a wealth tax, that is paid in case the value of Golden Visa property exceeds €600,000. “AIMI” is levied on the property tax value and differs for individuals and companies. Additionally, if the value of Golden Visa property exceeds €1 million, the “AIMI” rate increases.

 

If the Golden Visa property had been purchased by an individual investor, the “AIMI” rate is set at 0,7% from the property tax value.

 

If the Golden Visa Property had been purchased by a company, the “AIMI” rate is set at 0,4% from the property tax value.

 

Yet, if the value of Golden Visa property exceeds €1 million, in both cases the “AIMI” is charged at a flat rate of 1%.

 

Additionally, there are some fees related to the acquisition of Golden Visa property.

 

When buying Golden Visa property investor must pay a Stamp Duty. Stamp Duty depends on different documents related to Golden Visa property: a contract, a deed, a bank mortgage, and a loan (if applicable).

 

Similarly to previous property taxes in Portugal, the Stamp Duty rate depends on the property tax value, although, generally falls around 0,8%.

 

If after the obtainment of Golden Visa in Portugal and subsequent EU citizenship, the Golden Visa property is sold, the investors must pay the capital gains tax.

 

Capital gains tax in Portugal is usually set at the flat rate of 25% from the property sale value. Although, if after the receive of Golden Visa in Portugal and EU citizenship, the capital gains from Golden Visa property are reinvested in another property in Portugal that is used as a primary home, the capital gains tax is levied at a flat rate of 12.5%.

 

Additionally, there is a tax on renting property in Portugal.

 

The rental income from Golden Visa property (as well as interest and dividends) is taxed at the flat rate of 28%.

Other investment options

Although buying real estate is the most popular route to obtain the Golden Visa in Portugal, there are five more available investment options.

 

1. Obtainment of Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer in the value of €1 million or higher.

 

This route to Golden Visa in Portugal requires a direct transfer of one million euros to a local bank account. Please note, that it is possible to make such investment either as an individual or as a head of a single-member limited company.

 

To apply for Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer, the investor must present a document proving the investment was made – a proof of international bank transfer.

 

2. Obtainment of Golden Visa in Portugal through the creation of 10 new job positions.

 

This route to Golden Visa in Portugal implies setting up a company that employs at least 10 individuals residing within the county. 

 

To apply for Golden Visa in Portugal through the creation of 10 new job positions, the investor must provide a certificate from the Portuguese Social Security Office stating the registration of new job positions.

 

3. Obtainment of Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer in the value of €350,000 or higher, used for research and development activities.

 

This route to Golden Visa in Portugal requires a direct transfer of €350,000 to a public or a private scientific research institution which is a part of the national scientific and technological system.

 

To apply for Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer to the research institution, the investor must present a declaration of accepting the funds issued by one of such institution. 

 

4. Obtainment of Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer in the value of €350,000 or higher, used for capitalisation of Portuguese companies.

 

This route to Golden Visa in Portugal implies a direct transfer of €350,000 to Portuguese company whose maturity is at least 5 years old and which has a head office in Lisbon.

 

To apply for Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer to a Portuguese company, the investor must provide a declaration of accepting the funds issued by one of such companies.

 

5. Obtainment of Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer in the value of €250.000 or higher, used for support of Arts and Culture.

 

This route to Golden Visa in Portugal requires a direct transfer of €250,000 to a public or a private art foundation, or local association that is concerned with arts, culture, and preservation of heritage.

 

To apply for Golden Visa in Portugal through the capital transfer to the art foundation, the investor must present a declaration of accepting the funds issued by one of such foundation. Alternatively, the investor can present a similar declaration issued by the “Strategy, Planning, and Cultural Assessment Office”.

 

According to recent news, the Portuguese government had launched a new route to obtain the Golden Visa in Portugal.

 

A so-called Green Visa has been voted on 14th of January, 2019, and implies the capital transfer in the value of €500,000 or higher used for support of organic agriculture, ecotourism, and renewable energy.

 

This is the complete list of aspects necessary to know about the Golden Visa in Portugal in 2019.

 

Nevertheless, please read our FAQs or contact us if you seek more information – we are glad to answer your questions.

 

Read more about Non-Habitual Resident.

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