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Portuguese Citizenship by Investment

The Portuguese Golden visa scheme represents the program available to non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss nationals to obtain Portuguese citizenship by investment, after having met all other associated requirements.

If you have any questions about the Portugal Golden visa program or you seek to obtain residency through this route, you are on the right page. Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us online to get help from our team of professional and experienced legal representatives.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Portugal Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Portugal visa or permit, IAS Portugal immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Ireland successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are well-versed in Portugal immigration matters.

    Regardless of what your Portugal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Overview of Portuguese Citizenship by Investment

    Obtaining Portugal citizenship by investment requires applying to one of Portugal’s popular residence-by-investment programs, of which the Golden visa program is one.

    Portugal’s Golden visa, just like the Golden visa programs of other countries, requires that you make a significant minimum investment in Portugal which must be maintained for five years.

    When you maintain the status for a minimum of five years and fulfil other requirements, you become eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Portuguese citizenship entitles you to the rights of a Portuguese national as well as obtaining a Portugal passport.

    What is Portugal Citizenship by Investment?

    It is not possible to obtain Portuguese citizenship by investment. However, you can choose to make an investment through the Golden visa program which grants you a residence permit.

    Holding the Golden visa for five years qualifies you to apply for Portugal citizenship.

    Portugal’s Golden visa program

    The Portuguese Golden visa is a residence permit issued to non-EU nationals that allows them to enter and leave Portugal unlimited times or relocate there if they so desire. They can also visit other EU countries with the Golden visa.

    The Portuguese Golden visa program requires interested persons to make a significant investment in Portugal and they can become permanent residents or citizens in five years.

    What are the Eligibility Requirements for the Golden Visa?

    You can apply to the Portuguese golden visa program if you are a non-EU/EEA or non-Swiss national. However, to be eligible, you also must:

    • Be at least 18 years of age.
    • Have clean criminal records both in Portugal and your home country.
    • Own the money you wish to invest from outside Portugal.
    • Maintain the investment funds for at least five years.

    Your family members that are eligible for a Portugal Golden visa are:

    • Spouses.
    • Children under the age of 18.
    • Dependent children who are up to 26 years of age.
    • Parents who are over 65 years of age and depend on you financially.
    • Siblings who are under 26 years of age, depend on you financially and are in your custody.

    You must provide proof of financial dependence or legal custody as the case may be when applying.

    What are my Investment options under the Portugal Golden visa program?

    Investors who are ready to invest a substantial amount into the Portuguese economy can invest in the following options:

    • Start a company in Portugal that creates at least 10 new jobs.
    • Transfer at least €250,000 for the reconstruction of the national heritage or into arts/culture.
    • Invest at least €280,000 into the purchase of properties aged over 30 years for renovation.
    • Invest at least €500,000 into the purchase of newer commercial or residential real estate.
    • Invest at least €500,000 into the purchase of investment funds or venture capital fund units.
    • Invest at least €500,000 into financing scientific research activities.
    • Invest at least €500,000 into a local company or business to create at least five jobs.
    • Make at least €1,500,000 capital transfer to Portugal.

    The investment amount does not vary based on the number of family members indicated in an application. However, you must show proof that you can support family members who will also obtain a Portugal residence permit.

    You must pay mandatory fees such as application fees, residence permit card fees, and medical insurance fees for yourself and your family members.

    Approved Property Types

    Not all properties are approved for the investment program. The property must be qualified by the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) to be eligible for investment.

    The following conditions apply when choosing a commercial and residential property:

    • Commercial property may be located in any area. From January 2022, investors are no longer allowed to purchase properties in metropolitan areas of Portugal such as Porto, Setubal, Lisbon and the coastal Algarve.
    • Residential property may be located in Madeira, the Azores, or the internal regions of mainland Portugal.

    Our team of legal experts can make this process much easier for you. Contact us now by calling: +44 (0)333 305 9375

    What Documents do I need to apply for the Golden visa in Portugal?

    In submitting a Portugal Golden visa application, you are required to accompany the official Golden visa application form with the following documents:

    • A valid passport which must be valid for at least six months from the date of application
    • Two passport-size photographs that meet Portugal’s visa photo requirements.
    • Proof of health insurance in Portugal.
    • Criminal record certificates from any country you have lived in for over a year. They must have been issued within the last three months before your application date and must show you have no criminal record from those countries.
    • Sworn statement showing that you will maintain your investment for a minimum of five years.
    • Payment receipt from the ARI (Golden visa) portal.

    Investment-Specific Documents

    In addition to the documents listed above, you must submit investment-specific documents as follows:

    • Real estate property worth at least €500,000 – You will submit:
      • The Land Register Certificate along with other documents that attest to the ownership of the property.
      • Declaration from a financial institution authorised or registered in Portugal, which confirms the effective international transfer of the assets.
      • Deed of the acquired property or pre-contract agreement and legal description of the property, if applicable.
    • Real estate in a regeneration or renovation area
      • A document from a relevant entity confirming that the property is in a regeneration area.
    • A capital transfer of at least €1 million into a bank account
      • Declaration from the bank registered in Portugal, confirming that you made the deposit. The deposit must be free from any charges.
    • Investment in arts/culture
      • Declaration from the concerned bank registered in Portugal, confirming that you made the required deposit.
      • A Declaration issued by the Portuguese Strategy, Planning and Cultural Assessment Office, stating that they have made necessary consultations with relevant authorities in the sector of your investment, and supporting the legibility of your investment.
    • Investment in research activities
      • Statement from a bank registered in Portugal, confirming that you made the required deposit.
      • Statement from the scientific research institution where you invested, confirming that you invested.
    • Investment into creating at least 10 new jobs
      • Employment contracts for each employee.
      • Declaration from a bank registered in Portugal, confirming that you made the required deposit.
      • Extract from the Register of Companies (if you are a shareholder in the company).

    Documents that are not written in English or Portuguese language have to be sent to a certified translator for translation, after which you must notarize the document.

    Documents that must be legalised can be legalised by the nearest Portuguese Embassy or through an Apostille Stamp. When submitting online, each electronic document must be in PDF format and have a maximum size of 4MB.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your Portuguese Citizenship application.

    What are the steps to applying for a Portugal Golden visa?

    The process of obtaining a Portugal Golden visa usually requires some mandatory steps which are as follows:

    • Selection of investment
    • Opening of bank account and tax number.
    • Fulfilment of investment program conditions.
    • Preparation of documents.
    • Submission of application.
    • Submission of biometric data.
    • Receipt of residence permit card.
    • Application for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residence permit.

    Selection of Investment

    This is where you select one of the investment options and set up meetings where necessary. If an investment property is chosen, for example, you may want to visit Portugal to see the property and meet with lawyers.

    You may, alternatively, want to get a trusted lawyer to represent you for the investment process, particularly if it involves other types of investment options such as research activities or arts/culture.

    It is safer and less time-consuming to employ a trusted legal representative who knows the documents you must receive for each investment option.

    If you would prefer a legal representative, contact IAS today on 0333 305 9375 or chat with us online to get started.

    We are a team of lawyers who possess the experience and knowledge needed to help you find your way successfully through the Portugal Golden visa investment and application process, and the Portugal citizenship by investment application.

    Opening of bank account and tax number

    You must open a Portuguese bank account by visiting a bank in Portugal and asking to have it set up. You also need a tax number (also called NIF number) which you can obtain by requesting the local office of Tax and Customs Authority (the Taxpayer Registration Services).

    In both cases, you need necessary documents such as your identification document and those confirming your address and income.

    Fulfilment of investment program conditions

    You should conclude an agreement on the investment with the aid of a legal representative, and make the required cash transfer to your account in Portugal and eventually to the selected investment.

    Preparation of Documents

    You should then gather all required documentation in preparation to apply for the Portuguese Golden visa application. All documents which are not written in English or Portuguese language must be translated into either.

    You must then notarize them to make them ready for submission at the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF).

    Submission of Application

    Complete an application form on SEF’s online portal that handles Golden visa applications (ARI portal) and upload all necessary documents which must be in PDF format and not more than 4MB. Pay all required fees and wait to receive confirmation from SEF.

    Submission of Biometric data

    You and your family members included in the application must submit your biometric information in Portugal.

    Receipt of Residence Permit

    Upon approval of your application, you and your indicated family members will receive residence permit cards. The Portuguese residence permit is valid for a year initially and can be renewed till you qualify for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation after five years.

    What is the Cost of applying for a Portugal Golden visa?

    Apart from the initial minimum investment amount, you will be required to pay the following fees:

    • Golden visa issue fee – This is €5,340 for each family member.
    • Medical insurance – This is at least €400 per person.
    • Residence permit renewal fee – This is €2,663 for each family member upon each renewal.
    • Golden visa processing fee – This is €533 for each family member.

    You should also set aside some money for activities such as the legalisation and translation of documents, property tax, and land registry fees.

    If you purchased real estate to obtain a Portugal Golden visa, you will be required to pay 6-8% of the property value as transfer tax and 0.8% of the property value as stamp duty.

    Find out how we can assist with your Portuguese Citizenship application.

    Applying for Portuguese Citizenship

    You may apply for citizenship by naturalisation after you have been a Portuguese Golden visa holder for five years. In addition to satisfying the legal residency requirement, you must also fulfil other Portugal citizenship requirements which include the following:

    • Demonstrate ties with the Portuguese community.
    • Have a clean criminal record.
    • Show proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language at least to A2 level.
    • Have no tax obligation in Portugal.

    How to apply for Citizenship

    You can apply to obtain Portugal citizenship at any of the following locations:

    • At the service counter of the Institute of Registries and Notary at the National Support Center for the Integration of Migrants (CNAIM) in Lisbon or Porto.
    • At Espaços Registos in Lisbon, on Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, on the Justice Campus and in Benfica.
    • In the Central Registers of Lisbon, Portugal.
    • At a Nationality Desk in Portugal.
    • At the Citizen’s Shop in Odivelas, Portugal.
    • At the Civil Registry Offices in Portugal.
    • At the Portuguese embassy or Consulate in your country of ​​residence.

    You must go with the required documentation which include your:

    • Portuguese residence permit.
    • Letter addressed to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice requesting Portuguese citizenship.
    • Criminal record certificate.
    • Birth certificate.
    • Proof of knowledge of the Portuguese language to at least A2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

    Applications for Portuguese citizenship take about a year during which additional documentation may be required.

    It costs €250 to apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation. Payment can be made:

    • With a debit card where you made the application.
    • By cheque or postal order, if you apply by post.

    Benefits of Portuguese citizenship by investment

    The advantages attached to holding Portuguese citizenship include the following:

    • Passing nationality to descendants – If you have children or intend to have children, you can pass the Portuguese nationality to them.
    • Rights of a citizen – You enjoy the rights and duties of Portuguese citizens such as paying the same taxes, participating in public tenders or offers, accessing public health care, and moving easily between European countries.
    • You can also vote and run for office in local and European elections of other member states.
    • Access to EU countries – You are entitled to visa-free travel to any of the countries which are part of the European Union (EU). You can also live, study and work there. However, you will need to undergo some registration if you intend to stay longer than three months.
    • Dual citizenship – Portuguese passport holders can retain their home country’s passport if their home country permits dual citizenship. This is because Portugal allows dual citizenship.
    • Portuguese passport – The electronic passport grants a Portuguese citizen visa-free access to 117 countries and is currently grouped in the 3rd position on the passport power ranking list.

    Call us for further assistance with your Portuguese Citizenship application.

    How Can IAS Help?

    The process of obtaining citizenship by investment through the Golden visa program can be quite complex if you have little information or help. There are authorities you must notify, resident-related activities you must perform, and areas where you should not invest to avoid a waste of money.

    At the Immigration Advice Service, we have the experience, successful track record, and up-to-date knowledge you require to successfully navigate the rigours of a Golden visa application.

    Upon enlisting our services, you will access our fine brand of professional lawyers who only want you to succeed and are ready to deploy their knowledge and expertise to ensure your goal is achieved.

    Contact us right away on +44 (0)333 305 9375  or chat with us online from anywhere to start your journey to obtaining the Portuguese Golden visa.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    You only have to live in Portugal for at least 7 days in the first year of obtaining a Golden visa and a minimum of 14 days for each consecutive 2-year period till you qualify for Portuguese permanent residency or citizenship.

    A non-habitual resident who is a Portuguese Golden visa holder, you are considered a non-tax resident and are exempt from paying taxes on foreign or worldwide income. You only pay income tax for income obtained within Portugal in cases such as renting out your property.

    For Portuguese tax residents (i.e. those who have a dwelling place in Portugal with the intention of making it their habitual residence or who have accumulated at least 183 days of stay a year in Portugal), they have to pay tax on income obtained abroad and in Portugal.

    These taxable income include investment income, employment income, capital gains, pensions, and rental income. Portugal’s tax rate currently varies between 14.5% and 48%.

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