Golden Visa Program

Portuguese Residence for Investment Activity

The Golden Visa program allows citizens from outside the European Union to invest in Portuguese Territory and consequently obtaining a temporary residence permit.

Golden Visa: What is it?

Portugal has, since October 2021, a VISA reserved for non-European Union citizens willing to invest in the local economy. The main goal is to attract foreign investors/capital into the Portuguese Economy.

This VISA program – called Golden Visa (or Golden Residence) – benefits from the fact that its holders have the right to apply – after 5 years – to become a Portuguese Citizen and/or a permanent Portuguese resident.

Main benefits
Minimum investment by type:
Travel and Visa-Free Countries

The Golden Visa holder is allowed to freely travel within Europe and, once he/she gets the Portuguese citizenship, becomes holder of the 4th strongest passport in the world.

Rights of a Golden Visa holder

The Portuguese Golden Visa holder is allowed to work, live, study or simply enjoy our beautiful Portugal.

Maybe you don’t know but, in Portugal, there is free universal healthcare and education. That’s right. If, by any misfortune, you suffer an injury or disease, the National Healthcare will take care of you, free of costs (or charging as low as US$ 18,00).

On the other hand, the public schools and Universities grant all the residents (including the Golden Visa holders) the privilege of developing 15 years of learning (elementary, high school and college), FREE OF CHARGE.

However, and if you prefer, there are several private schools and colleges, with monthly fees as low as USD$ 400,00.

Regarding work, you will be able to work in a Portuguese or foreign company (either presential or remote work), by yourself (entrepreneurship) or start your own company (LLC or Inc.).

Family (re)unification

The main applicant may include all his/her family members, as long as they are financially dependents from him/her. This extension can be done either simultaneously or later. However, you have to bear in mind that the 5 years for the citizenship start counting when the applicant has the visa issued. So, the longer your family members take to start the process, the longer it will take for them to become Portuguese.

The family members eligible to join the main applicant are his/her spouse, children under 18 years old, children between 18 and 26 years old, if unmarried and financially dependent and parents over 65 years old, if financially dependents.

Portuguese Passport

Both the main applicant and his/her dependents may apply for the Portuguese citizenship once they hold the Golden Visa for over 5 years.
Additional requirements are:

Tax Benefits

If you don’t spend more than 183 days per year in Portugal, you will not be considered as a tax resident in Portugal.  However, if you become a tax-resident in Portugal, you will be eligible for the non-habitual residency (NHR) program, according to which you may benefit from the following tax rates for the following 10 years:

  • 0% on crypto, dividends, wealth and most income;
  • 10% on pensions;
  • 20% on freelancing income.
What Nationalities can apply?

US Citizens shall be aware that:

You may qualify to exclude your foreign earnings from income up to $112,000/year, if you comply with the IRS exceptions.

Any non-European Union/Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway/Swiss national is eligible for the Golden Visa.

Pre-requisites
  • Minimum 18 years old;
  • Clean criminal record from from Portugal and from your country of origin (misdemeanors don’t count);
  • Eligible investment must be funded by foreign sources.
Who are we?

We are a Portuguese Law Firm focused on foreign clients and investment attraction to Portugal. Our immigration department is led by a Lawyer enrolled in the Portuguese Bar Association for over 20 years and our team is composed by lawyers, solicitors and paralegals, responsible for several hundreds of Portuguese Visa and citizenship applications.

And, because we are lawyers, we are forbidden, by the Portuguese Bar Association Statutory regulations, to partner and/or to receive any kind of payment/compensation/commission from any funds. This way, you can be sure that we will always and solely defend your own interests, instead of leading you into a specific product, fund or company investment.   

Many companies advertise Golden Visa advisory, making you believe that their business is the Golden Visa application assistance. Unfortunately, that is not true. Their main goal is to lead you to invest in a specific investment product/fund, that will be paying a commission/referral.

Some investment funds – mostly linked to the Real Estate business – will offer you, free of charge, the legal assistance on the Golden Visa application. However, you will be assisted by professionals paid the own investment fund. And, let’s say, their exemption and independence is, at least, at risk. The professional paid by the fund will be the professional assisting you in, for instance, due diligence and/or compliance acts. So, the said professional/expert in Golden Visa applications will be performing acts of due diligence, in your name, about a fund that is paying for their services. At least, there is a conflict of interests.

That is why we strongly recommend that you hire a Portuguese Lawyer or Solicitor. These are the only professionals that are legally bound to defend the interests of the person that hires them (and is paying for their work).

That is why you should always suspect of someone that is offering a “visa-in-hand” solution, because, in our opinion, there is a incompatibility between defending your interests and offering a solution that has a product/property involved.

Portuguese Lawyers or Solicitors are legally forbidden to advise/recommend any kind of product/investment.

Did you know that there are renowned Real Estate Agencies that advertise the same property – at different prices – in their US and Portuguese listings? The price at the US website is 30% higher than in the Portuguese listing.

That is why we also help in the negotiations. We can present ourselves before the seller/agent and not reveal the identity/nationality of the potential buyer. This way the foreign citizen will be safe from potential speculation in price due to their country of origin. Also, if both the seller and the agent aren’t aware of the primary goal of the acquisition (eligibility for Golden Visa), they will ignore the financial availability of the potential buyer, making it easier to bargain the asked price.

That is why we cover the following services:

Real Estate Investments:

  • Our paralegals will visit the properties at different hours and, if desired, make a videoconference with you from the property;
  • Perform acts of due diligence to ensure the property is in conditions of being sold/bought, free of onus or pending costs.
  • Assistance in the negotiations until signing the first commitment agreement and/or the promissory sale and purchase agreement;
  • Analysis of all documentation pertaining to the property, and accessing of all relevant entries in the Land Registry, Tax Authority and/or the local municipal council;
  • Receipt and holding of funds in the law firm clients/escrow account (if required);
  • Drafting (or reviewing) of the promissory purchase and sale agreement;
  • Drafting (or reviewing) of the final purchase and sale deed;
  • Registration of acquisition of the property title deed at the Land Registry Office and at the local Tax Office;
  • Acting on behalf of the owner, with the various utility companies —electricity, gas, water, telephone, cable, etc.;
  • Acting as depository of all the documents regarding the property own by the client;
  • Due-diligence on investment funds linked to real estate:
    • Fund solvability in the present
    • Analysis of the contracts;
    • Verification of both the surface right and of the binding clause to the entity chosen to explore the property;
    • Review of the mandatory buyback clause;
    • Analysis of the fund future solvability to comply with the buyback clause;
    • General acts of compliance.

Contact us to learn more about the services we can provide.Parte inferior do formulário

Investment Options: What Types of Investments Qualify for the Golden Visa

Acquire real estate located in Portugal, worth more than:

  • USD 565.000 (EURO 500.000€): general rule (exception of Lisboa, Porto and most of the Algarve);
  • USD 450.000 (EURO 400.000€) in low density areas;
  • USD 395.000 (EURO 350.000€) if the property is older than 30 years old, in an urban rehabilitation area AND is renovated/refurbished (the invested amount includes both the acquisition price and the renovation/refurbishment costs);
  • USD 316.000 (EURO 285.000€) if the property is older than 30 years old or in an urban rehabilitation, AND located in a low density area AND is renovated/refurbished (the invested amount includes both the acquisition price and the renovation/refurbishment costs);
  • The amount of the investment can be met by the purchase of one or more properties.

Capital transfer of a minimum of €1,5 million to Portugal.

A minimum of €500,000 subscription in a qualifying Portuguese fund.

Creation of a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs in a Portuguese business owned by the applicant (minimum of 8 full-time jobs if the business is located in a low density area).

Invest a minimum of €500,000 in an existing (or a brand new) Portuguese business, where the incorporated business must create a minimum of five new full-time jobs for at least three years.

Invest a minimum of €250,000 in preserving national heritage in Portugal.

Invest a minimum of €500,000 in a research and development activity in Portugal.

Requirements:

Minimum Residence Requirement

Portugal requires the Golden Visa residents to spend a minimum of seven days annually on average in the country.

Validity Stay Requirement
Initial GV
Two yearsl
Fourteen (14) days within two years
Subsequent GV
Three years
Twenty-one (21) days within three years
Government fees

Below is a chart of Portugal Golden Visa government application fees:

When? Amount
Processing Fee
Once at the beginning and again at the renewal
€533 main applicant
€83 per dependent
Initial Fee
Once at the beginning
€5.325 pp
Renewal Fee
Once, at the end of the 2nd year
€2.663 pp
Bank Account and NIF Number

The Portuguese Government requires that the investment is made through a wire transfer made from a local bank account. Therefore, there will be different steps: first, you will have to open a bank account in a bank located in Portugal; then you will have to fund the account with the amount to be invested (always remember the bank account has to be in euros, so check regularly the exchange rates to minimize losses); finally, you will make the investment with the funds sourced in the Portuguese Bank Account.

However, you can only open an account in a bank located in Portugal if you have a Portuguese TIN (NIF, in Portuguese) and you assign a Tax Representative before the Tax Authority. The Tax Representative will only be needed until you are in possession of the Golden Visa.

We provide such services, as it is always recommended to have as your tax representative, a Portuguese Lawyer or Solicitor, due to the strict rules of professional behavior that are not ensured/binding by any other professional association.

With a Power of Attorney issued for this purpose, we usually can obtain your TIN (NIF) within one day.

Opening a Portuguese Bank Account

It is very usual to assist our clients in this procedure, assuring that the bank account is open and activated in a matter of days.

Process

Hire a Portuguese Lawyer or Solicitor

(Your physical presence is not mandatory)

You are about to start a process that will demand an investment of, at least, USD 280.000,00. You don’t speak Portuguese and you don’t know the general rules/laws in Portugal. Did you know that there is a huge difference between a Common Law and a Continental Law country? It is better to ensure that you will have someone by your side to assist you and protect you from misinterpretations and/or deceptions due to the lack of information.

Because you will need to analyze the list of available investment types, you should act along with your Lawyer/Solicitor and decide on which investment you will move forward with. 

Get a TIN (NIF) and open a Bank account

(Your physical presence is not mandatory)

One of the mandatory requirements to submit a GV application is to hold a TIN (NIF) and a checking account on a bank located in Portugal. We offer a plan to cover this step called the “first things first plan”, because your physical presence in Portugal is not needed for this step, and we will act as your tax representatives until you are legally resident in Portugal.

Decide the type of investment

(Your physical presence is not mandatory)

You have to decide what is the best investment for you. Real Estate? Investment Funds? Job Creation? Starting a new business? Every investment has its pros and cons. Our team will assist you along the way, clearing all your doubts and performing any necessary acts of due diligence and compliance.

Closing the Investment

(Your physical presence is not mandatory)

We can sign all the necessary contracts and documents on your behalf, acting as your attorneys, through a Power of Attorney that enables us to sign such documents for you. Your physical presence is not mandatory. In the meantime, our team is gathering all the documents that will be required, covering both the translations and notarization of the translations of any documents issued by non-Portuguese Institutions.

Submit the application

(Your physical presence is not mandatory)

Once the investment is done, and as soon as the proof of investment is issued, we will have all the documentation ready and submit immediately your application and keep you updated. You can expect at least two months from the time we submit your application and documents and the moment we are assigned a time slot for the appointment at the Immigration and Borders Office (SEF).

Meet you at SEF for the biometrics meeting

(Finally, your physical presence is mandatory)

One of our professionals will assist you in the scheduled meeting at SEF for the biometrics collection. This is the only step we can not act on your behalf: the collection of your fingerprints, picture and signature.

Get the Golden Visa Resident cards

(Finally, your physical presence is mandatory)

We will collect your resident cards and send them your way.  Each card has an initial validity of two years and, at the end of the second year, we will handle the renewal and you will get a new one, this time valid for three more years.

...after 5 years, you can become a Portuguese Citizen

Our Immigration Law team will handle your citizenship application. Don’t forget that, once you are legally Portuguese, you will become citizen of the most beautiful country in the world that, among several other amazing things, is:

  • Most welcoming country for expats in the world (InterNations™ Global Guide)
  • 3rd safest country in the world (Global Peace Index™ 2021)
  • 4th strongest passport in the world (Global Passport Index™ 2021)
  • 7th on the 2021 EF™ English Proficiency Index;
  • 7th country with the best food in the world (USNEWS™ ranking)
  • 8th best football national squad in the world (FIFA™ ranking)

What Is the Timeline for the Golden Visa Process?

There are several factors that can influence the timeline. However, you can always count, at least, on 3 to 5 months, from the moment you start the process with us until you have the Golden Visa in your possession.

Statistics on Portugal Golden Visa

The total number of main applicants rose to 10.254, accompanied by 17.221 dependents.

Out of all the applications, the investment types were:

  • Real Estate Acquisition: 9.585 GVs, from which:
    • Minimum value of €500,000: 8.576 GVs;

    • Urban rehab at €350,000: 1.009 GVs;

  • Capital Transfer: 649 GVs;
  • €1 million Capital Transfer Bank: 504 GVs;
  • €350,000 Investment Fund: 136 GVs;
  • €350,000 Capital Transfer + Creation of Jobs: 6 GVs;
  • €250,000 donation to cultural heritage: 2 GVs;
  • Creation of 10 Full Time Jobs: 20 GVs.

FAQ

Yes, you can. However, it’s highly recommended that you hire a Portuguese Lawyer or Solicitor in pursuing the program, because you will be making investments in a country that you are not familiar with. You will always need the best professionals by your side, to analyse the investment fund solvability, to perform due diligence, to be sure that the property to be bought can be sold freely, if you can perform the renovation/refurbishment, to defend your interests. That said, don’t you think you should focus all the legal assistance in a person of your trust, instead of free services offered by investment funds that were built to sold pieces of land?

You’re not required to be represented by a lawyer to submit an application for the Golden Visa. However, are you sure that everything is well handled, that you have all the documents, that you fill all the requirements, that the investment is Golden Visa compliant, that the fund is FATCA compliant? Trust us: hire a Portuguese Lawyer or Solicitor.

You can have a Golden Visa and not be tax resident in Portugal. If you begin to produce Portugal sourced income, you will be taxed. However, due to the multiple treaties for the prevention of double taxation, you won’t be taxed twice on the same income. Portugal has treaties for the prevention of double taxation with the following countries: Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, East Timor, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Macau, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sultanate of Oman, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela.

No and no.

No, because you don’t have to become tax resident in Portugal.

And no because, even if you become tax resident in Portugal, there will be a treaty for the prevention of double taxation celebrated between Portugal and your country of citizenship. There is no similar rule in Portugal to the IRS regulations about income foreign-sourced for US citizens.

No. You must only pay contributions to the Social Security if you start working as a employee or a service provider.

You may live in your country of origin or any other place you wish to live in, as long as you spend 7 days per year in Portugal.

Yes.  US citizens can apply for Golden Visa Portugal.  In fact, USA is ranked #3 country of origin of Golden Visa holders.

Yes, Russian citizens can apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal.  In fact, Russia is ranked #4 country of origin of Golden Visa holders.

Yes, Hong Kong Citizens can apply for a Portuguese Golden Visa. The demand of Golden Visa by HK citizens has increased in the last two years.

Portuguese Lawyers and Solicitors are forbidden, by the Portuguese Bar Association Statutory regulations, to partner and/or to receive any kind of payment/compensation/commission from any funds and/or professionals beside other Lawyers. This way, you can be sure that we will always and solely defend your own interests, instead of leading you into a specific product, fund or company investment. Some investment funds – mostly linked to the Real Estate business – will offer you, free of charge, the legal assistance on the Golden Visa application. The professional paid by the fund will be the professional assisting you in, for instance, due diligence and/or compliance acts on the same fund that hired them. That is why we strongly recommend that you hire a Portuguese Lawyer or Solicitor.

Only if you want. Our Immigration Law team can assist you in such task. Our paralegals will search all the opportunities in the market, according with your profile and preferences, and show you all the results. However, we will never advise you to opt for any product/fund. We just present you all the facts related to the product/fund. We will take care of all the hassles/bureaucracy and you just have to make your informed decision.

No, you do not need to pass any Portuguese language test in order to qualify for the Golden Visa. 

Yes. Portugal does not distinguish between same-sex and different-sex couples. The spouse of the main applicant will be included in the application.

Yes, Portugal is among the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. The Constitution forbids any kind of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The investor is not required to live in or use the real estate.  It can be rented out. Most of our clients opt for long term rentals, to assure profitability. It is fairly common to get a yearly yield of 4 to 6 per cent.

We offer competitive prices. Call us for a quotation.